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Official 2020 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule

Welcome in 2020 with our complete list of Tea Festivals, Expos, and Trade Shows! Whether for enthusiasts, industry insiders, or the layperson, you can find a tea event somewhere near you. Check out our complete and live list of every tea event happening this year, around the world. And let us know if we missed any! January January 9 – 11: Cafe Malaysia | Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA January 10: Kimono & Tea, Ohayocon 2020 | Columbus, Ohio, USA January 16 – 17: UC Davis Global Tea Initiative Colloquium | Davis, California, USA February February 1 – 2: Toronto Tea Festival | Toronto, Ontario, CANADA [...]

Official 2020 Tea Festival and Trade Show Schedule2020-01-05T13:20:48-06:00

2019 Tea Book Roundup

In this article, I cover 8 tea books that came out since our last roundup in late 2018. Overall, it was a strong year for quality tea books and we're continually seeing authors raising the bar and introducing new concepts and information to our industry. This is key, as there are no doubt a number of books each year that are just re-hashing the same information we've read in other books. What's your favorite addition to the tea library this year? A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World by Erika Rappaport This book is the most well-researched book [...]

2019 Tea Book Roundup2019-11-05T15:27:41-06:00

How to Prepare for Tea Masters Cup USA 2019

For an introduction to Tea Masters Cup, see our announcement page. The purpose of this article is to give potential contestants the information they need to express interest in participation and to prepare for the competition itself. How to Participate Tea Masters Cup (TMC) includes competitions in four categories: Tea Preparation, Tea Pairing, Tea Mixology and Tea Tasting. In its inaugural year in the United States, Tea Master's Cup USA will hold competitions in 2 of the four categories: Tea Preparation and Tea Mixology. The competition will take place within the World Tea Expo on June 11 and 12th. A detailed [...]

How to Prepare for Tea Masters Cup USA 20192019-04-08T06:52:47-05:00

Tea and Esophageal Cancer Risk

The following is a statement authored by the American Specialty Tea Alliance's Board of Directors. Last week, a study claiming that drinking hot tea may double the risk of esophageal cancer was published which set forth a wave of media activity claiming that drinking tea causes cancer. First, it is important to know that the cancer risk exists when consuming any hot beverage, such as coffee, soup, hot chocolate, etc., not just tea. And second, know that the key word here is "hot" -- the increased risk of esophageal cancer in the most recent study was only seen when tea was [...]

Tea and Esophageal Cancer Risk2019-03-28T09:15:09-05:00

Announcing Tea Masters Cup USA 2019

I am extremely excited to announce that the American Specialty Tea Alliance has partnered with the World Tea Expo to hold the first U.S. national qualifying round of the Tea Masters Cup at the expo this year in Las Vegas! World Tea Expo will take place June 11 – 13, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the competition will take place June 11 – 12 on the expo floor. I think that the start of the Tea Masters Cup competitions in the United States is a landmark movement and we’re thrilled to bring this event to World Tea Expo [...]

Announcing Tea Masters Cup USA 20192019-02-19T06:19:40-06:00

Official 2019 Tea Festival, Trade Show, and Conference Schedule

Tea events happen all the time, all over. Whether for enthusiasts, industry insiders, or the layperson, you can find a tea expo, tea festival, or tea conference for you. Check out our complete and live list of every tea event happening this year, around the world. And let us know if we missed any! January January 17 – 19: Cafe Malaysia | Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA January 24: UC Davis Global Tea Initiative Colloquium | Davis, California, USA February February 1 – 3: Toronto Tea Festival | Toronto, Ontario, CANADA February 19 – 21: Coffee, Tea, & Cocoa, Winter EPPS | Las Vegas, Nevada, USA March [...]

Official 2019 Tea Festival, Trade Show, and Conference Schedule2019-09-27T10:19:30-05:00

2018 Tea Book Roundup

In this article, I cover 6 tea books that came out since our last roundup in late 2017. Overall, it was a strong year for quality tea books and we're continually seeing authors raising the bar and introducing new concepts and information to our industry. This is key, as there are no doubt a number of books each year that are just re-hashing the same information we've read in other books. What's your favorite addition to the tea library this year? The Life of Tea: A Journey to the World's Finest Teas by Michael Freeman and Timothy d'Offay This beautiful book [...]

2018 Tea Book Roundup2018-12-11T13:06:08-06:00

California Fires Destroy California Tea Farm

We've long known and supported the tea growing efforts of farmers around the USA trying to get tea going. Many have had successes, and you can read about all the current tea growing farms in the country here. One such farm is owned and operated by Mike and Donna Fritts, since 2010, pictured above. They’ve experimented with processing many styles of tea, apparently grown from descendants of tea planted in 1896 at the Wakamatsu Tea & Silk Colony. You could taste and buy their tea if you contacted them, or come to visit. Additionally, you could buy their tea from Tea Cozy, [...]

California Fires Destroy California Tea Farm2018-12-12T10:38:34-06:00

Vietnamese Tea: Origin, Geography, Cultivars, Current Affairs

Vietnam is a country of contrasts and its tea industry is no exception to this rule.  Location and geography allow tea to grown in the sub-tropical north as well as the tropical south.  Vietnam forms part of the cradle of tea, yet, has a relatively young tea industry.  It continues to pursue rapid growth in commodity products, but the shoots of specialty tea are starting to break through.  What can you expect to find in your Vietnamese cup of tea? Land and History For most of its history, tea in Vietnam was a garden crop while the tea culture that developed [...]

Vietnamese Tea: Origin, Geography, Cultivars, Current Affairs2018-09-22T20:31:54-05:00

Tokyo: The 10 Essential Places for Tea

This hardly needs stating, but even so: Tokyo is a city like no other. The sheer density of food and drink around every corner, in every alleyway, and under every bridge is purely insane. I mean, how does a cafe with 12 seats, on the 8th floor of a gigantic department store stay alive? Moreover, how do people even know about it? The cuisine, in some small part, and the culture, in large part, are influenced by the Japanese Tea Ceremony, known as sado or chado, the practice of which is called chanoyu. Tea saturates Japan, and this intrinsic relationship can be felt from the [...]

Tokyo: The 10 Essential Places for Tea2019-09-28T16:29:45-05:00

Huajuchen: The Largest Tea Festivals in the World

The Huajuchen Tea Expos. Perhaps you've heard of it, or even been to one. Or perhaps, what's likely if you don't speak Chinese, you've never heard of it at all. Yet, it's the largest network of tea festivals in the world and naturally, they're in China. China is a big country with a lot of people and is responsible for the production of the world's most cotton, the top two largest beer brands in the world (shockingly), and of course, the most tea in the world. It then shouldn't come as a surprise that they host the world's largest tea festivals, fairs, and exhibitions, most of [...]

Huajuchen: The Largest Tea Festivals in the World2019-04-10T06:33:06-05:00

Into the Cloud Forest: Finding a New Specialty Tea Origin in Colombia

ARRIVAL Sitting on the plane, having made my way from Los Angeles to Miami and now to Santiago de Cali, Colombia, it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually met anyone who’d been to this place. I’ve known a few people that have traveled to Colombia, sure, but had I met anyone who’d been to a secluded, shrouded-in-clouds mountaintop tea estate? Not even Brian Keating, of tea consulting company Sage Group, had been there, and he helped organize the trip. I was an American meeting a contact in Colombia, who would take me into a tropical cloud forest to discuss the [...]

Into the Cloud Forest: Finding a New Specialty Tea Origin in Colombia2019-04-10T06:36:52-05:00

The History of Tea in Colombia

This is an expanded section of a larger article detailing tea growing in Colombia and my travels there. You can read the full article here. The history of tea in Colombia is, in part, a history of the Llano family. 1960 - Té La Sophia At the beginning of the 1950s, the Colombian Department of Agriculture set out to stimulate their export economy, after a series of conflicts and economic downturns, with tea seeds bought from Sri Lanka (both sinensis and assamica). They originally planted these seeds in Cundinamarca department (around Sasaima) and Santander Department (north of Bogotá). It [...]

The History of Tea in Colombia2019-04-10T06:36:00-05:00

Processing Methods in Colombia

This is an expanded section of a larger article detailing tea growing in Colombia and my travels there. You can read the full article here. In addition to owning their tea garden, Bitaco has built a brand new, state-of-the-art tea processing plant outfitted with equipment purchased from India and organized specifically for the purposes of making top quality tea. It's perhaps the most modern tea processing facility in the Americas. Below is an in-depth, detailed account of how they process their black and greens tea. They still processed some tea in their older Hindú facility, just down the road, but much [...]

Processing Methods in Colombia2019-04-10T06:35:36-05:00

Tea Tasting at Bitaco

This is an expanded section of a larger article detailing tea growing in Colombia and my travels there. You can read the full article here. At a conference table in Bitaco's processing facility, I sat down to do a full cupping of all of their teas. Mind you, I don't find myself in a subtropical cloud forest tea tasting very often, so I was eager to warm up my palate and taste what I had been experiencing this whole trip. They, on the other hand, have to do this every day to test batches they’ve just worked on, benchmarking quality as they [...]

Tea Tasting at Bitaco2018-06-10T17:07:06-05:00

Teavana, A Distant Analysis

The news that in 2018 Starbucks will close its Teavana shops (more than 350 in all, there is no other such tea chain in the US), raises before tea specialists questions as to why the project is scaled down and how Teavana’s experience can be best utilized. We will try to answer these questions from Russia, relying on the old and established consumer tea culture existing in our country and making analysis based on Teavana’s online store (in this contemplation, we are not touching the issue that Starbucks has sold its other tea brand Tazo to Unilever). It's reasonably safe to [...]

Teavana, A Distant Analysis2018-06-07T21:53:07-05:00

The Second Spirit of Tea Tour with Spirit Tea and Marco

Tea Geeks, the time has come again! For those of you who knew about it last time, our Chicago-based friends Spirit Tea and beverage systems company Marco partnered up for a roving tea tour across these United States. Well, they've decided it was fun enough to do again, only this time through Texas, North Carolina, and New York City! What does this tour entail? Each location is divided into two segments: A hands-on seminar diving into how to accurately dial-in your tea brewing skills, led by Spirit Tea co-founders Taylor Cowan and Jordan Scherer, and then a Matcha Latte Art Throwdown. Last time, Scherer told me [...]

The Second Spirit of Tea Tour with Spirit Tea and Marco2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

2018 Tea Outlook

A new year is upon us and the tea industry is rife with innovation, cheeky trends, and funky fads. We asked 11 tea folk from around the world what they see coming down the pike in 2018 -- here's what they had to say: Ms. Yu Lu Vice President of the China Chamber of Commerce of I&E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) “I think in 2018 there will be steady growth in export volume and value of tea in China. Regarding the increase in export volume, there are a few key figures that I can share. According to [...]

2018 Tea Outlook2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Tea Production in Vietnam: A History and Evolution

Ask people where tea comes from and not many will immediately think of Vietnam. Yet, according to the most recently published UN FAO statistics, Vietnam was the sixth largest producer and fifth largest exporter of tea in the world. This disconnect reflects the country’s strategy of quantity over quality. As someone living in Vietnam who has had an interest in a tea business since 2010, I'm often asked, “What is tea in Vietnam like?” There is, of course, no simple answer. The largely commodity tea output overwhelms the gradual shift that has taken place in recent years to focus on higher quality and responsibly [...]

Tea Production in Vietnam: A History and Evolution2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

The Official 2018 Tea Festival, Trade Show, and Conference Schedule

January January 20 – 21: Tea Festival India | Bangalore, INDIA January 27 – 28: Houston Tea Festival: Harry Teapotter and the Perfect Cuppa | Houston, Texas, USA February February 2 – 4: Toronto Tea Festival | Toronto, Ontario, CANADA February 9 – 11: Bologna Tea Festival | Bologna, ITALY February 18 – 20: Bangladesh Tea Expo | Dhaka, BANGLADESH February 22 – 23: UC Davis Global Tea Initiative 3rd Annual Symposium | Davis, California, USA March March 10 – 11: Coffee & Tea Festival NYC | New York City, New York, USA March 15 – 17: Russian Coffee & Tea Expo | Moscow, RUSSIA March 15 – 18: Thailand Coffee, Tea, & Drinks | Bangkok, THAILAND March [...]

The Official 2018 Tea Festival, Trade Show, and Conference Schedule2018-07-21T10:56:12-05:00

Tea for the New Year: A Brief History

In Japan, the mid-seasons are the most popular and lively of the year. Spring is marked by the sakura cherry blossom viewings during which everyone joins together to enjoy the gentle autumn breeze under one of the beautifully blooming trees. Every year, autumn brings people together to admire the reddening of the maple trees. For as long as we humans are a part of nature, the natural cycle of our environment plays a significant role in how we live our lives. This, for example, determines the timing of when we plant seeds and harvest and when certain foods become available. The [...]

Tea for the New Year: A Brief History2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

2017 Year-End Tea Recap

2017 is coming to a close. We all expected great things for tea this year and I think it's safe to say that monumental things did indeed happen. Whether or not these were good things depends on whom you ask! We saw a lot of upheaval in the tea realm, perhaps more than any other year in recent memory. 2018 will undoubtedly bring a lot of challenges too, but we'll be here to meet them. See below for our tea recap of the most interesting, perplexing, and shocking things to happen in 2017! (But first, check out the predictions we got [...]

2017 Year-End Tea Recap2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

2017 Tea Gear Guide

Yes, the end of the year is nigh and for those celebrating holidays (of any sort) it's the time to buy gifts. Whether you're the illustrious tea aficionado of your family or someone who just mentions in passing how much they love tea, chances are you've received some lackluster or altogether terrible tea gadgets. Hey, it happens to the best of us! This is an attempt to remedy such poor tea gift giving. What better time to get a good friend or significant other into the grand world of tea with a well-suited gift? Similarly, what better way to get something [...]

2017 Tea Gear Guide2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Tea Geek: A Brief Re-Introduction

My name is Nick and I’m a tea geek—self-proclaimed, perhaps, but self-identified for certain. Admittedly, I’m in no way sure of, nor particularly concerned with the origins of the term, though if it was you who coined it you should stand and take a bow—I’m all about it. Not because I find the G-word so immediately palatable as a card-carrying millennial or because it suggests a certain expertise, but because it draws a welcome distinction from another term that pervades the world of tea at large… tea snob. Some of you are likely craving a nice cold stat right about now, [...]

Tea Geek: A Brief Re-Introduction2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

2017 Tea Book Roundup

In this article, I cover 5 tea books that came out in 2017. Tea writers are raising the bar with each passing year and there are a few that came out in 2017 that will prove a valuable asset to your bookshelf. Three Basic Teas & How to Enjoy Them by Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace Virginia has been a longtime lecturer at the World Tea Expo on the topic of the Organoleptic Analysis of tea. Most recently, she taught in the Nutritional Science Division at Cornell University, focusing on anatomy, physiology, nutrition, disease, mind and memory. She's applied this knowledge to tea in this [...]

2017 Tea Book Roundup2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

The Artisan Specialty Teas of Sri Lanka

While in Sri Lanka this past August, I got an in-depth look at tea production throughout the country and happened upon some fantastic handmade teas. 95% of tea produced in Sri Lanka is Orthodox Black tea made by machine, but there is a growing number of artisan specialty tea producers in the country. If this artisan production is met with overseas demand, it's a sector of the Sri Lankan Tea industry that is sure to grow. In this article, I'll share with you my experiences sampling a selection of teas from Lumbini Tea Valley and Glenwood Reserve. Lumbini Tea Valley Chaminda [...]

The Artisan Specialty Teas of Sri Lanka2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

The Results are In: 2017 Tea Masters Cup Finals

The 2017 Tea Master's Cup Finals took place September 25-27 in Enshi, Hubei China. 29 participants from 13 countries competed in 4 categories: Tea Preparation, Tea Pairing, Tea Mixology and Tea Tasting. The competition took place within the 7th International Tea Forum run by the CFNA (China Chamber of Commerce for Import/Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products). The finals were judged by a panel of tea experts from around the world: Denis Shumakov from Russia, Tony Gebely (yours truly) from the USA, He Jie from China, Sharyn Johnston from Australia, Gabriella Lombardi from Italy, William Lee from Korea and [...]

The Results are In: 2017 Tea Masters Cup Finals2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

A Day on the Road with the Spirit of Tea Tour

The Spirit of Tea Tour officially began this last Thursday, September 28. Unceremoniously, but with excitement and vigor, Spirit Tea conducted their Tea Dialing-In Workshop and later hosted a Matcha Latte Art Throwdown. I attended both and can gladly report that at least someone is talking about tea properly. Workshop I arrived at Steelhead Coffee in Long Beach, California that Thursday afternoon and was greeted by Taylor Cowan and Jordan Scherer, co-founders of Spirit Tea. These guys are huggers, so after a warm few affectionate squeezes, we jumped into talking about the teas they were going to test out that day. [...]

A Day on the Road with the Spirit of Tea Tour2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Meet the World’s Only Triple-Threat Tea Company

There I was, attending a swank cocktail party hosted by Brew Dr. Kombucha in West Hollywood on a hot July day, sipping on a “Marty Robbins” cocktail, talking to Marty Wall about the tea industry, kombucha, and spirits. The “Marty Robbins” is made with mint, lemon, Mint Lemonade Kombucha, and Tea Spirit No. 2 and is deliciously sweet. Marty Wall is a seven-foot tall, spectacled man who’s the Executive VP of Business Development for Brew Dr. Kombucha, and happens to also be sweet. Marty and I chat about the tea and coffee industry and commiserate at how difficult burgeoning products and [...]

Meet the World’s Only Triple-Threat Tea Company2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

The Spirit of Tea Tour by Spirit Tea & Marco

Tea Geeks, heads up! Coffee lovers seem to get special events every week. Festivals, tastings, competitions… Now we have a tea event especially devoted to the tea geek within: Spirit Tea and Marco’s upcoming series of events across the Nation, The Spirit of Tea Tour. Chicago-based Spirit Tea is teaming up with the beverage tech company Marco and traveling West through Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, and Seattle to engage the community with an educational tea workshop and pose a dare with a Matcha Latte Art Throwdown. The first part of the Spirit of Tea Tour will be a hands-on seminar diving into how to accurately dial-in [...]

The Spirit of Tea Tour by Spirit Tea & Marco2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

150 Years of Ceylon Tea

Our very own Tony Gebely traveled to Sri Lanka from August 6 - 14 to cover the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea. As a guest of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, he was given unfettered access to the events in Colombo, many of the country’s tea estates, and the Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute. This post is the first in a series covering his tea adventures in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was a major producer of coffee in the 17-1800s until the island nation’s coffee industry was completely wiped out by a disease known as coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). The [...]

150 Years of Ceylon Tea2019-04-10T06:40:08-05:00

Women in Tea: Not Just a Gentlemen’s Business?

In China, the crafting and trading of tea is historically the domain of men. In contrast to the western stereotype of aristocratic ladies sipping afternoon tea from ornate cups, the Chinese tea drinking culture was mostly popularized by male scholars, who waxed poetic on the complex flavors and austere pleasures of their favorite teas. While women certainly brewed and drank tea as well, they escape mention in most discussions of tea history in China. So it probably comes as no surprise that when Alice Luong, owner of Red Blossom Tea Company, first started traveling to China and Taiwan to source teas [...]

Women in Tea: Not Just a Gentlemen’s Business?2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Matcha – Quality

This is the final part of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. As a final part of this series, I would like to compress everything we have learned into a clear definition of ‘matcha’. What does matcha mean in its purest form? And how do derivations of this result in different quality ranks? First the definition: Matcha is a stone-milled powdered tea, made from tencha, produced from the Camellia Sinensis tea bush. Tencha is that leaf which is used for the production of matcha, and is manufactured from leaf obtained during the spring [...]

Matcha – Quality2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Matcha – The Right Blend

This is part 5 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. Most tea farmers that produce tencha, only manufacture the tea until the ara-tencha, or the stage before the final processing where the rough dried tea leaf is further processed, cut and filtered. At this stage, the leaf is still too large to be successfully ground into fine powder, and the twigs may catch in the veins of the stone mortar, disturbing the smooth pulverizing of the tea. Therefore, before tencha can be processed into matcha, the leaf that is obtained from a [...]

Matcha – The Right Blend2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Matcha – The Production of Tencha

This is part 4 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. After the leaf has been harvested, it is immediately transported to the factory where it is almost instantly transferred onto a conveyor belt that takes the harvested leaves through a steamer. The steaming is usually very short; approximately 20 seconds. Its main purpose is to deactivate the oxygen in the leaf to prevent further oxidation, and in doing so the leaf will maintain its green color and freshness. Other effects of scalding the leaf include the removal of grassy-like and similar bad [...]

Matcha – The Production of Tencha2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Matcha – Harvest

This is part 3 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. Traditionally, May 2nd is considered the 88th fortnight calculated from the beginning of Spring. In terms of matcha production, this is the most favorable date for harvest. Around this time, about two fresh leaves and a bud have developed and matured sufficiently to be ready for harvest. The larger the leaf becomes, the more sunlight it has savored, and in effect has had more time to generate antioxidants which will render the leaf more bitter. It are only the top two leaves [...]

Matcha – Harvest2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Darjeeling and the Rise of Gorkhaland

Darjeeling has officially shut down for business. Tea production has ground to a complete halt. The Darjeeling tea industry is set to lose 20% of their annual production and 40% of their annual profit, on the order of $50 million (3.4 billion Indian Rupees). Even if plucking was to resume right now, which is incredibly unlikely, the loss could not be recovered. The ongoing drama of the situation has led many to wonder: What is happening? And what does it mean for tea in Darjeeling? We’ve done our best to brief you on what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what that [...]

Darjeeling and the Rise of Gorkhaland2019-04-30T13:28:57-05:00

Matcha – Cultivation

This is part 2 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. While the episode in the previous article allows us an insight in the advent of tea in Japan, it also introduces some of the most important factors that play a decisive role in the cultivation of tea bushes for the manufacturing of matcha. In this article, I will look to define the traditional aspects of cultivating tea bushes for matcha, as well as to introduce how these methods have been altered to meet contemporary standards. But first, I feel that it is [...]

Matcha – Cultivation2018-05-15T08:40:31-05:00

Matcha – An Initial Encounter

This is part 1 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. While in Japan the consumption of matcha is gradually declining, the tea’s popularity is rapidly growing in the West. Major health benefits have been attributed to the product, which have rendered it a highly desired item for the more health conscious among us. But in contradiction to the more traditional ways of imbibing matcha, its use in the West has seen a major shift to alternative applications such as the use in smoothies, sweets, etc. Although it is widely known that matcha [...]

Matcha – An Initial Encounter2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Hands On: The Teforia Leaf

** Update: Teforia has closed its doors for good. See their website for the full statement. What follows is our original assessment of their second product, the Teforia Leaf. My first experience with Teforia was a visit to founder, Allen Han's workshop in 2015 where he showed me a prototype unit. As skeptical as I was, I gave Allen 5 grams of my favorite tea at the time, a Meizhan black tea I had sourced from Fujian Province. I had only been able to get two gaiwan steepings out of a 5 gram serving of this tea. Allen loaded the tea into his unit's infusion [...]

Hands On: The Teforia Leaf2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

List of Tea Producing Countries in the World

Being called World of Tea, we've compiled a list of every tea producing country across the globe that we could find, 61 in all. This is as complete a list as we've been able to make. To be included, a country must have at least one functioning commercial tea plantation or have been represented in the press about a notable tea-growing operation. Much of the data was pulled from 2017 stats on the FAO Database. Tea growing countries. Click to enlarge. Argentina Argentina is the 12th largest producer of tea in the world, at 80,608 tonnes and the largest [...]

List of Tea Producing Countries in the World2019-11-24T19:21:11-06:00

Where Tea is Grown in the United States and Canada

Is tea grown in the United States? It sure is! Although we still have a way to go, American grown tea is a warm community and growing industry. From the rich volcanic soil of Hawai'i where the bulk of the farms reside to the rich and humid subtropical climate of the American Southeast to as far North as the Canadian border in the Pacific Northwest, tea farms have continued popping up all around the country. Now inhabiting 15 states, and with a single farm in Canada, we've put together a run-down of every tea farm we've been able to find so [...]

Where Tea is Grown in the United States and Canada2019-11-24T19:09:43-06:00

Pursuing the Moon and Good Tea: A Conversation with Nihoncha Instructor Tyas Sōsen

I was able to chat with Huybrechts Tangetsu-an Tyas Sōsen, also simply known as Tyas Sōsen, the first Belgian and youngest foreigner to become a certified Nihoncha Instructor (Japanese Tea Instructor). He currently lives and works in Japan, directly sourcing naturally-grown rustic Japanese tea for his online store, The Tea Crane, and performing the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony (sadō, chanoyu, or chadō) at the Kyoto-based school, Kyūgetsu. He told me about his experience moving to Japan, studying for the Nihoncha certification, his sourcing philosophy and practices, and what it's like to perform the tea ceremony as a foreigner. What was your [...]

Pursuing the Moon and Good Tea: A Conversation with Nihoncha Instructor Tyas Sōsen2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

The Tea Genome Revealed

For decades, the DNA encoded within the tea plant has remained a mystery. Now, the tea genome has finally been sequenced. Tea (Camellia sinensis) can don the DNA-decoded laurels along with dozens of the world’s most important crops, including two other distantly related caffeine-bearing cousins: coffee (Coffea arabica), sequenced in 2014, and cacao (Theobroma cacao), sequenced in 2010. The scientific paper which revealed this information, published May 1, 2017, is officially titled: The Tea Tree Genome Provides Insights into Tea Flavor and Independent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis, Xia et al., Molecular Plant (2017) and you can read the whole paper here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2017.04.002 [...]

The Tea Genome Revealed2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Microwaving Your Tea, The Controversy Explained and Refuted

The internet has been ablaze with a particularly nefarious news story typically titled something like, “You’ve Been Making Your Tea All Wrong!”. Are you sick of hearing this? Yeah, so are we. And not only because there’s no “right way” to make tea. I’m currently calling this topic the Microwaving Tea Controversy. The articles about this are usually titled something like, “Expert Claims Microwaving Tea Is Best!”, or “Microwave Makes the Best Tea Says Science”. The Microwaving Tea Controversy has excited dozens of news networks because it’s the perfect maelstrom of click-baiting buzzwords, science, consumer errors, lifehacks, outrage, a popular television [...]

Microwaving Your Tea, The Controversy Explained and Refuted2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Tea at 10 of the World’s Best Restaurants

On April 5, the annual and much lauded World's 50 Best Restaurants list was released. Decided by an Academy of around 1,500 members, made up of chefs, food critics, restaurateurs, and more, the list serves as a manual for famous food names and places. Although controversial for its general lack of female chefs, Euro-centrism, etc., the list offers a glimpse into what might be considered the most cutting-edge, most refined, and most interesting dining to be had anywhere in the world in 2017. But... and this is a big but... What tea do they serve? If these restaurants are supposedly the "best", then surely their [...]

Tea at 10 of the World’s Best Restaurants2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Exploring the Teas of Sichuan and Fujian with Jeff Kovac

Jeff Kovac is an instructor and lecturer for the Tea Association of Canada and owner of Four Seasons Tea Co. His tea life began while he was working in Sichuan Province. He studied tea there under tea arts master Lu Xing Chen. Jeff has gained unparalleled access to some of the highest grades of tea from China's Sichuan and Fujian Provinces. Teas of this quality are rarely found in the West. Because of the rarity of these teas that are often quickly snatched up by wealthy locals, Jeff sells most of his collection in small 5-10g packets to keep them affordable. [...]

Exploring the Teas of Sichuan and Fujian with Jeff Kovac2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

“Tea Master” No Longer an Accredited Job in China

As reported on their official website last December, the Chinese government has voted to abolish 114 state-certified professions from its registry of nearly 1,800. These newly un-permitted jobs include vocations such as "power equipment assembler", "refrigerator custodian", "reflective therapist", and sadly among them, "tea master". There are problems inherent in calling anyone a "master" of anything, especially with something as broad and infinitely-faceted as tea. My complaint, detailed painstakingly in the epically long article on Tea Sommeliers, is that there is no unification or standardization in tea education and as such, certification does very little to help the certified. It seems the [...]

“Tea Master” No Longer an Accredited Job in China2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Satemwa, an Orthodox Tea Producing Estate in Malawi

Satemwa is a family-run tea and coffee estate located in the southern portion of Malawi in East Africa. The estate was founded in 1923 by a Scotsman named Maclean Kay. The garden is now run by his grandson, Alexander Kay. Satemwa is one of the last family-owned tea estates in the region, as most have been purchased by huge companies looking to produce commodity tea. I recently had a chance to try many of the beautiful teas that are produced at Satemwa and speak with Wouter Verelst who heads up Marketing & Business Development for the estate. Here are some highlights from our conversation: When [...]

Satemwa, an Orthodox Tea Producing Estate in Malawi2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

The 2017 Dutch Tea Champion Is…

The 2017 Dutch Tea Championship has concluded. As detailed in my last post, 14 contestants entered the preliminary rounds which included a submission video, written test, live tea preparation, and 20 blind tastings. After, there were four contestants left to compete in the finals. These finalists faced off on March 12 for the final prize. Their competitive rounds consisted of 17 more blind tastings, including a blind preparation, and a live tea presentation to be paired with a gourmet dish created by Jan Smink, one of the judges and the head chef of De Librije, a gourmet hotel and restaurant. Needless to say, this [...]

The 2017 Dutch Tea Champion Is…2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00
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