Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 1 year ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - May 14, 2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

HEAR THE HEADLINES – Kenya is Becoming Unbearably Hot for Tea | Brexit Disrupts UK Tea Trade | Colombo Tea Auction Transformed

| GUEST – Adventurer and author Jeff Fuchs, founder of Jalam Tea

| NEWSMAKER – Steve Schwartz, founder of the Art of Tea in Los Angeles and graduate of Ayurvedic Institute of New Mexico

| FEATURES – Tea Biz travels to Los Angeles this week where Art of Tea founder Steve Schwartz, a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, describes tea as a powerful conduit for health and wellness.

...and then to Hawaii to interview tea adventurer and Jalam Tea Founder Jeff Fuchs who is sheltering there during the pandemic. Jeff shares with Jessica Natale Woollard his thoughts on the tranquility of tea.

A Conduit for Health and Wellness

Tea is a powerful conduit for health and wellness, says Steve Schwartz, founder of Art of Tea in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. In this segment, he discusses the challenging role for tea retailers amid the pandemic. Retailers are wise to offer counsel on the comfort and health benefits of tea, educating themselves in both the traditional and science-based properties and then sharing that knowledge with customers.

The Tranquility of Tea

Author, adventurer, and tea lover, Jeff Fuchs has walked the Ancient Tea Horse Road, been featured in television documentaries, and traveled extensively in the tea lands sourcing tea for his company while sharing the story of tea. His affinity for high-altitude treks equals his affinity for tea. He tells Jessica Natale Woollard, “I've had some of my best tea times in the mountains without necessarily having had the best teas.”

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 Bolt. It is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Think of us as a digital caravan of storytellers, bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lambs. Welcome here. This week's had lunch can he is becoming unbearably hot for tea. Brexit disrupts the UK tea trade and the Columbo tea auction is transformed. More in a minute, but first this important message. Avani empowers rural women practicing sustainable agriculture, including tea, and crafts such as weaving with natural fiber and plant based dyes. Up in the towering Hillalayands, humane is one of India's oldest tea regions. Today, we raise our cups in the name of Avani Kumone, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farming communities. Cheers to a brighter future for all. To donate, visit Avani Dash Qum on dot org. The red volcanic soils of Kenya's Rift Valley, long sunny days and tropical rainfall are perfect for growing tea. At two thousand meters, the temperatures between sixteen and Twenty Nine Sea, generating new leaves at a fast pace and making Kenya one of the most productive tea growing regions on earth. All that is changing, according to Christian Aid, the charity that this week published a troubling research report into the future of tea in growing regions essential to Kenya's status as the world's largest tea exporter. The report predicts that, quote, climate change is going to slash optimal conditions for tea production by twenty six point two percent by two thousand and fifty. Tea Grown in less favorable regions will experience thirty nine percent declines. Lower Quality Leaf and less appealing taste will affect all growers. Kenyan farmers are some of the most productive in the world, harvesting and average fifteen hundred to thirty three hundred kilos of made tea perfector per year. Smallholders Harvest and average twenty three hundred kilos perfector. Torrential rain and extreme temperatures are the two biggest concerns. The combination encourages plagues of locusts and devastating floods. Temperatures will rise two point...

...five Centigrade to an average twenty three point five centigrade, with spells hot enough to kill mature tea plants. Bus insign researchers concluded that it will be very difficult for tea growers to move to newer, high altitude and previously uncultivated regions. Tea is an example of how we are all connected. Rights one farmer, quote. We grow it here in Kenya and it's enjoyed by people around the world. But if we are to carry on growing in we need those other richer countries to cut their emissions and to think about how we are affected as tea farmers and quote. Brexit disrupted the UK tea trade in significant ways. It is too early to assess the financial impact, but long term change is apparent. Along with howls from tea lovers on the continent, EU grossers specializing in British foods ay their shelves are bear following the January thirty one start of the EU UK trade and Cooperation Agreement, ratified a light in May. The immediate shortages are the result of customs delays due to additional paperwork and transport bottle lex caused by Covid the five hundred thousand British expatriots living in EU countries that can played the loudest or some of the best customers for tea brands including Yorkshire Gold pg tips, Deatley, twinings and typhoon. The brexit vote and drawn out resolution of disputes unsettled traditional trade in tea. Cany of the UK's top tea trading partner and sixty twozero metric tons began selling tea direct to Europe bypassing British tea packers for those in Germany and Poland. Breaks had also realigned UK's previous focus on non EU markets. T exports to non EU countries increased eight point eight million kilos in two thousand and nineteen and continue to rise. UK Tea Exports Total are in decline over all, but two thousand and twenty one marks the third consecutive year that the UK recorded growth and overseas shipments to non EU countries. Business inside sales of goods explorted to the EU decline steeply in January as brexit rules were enforced. In February, e goods exported to the EU increased four point five percent, and in March they grew at a solid eight point six percent rate. Meanwhile, imports from non EU member countries...

...exceeded EU imports in the UK for the first quarter since one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven. While it is too soon to assess the full market impact, UK residents remains skeptical of Brexit. The most recent Ugo of pole showed that fifty one percent of respondence think it was the wrong decision and thirty eight percent a right one, the largest gap since two thousand and sixteen, according to the Wall Street Journal. Learn more on the Te Biz blog. Last year, Sri Lanka confronted its past and raced beyond, scrapping a hundred and twenty seven year old tradition and transforming the Columbo tea auction into a digital workplace. The pandemic not only close the auction floor, but prevented the hundreds of face to face interactions involved in storing, sampling, shipping and presenting tea to buyers, who rightly insist on sipping before bidding thousands of rupees for a lot. Shutting down the auction jeopardize the livelihoods of many more than the traders who attend. A Task Force led by Neil Cook, CEO of Asia Siaka commodities, worked with secret holdings, a local information technology venture, and coordinated with the Sri Lanka teaboard to develop a training program while simultaneously customizing the auction software. Within days, the digital platform earn the endorsement of auctioneers, brokers, technicians and government officials. Simulations enabled three hundred key users to master the system, which went live in early April. Two Thousand and twenty a year later, tea prices are stable, exports revived trading as lively, with many improvements and transactions, thanks to a quick decision that took twenty years to contemplate. Our venda Han and there Aman and Bengaluru reports on this week's tea auction prices. Tea Price Report for the week in the eighth may twenty twenty one. This was the week of stale eighteen. Even as a weather is finally relented, the bandmaker still raging. Worryingly, Tea Gardens in the SEM have reported covid cases among tea bookers. Zaloni t estate was the first to report, and outbreak for gardens. Zaloni, my John, the nil pool section of the TAPCA estate and Bossaporti have been field as containment zones. As of the weekend, work was suspended in both Saloni and neal. Poor Indian media reported five hundred positive cases across ninety gardens, as Sam has eight hundred tea gardens...

...and community spread as at pressing concern. The SAMTI Track Students Association issued a press release calling for COVID GAEST centers with oxygen support to be made available in each garden, vaccinations for workers and families and the distribution of in ninety five masks. Meanwhile, lockdown has been enforced in the Meliar the's this week, but tea gardens will remain operational. In dog you link, the first flush is ended on a better note, as rains of riot and there is optimism about the second flush. And now a word from our sponsor. Q trade. Tea's works with tea purveyors at every scale, from promising startups to the world's largest multi national beverage brands in the hot, iced and bottle 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 tea bears travels to Los Angeles this week where art of tea founder Steve Schwartz, graduate of the Arovetic Institute to New Mexico, describes tea as a powerful conduit for health and wellness. And then we're off to Hawahili to interview tea adventurer and Jolymn tea founder Jeff Fuchs, who was sheltering there during the pandemic. Jeff shares with Jessica Natalie Willard his thoughts on the tranquility of tea. Tea is a powerful conduit for health and wellness, as Steve Schwartz, founder of art of Tea in Los Angeles and a graduate of the Arabtic Institute in New Mexico. In this segment he discusses the challenging role for tea retailers amid the pandemic. Retailers are wise to offer counsel on the comfort and health benefits of tea, educating themselves in both the traditional and science based properties. The delicate task of dispelling this information while educating customers brought to mind this scene in Star Wars when Yoda instructs a young Luke Skywalker on his quest, providing guidance for a future without specifics, instilling insights in place of an instruction manual. Yodas not to hear of the story. It's Luke. Luke is stumbling along the way, trying to figure things out. So if we are the Yoda and the customers the hero of the story and we're trying to help give them the best tool as possible to have that successful journey of how tea can really impact their lives, I think one...

...of the things that I would want to know is how did te impact you? Right, if I go to restaurant, I want to order a glass of wine or subdistions with waiter tells me this one is an absolutely incredible and I drank it and here's where it took me and here's why it's important to me. I want to go there. Wherever they took me, I want to go there. One of the things that we found is people were wanting to learn more about tea. As soon as covid hit, we created a how to become a t expert series and it's on our website. And it's twenty five videos on how to taste the understand tea at a deeper level, understanding grades varieties of teas, and right now we're working on content for level two. I think that's almost a responsibility of a tea shop owner right if you know that, if someone's coming in with that typical tea bag, supermarket tea bag experience, what tea can do for you on a much deeper level, that that blissful state, that tea mind, that elevated consciousness. That, I think, is the ultimate responsibility of a t shop owner when they know that you can reach those levels and to be able to pass it on. If we can go into some of the biological the biofeedback effects with tea and help unlock that journey for them, that's a beautiful process. Our mission is to create a delicious experience and we want to impact as many lives as we can through tea and we believe that tea is a powerful conduit for health and wellness and also just for internal connection and connection with loved ones. As a tea shop owner, I would encourage you to really bring in your story and help that loop skywalker along their journey to really discover those moments of tea that can really impact their lives. Long before you found it art of Tea in two thousand and four you traveled widely to see firsthand how herbs are grown and processed. You then spent years experimenting blending botanicals in your living room. Today, as a master blender, you are known for utilizing a diverse range of inclusions. Your latest blend is Chilga Chi mushroom tea, a blend with black loose leaf, a PSALMB base and spice is featured in your wellness collection. You mentioned blending Gojie and Child of seven years ago and and then abandoning the experiment after concluding that no one was going to drink mushroom tea. So I'm not a huge mushroom expert. I your Veta tends to see mushrooms as being Tomossic, meaning it's sort of a low energy. But if you look at it from the root level, there are certain parts of the mushroom when in when combined with other spices and other botanicals, they can actually unlock deep immune boosting properties, Chaga being one of them. We created a beautiful Chaga Chai Cardamon being a good lung opener, cinnamon being a good blood cleanser and and Chaga being a wonderful thyroid stimulating a moon boosting botanical consumers tell market researchers the tea was immensely helpful during the lockdowns, columning and comforting amid the scross...

...of home, schooling and work. Packaged tea sales in the US were more than twelve percent during two thousand and twenty, and online sales reached new hajj. There were also big games and sales of botanicles. There's a story where the master said I want you to go within a one mile radius and I want you to find a single botanical that doesn't have medicinal properties. Student, very confident, says okay, I'm for the task, goes, comes back twenty four hours later, sobbing. It's master. I fail, that I couldn't find a single botanacle. It doesn't have adicinal properties, and the master said know, in fact, you've passed. Every botanical has medicinal properties behind it. When it comes to blending, when it comes to sourcing one knowing where the botanicles come from, knowing where the tea's the fruits, the roots come from, how are they're grown, how are they started? Really want understand the soil conditions, even just the environmental impact of the community, the people around it, and how that was also helping to create better, better quality products. The End, if it's not something I want to give to my children into my community, then it's not something that we want to be able to showcase in this world. Peak consumption has declined in food service, making business more difficult for importers and wholesalers. Like the art of Pa, we saw other hotels and other hospitality venues being successful and so we ask them for permission, can we share best practice to some other property? So we ended up becoming a conduit for improvement in the conduct for best practice. So it changed that process too, much more of a consultative, much more handholding, much where we're all in this together process, and I think the hotels and the restaurants and cafes of work with really benefited from that. And I'm not a doctor, not here to make any sort of direct medical claims, but one of my observations is that if we believe that the universe has produced us for short window in time to be able to live out our fullest potential as part of a longer story. Right then we have our full responsibility to be able to show up fully and intentionally with the best life, the best care and and the best responsibility that we can for our family, ourselves, for a community, for our world. And so it really does start with a daily, simple ritual, just leaves and water, and what that can do in terms of the health effects. And you can compound that powerful effect day by day. It's it's incredible all thor adventurer and tea lover, Jeff Fuchs is walk the ancient tea horse road and featured in television documentaries and traveled extensively in the tea lands sourcing tea for his company while sharing the story of...

...tea. Is Affinity for high altitude trucks equals his affinity for tea. He tells Jessica Natalie Willard. Well, I've had some of my best tea times in the mountains without necessarily having had the best teas. So I read in an interview that you gave that you are drawn to the mountains because they silence the mind. Now people often say the same thing about tea. What other commonalities do you see between tea and the geography in which it grows. There is something silencing about the mountains and tea. There's a process in which I go through to be within the mountains as a preparation of sorts of the mind, of the body. I think there's a bit of reverence. So all of these things are stimulated. The physical body needs to be prepped as well for the mountains. The process for me of tea every morning, every afternoon, it is a process which quietens everything down a bit and it also stimulates. So I think on a very visceral level there is that connection to tea and mountains. I also feel that there's there's something very much of the natural reverence we've had and hopefully still have for the for the world in general. The leaf is a gift, it's a stimulant fuel. Beyond all that, all other things, I've had some of my best tea times in the mountains, without necessarily having had the best tea's. The Best Informal Reflections, the best exhausted joyous moments have been with tea in the mountains for me. So you mentioned that you've had wonderful tea experiences. Whether or not that tea is in the best you've ever had. Tell us about that. So the experience of tea and drinking tea isn't just related to the taste. No, certainly there's a visceral a moment when some of those little bitter catechin elements hit the PALLETTS. There's a there's a familiarity and, of course, a sort of a satiated comfort. But I'm drawn more and more, I think, to the the this whole relationship, this whole informal aspect of tea taking and the relationship to time it's taking, who's serving the tea. And arguably, in my I and my own experiences at least, some of the best tea times have been with substandard teas production wise, but they've been moments of sort of sublime joy in an environment that was restorative. And one of the great, I think, understated and underrated elements of tea taking is the efforts that the servers are, the providers of those those cups of tea provide you, their...

...lynch pins in this whole offering of tea. So in many cultures around the world tea is many things. It is currency, commodity, nutrient, medicine ceremony artifact. Here in North America it's predominantly a beverage. So do you think understanding the story of tea plays a role in appreciating it and do you think we in North America need to develop our own narrative in our own time? A lot of traditions are not necessarily important at all for the present in the future of tea, but I do think that they provide a context and what comes before usually provided, provides and provided a huge insight into what we're dealing with now. I'm delighted to see tea ceremony in North American and Europe sort of exploding into a whole new generation. But I also get very excited when I see t used in being used in bars to mix with Gen's. I think it's really exciting to explore, you know, te the old panacea, the old medicine, being thrown into these new scenarios and experimented with. Intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of t BIZ, journalists and t experts? Contact them directly 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 t experts, academics and t Biz journalists reporting from the tea lends. You see their responses via SMS text which are sent to wreck to your phone. visit our website. Subscribe to subtext to instantly connect with the most connected people and tea. Remember to visit the TV is website for more comprehensive coverage. That's wwwt Biz bizcom. Thanks for listening. Farewell. Till next week.

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