World Tea Competition at the World Tea Expo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We have 6 finalists in the World Tea Competition at the World Tea Expo!

We entered 10 tea & herbal house blends into the first ever World Tea Competition in the end of March. With the late harvests in China I really stepped out of my comfort zone, my first submission choices would have been the more purist, specialty teas like Dragon Well, Bai Hao Yinzhen, Qi Lan etc which I am completely confident that we are offering superior quality and some of the finest in the US.

I always say "for every problem there is a solution" so I sat down with the Teas Etc team prior to flying out to China to discuss what would be good alternatives.

The following blends we selected ended up in the finals in the categories indicated;
Black Blended & Flavored Category
Citrus Berry
Organic Mint Fusion


Green Blended & Flavored Category
Organic Lemon Ginger, this tea blend (no flavor)has been one of our most popular for a few years both commercially and for retail customers.

Herbal - Chamomile
Organic Cold Comfort Herbal
Organic Chamomile Lavender Herbal


Oolong Blended & Flavored
Ginseng Oolong

As you can see our organic selections did well. The only submission that is not a house blend is the Ginseng oolong and all but the Citrus Berry are blended with no flavoring, something that we as a company, and I personally, am more fond of.

The 4 entries that did not make the finals received honorable mention as well as high ratings, in the categories indicated;
White Blended & Flavored both of these were awarded a rating of 80 or higher!
Organic White Rose
Strawberry White


Earl Grey
Rosy Earl Grey we took a real chance with this entry and were fully aware of that prior to the competition. This house blend includes jasmine green tea which is a real twist on a black earl grey!

Rooibos Blended & Flavored
Mango Nut

The most interesting part of this process for me is that unfamilar feeling of stepping out of my comfort zone, something I don't do to often. When forced to do so, with the late harvests in China and not wanting to enter 2007 teas, it opened a whole new arena for Teas Etc with our delicious house blends that don't always get the same "air" time from me. Just goes to show you I really don't know everything.

The World Tea Competition (WTC) and World Tea Ratings (WTR) are going to change the face of the US Tea Industry. It is a good thing, in my opinion, for the industry and especially for consumers. WTR is a buyers guide, similar to the wine rating guide, listing all finalists, 5 in each of the 25 categories. All WTE attendees, the show is in Las Vegas May 30th, 31st and June 1st, will receive a copy of the WTR Buyers guide.

Another thing I found curious, of all of the tea companies in the US only 30 entered teas into WTC. You would think that this is the perfect venue to showcase and promote what they do well? Maing me wonder why?

Any time innovative change is occurring it tends to make people uncomfortable, good, bad or indifferent. There is no doubt that educating consumers on quality and guiding them to terrific teas and companies that consistently provide buyers with fine choices can only be a positive thing.

Hats off to Kim Jage and the Wordl Tea Expo staff for working so hard to make this critical competition happen!! The World Tea Competition is here to stay! YEAH!!!!!

In addition we have 2 entries in the Iced Tea Shake Off which is being held at the World Tea Expo. We have a black tea and rooibos entry and some interesting preparation techniques that should be delicious and fun!

Look for my post on the Shanghai Tea Expo. With pictures!

Until next time, Beth

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Where did the time go?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I can't believe it's October! Where does the time go? It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were celebrating "Teas" 10th anniversary.

Much has happened since August. We have hired 2 new great staff members, Suzanne Bailey and Matthew Papera. Both bring with them lots of experience and more importantly great energy!

In September we received our USDA organic certification through QCS, as much a personal goal as a professional one. Along with the certification we have launched a new line of 100% organic teas and a new "organic" section on the website.

We have sourced some fun new products and some exceptional teas! Our new line of vibrant citrus teas will become available next week. The grapefruit is fabulous.

Interestingly enough when I was at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Health in Washington, DC last month one study indicated that the combination of citrus and tea may increase the antioxidant absorption in the body. I will write more about that in Novembers newsletter.

Many cool things are happening and this a great forum to share them with you. Until next time, Beth

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