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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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 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This years expo is going to be great! Yes despite the "bad" economy...which I do not buy into at all and am very tired of hearing!

I have been working on the floor plan and visual aspect of our double booth this year which I am designing very minimalist and clean. Cant wait to see it all come together.

We have so much going on, web casts (will be seen on the website), the manufacturers track (a 30 minute showcase of Teas Etc) which already has 155 attendees signed up, the World Tea Championship.

We have planned a lot of special tasting events that will take place in the Teas Etc booth #600 right in the front of the show. We will be handing out our daily "happenings" schedule and will be booking private cupping appointments on a first come first serve basis.

Some of our other "special" events are under wraps to be unveiled closer to the start of the show May 2nd in Las Vegas!

Until next time, Beth

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Grand Cayman Island

Monday, January 26, 2009

We wake to the sun beaming in our sliding glass doors and get up to quickly grab breakfast before heading down to catch the tender. We run into Dawnya, April and Brian and ride to shore with them. We are going horseback riding on the beach but are going a bit early to explore.

We are greeted by pirates and trip vendors looking for customers. The port is well organized but nothing really to write home about. We venture a block or two into the "town" and it is a sea of shopping, mostly jewelry. It's National Hero's Day in Grand Cayman, a big deal based on the number of people gathered and all the pomp and circumstance in the street.

When we hook up with our tour guide Newman and I along with several other folks from the ship are driven to the north side of the island for a secluded ride. The horses are almost ready to go when we arrive so we mount up and head out. We ride onto the beach for a 5 mile trot along the shore.There are only a couple of people on the entire ride just white sandy beaches and the incredibly blue green Caribbean sea. We do encounter some locals para sailing. I say locals because these guys were catching some serious air, 6-8 foot jumps, they do this frequently.

After the beautiful, leisurely ride we head back to port. Troy, our guide, is an island native and shares some interesting facts on the return trip. The Cayman Islands consist of 3 small islands south of the western tip of Cuba. The islands top 3 sources of revenue are banking #1, real estate development #2 and tourism #3. Only 40,000 indigenous people live on the small island, although it is the largest of the 3, with the bulk of the population being foreigners who come seeking employment.

Construction is everywhere and Troy points out that many VIP's either have homes or frequent the island, like Oprah. He also tells us the islands have no taxes of any kind and goes on to explain why establishing a business in this paradise is an economically good idea. "This is a great place for a tea company" he says. This guy is a great ambassador for the Cayman Islands!
We wander around for a little longer. Newman buys me a beautiful bracelet. We pick up some post cards and camera stuff and catch the tender back to the boat for a well needed lunch.

We meet some of the other tea cruisers at dinner and enjoy another scrumptious meal. The food on this ship is really good. Our wait staff is great, thanks Namesh. At dinner April suggests that we go ice skating and then climb the rock wall. I am game so we change and head to the on board ice rink. Yes ice rink!

I have to sign a waiver before receiving skates? Being a Florida native I have been on skates only a few times and that was while living in New York a long...time ago. I figure that it wont be any worse on my body than the horse was so I sign the waiver, strap on the skates and hit the ice.
After ice skating we head up to the rock climbing wall. I must be crazy! You have to understand April is very motivating! Anyway the doors open onto the top deck and we are almost blown away. It's so windy the rock wall is closed...thank goodness.
Newman and I are off to bed excited about tomorrow and the next port of call Ocho Rios Jamaica!
Until next time, Beth

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Ready, Set, Sail on the 2009 Tea Cruise

Saturday, January 24, 2009

We set sail on the 2009 Tea Cruise aboard Royal Caribbeans Navigator of the Seas bound for the western Caribbeans Grand Cayman and Jamaica islands. As this years speaker I look forward to meeting my fellow tea cruisers, the training sessions and traveling to new places. The best part is that I only have to unpack once, one of the best features of cruising.

After a delightful ride to Ft. Lauderdale, thanks Barbara and Skylar Limo service, we were quickly on board for a nice buffet lunch and a walk around the ship.

Much larger than the last ship we sailed on, I am estimating, this vessel must accommodate upward to 3000 guests. Well appointed the ship is clean with tons of amenities the first one I visit, of course, is the spa. I make appointments on the spot while Newman tours the gym, both feature great views.

Our stateroom is great we have a nice sitting area as well as a sleeping nook and best of all a balcony overlooking the ocean! There is a small gift bag on our door from Lady Dawnya of Tea Events who is hosting the cruise. Included an agenda for our 2 "working" days at sea, an invitation to meet the rest of the tea cruisers for dinner and bon voyage bubbles which I promptly blow from our balcony.



We are scheduled to set sail at 5 so after the emergency drill we unpack, relax and enjoy a cup of tea on our balcony. Both Newman and I are ready for this trip and the much needed time away with a nice change of scenery.


We head to dinner and are greeted at the dining room entrance by Lady Dawnya and her husband Brian who escorts us to the table where we meet the other tea cruisers; April from Kansas, Tad & Marcia from Naples, FL, Debby & Michele from Arkansas, Lourie & Kit from North Carolina and Rosetta from San Fransisco.

After enjoying a yummy dinner I am back in the stateroom preparing for the following days training and with the ocean breezes blowing an incredible nights sleep.

Until next time, Beth

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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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Teas Etc Celebrates Nine Years

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I can't believe it, nine years, it seems like yesterday that I began my "tea" journey.

I could have never imagined what was ahead when I started Teas Etc. I did not understand how it would enrich my life, the friendships I would gain and how many life lessons I would experience. And there is so much more in store!

We celebrated yesterday with tea, chocolate cake, many "remember when" stories and lots of laughs. I was glad that Melissa was in town for the celebration. She has done all of our product photography, as well as working in the office for the last four years. We were also pleased to have two new staff members with us yesterday, Suzanne who will be overseeing office operations and Carole our new wholesale sales person.

We have had wonderful employees over the years and I would like to say a big THANK YOU to them all!
Tiffany now in law school in Michigan and still working as a proof reader for Teas.
Emily who is still local and teaching middle school.

Brain, Melissa's brother now married and a new Dad.
Jason, Melissa's husband, responsible for the entire renovation of our offices and when he is not playing, excuse me "working", on his drums (with his band 10th Avenue North) we are still able to get him in to fix things once in awhile.

Didi who has gone from selling tea to selling shoes.
Kathy who so deligently awoke every Sunday for two years and told everyone she could how great Pu'erh is.

April who is still selling tea even though she is now in Montana living her own dreams, happily ever after with Newman's brother Mark.
Mark how could I forget Mark, our very first "reluctant" tea bagger in 1998.

Our son Christopher who began selling tea at 10 years old just because he was so cute and because I really needed help. The ladies loved him and could not beleive how knowledgeable he actually was. I remember the day when Chris was talking with a young lady and I asked if I could help she said "no I'm buying a bunch of stuff and I dont drink tea?"

Our adopted son Nathan who while he still works as site administrator is now telecommunting. We miss our favorite oolong enthusiast.

My mother in law who is always singing my praise and telling me what a success I am, thanks Dolly.

My personal favorite helper, Spring Leaf for all of her creativity, endless energy, staying until the job is done, making sure I stretch, eat, cry and keep going when it matters most. Who's better than you? Oh and Bill thanks for letting her play.

And who could forget all of those dedicated, tea drinking friends and family who have filled in along the way; Betsy, Priscilla, the Black's Dennis, Anita and Chris. Katie, Loraine, Mela, Barbara, Dawn, Riza, Nicole, Shannon, David, Candice and Cynthia.

Most importantly I want to publicly thank my husband Newman who while he thought I was crazy let me open Teas anyway. Who has become my biggest supporter, cheering me on even when I wanted to quit and helping me stay the course even when I became distracted and who has been working by my side at Teas for the last five years. Our company has gained so much from your web expertise and level headed style. I am grateful and owe you more than I could ever repay.

I would never be where I am today without all of the support, love and help of these incredible individuals, thank you.

See the party pictures below. Next year will be a big party and I hope you all are there!

Love and gratitude, Beth

From Left to Right; Melissa, Beth, Suzanne, Carole

From Left to Right; Newman, Beth, Suzanne, Carole

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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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