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 Analysis 2018-06-07T21:53:07+00:00

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 Outlook 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

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-Introduction 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

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 Tour 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

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 Gorkhaland 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

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 Refuted 2018-05-15T08:40:32+00:00

The Current State of Organic Orthodox Tea in Nepal

Organic Orthodox Tea in Nepal “Chiya khayau? (Did you drink tea?)” No, it’s not intense curiosity about your drinking habits – it’s a colloquial way of greeting people in Nepalese culture. Whether you are strolling around the urban corners of Kathmandu or on your way to experience an adventure in the jagged Himalayan mountains, you are bound to encounter local people engaging in everything from lengthy philosophical conversations to rants about the mundanity of their daily lives over a cup of chiya – tea. Tea is the beverage with which the majority of the people in Nepal prefer to kick off [...]

The Current State of Organic Orthodox Tea in Nepal 2018-05-15T08:40:32+00:00

Tea Tastes in 2017: A Forecast

A new year is upon us and the tea industry is rife with innovation, cheeky trends, and funky fads. We asked 7 tea folk from around the world what they see coming down the pike in 2017 -- here's what they had to say: Henrietta Lovell Owner, Rare Tea Company “I see a significant trend for 2017 and beyond in the rise of the conscious consumer. People have, for some time now, started to wonder what lies beyond the industrial bag. But real change is starting to happen as customers – especially online where they expect clear, transparent company information – [...]

Tea Tastes in 2017: A Forecast 2018-05-15T08:40:33+00:00

The Problem With Tea Sommeliers

What is a tea sommelier? When I ask this, people generally describe someone who pairs tea with food and prepares tea at a restaurant. This is, after all, what most people believe the job of a wine sommelier is and they wouldn’t be wrong, although this is only one branch on their tree. I decided to investigate this, since for years I’ve been bothered by the term ‘tea sommelier’ and by the general misalignment with true sommeliers. After months of research, I’ve learned that tea sommeliers can spend large amounts of money to be certified, are trained in unstandardized ways with [...]

The Problem With Tea Sommeliers 2018-05-15T08:40:33+00:00

Five Years in Tea: A Retrospective

After working for American Tea Room for 5 1/2 years, I’ve decided to move forward with my career. Although I began my career more familiar than some with the world of tea, since the middle of 2010 I began an obsession, first working as a sales associate for American Tea Room, right smack in the middle of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle. After a few years, I worked my way up to Store Manager and became intimately involved with the operation of the brand, eventually assuming the role of Beverage Director, officially, and unofficially as Training Director for all employees. I designed [...]

Five Years in Tea: A Retrospective 2018-05-15T08:40:35+00:00

How We Used Tea in Our Wedding Ceremony

Because tea is what brought Katie and I together, we thought we'd use it in our wedding ceremony. Let me explain first how tea brought us together because some people seem to think this kind of thing just doesn't happen. Geoffrey Norman aka "Lazy Literatus" has a "standing 'scientific' theory that tea and dating don't blend." I asked him what he thought of our relationship and he said that it "seems to exist in stubborn defiance of my theory" and that Katie and I must have "sold our souls to Guan Yin... or something equally plausible." All joking aside, Katie was working on [...]

How We Used Tea in Our Wedding Ceremony 2018-05-15T08:40:36+00:00

The Importance of Doing Research for Your Customers

So many times I meet people that have been told erroneous information about tea. I have met countless people searching for certain teas that will cure certain disorders, from sleep apnea to arthritis. I drink tea because it tastes good, tea is not a medicine to me, and I don't believe in selling tea as a "medicine." I believe it is a deceptive practice, and one that many are susceptible to, If you knew nothing about tea and someone told you that it would help you lose weight, you would probably believe them, right? Examples of Bad Information [blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/TeaBenefitsCom/status/42229795894988800"] [blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/CraigBaylor/status/44505534375788544"] [blackbirdpie [...]

The Importance of Doing Research for Your Customers 2018-05-15T08:40:50+00:00

Chicago’s Chinatown – Not a Tea Mecca.

I set out about two weeks ago to explore Chicago's Chinatown -- just off the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line stop. I hoped to find tiny tea-houses tucked away off the main streets, tea importers, tea shops -- I hoped to find a mecca of tea right in my own city. However, I found none of this. Not even an inkling of hope. I left completely and utterly disappointed. I began walking around, first North on Wentworth to China Square on Archer, there were many shops, Americanized restaurants, Chinese Herbs, bookstores, and a few stores selling cheap souvenirs. The only store slightly of [...]

Chicago’s Chinatown – Not a Tea Mecca. 2018-05-15T08:40:51+00:00

Tea and Gender

There have been no polls or studies in the United States that I've seen that reveal the demographics of tea drinkers in the country. But evidence is suggesting that the bulk of tea-drinkers fall in the 18-35 year old male category. A growing group of men drawn by the history and culture behind the drink. "'The vast majority of Asian tea masters are men, and in fact, the tea industry itself is known as a "gentleman's" business. Women might drink much of the tea in the western world, but men are usually the ones buying and selling it in the wholesale [...]

Tea and Gender 2018-05-15T08:40:51+00:00