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

“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

Nitro Matcha in a Can, Another First

Newly arrived is another first in the ready-to-drink tea beverage market: Canned Nitro Matcha. In keeping with tea experts' predictions for 2017, kegged tea, and specifically, nitrogenated tea, is already becoming big business. You can now find nitrogenated teas at cafes in every major city in America, a concept that would have been unthinkable just three years ago. Yet here we are, and the process of kegging and tapping drinks with a nitrogen tank has led innovators to experiment with canned versions. After all, how does one enjoy the silky smooth mouthfeel of a nitrogenated tea or coffee outside of a third-wave coffee [...]

Nitro Matcha in a Can, Another First2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Darjeeling Tea is in Trouble

Darjeeling... the picturesque mountainside tea growing region of India, home to 87 or so tea estates, known the world over for their quality high-altitude teas, faces a multitude of compounding problems that pose a serious threat to the region's tea industry. Darjeeling has been in the clutches of a drought since 2012. Each year, the workers and farmers of the region hold their breath to see whether the mist will come and the rain will fall. Each year, this looks increasingly unlikely. The rain comes very sporadically and if it comes at all, it tends to downpour, causing floods and eroding away [...]

Darjeeling Tea is in Trouble2018-05-15T08:40:32-05:00

Tom Clemente Named President of Smith Teamaker

Smith Teamaker names a new president following the death of Steven Smith in March of 2015. Today the company announced that Tom Clemente is joining the company as President. Clemente arrives as Smith prepares to open the doors to its new Portland headquarters and tasting room in SE Portland on December 2, 2015. Clemente is no stranger to tea, having led the sales organization at Tazo Tea after its acquisition by Starbucks. At Tazo, Clemente met and worked alongside Steven Smith and other future members of the Smith leadership team. Prior to Tazo, he worked on the successful launch of Starbucks packaged coffee [...]

Tom Clemente Named President of Smith Teamaker2018-05-15T08:40:35-05:00