World Tea East

Monday, September 28, 2009

World Tea East was held in Boston this week located with Natural Products Expo East. World Tea Expo held tea classes on Wednesday and Thursday to quench the thirst of East Coast tea professionals. Sessions were held on a variety of topics like Nigel Melican’s talk on Tea & Sustainability, Lisa Richardson, of Lisa Knows Tea, presented another delicious Tea & Chocolate Pairing class and Elizabeth Knight infused attendees with her extensive experience with a Tea Purchasing class.

I was pleased to have been included as an educator presenting Holding a Successful Tasting and the session on the Value of Specialty Tea. Both presentations were well attended.

The show opened on Thursday to heavy traffic in the World Tea Pavilion. This section dedicated just to tea was created by World Tea Expo to highlight the importance of tea to the natural products industry.
Teas Etc was surrounded with great neighbors. Village Tea Company, the young hip new line of specialty tea, was bringing lots of energy to the floor with their cool new team and brand. Directly across the aisle was Rishi Tea and East Indies Tea Company was right behind us. We had lots of neighborhood tea gatherings and were definitely in good company.

The pavilion created a real sense of “community.” I had the chance to get to know some tea people that I was acquainted with but had never really had a chance to chat with. We all shared tea, food, supplies and lots of laughs.

I was equally as pleased to meet attendees like GongFu Girl, of tea blogging fame. She shared information on the newly formed Association of Tea Bloggers (ATB) developed to unify communication, information sharing & accuracy. They will foster dialog with the overall tea community and attempt to substantiate factual tea facts and dispel myths by incorporating the expertise and assistance of tea professionals. Look for guidelines at the organizations website.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier for The Boston Park Plaza Hotel where a tea tasting was held on Wednesday. Unfortunately due to my schedule I was unable to attend but heard from those who attended that it was a delightful event with some of Cynthia’s private tea stash.

I also met tea educators Laurie Bell from DC & Verna Hamilton of NYC. A big shout out to Verna for her help with the comparative cupping’s held in our booth.

We cupped blacks, whites and oolongs and were excited to host all those who stopped in by for the tasting. It was fun reviewing the obvious and subtle differences in the teas. We will hold these events again at World Tea Expo, Las Vegas 2010.

World Tea East gave us an opportunity to connect with new and existing customers. We had fun visiting with David & Anne Walker and meeting Nigel. We had lots of laughs with Matt Papera who stopped by the show to say “hi.” We enjoyed our stay at the Omni and our lobster dinner at “No Name.”

Sunday rolled around with rain from the south which interfered with our plans to walk Boston’s Freedom Trail so I was forced to shop for comfortable shoes before packing and heading home.

Until next time, Beth

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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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Recent Blog Interviews

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I want to take this opportunity to say "thank you" to Jamie at Tea on Tap and Jason at Walker Tea Review for their recent interview opportunities!

Check out their respective tea blogs and other tea interviewees. Tea on Tap and Walker Tea Review.

I am preparing to head overseas for a trip to meet with suppliers and seek out some new tea preparation goodies.

I will also be attending a tea fair with growers from several countries we are seeking sources for tea.

Another highlight of my trip is a visit to a traditional Chinese medicine trade show.

Will be blogging about my travels, tea finds and the latest tea wares. What do you think the US tea market needs in accessories?

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,

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Tweens Tea Essay Contest

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Teas Etc is excited to co-sponsor with Laura Schaefer author of The Tea Shop Girls a Tweens Tea Essay Contest!

A link to the press release is here for anyone who wants to share. I have also included most of the details below. We are hoping to have a lot of participation and are really encouraging young people to express their own creativity and have fun while discovering specialty tea as a healthy beverage alternative.

Here is an overview of the contest details;
The contest will be judge in two separate age groups 7-10 and 11-14. Stories will be judged on creativity, writing style, voice and grammar.

Everyone that registers receives complimentary samples of tea from Teas Etc as inspiration for writing their story.

To register for the contest fill out the form by following this link

Essays must be;
400 words and submitted between June 1st-30th, 12 midnight EST.
Submit your essay on The Tea Shop Girls website - - click here

Most important you must have fun and use your imagination. Don't let the tea topic intimidate you. Stories can be fairy tales, science fiction whatever you dream up.

We've Got Prizes
Prizes will include a free copy of the book The Tea Shop Girls signed by the author Laura Schaefer personally to the winner in each age group. Also included will be a Flowering Tea Gift Set complete with a Ceremony Side Handle glass teapot and 8 handcrafted flowering teas that bloom as they brew.

Winners and their essays will also be featured in the World Tea News, a weekly online publication dedicated to providing the latest and greatest happenings in the tea world to subscribers across the globe. People in China may read your essay, how cool!

So express yourself, receive free tea samples and maybe even win some great prizes Register Today click here

Until next time, Beth

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The Tea Wedding

Sunday, May 17, 2009

With the World Tea Expo behind me, at least temporarily, the wedding is at the top of the agenda and the long anticipated day was quickly approaching. We had the resort reservation, the low down on the weekend plans and our bags were packed.

We left Friday and headed across alligator alley from Florida's east coast to the Bonita Springs on the west coast. Never having been in on the alley I really enjoyed the natural landscape.

Nicole picked Chris up from the airport,our son, who flew in for the big event. Sneaking away from finals for a couple of days Nathan and Chris are like brothers and he would not have missed it.

The Hyatt at Coconut Pointe is fabulous and there is a lot to do. Surrounded by the natural habitat the property is beautiful and is "green" certified resort, we like that. We plan a Saturday morning boat ride and I plop into the jacuzzi for a soak. The spa like atmosphere is still very family friendly but large enough to find quiet, serene spots.

Chris found his happy place!

The 6:30 pm wedding and reception was being held outside and the weather was nice. There was a beautiful breeze blowing and the elegantly simple ceremony included vows that the couple had written for each other, readings from Lao Tzo, I Ching and Tao Te Ching.

Another intricate part of the celebration was a tea ceremony preformed by both the bride and groom for each others parents as a symbol of respect and reverance. Then the couple each added tea to one cup, each drinking from the single cup as a sign of the joining of two to become one.

It began with Nathan preparing the special tea the couple had created with meaningful ingredients intended to bring peace, longevity, prosperity, romance, love and life to the marriage.

Qian He Cha, 1000 Cranes Blend

With the parents served the couple then drank from one cup symbolizing their unity.

Adding to the romance and atmosphere, as the couple finished their vows a light rain began to fall, perfect.

The reception was delicious with lots of food, tea, dancing and celebration. The wedding toast was done with champagne and the award winning sparkling white tea by Golden Star.

We adore Nathan & Nicole and wish them many years of health, happiness and laughter together.

Until next time, Beth

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Jamacia and the last day at sea

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Excited about the day ahead we woke up to incredible weather. Docked at the port of Ocho Rios we walked to find our excursion, a 90 ft. yacht that was taking us to Dunn River Falls.


I almost never drink coffee and when I do it is light and sweet, really more about the sweet than the coffee. After reading through the available trips Newman and I decided that this one sounded good because they were serving Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee! On a tea cruise taking excursions for coffee?

Regardless of the 8-10 foot seas we enjoyed our cruise to the falls. The ocean is a beautiful, crystal clear blue/green. The crew is friendly and we have quickly learned the phrase of the day "ya man"!

Despite the number of people the falls are gorgeous. The brisk fresh mountain water rushes down to the ocean shore and you can feel the water temperature change as you approach the falls. We meet our guides, one of whom is filming our trek up the falls. Yes we are hiking up the falls while the water is rushing down.

It takes us about 1 hour to do the entire trip up and we have an absolute blast! At different points along the way I did some rock sliding and Newman and I dive backwards off the rocks. The foliage around us is incredible, the guides are fun and well versed on where we should and should not go and the entire experience is awesome.

After a fun filled day and another delicious dinner we sit on our balcony enjoying the ocean breeze.

Our final day on the ship wraps up the learning portion of the cruise. I teach my last two "tea" sessions which is followed by a graduation ceremony. The class presents me with a singing pirate as a token of their appreciation and everyone reflects on the fun they have had.

The entire experience has been a good time! Great food, good company, fun excursions and lots of relaxation. Even though this was a working trip the time away was a much needed escape.

Until next time, Beth

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Looking Back and Turning Over a New Leaf in 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2008 was a whirlwind and such an incredible year for me personally and professionally! Starting with my trip to China in March/April. Traveling in the mountains, choosing exceptional teas and having the opportunity to cup with masters throughout China is incredible.

What most people didn't know was that I signed a lease for a much larger office, production facility the night before I left the country. And with little done while I was gone I jumped in after being back 3 days and completed "green" renovations. With an aggressive move date of May 1st Cody, Penelope and I, along with others worked overtime to get done, and we did.

The move was exhilarating and really paved the way for the growth that was to take place ahead. Even I could not have imagined such amazing growth and industry recognition.

Right after the move World Tea Expo (WTE)and the New Business Boot Camp (NBBC) was held in Las Vegas. With our energy high the Teas Etc team made its way to Vegas and was excited to have such positive feedback and results. The NBBC was an awesome experience, very emotional and fulfilling. Becoming a new WTE Advisory Board Member gave me an opportunity to get even more insight into our complex and very small industry. Hopefully I can be a part of positive change for the industry that I love.

A personal high for me, for all of 2008, was being the only female owned company to have a winner in the World Tea Championship Hot Tea Category!

Without missing a beat we returned home and the pace didn't seem to slow down. You know how you always think and/or say "I will relax after this" well I have yet to get my "after this".

With a gift show in September and lots to fill the time inbetween. Many hours spent developing our new product line to be launched in the next couple of months. Planning marketing and out reach for the months ahead. Appearing for Macy's Martha Stewart tea event in late summer. And of course the exciting opportunity to be featured on QCV in November and Decemeber both of which far exceeded our expectations.

Our success at the September show spearheaded our decision to lease a permanent showroom at the Atlanta AmericasMart which opened January 2009. That show was unbelivably sucessful!! The Friday marTEAni party. The Sunday Tea Presentation in the main demo kitchen, the one that Tyler and Rocco appeared in just a day before! Lots of fun stuff and the showroom really is lovely, pictures to follow this week.

The success of the January show was 2 fold for me personally. Having that time out of the office and being with potential customers really let me see that it is time for me to get back to my roots, sharing my enthusiasm for our quality products with others. That is what I Love and I work hard so I can do what I love, important to remember.

Atlanta was truly a great start to the year of the ox, the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival which begins this week. Happy New Year of the Ox.

Next is the tea cruise which sails January 24th heading to the western carribean, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. I will be teaching several marketing classes for tea professionals on the cruise as well as sharing my personal tea journeys abroad with stories, photos and teas. I am looking forward to some down time with Newman, my husband who works just as hard as I do in the background at Teas Etc. Believe me I could never accomplish 1/4 of what I do without the help of many friends and coworkers behind the scenes.

Tomorrow I have the chance to spend the day with my girlfriend Barbara at the spa for some much needed R&R.

O.K. so on 1/1/09 I made a resolution to commit to blogging more regularly and here it is the 17th and this is my first post! Progress is a good thing, at least it's not February 17th!

Until next time, Beth

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Teas QVC Debut

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tomorrow, I am scheduled to debut the company’s Self Steeping Brew Mug on QVC, one of the world’s largest multimedia retailers, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. EST.

The presentation of the unique, all-in-one Self Steeping Brew Mug Gift Set, packaged especially for QVC, will take place on the QVC Morning Show, All New Gifts.

The Gift Set has two glass brew mugs with infuser baskets and lids. Each one contains two pre-measured packages of premium organic loose leaf tea, one of which, Lemon Ginger Organic Green Tea, was an award winner at this year’s World Tea Championship.

For me, the most exciting part of this experience is the opportunity to expose a broader audience to the taste and benefits of loose leaf tea.

Tune in and wish me luck!

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Fun Pictures from World Tea Expo

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Having Fun

The Crew

Nathan Brewin It Up

Matt prepares for the Iced Tea Competition

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The World Tea Expo

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The World Tea Expo rocked again this year in Las Vegas!

Group Strategy Opening Day!

I had a great time visiting with attendees over the 3 day tea trade show and was ignited by the energy and enthusiasm on the show floor. The response to our booth and products was clear by the traffic we had. An interesting side note, we got exactly, exactly the same number of scanned contacts as last year so I decided that was a sign from the gambling gods....

It paid off at the tables and with customers. Our show floor sales more then doubled over last year and that trend has continued since returning home. We apprecaite the chance to serve all our clients new and exsisting, thanks!

We got such positive feedback on our booth display, wow.

We were glad to have our son Christopher back on staff at the expo! Set up, photography and helping customers he did it all.

The End of Day 1 and off to a good dinner at Mix a top of the Mandalay Bay.

The World Tea Competition was certainly a highlight for us, with 6 finalists in 4 categories! And we only entered 10 teas! We are proud to have brought home a winner in the Herbal Chamomile Category our Organic Chamomile Lavender.

Another highlight for me was the networking mixer on Saturday evening. The band, the food and the company were terrific. I had a great time laughing and socializing around the room and seeing so many new success stories, Ono tea for instance you go hot Asian chic!

Founders and show operators, George & Kim Jage, and their entire staff are obviously detail and quality driven. Responsive to customer comments and suggestions this show is growing at a time when many trade shows are experiencing a decline in attendance and exhibitors.

It has taken lots of moisturizer, I know Vegas is dry but the Mandalay Bay was ridiculous, lots of sleep and a few days to catch back up. It was worth every bit of the recovery and I am already looking forward to next year!

Check out some of the set up pictures below and look for more World Tea Expo pictures posted later on the blog.

Until next time, Beth

Set Up

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World Tea Expo New Business Boot Camp is a Blast

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The New Business Boot Camp, at the 2008 World Tea Expo, was a great success!

Attendees, primarily from the US and Canada, attended this 2 day, 16 hour, intensive tea business training learning from 8 speakers on various aspects of opening a tea business.

Speakers and topics included;

Jane Pettigrew - Tea 101
Karen Durkin - Creating a Business Plan
Elisabeth Knottingham - Hiring Staff
Charles Cain - Buying and Merchandising
Bruce Richardson - Reality Check
Ronald Eng - Technology
Karen Schnieder- Basic Legal
Me - Marketing

Attendees were enthusiastic and ready to learn. Marketing is such a huge topic and tough to cover in a short 2 hour time frame. I stuck to simple techniques that are inexpensive and easy to implement.

In the last 15 minutes of my presentations we broke into mini groups, each assigned to create a marketing piece on a random product, this was the fun! I had the pleasure of watching these very creative people work together to come up with the most interesting ideas and great marketing content. It was clear that they got it!

Each group selected a "Vanna" to display the product and we had some real stand outs! Some of the product uses were amazing and hysterical; Weight Loss Waistband Clips (paper clips), Orange Marmalade Facials, The Single Mans Mayo, and a mustard presentation that included the tag line "Mayo will need to work hard to Ketchup with Mustard" great stuff!

I was honored to be included in such an elite group of speakers for the first ever NBBC. I was overwhelmed by attendees positive feedback and energy levels that continued throughout the show as they stopped by our booth taking pictures and giving out hugs. This was truly an amazing experience for me both personally and professionally.

Until next time, Beth

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More China Posts

Sunday, May 04, 2008

With the schedule I have been keeping since arriving home this is the first opportunity I have had to publish more of my pictures from my China trip.

Enjoy the post and images and keep an eye out for pictures of the new office as well as pre 2008 World Tea Expo happenings.

Anhui Province
Green Tea Triangle Gardens

Amy on the way up

Life at the top of the mountain

Until next time, Beth

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