Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 1 month ago

Tea Biz News and Insight - April 22, 2022

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

HEAR THE HEADLINES – Snarls in Logistics and Cool Weather Slow China's Tea Harvest | Crisis in Sri Lanka Worsens | Shizuoka Hand-Rolled Tea Brings a Record 1.96 million Yen at Auction

| GUEST – Jane Pettigrew, BEM, author, educator, consultant, and founder of the UK Tea Academy

| FEATURE INTRO – Jane Pettigrew describes the remarkable evolution of the UK Tea Academy into an innovative global tea education resource that has emerged from the chaos of COVID-19

Online Adaptations Enhance and Expand Tea Education – By Dananjaya Silva | PMD Tea The United Kingdom Tea Academy is recognized as a world authority for online tea education. Staffed by professional tutors, the Academy offers courses from beginner to advanced. I sit down with the Director of Studies, Jane Pettigrew, who is a leading author and speaker on tea, along with Suranga Perera, the chief instructor of the Ceylon tea program, who counts over 20 years of experience in tea and is the former CEO of Ceylon tea brokers PLC.

The Tea Biz podcast delivers tea news that you need to know, a recap of the week's major headlines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Dan Bolton. It is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Think of us as a digital caravan of story tellers, bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lands. Hello everyone here. This week's headlines. Snarls and logistics and cool weather slow China's tea harvest, the crisis in Sri Lanka worsens and a Shiswolka can rule tea brings a record one point nine six million yen at auction. Plus. Founder Jane Pettigrew describes the remarkable evolution of the UK Tea Academy into an innovative global tea education resource that has emerged from the chaos of covid nineteen more in a minute, but first this important message. What makes a Perfect Cup of Ceylon tea? The Perfect Cup is from the tea businesses that ensure the protection of all the children living within their tea estates. We Salute Kailani valley tell a Wacky Bogo Wan Thalawa, Harana and Elyptia tea estates support see the children Sri Lanka. Pe. Quality is exceptional in China and growers report a steady increase in prices as the harvest progresses. But covid restrictions in forty five cities and several provinces curtailed retail sales of early season tea and delayed deliveries of online orders. Quote. Logistics plays an important role in the purchase and sale of spring tea. According to the China Tea Circulation Association for e commerce. Even if the buy or in the cellar have made a deal online, it still cannot be delivered to consumers quickly and in time due to logistics constraints and the misst fresh date directly affects the consumer experience. Right C TCA Andrew McNeil at seven Cups Fine Chinese tea in Tucson, Arizona, rants that quote. The lockdowns in China this year posing a bigger disruption to harvest and delivery than Spring Two Thousand and twenty quote. Unlike two thousand and twenty, where the lockdowns had started earlier in the year, two thousand and twenty two is lockdown struck right when early spring tea was hitting the market. Particularly tough for exporters is that the lockdowns came to transportation hubs first on Koan, Shins and Shanghai, and it now appears to be starting in Guang Zoo too. Even in places where lockdowns are lifted, like Shinjin, they're still congestion and ongoing delay for sea and air freight rights. McNeil CETCA reports that cool weather in mid March delayed plucking in Jijing, Hunan and who buy where daily average temperatures varied, by may nearly twenty degrees Celsius. Quote. As the temperature rises, spring tea all over the country has entered the picking period one after another. However, due to the unstable temperature and large temperature difference, the German nation of tea trees has been effected and the mining is generally delayed compared with previous years. In quote.

In March the epidemic spread across the country. Since it coincides with the peak season of Tea Gardens in various places. It affects the production of string tea to a certain extent. According to CTCA truck's hall, three quarters of the total freight in China, according to China's Ministry of Transport. In March, quarantines imposed on truckers led to an eleven percent decline in freight and Guangdan, Shangshi and Shanghai tea producers who rely on seasonal labors from other provinces, are especially unnerved to see the lockdown spread in on g county. Some growers release their workers early to avoid the potentially devastating situation where they are housing and paying a workforce that could neither work nor return home. China is the world's largest tea producing country by far, harvesting three point two billion kilos in two thousand and twenty one, up from two point nine seven billion kilos of tea in two thousand and twenty. Tea Exports Total two billion annually. Business inside there's not much exporters can do about delays. The most visible cost is transportation, both within China and a doubling of international freight costs. Consumers by now are accustomed to longer wake times and unexpected delays. During Spring Two Thousand and twenty, China ease restrictions as infections rapidly decline. Quote now, with many in North America reacting Tom Acron be a two with a fatigue shrug. It can be a bit of a mental whip lash to hear about new and severe lock downs elsewhere and their impact on trade. Keeping customers informed of what's happening in China is now that much more important, and quote this is Andrew McNeil. The crisis in Shreloca worsts. Inflation has reached record highs, electrical powers ration to twelve hours, food, fuel and pharmaceuticals are in short supply. Trade on the Columbus Stock Exchange was halted this week. Out of the Central Bank raised interest rates to fourteen point five percent. Violent protest have led to fatalities and clashes with police. Thousands of workers camping outside the president's Office for the past ten days were joined by star athletes and celebrities. As social media coverage is suppressed, residents are begging expatriots to send home cash. As the nation grapples with the worst economic crisis since declaring and dependence in one thousand nine hundred and forty eight tea growers face increasing absenteeism, limited hours to operate their factories and unreliable delivery of diesel it's a massive problems and one garden owner who's factory exports globally, financial difficulties are hampering routine operations. Quote. For example, I've forward bought another container of packing material direct from the manufact or, as our Shri Lanka suppliers can't raise letters of credit and thus can't get product into the country. He said tourism, once a shining light, is dimming. Tourism contributes twelve percent to the country's gross domestic product and is an important source of foreign dollars. Malik Ja Fernando, managing director of Resplendent Ceylon and the director of the Dilma Selon tea company, told the Khalead Times that, quote,...

...tourism is critical to our own but economic recovery, and every section of society is keenly aware of this and supportive to the cause. Tourism is resilient, he said, because most of our hotels are small boutique properties, many owner managed, offering a genuine connection to the country and as people, we have a close link with nature and our environment, which in turn has allowed us to value, respect and work towards protecting and preserving our national resources. And, quote, a financial bailout by the International Monetary Fund will include conditions. Defaulting on a twenty five billion alone will downgrade the country's credit, but Sri Lanka has nowhere else to turn. The country sought debt relief from China and India, but both countries offered only to extend credit lines in trade for commodities. Reform seems inevitable, as forty two members of parliament abandoned the ruling party to cities independence, and the government is now attempting to revoke extraordinary powers granted the presidency. Business inside Indian tea exporters are optimistic that Orthodox production will be sufficient to close the gaps caused by an expected Sri Lankan shortfall of at least twenty to thirty million kilos. Shar Lanka is the world's largest supplier of Orthodox black tea. Salon tea is a mainstay in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, the Russian Federation, and popular in the US, Canada and China. India produces an average of hundred and twenty million kilos of Orthodox tea, a total that will increase in two thousand and twenty two given the rare opportunity to rest away market share in two thousand and nineteen. Sri Lanka earned a hundred and sixty seven million from exports of Orthodox tea to Turkey, a hundred and thirty two million from tea exports to Russia, a hundred and four million selling to Iraq, along with seventy five million from my ran and fifty five million from China. Shaving only ten percent from these totals will bring India fifty million dollars in new sales. A kilo of hand rolled samadori green from Shuizwoka, Japan, brought a record one point nine six million yen at auction this week. The sum, about fifteen thousand five hundred dollars, was nearly double the previous record of one point o eight million yen set in two thousand and twenty one. According to the Kyoto News, the tea was grown in Fujinomea and sold at the inaugural two thousand and twenty two Shizuoka Japanese tea mark at auction, trading volume was strong, at one thousand seven hundred and thirty two kilos that sold for an average five thousand twenty seven yen, about forty dollars per kilo. In us. Japan is experiencing a good spring harvest as cooler weather improved quality. Late April is the peak of the season for hand rolled green teas. Teas from Kagashima were also auctioned at good prices, as well as some Okinawa Tea Arbenda and in the a man in Bengaluru reports on this week's tea auction prices. In yet he price support for the weekending April. Sixteen, Twenty, twenty two exposed to Russia have assumed in five conteenas of teavaship this week. How have I exports continued to a mean? A cause for concern, especially as if declined for two years in it in two thousand and...

...twenty and two thousand and twenty one. In auctions self, fifteen took place across all three centers of Calcatagohati and Seligoty in north India. Sixty five percent of teason offer was sold. Dudgeling hasn't fully entered the auction and only a small volume of first flush was an offer. And of twenty towns of Dudgeling, only fourteen was sold. Mostly all season teas. Exporters have not yet started picking up any first flush dudgeling, but Calcutta sow good demand for Orthodox tea and middlease was active in the south. Couchi auctions were closed for Easter, but couno so good uptake of both Orthodox Leaf and CTC leaf. Major blenders and exporters were active for CTC leaf. Now or word from our sponsor. Hello, I'm Bogdan, a passionate tea drinker and the inventor of the ultimate tea machine, the brewmaker. One preparation is keyed to making fine tea. Sequential steepings delivered the best taste possible and unlocked the true value of whole leaf teas and botanicals. Brew automates that process without using any pots or capsules. The simple to operate small from control device stores steeping profiles to consistently make great tea at the push of a bottom. Brew also reduces time, waste and energy. That's because I engineered the brew to Remember Control Settings for temperature, room time and quantity. Using my patented process, lets you stag steep simply and conveniently. This week to bills travels to London to discuss with founder Jane pedigrew, the remarkable evolution of the UK to Academy into an innovative global tea educational resource during the chaos of covid nineteen. The United Kingdom Tea Academy is recognized as a world authority for online tea education. Staff by professional tutors. The academy offers courses from beginner to advanced. I sit down with a director of studies, Jane Pettigrew, who is a leading author and speaker on tea, along with Surunga prayer, the chief instructor of the Salon Tea Program who counts over twenty years experience in tea and is the former CEO of cylon tea brokers Plc. Can you explain the essential role that is performed by the UKTA in the growth and expansion of speciality tea? I think that what we're doing is actually raising awareness amongst consumers of the possibilities of drinking better tea and also helping food service employees to deliver better tea and to know more about the sort of tea we're hoping they will serve. There's an awful lot of people in the amongst the general public, but so working in restaurants and hotels, and tea lounges, coffee bars, etc. Who really don't ever stop to think about tea as a suitable offering for what they're doing, and so I'm afraid he's always been treated as a bit of a loss leader, a second cousin twice removed. It's never really featured in a lot of people's minds and our aim is to raise people's awareness to the fact that there is so much more than paper tea bags. ESPECIALITY team is growing. More and more tea houses are being established. who were the courses that you offer aimed at and how do you deliver these courses? So the people we aim at our specifically food, food and beverage operators, but of course we are also found online by people who just loved tea. Probably about fifteen years ago, shortly after the new millennium, up to about two thousand and five, things really started to change. China opened up, so people began drinking more China tea.

Again, a lot of completely UNNA, I would say, non tea people came into the tea business and that had never really happened before. There's sort of people working in tea had been in tea for a very long time and I think a lot of new people came into tea from just a completely different direction, either from doing a business degree or because they've traveled and they'd come across Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese teas that they couldn't get here, and some of those people open tea businesses so that they would make their is tea's available. But then of course they had to get those out the general public and as more people learned about teas and as restaurants and hotel lounges etc. Started serving more tease that they all realize that they actually didn't know very much about tea. So we tried to be at least one step ahead and, particularly with food service operators, actually give them an insight into the different categories of tea which they've never heard about, help them to understand them, help them to brew them properly, help them to answer clients questions about Caffeine, about why tear is good for us, about the different flavors mean there. It's just so much to know, which obviously raises the profile of a really good restaurant or tea lounge or even coffee bar. In the past we were classroom based here in London, which meant that people flew in to find us and sit with us in the classroom. But now, because of Covid we had to reinvent ourselves to a completely online business and actually there have been a lot of advantages of actually doing that. We of course, now can reach people absolutely anywhere in the world. We got try to gear our courses two different time zones because if we if we're teaching in Asia, there eight hours ahead and if we're teaching in West Coast America we're eight hours behind, and so we have to try and find times that suit the different markets, which seems to be working really well. And we instead of teaching for a whole day now we actually teach three our chunks or less, and the three hours absolutely flies by. And of course, is quite a lot of our courses include brewing together, discussing flavor and aroma profiles together, learning to talk about tea, make tea sound exciting. There's just so much to this that people get gradually very drawn in and once they start with us they tend to go through the different levels. You sort of mentioned that it's the global course. How does someone sitting let's say, let's say they're in there in Australia and New Zealand. How does someone you know receive those samples? Could you take us a bit through that process as well? Yes, of course we do a sort of foundation level, what we call tea champion, practical and sensory, and we don't have so many teas going out for that. For our tea so Meli a class, which is the second level up, we actually send out something like a hundred and seventies and we're not always drinking all of those. We add things in for little quizzes like dry leaf recognition, blind taste things. We try to do as much as we used to do in the classroom, but of course we have to plan ahead and we have to allow a good month to get teas out to and not just far off places but actually into Europe, which has, since Brexit, been a bit of a problem. So then we send them the recording of a class or an event and they can listen along on their own and brew the teas in their own time. We have a brilliant team now who are constantly packing tea. So the next course and then the students will keep in touch with us to let us know whether or not they've received the teas. So with good planning, with, you know, military precision, we can actually do this. By the sounds of it, although, although covid has had a massive negative impact around the world for your organization, for the U Gatia, it's actually allowed you to reinvent yourself and actually have a much wider scope, hasn't? It's been amazing and Dwan, because when we were teaching in class, particularly with the more advanced class, it was very, very intensive. You know, we went through lots of material in four days, maybe, with a day off in the middle, but we had to do it like that because people were flying in specially and they couldn't keep coming back for the classes. And they did well, but I think it was an awful of material for them...

...to take in and less time for a vision, exception quizzes and games. So now that we're teaching online, we can actually spread the classes out over four weeks, six weeks, at weekends, whatever we want to do, and so there's a longer gap between each module. The students are now brewing the teas themselves, which they never did in the classroom, and that means that they actually build up a much, much more close personal relationship with the teas and they have enough tea to brew more than once. So they're actually getting a lot more. I think that we could never have delivered in the classroom and I've been running quite a lot of exams. I do all these familiar exams individually online, talking for about three hours, and the results that we've been getting since we were teaching a line have been absolutely phenomenal. You know, some people are absolutely word perfect and that's, I think, because they've had more time and they just had time to build up there not just the understanding that their passion for tea, and it's not hard to develop a passion for tea. Everybody gets caught up in the whole thing. It gets very site did the UKTA is in the process of relaunching the Salon Tie deployma section. Can you explain what the new course entails? So, as Jane said, the main objective is to bridge that gap between the consumer and the producer. So we have created a very, very exciting master class for Celon. We have got some very exciting teas and gone into create debt in doing so. It's roughly about ten hours long the whole master class, but we have broken that into four segments. To the first session, per say, will be a one hour long session, during which time we will be tasting one or two ties just to break the ice and get people moving. So we'll be talking about the history the clontis and the current overview, production and so on and so forth, and also about the certifications, lion logo in particular, and then goose own friendly ties, which Youl are, then about the employment that Claonti provides and the auction system. And the second session will be three hours long and we will on this coward the hygroom segment. There are some teas which we are tasting that kind of flavor for the first time. Just to give you a synopsis of Sabia, we are featuring mtakel a golden curls, which is a Japanese clone which is extremely, extremely flavorful, completely different. Nothing like that has been tasted by myself and most others will tasted it and tried it out and during this session well be tasted off you about s and about two teas to be tasted at home. And the third session will be three hours long. Again, it will be on low rooms and we will cover subrogram or Goldenny, I matsudama subdistricts and very specialties. Having been a broke of twenty one or the years, these these factories, work with them very, very closely and personally tasted these teas and pick the best at the time because these these these are changing, changing due to weather, changing due to various reasons. So we need to pick the right teas for the current season. We want to make it make it as as as current as possible and and as French is as possible. So it's a dynamic masterclass. Again, we are tasting about eight teas here. Two will be tasted at home by our audience and the fourth in the last session, will be three hours long. Again about specialty. So some of these teas amazing teas which were not really available in the Celon per se and and we are seeing a lot of factories, I'll getting into manufacture, of this speciality segments,...

...specialties out of which we have picked up the best, that is that that is available. Some of these factories are so so exciting, so authentic, so organic. During these sessions, some of the factories life. The factor, the fact is so that the audience can see production life and get them talking with this factories and owners and managers us to understand more. So, basically, beating the gap to the best of ability is is what we are trying to do with this masterclass. Intrigued by what you've heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of t BIS journalist and T experts? Remember to visit the t Biz website for more comprehensive coverage. That's wwwert Biz bizcom. Thanks for listening. Farewell, till next week.

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