Tea Biz offers insight in real-time for beverage professionals scanning daily news items about their trade.
Tea is both art and craft. It nourishes and inspires. It is the most ancient of plant-based medicines, simultaneously energizing the body as it soothes the mind. Intimately local in character, the tea trade exerts global influence, employing millions to supply consumers at far greater volumes than coffee.
It is a fascinating, intricate topic… far more complex than one person can master. That is why the Tea Biz Podcast enlisted 40 voices skilled in 12 languages to tell the story of tea… Authentic reporting relies on the expertise of tea professionals who know the tea lands from birth and speak the native tongue.
Transparency is storytelling grounded at origin.
Each week the Tea Biz Podcast summarizes news with the greatest impact on the tea industry -- but tea requires far more nuanced coverage than the recitation of production volumes and commodity prices. That is why the Tea Biz Podcast is paired with the more inclusive Tea Biz Blog and Tea Journey Magazine. The podcast offers a weekly mix of news and features. It is innovative and interactive, permitting listeners to conveniently contact reporters at origin to ask questions that are answered via text messages delivered privately to their phone.
Tea Biz Blog
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Tea News and BIz Insight - June 11, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – Food Inflation Dampens Enthusiasm Over Rising Tea Prices | India’s Tea Industry Under Duress | and the European Union Grants Rooibos GI Protection| NEWSMAKER – Jan Holzapfel, owner of 198-year-old Ronnefeldt Tea in Frankfurt, Germany | FEATURES – Tea Biz this week travels to Frankfurt Germany to discuss best practices in Sustainable Wholesale with Jan Holzapfel, owner of Ronnefeldt Tea, a 198-year-old company that is replacing its tea packaging this year with eco-friendly materials, embracing traceability, and reducing emissions by longer airfreighting tea… and then to London to listen the Tea Book Club’s crowd-sourced review of author Henrietta Lovell’s latest book, INFUSED: Adventures in tea.| Sustainable WholesaleFirst flush teas flown to Ronnefeldt’s blending and packaging facility in Germany account for only 0.02% of the company’s offerings by weight, yet in a single season “flight tea” generates more greenhouse gas emissions than the millions of kilos transported by ship, says owner Jan Holzapfel. He acknowledges that for a premium tea supplier, abandoning expedient air cargo after 75 years is a significant step: “however, we have a responsibility towards nature that we take very seriously.”| A Book to Re-ignite your Tea FlameReviewer Kyle Whittington has a single word for INFUSED, a book by Rare Tea Founder Henrietta Lovell that describes her adventures in tea: “Wow,” he writes, "You really feel like you are sitting over a cup of tea with Henrietta as she regales you with her stories, the highs, the lows, and the off on a tangent."
Tea News and Tea Biz Insight - June 4, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – Pandemic Powers Organic Sales | Tea Cafes Cautiously Re-opening| Tata Expands Direct-to-Customer Range | Buyers Spend Big at Chinese International Tea Expo| GUEST – Simona Suzuki, née Zavadckyte, co-founder and president Global Japanese Tea Association| NEWSMAKER – Olivia Chan, owner of Treasure Green Tea Co., a Chinatown tea shop in Vancouver, British Columbia. | FEATURES – Tea Biz this week travels to Japan where the Japan Tea Central Council and the Global Japanese Tea Association are organizing a Tea Marathon during the Tokyo Olympics so that enthusiasts worldwide can better appreciate the great variety of tea grown there… and then onto Vancouver, British Columbia, where Jessica Woollard leads a virtual tour of Chinatown, a Canadian National Historic Site and the location of the Treasure Green Tea Company and the Chinese Tea Shop ― two of the best places to find authentic Chinese tea.Japan Tea MarathonThe Japan Tea Marathon is a series of live online events featuring teas from 15 of Japan’s tea producing regions. Zoom sessions begin July 23 and are held twice daily, concluding Aug. 8. Two hundred competing brewers and 1000 regular admissions give the entire world of tea an opportunity to cheer their favorite to victory.The Charm of Vancouver’s ChinatownThe announcement in 1984 that the British colony of Hong Kong would be formally transferred to China in 1997, led to an exodus of 335,646 emigrants many of whom made Vancouver their new home. Today a second surge is building as new visa applications rose by more than 20% in 2020 to 10,800 applicants for Canadian residency. In the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, 42% of residents list either Cantonese or Mandarin as their first language. Retailers benefitted as demand swelled for authentic Chinese tea, leading widespread popularity and the expansion of Vancouver’s Chinatown, now the third largest Chinatown in North America.
Tea News and Tea Biz Insight - May 28, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – | Tea History Collection Unveiled | Indian Commodities Logjam | THIRST Undertakes a Human Rights Analysis in Tea | A Series of Major Quakes Rattle Yunnan| GUEST – William Liu is a 20-year-old sophomore at Wake Forest University and founder of the World Tea Association on campus and online.| NEWSMAKER – Asha Bhandari is the International Trade and Promotion Executive at HIMCOOP, the Himalayan Tea Producers Cooperative, a consortium of all orthodox tea producers established in 2003| FEATURES – Tea Biz this week travels to Nepal to meet Aasha Bhandari the newly named International Trade and Promotion Executive at the Himalayan Tea Producers Cooperative… … and then to the North Carolina campus of Wake Forest University to learn from student William Liu on why ancient teas and rituals retain their appeal with young people.Himalayan Tea OpportunityNepal’s tea industry reported record sales in 2020. The fabled tea land is growing greater quantities and greater varieties of loose and broken leaf teas thanks to a government-initiated expansion of the industry to high altitude gardens in non-traditional growing areas. Rural agrarian entrepreneurs are redefining offerings for an international market thirsty for the distinct taste of Himalayan grown oolongs, white teas, and premium black whole leaf. In this segment Aravinda Anantharaman introduces Aasha Bhandari, newly named to promote trade at the Himalayan Tea Producers Cooperative, a consortium of all orthodox tea producers established in 2003.Why Ancient Tea Appeals to Young PeopleWilliam Liu is a 20-year-old sophomore at Wake Forest University so inspired by tea that he and his classmates established the World Tea Association on campus and online. The group offers tea discovery and tasting sessions weekly and hosts occasional tea panels with presentations by tea professionals, tea scholars, and tea explorers. The events bring together many who are new to tea, says William QUOTE: “we aim to redefine the tea experience through an interdisciplinary approach and expose the true leaf to a greater audience.” In this discussion he describes why tea appeals to young people and explains his view that tea learning is ongoing. “The tea journey has no destination, he says, it involves only intention and lifelong learning.”
Tea News and Tea Biz Insight - May 21, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – International Tea Day | Assam Forbids Tea Workers to Isolate at Home| Nepal’s First Flush is Delayed | Kagoshima May Soon Outproduce Shizuoka| GUEST – Author Chitrita Banerji, a chronicler of food history and culture| NEWSMAKER – Eva Lee, founder of Tea Hawaii, a tea farm and wholesale venture in Volcano, Hawaii| FEATURES – Tea Biz this week travels to the slopes of the Kilauea Volcano where Tea Hawaii Founder Eva Lee describes the ongoing tea harvest as unusually wet and seven weeks later than normal …and then to Massachusetts to learn how a simple beverage transformed Indian culture.Uniquely Hawaiian TeaEva Lee pioneered modern tea cultivation in Hawaii, establishing with her husband, a tea garden and nursery in the town of Volcano. The farm supplied growers with hearty cultivars first introduced in 2000 by researchers at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Hawaiian tea is grown on farms producing less than 100 kilos a year. Small amounts of premium tea are exported, but most is purchased by local restaurants and tourists. In this conversation, Lee describes how the “modest but very strong tea industry” adapted during a difficult year. - By Dan BoltonTea is Both Cultural and PersonalHumans readily adapt to new foods and drink, most with little affect “we make them our own by accepting them and enjoying them” says distinguished food and culture author Chitrita Banerji. But some are transformative: “It’s interesting that a foreign drink brought in by a foreign colonial power became such an important thing. We don’t think of tea as a foreign drink anymore,” she tells Aravinda Anantharaman during this International Tea Day interview. - By Aravinda Anantharaman
Tea News and Tea Biz Insight - May 14, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – Kenya is Becoming Unbearably Hot for Tea | Brexit Disrupts UK Tea Trade | Colombo Tea Auction Transformed| GUEST – Adventurer and author Jeff Fuchs, founder of Jalam Tea| NEWSMAKER – Steve Schwartz, founder of the Art of Tea in Los Angeles and graduate of Ayurvedic Institute of New Mexico| FEATURES – Tea Biz travels to Los Angeles this week where Art of Tea founder Steve Schwartz, a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, describes tea as a powerful conduit for health and wellness....and then to Hawaii to interview tea adventurer and Jalam Tea Founder Jeff Fuchs who is sheltering there during the pandemic. Jeff shares with Jessica Natale Woollard his thoughts on the tranquility of tea.A Conduit for Health and WellnessTea is a powerful conduit for health and wellness, says Steve Schwartz, founder of Art of Tea in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. In this segment, he discusses the challenging role for tea retailers amid the pandemic. Retailers are wise to offer counsel on the comfort and health benefits of tea, educating themselves in both the traditional and science-based properties and then sharing that knowledge with customers.The Tranquility of TeaAuthor, adventurer, and tea lover, Jeff Fuchs has walked the Ancient Tea Horse Road, been featured in television documentaries, and traveled extensively in the tea lands sourcing tea for his company while sharing the story of tea. His affinity for high-altitude treks equals his affinity for tea. He tells Jessica Natale Woollard, “I've had some of my best tea times in the mountains without necessarily having had the best teas.”
Tea News and Tea Biz Insight - May 6, 2021
HEAR THE HEADLINES – Dry Weather Worsens in Assam | COVID Infections are Rising in Nepal and Bangladesh | Are Tea Auctions Still Relevant? | Two Major Grocery Chains Agree to Carry Flash-Frozen Tea Leaves| GUEST – SofaSummit for International Tea Day organizer Shabnam Weber, president of the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada| NEWSMAKER – Are Tea Auctions Still Relevant? Pranav Bhansali, managing partner at Bhansali and Company, tea traders since 1929, answers in the affirmative. Auctions continue to be very relevant and play an important role, he says. Currently 45% of tea sold in India is auctioned, vs 55% sold in private transactions. Read more of Bhansali’s views on the Tea Biz blog.| FEATURES – May is Tea Month. The United Nations-designated International Tea Day will be celebrated on May 21 this year and you can once again participate from the comfort of your home. The second virtual Sofa Summit is hosted by Shabnam Weber, president of the Tea & Herbals Association of Canada. … and then we visit London where Kyle Whittington, founder of the Tea Book Club reviews The Story of Japanese Tea, a fascinating book by Tyas Sosen covering cultivation, manufacturing, history and culture. Tea Day SofaSummitThe all-day SofaSummit begins at 8 am Eastern Standard Time on Friday, May 21. It is a lively virtual chat that introduces tea enthusiasts to dozens of tea experts, scholars, growers and tea professionals from around the globe. Initiated of necessity during the pandemic, the popular event is again hosted by the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada. Jessica Natale Woollard outlines the day. Tea Book Club Review: The Story of Japanese Tea by Tyas SosenTea Book Club founder Kyle Whitting considers The Story of Japanese Tea by Tyas Sosen one of the best and most comprehensive books on Japanese tea available. Listen to his comments and visit Tea Biz Blog for how to buy this book.