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Tea Biz Podcast | Episode 38

Tea News for the Week of Oct. 8 | India Adopts Tea Industry Reforms | US Considers Granting Exemptions from Chinese Tariffs | A Tribute to Nepal Tea Maker Morris Orchard | Swiss inspired High Mountain Tea Houses in the Canadian Rockies.

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Hear the Headlines

| India Adopts Tea Industry Reforms
| US Considers Granting Exemptions from Chinese Tariffs
| A Tribute to Nepal Tea Maker Morris Orchard

Seven-minute Tea News Recap

Tea Price Report
Oct 2 – Sale 39

India Tea Price Watch

India Tea Price Watch | Aravinda Anantharaman
The Tea Board of India announced a mechanization subsidy for smallholders to address the problem of labor shortages in tea gardens. India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry extended its tea development and promotion program through 2025-26 discontinuing subsidies for Orthodox production that includes $40 million for clearing subsidies in the tea sector. Learn more…

Aravinda Anantharaman

Features

This week Tea Biz travels to Alberta, Canada, high in the Canadian Rockies to visit one of several Swiss-inspired tea houses designed to provide high-mountain trekkers shelter and warmth.

… and then we visit Tokyo, Japan to meet tech and tea entrepreneur Hiroshi Takatoh whose Teatis blends of brown seaweed and matcha and seaweed and botanicals are formulated to help diabetics control high blood sugar levels.

Jolene Brewster, left, with partner Jess McNally in front of Jolene’s Tea House located in the historic Crag Cabin, Banff.

Jolene’s Tea House

By Jessica Natale Woollard

The rugged Canadian Rocky Mountains thrust nearly 20,000 feet into the sky, a haven for hikers that inspired a unique style of high-mountain tea houses built to provide warmth and shelter along the trail. In Banff, Alberta, Tea Biz correspondent Jessica Natale Woollard visits Jolene’s Tea House – a refuge for mind and body. Read more…

Listen to the Interview
Jolene Brewster on the launch of Jolene’s Tea House

Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO Teatis Tea
Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO and Founder Teatis Tea

A Medicinal Tea from the Sea

By Dan Bolton

Tea has an ancient history of medicinal applications, many of which have been validated by scientific research. The same is true of seaweed which contains antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E) as well as trace minerals and protective pigments. Joining us from Tokyo for this week’s podcast is Hiroshi Takatoh, CEO, founder, and blender at Japan-based Teatis Tea. Takatoh is exploring, with his team of food scientists and doctors, tea formulations to assist diabetics and pre-diabetics control their blood sugar levels. Read more…

Listen to the Interview
Teatis Tea founder Hiroshi Takatoh discusses the medicinal benefits of blending brown seaweed and tea.

News

India will no longer require permits to grow tea, one of several reforms gradually deregulating the tea industry.

India Adopts Tea Industry Reforms

By Dan Bolton

Facing continuing declines in export revenue, India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has funded several programs and instituted fundamental reforms in tea.

In September the Tea Board of India said it will suspend seven sections of the Tea Act of 1953 following the commerce ministry’s decision to amend regulations governing the sector. Seventeen of the Act’s 51 provisions are no longer enforced as India gradually deregulates the tea sector.

Permits to grow tea will no longer be required, a decision that is likely to increase unregulated production by smallholders who now account for 52% of India’s tea by volume. Tea production has rebounded in 2021, up 18% compared to the first eight months of 2020 to total 792 million kilos. Read more…

A Tribute to Teamaker Morris Orchard

The death of Nepal teamaker Morris Orchard due to COVID-19 is a sad reminder of the pandemic’s toll on the global tea community. Orchard, general manager at Jun Chiyabari Tea Estate and a third-generation tea man, was 58. Kevin Gascoyne, a partner at Montreal’s Camellia Sinensis tea company and a long-time buyer of Nepal tea shares how Orchard advanced tea making in his lifetime. View on YouTube.

Jun Chiyabari Teamaker Morris Orchard (1963-2021)
Listen to the Interview
Montreal-based Camellia Sinensis tea buyer Kevin Gascoyne pays tribute to teamaker Morris Orchard

US Considers Exemptions from Chinese Tariffs

Trade talks between the US and China will resume but there is little hope the Biden Administration will do away with tariffs that have depressed tea imports from China for the past three years. However, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the US will resume a program that allows companies importing some product categories to apply for exemptions, relieving them from paying the tariff.

Applications for exclusions were suspended in 2018. USTR writes that of the initial 2,200 exclusions granted, 549 were extended through Dec. 31, 2020. Criteria to qualify is based on economic hardship and whether the product is available only from China, which is true of several categories of tea.

The US currently charges duties on $350 billion of Chinese goods, penalizing importers who often pass the added expense to consumers. Tariffs add 7.5% to the price of Chinese tea. Tai said the US “does not want to inflame trade tensions with China” but made it clear additional duties and restrictions could be imposed.

Biz Insight – Tariffs on tea are insignificant compared to those levied on steel, agricultural food products and create no hardship for the Chinese who annually export $2 billion worth of tea. The 50-day public comment period on why the USTR should reinstate exemptions opens on Oct. 12. The list of previous exemptions is posted on the USTR website. None of the 549 exemptions were granted to tea companies but companies importing ink cartridges, submersible pumps, lampshades, bottle caps, and electric motors all made the list.

— Dan Bolton

  • Read more… links indicate the article continues. Learn more… links to additional information from reliable outside sources.

Upcoming Events

October 2021
Duyun Maojian International Forum for Tea Lovers | Dunyun, Guizhou, China |
6th Annual Conference for China Tea Import and Export Trade | Oct. 21-22
The co-located events showcase the production of Maojian green tea. China quarantine and travel restrictions apply. Website | Brochure (PDF)

December 2021

World Tea & Coffee Expo | Gandhinagar, India | December 2-4
Launched in 2013 and now operated by Messe Muenchen India, this hybrid virtual and in-person event for tea and coffee professionals is now scheduled for the Helipad Exhibition Centre, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Website | Register

Click to view more upcoming events.


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Tea News and Biz Insights – January 14, 2022 Tea Biz

HEAR THE HEADLINES – Draft Tea Act Redefines India’s Tea Board Mission | A Global Tea Harvest Review, a TEAIN22 Forecast | BOH Malaysia Named Tea Brand of the Year| NEWSMAKER – Jason McDonald, tea farmer and founder/CEO of The Great Mississippi Tea Company| GUEST – Kyle Whittington, founder Tea Book Club| FEATURES – This week, Tea Biz travels to the state of Mississippi, where tea farmer and founder/CEO Jason McDonald of The Great Mississippi Tea Company discusses the economics of mechanical harvesting following a two-year trial of selective harvesting equipment. Then to London, where Tea Book Club founder Kyle Whittington offers a modern take on the century-old classic The Book of Tea, published in 1906 by Okakura Kakuzō with an introduction rich in detail and context by Bruce Richardson. The Economics of Small Scale Mechanization –Inspired by The Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, Jason McDonald decided to plant a tea garden amid the timber on his 289-acre farm in Lincoln County, Mississippi, where a combination of high heat, humidity, acidic soil, and ample rainfall is ideally suited to tea. In 2012 McDonald planted a test plot, making his first tea in 2015. In 2018 the tea garden produced sufficient quantities to begin selling to the public. McDonald has since diligently researched all aspects of the industry, enlisting horticultural, sustainability, manufacturing, and machine professionals to develop harvesting and automated tea processing equipment at scale. During the past two years, the farm conducted field trials with a selective mechanical harvester to produce 250 to 350 kilos of made tea annually. McDonald shares cost savings, a boost in yield, and leaves suitable for making specialty and mid-grade teas with readers.The Book of Tea, a review by Kyle Whittington –For a book that is well over a century old, The Book of Tea remains a classic and a book that is well worth re-reading from time to time. There are so many editions out there, variously with introductions by tea aficionados, scholars, and masters of the last hundred plus years. Some editions are particularly aesthetically pleasing to add to the tea bookshelf. However, the edition I always recommend is the one with the introduction by Bruce Richardson. Bruce’s exceptionally well-researched introduction into the life and times of Okakura is fascinating and helps to contextualize The Book of Tea. Additionally, the fantastic photos and illustrations help bring both the book and Okakura’s period of history to life.
  1. Tea News and Biz Insights – January 14, 2022
  2. Tea News and Biz Insights – January 7, 2022
  3. Tea News and Biz Insights – December 31, 2021
  4. Tea News and Biz Insights – December 17, 2021
  5. Tea News and Biz Insights – December 10, 2021

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