• Los Angeles International Tea Festival — Need to Know

    Attendees visit vendors during the 4th Annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival.
    Attendees visit vendors during the 4th Annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival.

    What tea professionals need to start the week of Aug. 18, 2014 —

    Crowds at the annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival have doubled in the past few years… the spring harvest evaluation is complete and North American Tea Champions are named… QTrade Tea & Herbs takes home 100th award, the most of any competitor…

    Los Angeles International Tea Festival

    By Pete Surowski

    LOS ANGELES – A crowd of 2,600 tea lovers came to sip and share last weekend at the fourth-annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival.

    The two-day event , Aug. 16-17, was organized by Chado Tea Room at the Japanese-American Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

    Venders set up booths in the museum’s main hall and in the pedestrian walkway outside the front door in Little Tokyo and spent the weekend pouring tea, demonstrating new products and talking tea with passers-by.

    “There are not many places you can go to try new teas,” said attendee Brianna Winner. “This is our once-a-year event where we stock up on teas.”

    Jordan Huxley, Store Manager, American Tea Room.
    Jordan Huxley, Store Manager, American Tea Room.

    The LA Tea Fest is geared more toward consumers than shows like the World Tea Expo which was held at the Long Beach Convention Center in May, said Tek Mehrteab, the COO of Chado Tea Room, the retail branch of International Tea Importers (ITI) that operates three retail shops selling wet and dry teas in Los Angeles with one shop in Mumbai, India

    The event aims to stir interest in tea among consumers and increase the visibility of the venders, according to Mehrteab.

    “The more they try, the more they drink, the more they develop (an appreciation for quality tea),” he said: “It’s a win-win (for retailers and consumers).”

    Cille Washington and Marianne Steverson visit the Chado Tea Room during the Los Angeles International Tea Festival.
    Cille Washington and Marianne Steverson visit the Chado Tea Room during the Los Angeles International Tea Festival.

    The fest also gave retailers the chance to show new products and get consumer feedback.

    American Tea Room, which runs a retail shop in Beverly Hills, unveiled their line of bottled iced teas at the fest and chatted with attendees. “It’s really more convenient for some people,” said Jordan Huxley, the company’s store manager. “Some people want to come in, grab and go.”

    The fest is a big benefit for Waterfall Tea Company, another branch of ITI that creates tea products for restaurants, service industries and grocery store shelves, said Jaqueline Sandoval, the business’ operations manager.

    “It’s beneficial to get the in-person atmosphere and tell them about your product, especially because we’re very high quality,” she said. “Otherwise we’re just another tea on the shelf.”

    Andrew Ge, Account Executive, AOI Tea Company, explains products to the attendees.
    Andrew Ge, Account Executive, AOI Tea Company, explains products to the attendees.

    The fest has grown since its beginning in 2011 when it had only eight vendors and only about 1,300 visitors over the two days, Mehrteab said.

    Over that time, people’s interest in tea seems to have grown, he said.

    “You can definitely see in the past four or five years people want to know more about tea,” the organizer said.

    Mehrteab hopes to continue to grow the convention with more vendors next year, he said.

    Alexander Harney of the Marketing Department, Harney and Sons, pours a sample for an attendee.
    Alexander Harney of the Marketing Department, Harney and Sons, pours a sample for an attendee.
    Zen Tea House staff assists attendees at their booth.
    Zen Tea House staff assists attendees at their booth.
    AOI Tea Company hands a sample to an attendee
    AOI Tea Company hands a sample to an attendee
    Jaqueline Sandoval, Operations Manager, Waterfall Tea Company.
    Jaqueline Sandoval, Operations Manager, Waterfall Tea Company.

    Spring Harvest Champions

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Fourteen high-quality teas took first-place awards in the spring harvest edition of the North American Tea Championship (NATC).

    Judging was July 24 – 25 in Las Vegas, Nev. at the headquarters of The Beverage Group, a division of F+W, organizer of NATC. Winners in several categories will be featured at World Tea Expo May 6 – 8, 2015 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif.

    Judging underway in 2014 Spring Harvest Hot Tea Categories
    Judging underway in 2014 Spring Harvest Hot Tea Categories

    The North American Championship is the only independent competition — evaluated by professional cuppers — to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas that are commercially available in the North American marketplace.

    “If we can all agree that elevating the quality of teas we — as retailers, packers, importers, etc. — present to consumers is a shared goal, then an event like the North American Tea Championship does an excellent job of turning the spotlight squarely on quality, on features that constitute high quality in many tea and botanical categories, rather than on just what may be trendy and marketable at the moment,” said Lydia Kung, an NATC evaluator, tea buyer and expert with Eastrise Trading Corp./VeriLeaf LLC in Monrovia, Calif.

    The competition offers tea companies an opportunity to evaluate their own teas against comparable ones that have earned high marks, said Kung. “We may not all use the same terms to describe teas, but nothing beats actually sipping a good tasting, high-quality tea and storing that in our palate memory,” she said.

    NATC judges reviewed every submission via blind and organoleptic analysis evaluating dry leaf, brewed flavor, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed mouth feel and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic, and winning teas were determined by rank.

    One important discussion amongst judges over the two days of NATC evaluations was how to provide more feedback to entrants about their teas, regardless of whether the teas scored high or low.

    “As each round was cupped, we continually returned to category definitions, refining our understanding of features that define excellent tasting teas and how to characterize them,” said Kung. “If scores were low, or in instances where a tea was disqualified, we again considered the criteria for that group and considered factors — such as improper storage — that diminished the teas.”

    Organizers are also weighing procedures that will lead to greater transparency on scoring to help NATC entrants — along with those who read the results. The goal is reinforce what entrants have been doing right or revise practices to improve standards, all steps that will eventually benefit the consumer, said Kung.

    First Place winners include:

    (Category| Winning Tea| Company | Location):

    Blended Green Tea

    Matcha Infused Genmaicha

    Aiya America, Torrance, Calif.

    Ceylon Tea

    Ceylon Sapphire

    QTrade Teas & Herbs, Cerritos, Calif.

    Darjeeling Tea

    Organic Darjeeling Jungpana Wonder Muscatel, 2nd flush

    Florapharm Tea USA LP, Hinesville, Ga.

    Dragonwell Tea

    Dragonwell’s Gold

    QTrade Teas & Herbs, Cerritos, Calif.

    Flavored Fruit Blend

    Garcina Corvina

    QTrade Teas & Herbs, Cerritos, Calif.

    Flavored Green Tea


    Dethlefsen & Balk Inc., Aurora, Ill.

    Flavored Herbal Blends

    O.M.G (Orange Mango Ginger)

    QTrade Teas & Herbs, Cerritos, Calif.

    Flavored White Tea

    Organic Orange Ginger White Tea

    Waterfall Tea Company, Pico Rivera, Calif.


    Premium Matcha

    Aiya America, Torrance, Calif.

    Pan-Fired Green Tea




    Sencha Supreme

    International Tea Importers, Pico Rivera, Calif.

    Steamed Green Tea

    Premium Gyokuro

    Aiya America, Torrance, Calif.

    Unflavored Herbal Blends


    Florapharm Tea USA LP, Hinesville, Ga.

     White Tea

    White Peony by Fang Shoulong

    Dewdrop Tea, Naperville, Ill.

    A complete list of first-, second- and third-place winners is available at TeaChampionship.com. To learn more visit TeaChampionship.com and WorldTeaExpo.com.

    Undisputed Champions

    QTrade Teas & Herbs has entered its innovative line of teas and herbs since the first North American Tea Championship, winning more prizes than any other company and proving that persistence and excellence pays.

    “We have most professional tea team in North America with more than 150 years tea experience amongst our staff,” said founder Manik Jayakumar. “Our staff is are able to taste and evaluate all teas we directly import,” he said.

    Counting its wins in the NATC’s Spring Harvest Evaluation QTrade has earned 100 prizes with an impressive breadth of first-place wins and has placed in the top tier in every tea category.

    “Ceylon, Darjeeling, Assam… Japanese teas, Chinese pan-fired white tea, Jasmine teas we have won in every category,” said Jayakumar whose firm is the largest supplier of organic and Fair Trade certified teas in North America. The firm imports tea and a vast assortment of herbs for blending direct from the countries where it trades, explains Jayakumar.

    “We visit all origins regularly and have great relationships with producers,” he said.

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    Fishing the Metolius River, Oregon
    Fishing the Metolius River, Oregon

    Back now after a relaxing vacation with lots of catching up to do. Here I am fishing the Metolius River near Redmond, Ore. It was was great fun.

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    Tea Biz serves a core audience of beverage professionals in the belief that insightful journalism informs business decision-making. Tea Biz reports what matters along the entire supply chain, emphasizing trustworthy sources and sound market research while discarding fluff and ignoring puffery.

    Tea Biz posts are available to use in your company newsletter or website. Purchase reprint and distribution rights for single articles or commission original content.  Click here for details.

  • Tea Innovation at the Fancy Food Show — Need to Know

    What tea professionals need to start the week of July 21, 2014 —

    Five innovative tea products of note from the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show….Green Rooibos from Khosian Tea… a bundle of leaves 3D bottle for Tejava.

    Tea Innovation at the Summer Fancy Food Show

    Tea is one of the most important product categories in specialty retail. As a result specialty grocery and gift outlets carry a broad assortment and encourage innovation to keep customer interest high.

    Specialty Food Association Fancy Food LogoThe most important showcase for these new items is the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. The event is hosted by the Specialty Food Association which also puts on a great winter show in San Francisco.

    This year’s event was the largest since the trade-only event made its debut in 1955. The exhibit halls were filled with the latest chocolates, cheeses, charcuterie and snack foods from 2,730 specialty food companies representing 49 countries.
    TEABIZ-FFS-TopTrends_ModernMatcha_Ito_En_Matcha_WebThe Specialty Food Association’s team of trendspotters* listed matcha as a trend to watch: “This age-old finely milled green tea is experiencing a resurgence, with leading tea companies introducing new versions.”

    Professional chefs, culinary journalists and food researchers cited as examples: “Matchia” from The Republic of Tea, Organic Matcha from Teapigs and Matcha Love, a ready-to-drink tea from Ito En.

    In the highly-regarded sofi™ Awards (sofi stands for specialty outstanding food innovation) competition Judges named Teapigs winner in the Hot Beverage category for a tisane combining “the natural root of the licorice plant (not the black, sticky stuff) with pure peppermint leaves creates a drink that is naturally sweet and refreshing. In addition to its great taste, Chinese medicine has used licorice for its detoxifying properties. Try it iced in the summer and warm in the winter.” A box of 15 tea bags retails for $9.99. Learn more at: teapigs.com

    TEABIZ-FFS_SOFI_Finalist_Hot Drink_WahFongTea_SweetMemoriesPyramidTeabagsFinalists in the hot beverage category include the Wah Fong Tea Company for its “Camellia Treasures” Sweet Memories Floral Tea Blend, described as having a “sweet fragrance and complex flavors that soothe and comfort from within. This blend comes in various packing sizes and has become a popular choice for international hotels, fine restaurants, lounges, and spas.” Ten pyramid teabags retail for $4.99. Learn more at: wahfong.com

    TEABIZ-FFS_SOFI_Finalist_ColdBeverage_CanadaEnterprises_DragonFruitJinJaA green tea based health beverage was among the finalists in the Cold Beverage Category. Drink Jin+Ja from Canada Enterprises “combines fresh ginger, cayenne, and green tea for an elixir with distinctive taste and powerful health benefits. It can be enjoyed over ice for an invigorating drink or mixed with vodka for a “better for you” cocktail.” A 6.3 ounce bottle retails for $2.99. Learn more at: drinkjinja.com

    TEABIZ-FFS_SOFI_Winner_ColdDrinks_JoiaAllNatural_OrangeJasmineandNutmegJoia All Natural Soda took the top prize in the Cold Beverage Category with “an all-natural lightly carbonated beverage that combines the fresh flavors of orange, jasmine, and nutmeg in an intensely refreshing beverage. It is less sweet than traditional sodas with 60 calories per bottle. Also works as a mixer for great-tasting cocktails. Five other varieties are available.” The soda retails for $1.69 for a 12-oz. bottle. Learn more at: joialife.com

    TEABIZ-FFS_SOFI_Finalist_Diet_SenchaNaturals_GreenTeaCitrisGingerSencha Naturals was a finalist for a sofi™ in the Outstanding Diet or Lifestyle Product category, presenting “a naturally effervescent drink mix is made with organic Sencha and Macha green tea powders and an herbal blend of organic orange peel, ginger, and turmeric. Whole-leaf antioxidants and coconut water electrolytes lend immune-system support. It is vegan and sugar-, gluten-, and GMO-free.” A 5-gram packet retails for $0.99. Learn more at: senchanaturals.com

    “The Specialty Food Association seeks to be ahead of the trends,” says Ann Daw, president of the Association, the Summer Fancy Food Show’s owner and producer. “Our show celebrates what’s next in specialty food.”

    A national panel of specialty food professionals convened over eight days to taste and evaluate all entries and select 125 sofi™ finalists. To determine the winners, 275 buyers at the Summer Fancy Food Show sampled the finalist products and cast votes for their favorite in each category. The results were tabulated by an outside accounting firm.

    This year’s contest was the largest in its 42-year history, with specialty food makers submitting 2,737 products across all 32 awards categories.

    *Footnote: The Specialty Food Association trendspotters are Faith Durand, Executive Editor,TheKitchn; Nancy Hopkins, Senior Deputy Editor, Food and Entertainment, Better Homes & Gardens, Ariel Knutson, Assistant Editor, TheKitchn; Greg Morago, Food Editor, Houston Chronicle; Kara Nielsen, Culinary Director, Sterling-Rice Group; Charles Passy, reporter,MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal; Denise Purcell, Editor, Specialty Food Media, David Sax, food journalist, author of The Tastemakers, and Tina Ujlaki, Executive Editor, Food & Wine.

    Khoisan Tea Green Rooibos

    South African Rooibos specialists Khoisan Tea is stepping up production of its green Rooibos to meet growing demand for the antioxidant-rich botanical.

    LOGO khoisan tea“We’ve built a state-of-the art factory on our farm in late 2013 to produce solely Green Rooibos to perfection,” said Khoisan owner and CEO Peter Schülke. “Our new specialized machines produce excellent teabag cut & long cut grades and we will exceed last year’s production by more than 100%.”

    Khoisan Tea has its own Rooibos farm and factory in the mountainous region 250 km north of Cape Town. Annual production capacity is 4,000 tons Rooibos. The company has produced Rooibos since 1997.

    Khoisan has perfected a new drying method allowing very low moisture levels, approximately 4%. “This means the Green Rooibos will stay green and maintain its distinct taste as fermentation cannot occur at all, even after longer storage periods. Mechanical quality control ensures consistency in grades and taste over time,” said Schülke.

    He explained that keeping Rooibos Tea ‘green’ or unfermented dates to 1999 after European media highlighted the many health benefits of green tea from the Camelia sinesis plant.

    Unfermented black tea, obviously now well-known globally as ‘Green Tea,’ began to fascinate the world due to its health benefits and history, he said. “Why not make this work for Rooibos Tea,” asked Schülke.

    Today, after many trials by various producers, Green Rooibos is growing in popularity and demand, he said. The difference between Red (fermented) Rooibos Tea and Green (unfermented) Rooibos Tea is the production method after harvest. While both variants are planted and grown the same way, they are produced differently from the moment they are harvested, he said.

    Green Rooibos is dried immediately after harvesting to prevent any fermentation. This is labor intensive as the plants need to be carefully cut and handled in loose, airy bundles and dried without any water being added to prevent bruising which could set off fermentation. Khoisan’s equipment uses extremely gentle cutting procedures, he said. Proper and immediate drying methods, help keep it green, said Schülke.

    Learn more at: www.khoisantea.com

    Bundle of Leaves Bottle

    NAPA, Calif. – Professional tea buyers will often grab a handful of leaves and raise it to their nose during the withering process to better evaluate leaf texture and smell.

    Thanks to a clever bottle design you can experience the same.

    TEABIZ-Tejava_Amcor_3DBottle2Last year Crystal Geyser Water commissioned an Australian plastics firm to develop a bottle to simulate a hand full of tea leaves.

    The resulting 3D shape quite accurately replicates the life-size bundle and the award-winning Tejava within saves you the time and trouble of processing.

    There is an interesting story behind the one-of-a-kind bottle which challenged Australian-based plastics manufacturer Amcor to go beyond its traditional CAD capabilities, combining elements of seven software systems adapted from the gaming, animation, movie, and automotive industries.

    While the focus was on maximizing the Tejava design, it also had to ensure the bottle met important performance requirements. Amcor’s advanced engineering team performed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modelling to predict the container’s performance behavior. Its “PowerFlex” technology features a patented panel-less design, said to provide the freedom to create various designs along the walls. The result is a life-like leaf motif giving tea drinkers the illusion of holding a bundle of tea leaves.

    Extensive detail went into the tea leaf design which provides an organic flow and a unique textural experience for the consumer, according to an Amcor release.

    “The Tejava bottle highlights Amcor’s drive to push the boundaries of PET and typical package constraints by utilizing cutting edge technology with top talent to deliver commercially innovative packages to the market,” said Christopher Howe, Amcor’s project engineer.

    Retailers are finding that packaging innovations are more critical as the RTD segment continues its fast-paced growth amid heightened competition.

    Source: Amcor

    IMG_1653This week’s edition was unexpectedly but delightfully delayed by my good fortune in landing two large pickerel at the family’s 80-year-old cottage near Kenora, Ontario. The 3.5 lb. and 4.5 lb fish were taken off Wright’s Point along McCallum Point Road at Clearwater Bay, Lake of the Woods. I’m vacationing until Aug. 10. Katrina Munichiello will post Tea Biz in my absence.

    ? ? ?

    Tea Biz serves a core audience of beverage professionals in the belief that insightful journalism informs business decision-making. Tea Biz reports what matters along the entire supply chain, emphasizing trustworthy sources and sound market research while discarding fluff and ignoring puffery.

    Tea Biz posts are available to use in your company newsletter or website. Purchase reprint and distribution rights for single articles or commission original content.  Click here for details.

  • World Cup 2014 – Tea Style

    In our house, my passion for tea may only be rivaled by my husband’s passion for soccer. It is unavoidable then that there would be a great deal of talk about the opening of this year’s World Cup. Brackets have been passed around the house and kids and adults alike are making their picks.

    It won’t take long snooping online to find many suggestions about how to make your game predictions. You can complete brackets based on population, favorite uniform colors, or careful analysis of team rosters. Maybe tea lovers need their own approach.

    Tea Biz would like to present a 2014 World Cup bracket, completed tea style. For each country we’ve highlighted a type of tea or flavor profile or cuisine that is popular in each country. Argentina was a given with Yerba Mate as was a spicy chocolate profile for Mexico. In some cases we went with a traditional choice like Greek Mountain tea for Greece and matcha for Japan. For Cameroon and Spain we considered popular foods and added a tea spin. In Croatia we highlighted the beautiful flavors of the produce in local markets and in the Netherlands we paired tea with the incomparable Dutch cheeses.

    To play, in each group rank the countries 1-4 and then complete the rest of your brackets. Make your tea picks and let us know who you think the World Cup Champion will be. We’ll provide an update before the round of 16 and maybe add another tea twist.

    World Cup 2014 Tea Style


  • World Tea Expo Opens – Need to Know

    What tea professionals need to start the week of May 26, 2014 —

    World Tea Expo opens in Long Beach this week with a very strong educational program and an exciting show floor with several new exhibitors… see all the finalists for the Best New Products Awards listed below… Teavana co-located its newest concept store with a landmark Starbucks in Beverly Hills… two lucky Scots lost at sea credit a lifesaving flask of tea and biscuits for their survival…

    Teavana Opens in Beverly Hills

    The fourth Teavana Fine Tea + Tea Bar that opened Beverly Hills last week revealed two significant innovations.

    Beverly Hills Teavana Fine Tea + Tea Bar

    The store is co-located with a Starbucks Clover-reserve,  Teavana benefits greatly from the remodel where it has the more visible facade a the busy intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards.

    The new store shares a courtyard with a landmark store that offers every imaginable service and coffee in the mermaid’s lineup. The remodeled store offers the La Boulange menu with oven-warmed food, features a Clover single-serve brewer, the Verismo System capsule coffees and the latest in mobile payment systems.

    The latest Teavana introduces a range of tea-inspired food and beverage items including an apple Oolong chia fresca and a Genmaicha miso tea soup. A matcha avocado tea smoothie blended with Green yogurt and a fresh fruit Banana Chai are also new.

    The fresca is a blend of oolong and Pu-erh tea shaken with cold-pressed apple juice and hydrated white chia seeds.

    On the cold drink menu there is a Sparkling Kona Breeze Iced Tea: Pineapple Kona Pop and Peach Tranquility Tea blended and lightly carbonated with pineapple coconut water.

    Veggie Sandwich and Tea Soup at Teavana

    The addition of snacks like the Butternut Squash Couscous Salad: Israeli couscous, red quinoa, butternut squash, yellow curry and currants in a citrus vinaigrette and the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich: made with savory herb and garlic cheese, quartered artichoke hearts, fire-roasted red peppers, chopped kalamata olives, and fresh baby spinach warmed on a panini roll – signal a new level of sophistication.

    These food and beverage innovations are expected to appear on menus in New York, Seattle and Chicago locations.

    World Tea Expo

    The World Tea Expo opens this week in Long Beach, a new locale for old friends in tea.

    The show is at the Long Beach Convention Center this year, a move that will bring many new attendees from the health food and beverage industry. Southern California is dense with natural food stores, innovative beverage manufacturers and tea blenders.


    But no matter which city they choose to gather, the accumulation of a dozen years of first greetings and great meetings is apparent on opening day. World Tea Expo introduces tea retailers to producers, traders, scientists and experts in every aspect of the business. The education program is superb and the opportunity to see the latest equipment and build tasting skills with the help of some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts makes this a vital gathering in my view.

    On Tuesday the Tea Business Boot Camp marks the official beginning of the week as tea retailers, from near and far, come together to refine their understanding of the business essentials.

    This is a good time to be selling tea no matter where you set up shop which explains why so many attendees travel from Asia, South America and Europe to attend a day of lectures on best business practices followed on Wednesday by the World Origin Tasting Tour, a hands-on opportunity to taste exquisite teas, professional prepared. Attending graduation ceremonies is inspiring. During the past five years I have tracked many of these graduating entrepreneurs and can attest to the fact they enjoy a higher rate of success.

    The conference, which begins Thursday, is overseen by Operations Manager Kaye Polivka. The Educational Program, overseen by Education Manager Monique Hatchett, offers five tracks: Tea Knowledge; Tea & Health; Sales & Marketing; Pioneering and Business Development.

    There is much more to offer that I can cover here so be sure to click here for a view of the entire educational schedule. Click here for complete conference session descriptions.

    My short list highlights three sessions each day:

    Thursday, May 29

    Current and Future Outlook for Tea
    A must attend in my view for all as it brings into focus the global marketplace and the diverse factors catalyzing the industry by market segment.

    Presenters include: David Sprinkle, Publisher, Packaged Facts; Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Innovation & Insights, Mintel International; Jonas Feliciano, Industry Analyst – Beverages, Euromonitor International.
    The discussion is moderated by Brian Keating, Sage Group.

    Success from the Front Lines
    Investors have placed a billion dollar bet on tea retail in the past 18 months but success is far from guaranteed. These shop owners are succeeding with both single store and small chain formats because they have developed a sixth sense of what pleases customers and sweat the retail details to insure good service.

    Presenters include: David Barenholtz, Owner, American Tea Room; Julee Rosanoff, Owner, Perennial Tea Room; Emeric Harney, Store Manager, Harney & Sons Fine Teas; Shabnam Weber, Owner, The Tea Emporium Inc.

    Tea & Health
    The revelation that tea “does a body good” underlies the remarkable growth of this segment. Understanding the relationship is complicated but essential when communicating with consumers. Dr. Jeffrey B. Blumberg is remarkably well versed in the health benefits and research describing tea’s impact on chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and obesity. Emerging research suggests tea may also play a positive role in cognitive performance, immune function, and bone health.

    Presenter: Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS

    Also: How to Source & Select Your Teas

    Federal Trademark Registration: Are You Ready?

    Cultivating the Next Generation of Tea Connoisseur

    Friday, May 30

    David & Goliath: Building Your Own Successful Tea Business Close to a Teavana
    Learn how you can carve out niches in the specialty tea business that elevate customers’ tea experiences beyond that of shopping at a large chain store.

    Presenter: Peter Martino

    20 Marketing Angles You Might Be Missing or Afraid to Use
    Consider 20 new or under-utilized marketing messages and learn to personalize your strongest possible tea message – the connection you want with your best customers.

    Presenter: Babette Donaldson

    Impactful Visual Merchandising for Retail & Online Stores!
    Ever wonder how some stores like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or Williams-Sonoma create an instant buying reaction for their customers? Here you’ll learn how to create attractive, impactful displays for your store and you’re on line presence.

    Presenter: Ellen Leaf-Moore

    Current and Emerging Regulatory Issues in the Tea & Infusion Products Industry

    A Social History of Tea in the UK and the USA

    Tea Room Survival

    Saturday, May 31

    The New Face of Retail

    Retail innovations from online marketplaces and in-store blending to popup retail and decisions about accepting digital currency like bitcoins are dividing lines in the world of retail. Which trends to adopt and which innovations to ignore is the challenge.

    Panelists: Austin Hodge, David Edwards, Christopher Coccagna and Naomi Rosen. Moderated by Elyse Petersen.

    Keeping the Customer Engaged
    Successful retailers, online and in brick-and-mortar locations, must learn to continually engage customers through promotions, events and educational programs.

    Presenter: Anupa Mueller

    Wellness Teas: Why Ignoring Herbs Could be Costing Your Business
    Too often overlooked by Canellia sinensis devotees, herbal teas with wellness claims are central to the success of retailers.

    Presenter: Toffler Niemuth


    The Science Behind Health Claims on Tea Beverages: What are we really drinking?

    The Crowdfunding Success Pattern

    Building Communi-TEA with your Customers Online

    Focused Tastings
    The Evolution of Flavor
    By Chris Johnston
    A Taste of Hunan
    By Hunan Tea Company
    Teas that Depend on Nature’s Intervention
    By Jane Pettigrew

    The Chemical Mysteries of Puer Tea, the ‘Fat Burner’
    By Kevin Gascoyne
    Sensory Evaluation of Tea
    By Victoria Bosogno & Jane Pettigrew
    Discover the Artful Pairing of Japanese Teas & Wagashi Tea Sweets
    By Rona Tison
    Mixology 101: Using Tea Infused Cocktails to Grow Your Brand
    By Abigail St. Clair
    Detecting Defects in Tea Manufacture
    By David Walker
    The Keys to Matcha
    By James Oliveira
    Teas From Thailand
    By David DeCandia
    Pairing Teas with Chocolate & Cheese
    By Robert Wemischner
    Tea & Scotch – The Perfect Match of Two Worlds
    By Shabnam Weber

    Skill Building Workshops
    Tisane, Herbal Tea & Herbal Infusion: An Exploration From Seed to Cup
    By Scott Svihula
    Tea Cupping 101
    By Mo Sardella
    Blending Award Winning Teas
    By David DeCandia
    Tea Processing – An Experiential Lab, Day 1
    By Donna Fellman & Bill Waddington
    Tea Cupping 201: The Next Level
    By Mo Sardella
    Blending Award Winning Teas
    By David DeCandia
    Tea Processing – An Experiential Lab, Day 2
    By Donna Fellman & Bill Waddington
    Bringing 3rd Wave Coffee Innovation & Excitement to Tea
    By Joshua Russert
    Tea Baking Basics
    By Thomas Shu & Jerry Liu

    Lost at Sea

    Tea is well known for its health benefits but rarely under as dramatic circumstances as the North Sea rescue of fishermen who credit a flask of tea and biscuits for keeping them alive.

    James Reid, 75, and his grandson David Irvine, 35, were rescued Thursday after their “miracle” discovery by another boat off the Aberdeenshire coast of Scotland, according to The Independent.

    The two men were due in port Tuesday and feared lost. A large-scale search was launched that very day but called off Wednesday at dark. The following day a passing boat discovered their disabled craft about 46 miles off the coast of Scotland.

    The two men from Inverbervie survived on a small flask of tea “enough for two and a half cups” and two biscuits, “that was it” they told rescuers in a lifeboat launched from the Sylvia Bowers around 8 a.m. The fishermen’s boat sunk shortly afterward.

    “It’s times like these that really brings home how dangerous a job our fishermen do, day after day, to provide fresh fish for us all to enjoy and I am delighted that this incident has had a happy ending,” Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead told The Guardian.

    Sources: The Independent and The Guardian.

    World Tea Expo Best New Product Award Finalists

    Winners will be announced during the show. Click here for a complete list of entries

    “Best New Product – Tea as an Ingredient” Finalists:

    • Butterflies in the Tummy, Dethlefsen & Balk – A melange of exotic fruit paired with subtle vanilla, this tea makes a full-bodied, refreshing iced tea and delights in a hot cup, too.
    • Tea India: Chai Moments Cardomon Latte Mix, Harris Tea Company – This mix provides an authentic Chai experience that captivates taste buds, in a convenient on-the-go format.
    • Lumbini Ladalu Chakra, Lumbini Tea Factory Sri Lanka – A hand-made tea with a light and sweet taste, Lumbini Ladalu Chakra is part of the exclusive collection of Lumbini Tea Factory.
    • Jin Xuan Milk Oolong, Octavia Tea – From the mountains of Taiwan, this tea is unforgettable with the alluring taste of sweet cream and freesia with a tropical fruit finish.

    “Best New Product – Innovation” Finalists:

    • Matcha to Go, Aiya America – A tea ceremony remade for modern speed; simply add to a water bottle and shake or stir into hot water.
    • Bonavita Porcelain Immersion Dripper, Bonavita – This porcelain dripper is the perfect single-cup (16 oz.) steeper for teas and tisanes.
    • Biotre, Pacific Bag, Inc. – Pacific Bag spent two years developing Biotre film, a biodegradable barrier material for packaging, which protects products and is ideal for the tea industry.
    • Teart Infuser, Teart  – This disposable paper infuser is inspired by the art of origami, designed to assure optimum leaf expansion.
    Takeya USA Deluxe Iced Tea Beverage System

    “Best New Product – Tea Ware” Finalists:

    • FLOWTEA, EIGENart – Designed in Germany, this double-walled glass tea-maker for on-the-go tea lovers is available in five designs with filter, steel lid, neoprene cover and carrying loop.
    • Hospitality Tea Pot, FORLIFE – Designed for both commercial and home use, this un-chippable, stackable tea pot is perfect for the food service industry and tea enthusiasts.
    • Deluxe Iced Tea Beverage System, Takeya USA – Create and enjoy hand-crafted beverages in three simple steps with Takeya’s patented Flash Chill Iced Tea System.
    • Stainless Mug with Tea Leaf Filter, Zojirushi – This mug allows drinkers to steep fresh tea and drink without getting a mouth full of loose tea, while keeping the drink hot or cold for hours.

    “Best New Product – Open Class” Finalists:

    • Asian Ginger Tea & Cookies, McCoy Ceylon Commodities – This combo is for those who appreciate a quality tea blend with a cookie, specially baked to complement the tea’s flavor.
    • Earl Grey Strong, teapigs – In need of a sophisticated boost? This strong black tea with delicate Darjeeling and fancy bergamot is an early grey but with wallop.
    • Everything Healthy Tea Book, Blue Gate Books – An introduction to teas and their healing qualities, this book covers buying and brewing the most healthful teas.
    • Tea Pee – Prostate Support Tea, Nuwati Herbals – The herbs in Tea Pee have been traditionally used to assist with discomfort and frequent urination, and to support healthy bladders.

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  • Gathering for Tea: Festivals and Fun

    As interest in tea has grown in the United States and Canada, the number of tea festivals and other tea gatherings has multiplied. There are active festivals in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Ottawa, Seattle, and a host of other sites. As tea lovers reveled in the wealth of opportunities that had emerged, the sad announcement was made that after seven years of operating, the Victoria Tea Festival would no longer occur.

    The news added a challenge for TeaTime Magazine which had developed a special event in conjunction with the festival called “An Occasion for Tea.”

    TeaTime, under the direction of editor Lorna Reeves, chose not to cancel their event, however. Instead it has been expanded to a full weekend of activities and events for tea lovers.

    Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, BC - Site of 2014 "An Occasion for Tea"
    Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, BC – Site of 2014 “An Occasion for Tea”

    From Friday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb, 9, 2014, tea enthusiasts will gather at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia for three days of tea experiences. There will be afternoon tea in the Empress Tea Room, tea tastings, book signings, presentations, and a self-guided tea tour. The weekend’s presenters are Jane Pettigrew, James Norwood Pratt and Bruce Richardson. For more information, visit Tea Time Magazine or email [email protected]

    Can’t make it to Victoria, but are interested in other tea festivals around the U.S. and Canada? Here’s a list of some options to consider as a vendor or an attendee:

    Toronto Tea Festival – Feb. 1-2

    San Francisco International Tea Festival – March (TBA)
    Coffee & Tea Festival NYC – Mar. 22-23

    Charleston Tea Plantation’s Annual First Flush Festival – May (TBA)
    Kulov Tea Lovers Festival, Los Angeles – May (TBA)
    World Tea Expo, Long Beach, Calif. – May 29-31

    Rocky Mountain Tea Festival, Boulder, Colo. – July/August (TBA)

    Los Angeles International Tea Festival – September (TBA)
    Canada Coffee and Tea Show, Toronto – Sept. 28-29

    Northwest Tea Festival, Seattle, Wash. – Oct. 4-5, 2014
    Vancouver Tea Festival – November (TBA)
    Coffee & Tea Festival Philly – Nov. 8-9
    Ottawa Tea Festival – November (TBA)

    Will you be attending any festivals this year? What do you find most useful about participating in these events?

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