More Tea - Day 2

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 2 at the fair went according to plan. We tasted tea the entire day. We met with current suppliers and a couple of interesting new potential suppliers. I have come across some good teas, purchased some gifts to take home and had fun trying new varieties like purple puerh.

I had my first encounter with Guizhou teas, a Chinese province that is situated to the east of Yunnan, bordering Hunan to the east and Chongqing to the north. Not well known Guizhou produces high grown green teas and according to my sources these teas are not commonly exported. Multiple environmental conditions attribute to the teas quality and characteristics primarily the high mountain, moist growing conditions. Look for limited quantities of Guizhou teas in the future at Teas Etc.

By 3pm we are refusing anymore tea and decide to call it a day and get in some sight seeing. We forgo the scheduled tour and head out on our own. After some shopping in HK we jump in a taxi and go to Kowloon, directly across from HK and physically part of mainland China yet considered a territory, to view the "Symphony of Lights". The best view is from Kowloon looking back across Victoria Harbor to HK island. The HK skyline is impressive during the day and even more so at night. The light show is nice but its the skyline that makes this trip worthwhile. After the show we jump on the Star Ferry to cross the harbor back to the hotel.

Tomorrow is another busy day so we call it a night.
Pictures to follow in a seperate update.

Until next time, Beth

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Chinese Teas at Trader Joe's ?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I am wondering if anyone else remembers Trader Joe's announcing that they were no longer going to carry Chinese teas? It may have been a global "product" statement but I am not sure so I am not quoting here. I know it was around the same time that the spot light was on Chinese product "contamination". I remember thinking it was a bold statement, and in my opinion short sighted and ill informed, particularly when it comes to tea.

Having never been in a Trader Joe's I was unfamilar with the store other than the raves I had heard from family memebers. So when I was visiting Maryland a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance to visit the Annapolis location.

Of course my first stop was the tea aisle, that's always my first stop. As I am perusing the selection's I notice a "jasmine pearl" green tea which strikes me as odd, right? I know that jasmine green tea is produced in China.

The image on the package looks like a typical Chinese pearl tea but states that it is a product of Canada? Yes Canada.

O.K. so we all know that tea is not grown/produced in Canada. Packaged in Canada certainly but a "product of" that is somewhat mis-leading.

So what's up Trader Joe's? Are you aware that you are in fact, even if circumvented, selling Chinese tea? Or was the swearing off of "chinese" form over substance?

More importantly, what is required for packaged products that are imported into the US? How does that serve US consumers? Especially those who want to know where the product, inside the tea bag that is inside the box, comes from? Is the origin listed on the package a "choice"? And if so should it be?

Feedback and thoughts are welcome.

Until next time, Beth