• 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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