Online Tea Tastings

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Teas Etc is pleased to be participating in a unique online tea tasting program that kicks off August 11th!

Our congratulations go out to Jason Walker of Walker Tea Review who developed this unique program in an effort to further advance the understanding of tea to enthusiasts everywhere.

Jason's love for tea began while living and working in China. His travels to various regions afforded him the chance to taste alot of tea while learning from a diverse group of experts. Developing his palate and his knowledge he returned to the US with a passion for tea that was destined to be shared. He began Walker Tea Review with written tea reviews eventually moving into video reviews. The videos feature Jason discussing, brewing and tasting a wide range of teas.

The popularity of the reviews prompted Jason to consider how to reach this vast internet audience with an interactive, educational tea tasting experience of their own. His newly developed concept is unique. Participants will order teas in advance, watch his video to see preparation ideas and tasting tips and then have a chance to interact with other participants, sharing notes and ideas on the teas.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jason at this year's World Tea Expo and have gotten to know him over the past several months. His passion for tea is easily recognized. His soft spoken demeanor and obvious tea knowledge create a comfortable atmosphere for novice and hard core enthusiasts to learn more without feeling intimidated.



Jason with Lisa Richardson of Lisa Knows Tea (right)and Lynayn Mielke East-West Tea Emporium (left), at World Tea Championship, May 2009.


We commend Jason for his forward thinking love of tea and wish him tremendous success. Check out Walker Tea Review and the new Tasting Program by clicking here.

Until next time, Beth

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Atlanta AmericasMart July 2009 Show

Friday, July 10, 2009

I was excited to set off for the July show even if I had to arrive several days early to complete the expansion of the showroom. Thank goodness Ward Sener was in Atlanta, I could not have gotten it done without him!

We completed the floor, moved shelves, arranged furniture, mounted images and created storage. I got all the displays set up and office stuff organized. The place looks great and we are ready to go to work.

I want to give Matt a big shout out for making the long round trip drive to get everything up to showroom, THANKS.





















Our World Tea Championship awards are displayed. The vibrant, fun, Get Real, Get Loose line is front and center also showcased with the recently awarded "Best New Packaging" award.









Lori Saitz joined us in the showroom with the perfect companion product Gratitude Cookies. Lori developed these exceptional tea cookies from a recipe handed down from her grandmother and has packaged them with a "gratitude" theme creatively expressed in the packaging and the card inside that is a brief reminder of what we have to be grateful for with a place to make our own gratitude list on the flip side.



Lori has also created a new, healthy, "crunch" snack called Zen Crunch, I ate entirely too much of it while working the 8 days! This yummy snack was was recently featured on the Rachel Ray show, go Lori.











Spent time talking to lot's of tea "newbies". With other tea vendors on the floor and in temps we needed to set Teas Etc apart. As a direct trade tea source who also manufactures our entire accessory line we have the ability to supply large buyers with the capability to do FOB overseas, supply test product samples and do custom packaging and product designs. That sets us apart.

I happily spent a lot of time writing orders and recording product and private packaging requests.













Thanks to all who stopped by the showroom. 90% of all the orders placed at the show are already shipped. We are waiting on several private label logos to come thru and those orders will ship out quickly once the artwork is complete.

We will be back in Atlanta in September for the short show, which yields less traffic but good last minute holiday orders.

Until next time,
Beth

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World Tea Expo Blog Photos

Monday, June 01, 2009

So I started this post as soon as I got home from the 2009 World Tea Expo 3 weeks ago. My schedule definately delayed the release along with my difficulty in lining up the pictures in "blogger." The original post is below. I have tons of pictures so keep scrolling to see the faces and fun at this years expo!

Original Post
We are all still recovering from the unbelievable energy from the World Tea Expo show! It is an amazing experience to be surrounded, literally, by like minded tea enthusiasts and professionals.

Our trip to Vegas began with a day of relaxation and presentation tweaking at "TheHotel" where we bunked this year, instead of Mandalay Bay. We definitely made the right choice for us.

The Teas Etc guys, Matt, Rafael and Newman spent the majority of Thursday putting together our show giveaway bags in the New Business Boot Camp Office, thanks Stacie.

Friday began early kicking off my 2009 expo experience with a day of teaching at New Business Boot Camp. Giving the NBBC's Marketing Segment is a lot of fun for me. This years group were extremely engaged and enthusiastic about their "tea" future. Thanks to all who so energtically participated with lots of questions, ideas and great marketing pieces from the "shameless self promotion"



My Image
































I had the luxury of not having to worry about the show floor execution because of our great team in Las Vegas. That team was headed by Rafael our warehouse manager, who works under the direction of Ward Sener, Head of Operations. Thanks Rafael and all for a job well done!












Our booth looked amazing!

Teas Etc World Tea Expo 2009 BoothTeas Etc World Tea Expo 2009 Booth










The expo is the one opportunity during the year that we have to reconnect and renew with friends, some whom we have not seen in years! It's great to put a face with a name to those individuals we have spoken with but not formally met.






























This year we added a fun new cupping event which took place in our booth twice daily. Each session focused on a specific tea category; black, green, white and oolong and was conducted as professionally as possible. Participants had a chance to sign up to take part prior to the show.

We extended some special invitations for the cuppings and were excited to have Lindsey Goodwin and Jason Walker at a couple. Thanks to all for taking part and giving us your time and evaluations.

Tea Cupping at Teas Etc booth, 2009 World Tea ExpoTea Cupping at Teas Etc booth, 2009 World Tea Expo





Beth Johnston of Teas Etc and Nathan Black at Teas Etc Tea Cupping, 2009 World Tea ExpoBeth Johnston of Teas Etc at Tea Cupping, 2009 World Tea Expo












The highlight of the show was most definately the World Tea Championship! We asked individuals in a variety of different industry genres to sit at the "Teas" table which made for an interesting, fun evening. We had bloggers, media, authors, buyers, 4 different tea companies (Village Tea, Teakoe, The Teahouse, Tea Willikers, East West Tea Emporium) and some other exhibitors (Village Tea, Quality Certification Services). We developed new friendships and renewed others.

When the first award of the evening was announced, Signature Famous Teas - Assam Category, I was completely caught off guard, which was obvious by my response when they announced the winner "Teas Etc" .... OH S_ _ T! I was totally suprised! I did not expect to win that particular category. I know we have great tea. I knew we entered teas that we sell and that we feel confident and proud of. I also knew that we were in competition with companies that have dominated the black tea categories in the past.

We followed up that win with the next, Signature Famous Teas - Ceylon Category and then our Organic Golden Monkey took 2nd place in the Signature Famous Teas - Yunnan Category! We did not have any wins in the General Teas Categories which is where I thought we would have the strongest showing. This competition gives us an opporunity to see what others in the industry are doing. To discover more about what to look for in the cup by learning from the esteemed judges. Most important it gives buyers and consumers a true evaluation of quality tea at its best. I feel strongly that this will elevate our industry "specialty tea" and the teas being sold as such.

It was an amazing night! I am personally honored to have the opportunity to participate on this level with some of the finest companies and teas from around the globe. It is a particularly proud moment for me, once agian being the only female owned company with winner's in the World Tea Championship, Hot Tea Category.

Beth Johnston of Teas Etc accepting First Place, Signature Famous Teas - Assam, 2009 World Tea Championship Beth Johnston of Teas Etc and Kim Jage of World Tea Expo, 2009 World Tea Championship, Assam Catagory Winner






Kim Jage of World Tea Expo at the 2009 World Tea Championships,Matt of Teas Etc and Martin of Village Tea Company at 2009 World Tea Championship









After the energy and excitment of Saturday night it was difficult to get out of bed on Sunday morning for my Organic presentation with Ram from QCS, Quality Certification Services. This intimate presentation was specifically developed for those companies interested in becoming USDA organic certified and was a road map to getting it done simple and effeciently.

Sunday afternoon brought about the Teas Etc vendor presentation which was a success with an interactive disscussion between myself and the audience, just the way I like it. The day wrapped up with a World Tea News video interview by Lindsey Goodwin, thanks Lindsey!

While many folks left on Sunday the show floor was still non stop for us on Monday! The energy in our booth never seemed to diminish and we all stayed busy non stop.




I would like to express special thanks to the following people for there support, friendship, insight and willingness to help; Lisa Richardson, Richard Guzakaus, Maria Seemer, Martin & Village Tea Team, Dan Robertson, Skip and the folks from Cirqua, Ken Rudee, Scott Shivula, Benjamin Harrison, Planet Can It, David Walker, Ram & QCS, Jason Walker, Lindsey Goodwin, Nicki Means and Sungarden just to name a few.

I would also like to express how nice it is to work with the group of professionals at World Tea Expo and World Tea News. A special thanks for all you do to help exhibitors succeed, Kim and George Jage, Stacie Woods, Kim, Vanessa, Nate, Tim, Kari and Heidi.

Until next time, Beth

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World Tea Championship Samples

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I sent the paper entries in to World Tea Expo last week for the Championship. Today the actual tea samples were sent on their way to judging.

Once again we entered 10 teas. After much discussion we decided to enter new tea categories this time and are excited to be there on Saturday, May 2nd in Las Vegas to see the results!

I am really glad that World Tea Expo decided to do an awards reception. I think it will add more anticipation and excitement to the Championship making it fun for everyone.

I intend to send updates right from the reception on twitter so check it out.

Until next time, Beth

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Best New Product Award

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I am totally excited about winning the World Tea Expos "Best New Product" for 2009! Our new tea line, Get Real Get Loose, is a fun, easy, happy take on tea. I like to call it a serious tea with an approachable attitude.

The concept is to make specialty loose leaf tea accessible, affordable and easy to prepare, for everyone.

If you are reading this blog chances are you are already a tea lover. I have been a part of the tea revolution since 1998. I have seen a lot of change in the industry. A huge shift in consumer trends and the products that are offered in the market place.

I sometimes feel that tea has become too serious and can be somewhat intimidating to those not yet comfortable with good tea. I want tea to be for everybody. Get Real Get Loose includes filters on each totally eco-friendly package so preparation of premium loose leaf tea is simple.

Anyway this is not a commercial but rather a celebration of the hard work and efforts by everyone associated with the project; Amy the graphic designer who worked endlessly on helping to create my vision of an upbeat, vibrant package that induces smiles while being truly "green" packaging. Matt who measured, engineered, tested and withstood endless conversations and heated debates on what works best and what consumers want. All of those friends, relatives and clients who were willing to honestly share their ideas and opinions allowing us to develop Get Real Get Loose with end users in mind.

Most important I would like to thank my husband Newman who endures my creative projects more than anyone else. He lives the day to day, when things don't go right, or at least the way I want them to go. The days when someone tells me "no you can't" or something that I have been working on doesn't work out. And thankfully the days like last Friday when we receive the recognition that makes all of the hard work over the past 12 months worth it, The Best New Product Award! Amazing.

If you are going to be at the World Tea Expo, May 2nd - 4th, in Las Vegas stop by booth #600 and get a taste of Get Real Get Loose. Check out the green packaging of pre and post consumer recycled tin and paper. Compostable non-bleached brewing filters and the biodegradable package they come in. We have utilized water based inks, environmentally friendly adhesives and put every effort into making this a truly green product package.

Until next time, Beth

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World Tea Expo Update

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I am teaching at the expo again this year. First up will be the marketing track at the New Business Boot Camp a pre-conference soup to nuts new tea business intensive, beyond the typical tasting and tea identification classes.

Second is the Core Conference - Organic Cost to Compliance class. This in-depth class will cater to a very specific audience interested in becoming NOP certified organic handlers & processors. I will review best practices and system plans accompanied by the Director of Quality Certification Services.

The education aspect of the expo is only one small element of the largest tea event of the year!

More to come.

Until next time, Beth

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Tea Wedding

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nathan has been part of the Teas Etc family for the past 4 years working as our website guru. As a hardcore tea guy it was no surprise that when he and Nicole announced in 2008 that they would be getting married, which we all knew anyway, that they checked the World Tea Expo show dates to be sure there were no conflicts!

I can't take credit for converting Nathan, he was a tea guy long before he joined the ranks of Teas Etc. He has been an integral part of cupping's and tea evaluations since the beginning and is a valuable contributor on many levels. His business card reads "webmaster and oolong enthusiast" probably his favorite category although like everyone else his tea horizons continuously expand.

We are thrilled to be a part of this intimate affair of which tea is a central theme. They will be serving tea to the parents during the ceremony. Have tea wedding favors. Are serving tea extensively at the reception with a full tea station set up and the non alcoholic toast option is Golden Stars sparkling jasmine white tea. Nicole was not a big tea drinker when she met Nathan but all that has changed now.

They couple spent the better part of last Saturday creating and cupping what became their "wedding" tea blend which is a lovely combination of white teas, rose petals, strawberry....We will feature their wedding blend to the general public somehow either just before or just after the wedding I dont have all of the details worked out yet.

If you are going to be at WTE stop by the booth for a cup of tea and congratulate Nathan on his upcoming nuptials as he will once again be a part of the team working the Teas Etc booth.

Look for the wedding post and pictures in late May.

Until next time, Beth

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Tasting Teas for The World Tea Championship

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We started cupping teas this week for the upcoming World Tea Championship. Some of the entries require no thought, golden monkey organic, bai hao silver needle organic a couple of our current favorites. We will end up with about 8 teas for the hot tea category. The championship is changing a bit this year but more about that at a later date.

When it came to selecting iced teas it was a bit more difficult. I don't really drink tea cold, its not my preference, I just like tea hot. So Matt came up with a great idea, cold brewing! We spent 2 days prepping, tasting, blending, re-tasting. A lot of work but the end results were terrific. We have some really cool stuff we are unveiling at WTE in May.

Until next time, Beth

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