Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 1 year ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - March 4, 2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

HEAR THE HEADLINES

| Brand Relevance in Chaotic Times | Nepal Announces Tea Traceability Project | The Danish Tea Association Merges with The European Speciality Tea Association | YELP! Names a Tea House to its list of Top 100 Places to Eat in America

| GUEST
Angela McDonald, president US League of Tea Growers

| FEATURES

This week Tea Biz shares the secret to creating tea blends that sell, a conversation with master blender Sameer Pruthee, CEO at Tea Affair in Calgary...and we travel to Oregon for a visit with Angela McDonald, president of the US League of Tea Growers.

The Business Benefit of Custom Blends

Timeless blends like iconic Earl Grey, bold Yorkshire Gold and Constant Comment, a blend that Ruth Bigelow created in her kitchen in 1945, provide the sturdy foundation on which some of the world’s most treasured tea companies stand.

A Tea Terroir All Their Own

Growers of high quality tea in the United States set out to create something that isn’t available from anybody, anywhere else, an expression of regional flavor grounded in local terroir. The president of the US League of Tea Growers explains that while quantities are small “No one is going to buy a Mississippi Yellow Tea from Sri Lanka because it will never be the same.”

The Tea B is podcast delivers tea news that you need to know, a recap of the week's major headlines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Danhole, it is the voice of origin for tea professionals, enthusiast broke byle think of us as a digital caravan of storytellers bringing authentic, authoritative, exotic and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lands. Each week, the tea bis 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 bis podcast is paired with the more inclusive teabe is 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 that are delivered privately to their phone. Welcome. Here are the headlines, brand relevance in chaotic times. Nepal announces a National Tea Traceability Project. The Danish Tea Association merges with the European Speciality Tea Association and YELP names a tea house to its list of top one hundred places to eat in America. More in a minute. The first this important message. Avani empowers rural women practicing sustainable agriculture, including tea and crafts such as weaving with natural fiber and plant based dies. Up in the towering Hillalayas human is one of India's oldest tea regions. Today, we raise our cups in the name of Avani Quman, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farming communities. Cheers to a brighter future for all. To donate, visit Avani da Quman Dot Org. Marketing consultancy profit announced its brand relevance index this week, scoring companies during a pandemic year that rewarded convenience, comfort, trust and dependability. Apple, pelaton kitchen aid, Lego, Costco, Honda, playstation and Amazon all made the top ten. The Mayo Clinic and John's hob cans received positive accolades from the thirteenzero consumer survey. Apple has held the top spot for the past six years and seems invincibly relevant. However, consumer appreciation for Pelotone, which rose from number thirty five to number two on the list, the Mayo Clinic, which advanced from number twenty four to number four on the list, Lego, which moved from number twenty eight to number five, and Costco, which moved from number twenty one to two six, all reflect behavioral changes easily traced to the pandemic. Profit credited these brands for quote, adapting quickly to consumers changing needs and expectations, but they do so by remaining evermore true to themselves. and quote. No tea companies appear on the brand relevance list, but in two thousand and twenty consumers rewarded tea brands with their loyalty during a time of disruption. While many consumer brands saw declines due...

...to lockdowns, tea drinkers calmly steeped at home. The lesson to apply from profits consumer research, quote is that all of these brands are consumer obsessed, ruthlessly pragmatic, distinctively inspired and pervasively innovative. and quote. Tea Brands should take note, especially the point about becoming pervasively innovative. Business inside. Chinese luxury brand zoo quing, advanced to number two on the World Brand Labs Two thousand and twenty one analysis of the world's top ten luxury tea brands. twinings in the UK, twg and Singapore, Harney and sons in the US and Dilma in Shr Lanco were all top ranked world brand tea lab a analyze fivezero tea brands to identify three hundred global super brands. China is home to many thousands of tea brands, but few are widely known beyond the Great Wall. Publicly declaring the province of Nepali t will increase sales globally. According to advocates of the sustainable export promotion project, the proposed tea traceability system is financed by the federal government. Quote. This project will do the work of branding by producing quality tea and quote rights. Be Chnou Kamar Bathafari, executive director of the Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board, part of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. He called on farmers to be honest and to make the effort of success. The thirty six month project will enable the entire supply chain to share information, much of which will be available to consumers. The government allocated a hundred and seventy five million rupees, which is about one point five million dollars for the project. Business insight. Throughout Nepal's recent history, in nearly all its tea exports were used in blends, obscuring its identity. Eighty percent of the country's tea is processed as CTC cut their curl. Eighty percent of exports or to India. The remaining twenty percent, approximately five million kilos, is handmade these higher value Orthodox teas or purchased by Germany, the US, Canada and Japan, accounting for ten percent of export volume. Nepalal has recently expanded planting to thirteen districts, beyond the existing five, which produced a combined twenty five million kilos in two thousand and nineteen. These districts, mainly in the west, are better suited to Orthodox production. The five year old Danish Tea Association will merge with the European speciality t association, transferring more than fifty members to become ESTA's Danish chapter. Danish Association President Alex Kayi, currently serves as vice president of the London based ESTA. Initially cautious of the newly formed Esta I, he said, quote, we're totally confident that our good work of the past will continue in Denmark, but within the wider community which is being grown by ESTA and quote business inside European Speciality to association. Executive Director David Beale said that chapters operate with a degree of independence, electing their own board...

...over two years. Chapter members in Denmark can still promote specialty t locally, but they will also be able to network with the wider global speciality tea community. He said. Asta members reside in twenty eight countries. Congratulations to the copper cattle tea bar and Foley, Alabama for making yelps two thousand and twenty one list of the hundred tap places to eat in America. The many stake, Sushi, Tiki, hotdog, chicken and fine dining winners on the yelpers choice list all served tea, but the copper kettle, which ranked sixty six, is the only tea themed eatery to meet yelps extensive criteria. The Gulf coote shop offers sampling tea classes and high tea with a huge selection of a hundred and fifteen traditional and sophisticated offerings, everything from woo yee oolongs and Wuere to gunpowdered green teas. There are also wellness fruit that honey boush teas, as well as Royvos, Monte and Chai. The shop hosts musicians and tea by the fireside. Well, we're a little tea house with a big heart. Rights Co owners and sisters Robin Peters and Susan Adams. The shop, housed in a s era cottage, opened in his current location in two thousand and fifteen business inside starbucks, one of the largest tea retailers in the world, announced this week it will no longer sweeten its iced tea. Customers can add as much cane sugar as they like at no additional charge, but unsweetened is the new default, making tea of zero calorie menu option. And now a word from our sponsor, que made. Tea Sports with TEAP of hairs at every scale, from promising startups to the world's largest multi national beverage brands in the hot fist and bound tea segments. With US based formulation, blending and packaging services, q trade can help you innovate, scale up and grow your specialty tea brand. For more information, visit our website. Q Trade Tascom. This week, tab is shares the secret to creating tea blends. This cell a conversation with master blender Samere Prufee, see EO at Tafair in Calgary, and we traveled organ for a visit with Angela McDonald, president of the US League of tea growers. Timeless blends like Iconic Earl Gray, bold Yorkshire Gold and constant comment, a blend that ruth bigelow created in her kitchen in one thousand nine hundred and forty five, provide the Sturdy Foundation on which some of the world's most treasured tea companies stay. How creamy do you want your Earl Gray? How much citrus to people like in a green blend, which inclusions with health benefits are best sellers? Blending tea is both art and science, with a lot of trial and error. I'm Jessica and Itali Willard, based in British Columbia Canada. Today I'm speaking with Sameer Pruty, CEO of tea affair, a Canadian blending company based in the province of Alberta. With a background and culinary management, Samere got his start importing specialty teas in the late s. He was intrigued by blending and flavoring. How to find...

...the right combination of botanicals? Strawberry, mango, Leachi? What flavor to people gravitate to? How can blending help achieve business objectives? Over the last twenty plus years, Sameer has built a business blending teas using quality raw material imported from around the world. His aim is to blend as much tea in Canada as possible. In our conversation today will focus on how companies can use custom blends to their advantage and will hear tips on Sameer's Best Practices for blending. You have a lot of experience blending teas. Can you share with our listeners? What are the business benefits of creating specialty tea blends? There's a lot of benefits to a company when they starts blending tea. Creating tea blends with the purpose in mind is also creates a nice brand for yourself. The company enjoy their own domain like where they can create their own customer loyalty which they're coming back for their own products and they're looking for their products. Yes, so it sounds like it. In a way, places a marketing function. So you have to create a lot of buzz around those things. So that's what the creating the tea blends is all about. Blending is a big, big game. So you have to know because there's so many ingredients. We have closed to close to, you know, a hundred and fifty different ingredients we deal with between herbs, fruits, spices. So you it's a big game and to keep it very similar and same tasting throughout the years. It's very hard because suppliers change. It's all mostly to do with the crop. The crop is bad, then you have a bad product in your hand and we try not to buy all those bad products anyway. But yeah, it's a big, big learning curve because blending is one part, flavoring is another part. So you have to bring those two together to get a good balance of your ingredients. There's a body call it like glitters. You get like in the market, similar type of product, but it's being added to the tea. When you make your liquid of the tea, it will have gold glitters in it, I see. So we we do not do things like that because our additives are products are more or less more towards nature as much as we can, rather than adding products like the silver balls or you know, like heart shapes, candies and things like that. We don't do that as much at all. We stayed away from it some years ago. So normally we are for making the product as natural as possible right now, and that's what our goal is to keep it that way. On that subject, I've spoken with a lot of tea shop owners throughout the pandemic who have said that blends with health properties are popular right now. What are your go too inclusions with health properties? We have seen a lot of the riseing ingredients like termrick and ginger. Also we see a lot of the European herbs types like Cama meal and lemon bomb and things like that. They're doing very well in the market place. And if you include those types of ingredients in your blends and adding in the right dosage, not mixing with sugar bowls, as we say, but you know, like yeah, if you do it in the right way, those are in demand right now. Yeah, and they will be in demand for quite a bit of fears to come by. For sure. If someone is interested in making some magic in their shop and blending their own tea, he's what some advice you can share with them? They...

...go to know what their customers demands. One thing is that, and then go around it and build their portfolio for what they're demanding and mixing the ingredients which go well together. You know this. So many blendings being done now. It's like you have such a wide era of blended products ailable in the market already by either the Canadian companies or abroad. But it's just knowing your market. That's that's what they can do and mix them together and see how they go about it. But always test market your product before you go into mass markets. And how would you advise someone to to test out a product? Well, start in a small scale, find two or three customers who are coming to your shop often and try with them and do a t tasting with them and say, well, this is what I've blended and see what their responses and their responses positive. Go with some more group of customers and go about it, start doing it and then give it special names, name cells. Though he's been blending tea for more than twenty years, Sameer says he's still learning new things every year, how to incorporate new ingredients, how to adapt to changing tastes, trends and flavors. We thank some mirror for sharing his insights and ongoing education in blending with T it is, and we encourage you, our listeners, to explore how blending can benefit your business. growers of high quality to in the United States set out to create something that isn't available from anybody anywhere else, an expression of regional flavor, grounded and local to raw. The president of the US League of Tea Growers Explains that. Well, quantities are small. No one is going to buy a Mississippi yellow tea from Sri Lanka because it will never be the same. Today we're speaking with Angela McDonald, president of the US League of tea growers in owner of Oregon Tea treaders in Eugene, Oregon. Angela, thank you for talking with this thank you for having me today. We'd like to talk about the US League of tea growers and Little Little Bit about the organization. Can you tell us how many acres are likely landed in the United States? That's a slightly hard question to answer, as with most things and teether, isn't a very clear cut answer, but there's, I'd say, a little less than a hundred acres of tea planted in the US currently the Charleston tea plantation is the largest. The Great Mississippi Tea Company is probably the second largest that I know of. There's quite a few smaller farms that are mostly between, you know, one to three acres in Hawaii, some in Louisiana, Texas, California, Oregon, handful of other states. So the majority of it is around the south. Whyi and the CCIVIC northwest. That doesn't mean that it can't grow anywhere else, it's just where most of it is at the moment. Now most of those plants are small enough that they are young enough that they're not producing a lot of finished tea at the moment. However, the Charleston tea plantation produces a lot of tea. Great Mississippi Tea Company, I think, produced, I think there were saying, a few thousand pounds last year and every year. Their plants are at the point where they're ramping up very quickly. They'll be up to a ton of tea probably this year and then the growers in Hawaii produces probably a few hundred pounds each. So let's talk about the marketing of UST's I would speculate much of the international market doesn't...

...even know that the United States is producing tea. So as you try to get your products outside the domestic market, which sort of hurdles you face? Well, they are both hurdles and there are, you know, things that make it easier for us. So the hurdles are going to be cost largely. We, you know, are going to have higher production costs than some other countries. Not every country. Japan, for example, has very high production costs and their ties tend to be very expensive and yet, you know, they're produced. They produce a lot and sell it internationally all over the world. What we are trying to encourage growers to focus on is specialty tea instead of commodity tea, for exactly that reason. In the US, just simply the land costs of machinery, various things. It's going to be we're going to have a have a higher cost of production than in some countries, and so if we're talking about producing just vast quantities of low quality tea, we're not going to be competitive with countries like Argentina and India and Ken yet it's just not really very viable, whereas it we're making specialty tea that creates a whole different niche that we fit perfectly into. Because if you are a darshealing tea fan, you are not going to buy a you know, even if they could label it as darling, you're not going to buy a darhealing tea from Kenya because it's it won't be the same thing. You're going to buy a dark shaling tea from Darjeeling, maybe from your favorite estate and Darjiling or your favorite for it, you know, importer or whoever. If you are a fan of Puerties, specifically from Yunin province and China, you're not going to be buying a poor tea probably from the US. You're going to want the one that specifically from there. So if we produce really good, high quality teas here in the US and get them out into the international market, nobody's going to try to buy a Mississippi tea from Sri Lanka because it won't be the same thing. And so you end up having again with the tewar and the regional flavor profiles. You end up having a product that isn't available from anybody else in the world, and so consumers in China and India in you know, Russia or wherever. They will say if they want a tea that has the same flavor as a tea from Oregon or contely place, are going to get it. The goal is to develop specialized teas for the international market. How do you spread the word? How do you market these cheese? Well, for one, the the goal isn't just to produce it for international markets. A lot of tea producing countries, especially ones that have higher production costs, are producing teas mostly for their own cannert for people in their own country, for domestic consumption. International consumption, of course, just makes the market larger, but that isn't necessarily what we should only be focusing on. So it's sometimes hard to get teas in front of people. So it's a matter of figuring out how to get people to try it. For domestic customers, you know, you can work with other companies, you know that have wide audiences and get them to start setting out samples or, you know, talk about your teas and then more and more people will try it. In terms of international or you can also go to things like markets, farmers markets, whatever and sample your teas. That's a really critical part of...

...it. What is the growth curve. Can you put a timeline on a certain level of success? Well, see, the one of the problems with tea is that it's a slow crop. It's not, you know, it's not like a tomato crop where you put it in the ground and a few months later you have your harvest to sell. Tea Plants can take between three to five years to really start producing enough tea to really market, because it takes a lot of those little tips, as little leaves, to be able to make even a pound of tea. And then how do you measure success? Is it by amount sold? Is it by consumer awareness? How do you personally measure success? Well, if I were a tea farmer, I would say that I was successful if I actually started making money at farming tea, because the first five years or so, while this crop is getting established, you are just sinking money into it. But then after that the tea plants live for a very long time. They can live for a hundred years if they're well cared for, and so it's a total money think for five years and then the next ninety five. As somebody who said recently, it's a money printing machine. Leaves just pop up. You may have to prune a little bit or put a little bit of fertilizer down, but other than that you pretty much leave them and they just start popping leaf up and as long as you were willing to process it or even harvest it and sell it to somebody who will process it, it's just money is just growing up out of it. So the that's been the big hurdle for most growers is getting past as initial first few years, which, when you talk about it, when you say, you know, Oh, the first five years are rough, in the next ninety five or great, that seems so simple. Those five years can be pretty rough to get through. So, Angela, thank you for your time. Appreciate your insights and speaking with Angela McDonald, president of the US league a tea growers in owner of Oregon t treaders in Euchene, Oregon, and Joe. Appreciate it. Thank you very much. Yeah, thank you for having me. It's great to talk with the other day. Intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of Tbiz journalists and t experts? Contact them direct through subtext private message based platform. Avoid the chaos of social media and start a conversation that matters. Subtext message based platform let's you privately ask meaningful questions of the txpress academics and t Biz journalists reporting from the teammates. You see their responses via SMS text which are sent to wrect to your phone. visit our website, subscribe to subtext that instantly connected the most connected people and tea. Remember to visit the t Biz website for more comprehensive coverage. That's W AWWFT Biz bizcom. Thanks for listening. Farewell, till next week.

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