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,

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Tea Reserach Institute and Tea Gardens

Friday, March 28, 2008

After a delicious lunch we make the trip up into the mountains for a rare opportunity to visit the Tea Research Institute Fujian Academy of Agriculture Sciences! Not open to the public Mr.Li's partner knows someone at the institute so we get an inside look.

The mountains are lovely. When we enter the gates a large stone statue of Lu Yu is appropriately located in the courtyard of the institute. Lu Yu is the father of tea and my personal hero.

As we get close to the entrance I encounter a familiar smell, the sweet, intoxicating aroma of freshly heated tea leaves. There is no other aroma quite like it and I pause for a moment to capture and inhale this delightful perfume. There is no way to describe this scent or to reproduce it that I know of, I wish I could share it with you because it is amazing!

We enter the institute and find a man and woman making tea and watch as they prepare the freshly harvested leaves. After observing for a while and checking out the place we head to the mountains for a closer look at the tea plants.

This is my favorite part and definitely the reason I love to visit China. We head up the mountains and before long the steep climb has warmed us up. In every direction there is nothing but tea, each hill, mountain and valley all tea! A beautiful stream runs along side the mountains below and I take it all in, beautiful.

I wish the pictures could capture the beauty of a tea garden at least I hope that you enjoy the pictures 1/2 as much as I enjoyed the day.

Until next time, Beth

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Making Flowering Teas in Fujian

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mr. Li picks us up first thing in the morning and we are off to the factory where we are able to meet the rest of the staff, see their current facility expansion and see how these exceptional works of art are produced.

The process for making these teas is done completely by hand. The leaves are selected and individually gathered together, cut and tied. Once this preparation is complete the individual flowers are hand sewen into the leaves. If no additional flowers are going to be added the teas are then set on drying trays and placed on a rack inside a drying machine.

The atmosphere at the factory is very friendly and down to earth. The artist making the teas are quick to share a "hello" and a smile with me. Each place you visit in China has its own energy and this one is good. You can sense that this is an easy going, comfortable place to work.

We go to another area of the factory where a different variety of flowering teas are being produced and Amy and I each make a flowering tea, sewing on the flower blossom to the already formed tea leaves. As most things the workers make a hard task look easy and Amy and I decide we better keep our day jobs.

Mr. Li is also quite nice and very down to earth. We have the opportunity to cup some incredible teas before heading out to lunch and the tea institute. The new flowering tea I have selected is really cool, it is actually blossoms from the tea plant! Camellia Beauty, the name, will arrive out our warehouse in mid May. I am also very fond of the spring Bai Hao Yinzhen, one more tea to consider as I select the best teas for sale back in the US.

Bai Hao Yinzhen
New flowering tea, Camellia Beauty, arriving in May

Watching these beautiful teas being made

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Arriving in Fujian Province

We arrive in Fuzhou and are met by our driver, sent by Mr Li whose company sells us the beautiful flowering teas. The flight to Fuzhou was uneventful and I am looking forward to the 2 hour drive to Fuan. Driving like this is always a great opportunity to see the countryside.

When we finally arrive at our hotel Mr. Li is there to greet us with a room key in hand. The three of us go to dinner and discuss the following days agenda; a visit to the processing factory, the tea institute and the gardens.

Off to sleep to prepare for a great day tomorrow!

Until tomorrow, Beth

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Getting Ready for China

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I am getting ready to leave for China and while this was an unexpected trip I kind of like the last minute nature of it, not a lot of time to think! It also helps me really get organized, necessitating numerous decisions bringing projects to fruition.

Once again I will be traveling around to many different locations, going further north than ever before,to Qingdao, and visiting new towns and tea gardens in Fujian province as well as visiting some old favorites like Mr. Fong in Tunxi, Anhui province and Huangshan Mountain. The spring harvests are late this year due to the extreme winter in China this year. I also hope to travel to one of my favorite cities Nanjing, to see the plum blossoms in full bloom.

Many of the new teas we have been formulating over the past 3-4 months are arriving in the US today and we hope to have them to share with everyone by the end of next week. We are working on many new blends with the newly formulated Organic Relaxing Blend and Organic Cold Comfort already released for sale.

Lots of other cool things are happening with Teas getting a lot of media attention recently, especially with the launch of the CarbonFund green feature on the website.

Oh and check out the new flowering tea video on youtube! It's the Golden Prosperity set to music, so turn on your speakers. My son Chris shot and produced the video so it is particularly good from my point of view. Hope you enjoy it and until next time, Beth

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World Tea Expo Photos

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Teas Etc booth

World Tea Expo, Atlanta June 2007

The show floor, Teas Etc booth is on the right in the 700 aisle. Great lighting Barb!

Mr. Liao joined us from Taiwan, white shirt center back.
Ankit was in town from India and stopped by for a visit. We met many people and talked tea non stop!

Our custom designed table drew a lot of attention. A honeycomb within the table top held some of our favorite teas.

The other, tall, half of our table that was made completely of sustainable maple. Peter Waldock is the talented woodworker who brought this one of a kind design to life. Completely hand crafted the design was a collaberation between myself, Barbara aka Spring Leaf and Peter.

Flowering Teas are Hot!


Until next time, Beth

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