Friday, December 31, 2010

Tea Review 113: Rishi Hong Yue

Hong Yue
Rishi Tea

A while back I decided that due to limited time and resources I would confine my tea reviewing to those teas that are truly worth mentioning. Because this is a one-man show and there are so many other more comprehensive review sites out there it seems silly to review everything that comes down the pike.

Rishi's Hong Yue is definitely worth of mention and not just for the novelty factor. But let's talk about that for a moment. Taiwan is best known for it's fine oolong teas and so when a Taiwanese black tea comes along it's worth taking notice. Fortunately Hong Yue does not disappoint.

I can't quite put my finger on what to compare Hong Yue to. I suppose it's closest to a Keemun, but that doesn't quite cut it, as it's quite a bit more flavorful than any Keemuns I've tried. Rishi describes it as having "a distinctive aroma of Clove, Wintergreen, Camphor, Red Date, Raisin and Cinnamon" and I suppose I can concur with that description. Definitely a very aromatic black tea with strong notes of spice and virtually no astringency or bitterness.

In any event, it's one that's worth checking out but be sure to hurry along. Apparently quantities are limited. For more on this tea, from Rishi's blog, take a look at this article. For some thoughts from another reviewer, look here.

Samples and image by Rishi Tea
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Thursday, December 23, 2010


TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea Launches My TEEKANNE Moment Contest
(from a press release)

It’s that time of year again – tea season! And to kick this tea season off right, TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea is proud to announce the start of its My TEEKANNE Moment contest. This year’s contest is all about the moment – your moment and how TEEKANNE teas take you there.

The My TEEKANNE Moment contest is about the celebration of the personal moments and roles that TEEKANNE Herbal Wellness Tea plays in your day.

TEEKANNE wants to hear about your unique and special moment. Interested? Entry is easy. Simply put it in writing, 200 words or less, accompanied by a photo that shows what that moment is like. That’s it. Just be sure to have your entry submitted by March 31, 2011. An online entry form can be found at, along with a full description of the contest details and guidelines.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Tea Business Spotlight 3 - Indie Tea

Welcome to the third of our Tea Business Spotlights, in which we allow tea people to share insights on running their business. If you're a tea business owner and you'd like to take part in an upcoming spotlight, please contact us.

Indie Tea
Las Vegas, Nevada

How long have you been in business?
Indie Tea has been in business since May, 2009, but in the works since 2007.

What is the size/scope of your business?
Currently, Indie Tea is a small, boutique tea company that is family owned and operated by myself, my husband, Mike Johnson and our daughter, Rachael Wilson. Of course we have aspirations for growth; but always want to maintain that family atmosphere no matter the size. We our focusing on selling wholesale to retail partners, but do maintain an online retail outlet. In June of 2011, Indie Tea will be an exhibitor at the World Tea Expo (booth #731), and through our presence there hope to expand our brand to other parts of the country and beyond.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sanctuary T Launches BYOT

Sanctuary T Launches Product Line That Changes the Face of Tea
(from a press release)

Dawn Cameron, tea master and owner of Sanctuary T, brings a delightful touch of style and utility to tea drinkers everywhere with the launch of Sanctuary T’s new BYOT on-the-go tea pouches.

BYOT allows the user to carry Sanctuary T’s top quality, whole leaf loose tea in a convenient and easy-to-use pouch reminiscent of turn-of-the-century tobacco pouches, sized perfectly for a pocket or purse. However, rather than reading the off-putting “Warning” label synonymous with tobacco brands today, BYOT’s bright, stylish packaging reminds the user that tea is delicious and incredibly healthful.

The BYOT pouch includes one ounce of top quality whole leaf loose leaf tea (approximately 10 servings) and ten disposable unbleached paper teabags in a durable plastic pouch, along with simple instructions for brewing loose leaf tea on-the-go.

BYOT comes in 10 varieties ranging from signature Sanctuary T blends such as Toasted Almond and Soho Chai, to direct-from-garden teas including Tiekwanyen Oolong and Genmaicha Matcha, several of which are Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified. BYOT retails for $6.99. It is available online and at Sanctuary T’s flagship location in the Soho neighborhood of New York City.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tea Business Spotlight 2 - Seven Cups

Seven Cups
Tucson, Arizona

Welcome to the second of our Tea Business Spotlights, in which we allow tea people to share insights on running their business. If you're a tea business owner and you'd like to take part in an upcoming spotlight, please contact us.

How long have you been in business?
Since 2002, but we spent almost as many years prior to that doing research, and establishing relationships in China before we felt we could start selling tea in the US.

What is the size/scope of your business?
We are a small business but we accomplish things that are usually more typical of much larger businesses. We do 100% of our sourcing directly from producers that we visit every year, currently 26, in the mainland and one in Taiwan, and we export it from China. We completely control our supply chain because we have our own Chinese export license, which we received in 2008. We are the only international tea company with our own license. It helps us to ensure that our quality is consistent. It also allows us to guarantee the tea's authenticity and that organic certifications are accurate.

We have a website that is oriented around education in tea and Chinese tea culture. We have kept an active blog since 2003. We do a lot of research in China in relationship to tea and tea culture. We are members of the Chinese International Tea Culture Research Institute, and have been published in their journal. We have customers in thirty six countries through our site.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rishi Tea Launches Botanical Line

Rishi Tea Launches New Botanical Retail Line
(from a press release)

Rishi Tea introduces five organic and caffeine-free herbal teas with new environmentally sensitive packaging to our line of packaged retail tins. Each blend is a unique combination of natural botanicals, spices and fruits formulated for flavor and effect. The collection is available in-stores December 2010 with an additional five herbal teas launching in January 2011.

“Our new herbal teas are inspired by ancient herbal beverages and our constant travel and study of food cultures around the world. We’ve fused traditional remedies with epicurean creativity, premium ingredients and original blending techniques to offer balanced and complex flavors not available elsewhere,” says Joshua Kaiser, Rishi Tea founder and tea buyer.

The Botanical Retail Line features a new package design with hand-drawn illustrations of the ingredients and an easy-peel label that allows for the reuse and recycling of tins. The Line will be available in select Whole Foods Markets nationwide (MSRP $9.99).

Rishi Tea travels the world following each season’s harvest, tasting and sourcing the finest teas, herbs and spices alongside farmers who cultivate them. Individual herbs are chopped, crushed, ground or pounded to release their essential characters, combined in micro-batch blends and cured, allowing the blends to develop a refined
complexity and balance unlike any other.

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tea Business Spotlight 1 - Joy's Teaspoon

Welcome to the first of our Tea Business Spotlights, in which we allow tea people to share insights on running their business. If you're a tea business owner and you'd like to take part in an upcoming spotlight, please contact us.

Joy's Teaspoon
Las Vegas, Nevada

How long have you been in business?
Launched the site April 1, 2010. Although, I initially began the business idea/plan in 2006.

What is the size/scope of your business?
Family run business located in Las Vegas, NV. We participate in a number of local events including tasting events at local libraries, boutiques, etc.

Why tea?
I am a self-proclaimed home chef and have always enjoyed cooking. Had my first run-in with loose leaf tea in 2006 in Chicago and instantly fell in love with the flavor, processes for brewing, history of the drink, etc. I am an avid tea drinker now with a desire to share that passion with anyone I meet.

How did you get the ball rolling on your venture?
1 - Got my husband on board!
2 - Got my business plan together and drafted up a budget for start up costs. Between those two things I had a solid checklist of things to take care of.
3 - Really convinced my husband (he's a numbers kind of guy!).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Reissues Fast Lane

News flash! Fast Lane is back – but only for a limited time!
(from a press release)

Tea drinkers asked for it and Celestial Seasonings® listened. The legendary Fast Lane high-energy caffeinated black tea is available again for a limited time. Fast Lane tea can’t be found in stores – only by the case online or at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Shop in Boulder, Colorado. We hope you will consider sharing this information with your readers and are happy to provide you with a sample for review.

Fast Lane high-energy caffeinated black tea is an all-natural blend that starts with choice black teas from the Indonesian island of Java. It is blended with extra caffeine, cola nut and a special variety of ginseng called eleuthero to create a tea with an extraordinary kick. Spicy cinnamon and nutmeg are added for a unique flavor that’s a welcome break from coffee.

With several Facebook fan pages dedicated to Fast Lane and nearly 2,000 signatures on an Online Petition to bring it back, there’s no denying Fast Lane’s popularity. This limited run is sure to go fast.

For more information about the limited run of Fast Lane, please visit

Image: Celestial Seasonings

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Filter Fans For Clear Tea

Filter Fans For Clear Tea. Simply Practical...
(from a press release)

As tea connoisseurs already know, a good cup of tea calls for correct preparation and suitable water that will bring out the full flavour of the tea. Many households in Great Britain are supplied with hard, limescale-containing water that adversely affects the taste and appearance of tea.

Helmut Körber, Managing Director of Bellima GmbH, a small company based in Halle/Saale, was also annoyed by his cloudy and strange-tasting tea. As a result, his company developed the handy Bellima water fan to enable tea drinkers to enjoy full-flavoured tea at low-cost without having to use accessory equipment (such as table-top and pot filters).

The water fan could hardly be easier to use: It is simply placed in the kettle with the tap water normally used for brewing tea. The fan then extracts the lime-containing constituents from the water, giving it the taste of still mineral water, and enabling the tea to release its full natural flavour. And because it is made of 100% natural materials in addition to being residue-free and biodegradable, the used water fan can be disposed of as waste paper or organic waste. Regular use of the water fan also keeps the kettle clean because it prevents limescale deposits from forming.

For those keen on having the best-possible tea water it represents the longest-lasting water-filtering solution. "Monthly packs" containing 30 fans for the preparation of at least 30 litres of water can be obtained directly from the manufacturer as well as purchased locally from numerous specialty tea shops and selected water stores.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yerba Mate For The Masses

In it's most basic form, yerba mate may never make it with the masses, at least not here in these United States. Chances are it's going to take some sweetening, flavoring and fancy packaging to get it to go over in this part of the world.

Not that Guayaki's not going to give it a try. Already the most notable of yerba mater vendors operating in the U.S., Guayaki hopes to take their products to a wider audience in the future. Guayaki co-founders David Karr and Alex Pryor spoke recently with on this and other topics. Read that interview here.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Specialty Tea Importer Expands Retail Presence

Specialty Tea Importer In Pursuit of Tea Expands Retail Presence
(from a press release)

On August 12th, specialty tea importer In Pursuit of Tea opened a new tea café in SoHo. Now, the café has expanded its retail presence with packaged premium loose-leaf teas and a comprehensive range of loose-leaf and matcha teaware. Along with the cold-brewed teas, hand-whisked matcha (powdered Japanese green tea), innovative treats and tea classes for which the café is known, retail products make In Pursuit of Tea the premier destination for good tea (and great tea gifts) in New York City.

The café’s expanded tea selection now includes retail packages of the handcrafted, additive-free teas In Pursuit of Tea sources from around the globe for wholesale clients like Daniel Boulud and Gramercy Tavern. With assistance from the café’s knowledgeable staff, customers can select from about 30 packaged loose-leaf teas (such as Honey Phoenix Oolong made from 100-year-old trees), as well as “thick” and “thin” matchas.

In Pursuit of Tea now retails tea accoutrements suited for beginners (like basic stainless steel tea infuser baskets and sturdy Timolino travel infusers) and connoisseurs (like traditional Yi Xing teapots and gaiwans). Matcha lovers will be pleased to know that the café also carries a full selection of matcha ware, including handmade ceramic matcha bowls, stainless steel matcha sifters and painstakingly crafted matcha whisks.

In Pursuit of Tea makes it easy to give the gift of good tea with three tea-and-teaware gift sets, each packaged in a handsome gift box trimmed with traditional Yunnanese patterned cloth. These range in price from $19 to $55 and in style from beginner to connoisseur. The In Pursuit of Tea staff is also available to create custom gift boxes.

For those in search of more experiential gifts, In Pursuit of Tea offers package deals on tea classes. Previous classes include a tea and cheese pairing with Saxelby Cheesemongers and “Japanese Tea 101” with Japanese Food Report. In Pursuit of Tea’s owner, Sebastian Beckwith, offers these classes as a means of sharing his firsthand knowledge of tea flavor profiles, tea origins and artisan tea processing techniques.

(Photo copyright In Pursuit of Tea, 2010)

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Teavana’s New Harvest

Teavana’s New Harvest – New Teas for 2010 and 2011
(from a press release)

Join us on an adventure through the culture, flavor and inspiration of tea. Teavana climbed the steep mountain tops of China traveling to the birthplace of tea, waded through hustle and bustle of Thailand’s busy tea and spice district, and wandered through the rolling green of the shade grown tea fields in Japan. Teavana, known for procuring the finest loose leaf tea from around the world, is proud to present new tea selections for the 2010-2011 season. This launch includes a combination of flavored white and green teas, single estate oolong and black and a collection of tasty herbal teas.

Teavana’s New Harvest further expands the wonderful flavors and health benefits that make Teavana the most recognized and respected brand in the tea industry. The New Harvest includes teas that are destined to become essentials in your daily tea cup such as Maharaja Chai Oolong (a bold & spicy chai oolong blend), Shanghai Orchid (an exotic floral scented white tea), Blackberry Mojito (a bursting berry green tea with a cool minty finish), and JavaVana Maté (a rich mocha coffee-like maté and black tea blend).


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Honest Tea Commits to Fair Trade

Honest Tea Commits to Fair Trade Certified Tea for All Bottled Teas
(from a press release)

Honest Tea, the nation's top-selling organic bottled tea company, announced today that it will be expanding its Fair Trade Certified offerings to include the entire tea portfolio. In conjunction with this announcement, the company is also publishing its first annual mission report.

In 2003, Honest Tea launched the world’s first Fair Trade Certified bottled tea in the U.S. with its introduction of Peach Oo-la-long. Since then, the company has continued to expand its Fair Trade offerings. Over the past three years, Honest Tea expanded its Fair Trade offerings from seven to 19 varieties and with this new initiative, all 28 of its teas will become Fair Trade Certified starting in December 2010. The company expects the transition to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Fair Trade offers tea workers fair wages, community investment funds called Fair Trade premiums, and the business skills training necessary to produce high-quality products that can compete in the global marketplace. Fair Trade certification also requires tea gardens to comply with workplace standards set by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International and Fair Trade USA to ensure safety, equality and fairness. A joint body of workers decides democratically how to invest Fair Trade premiums earned from the tea to support community development projects.


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stash Tea Introduces Guayusa

Stash Tea Introduces Guayusa - Energy from Ecuador
(from a press release)

Stash Tea, one of the largest specialty tea companies in the USA, announces the release of eight great tasting new loose leaf teas made with a rare, naturally caffeinated herbal tea known as Guayusa. Available exclusively online and at our Portland, Oregon area store.

Guayusa is a stimulating herb native to the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador where it has been part of the Amazonian culture and cultivation for over 2000 years. Traditionally enjoyed by the indigenous families of Ecuador and treasured for its unique balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids.

The purchase of Guayusa supports small farmers in Ecuador and it helps the Amazon Rainforest thrive, as Guayusa is shade grown. Guayusa is naturally caffeinated and has an energizing effect similar to coffee or Yerba Mate, but unlike coffee or Yerba Mate, but unlike coffee or Yerba Mate, Guayusa provides a slow release of caffeine for alertness and energy, without the jitters or sudden caffeine crash.

Guayusa is delicious. It has a naturally smooth taste, is never bitter, and has a rich and earthy aroma and slightly sweet finish. Stash offers a Pure Guayusa loose leaf tea as well as seven signature blends.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Rishi Tea Expands With 5 Chai Teas

Rishi Tea Expands Retail Line With 5 Chai Teas
(from a press release)

Rishi Tea introduces five decadent loose leaf chai blends into their expanding Retail Tin Line. Each chai is an organic, Fair Trade Certified™ blend of fresh spices and herbs from all over the world, expertly hand blended with either bold tea or antioxidant-rich rooibos. The Chai Retail Tins feature a new label design and format, available in October 2010.

Chai, or “tea” in Hindi, has become familiar to many consumers in the U.S. over the last few years. Masala Chai, synonymous with “chai” in North America, is believed to have originated in India. This blend of spiced black tea, simmered in water, milk and sugar, is warming and comforting—perfect for fall and winter. In addition to Masala Chai, Rishi Tea has taken chai in several new and exciting directions.

Rishi’s Chai teas are available in five varieties:

Masala Chai is an award-winning blend based on the traditional Indian tea, using robust, shade-grown black tea from Rishi’s Ancient Tree Tea, Organic Fair Trade project in the Yunnan province of China.

Chocolate Chai is a sophisticated take on hot cocoa, combining energizing pu-erh tea, shade-grown yerba maté, cacao, creamy vanilla and coconut.

Green Tea Chai blends uplifting, pan-fired green tea with spicy undertones of ginger and a sweet citrus finish of lemongrass for a refreshing, innovative tea.

Vanilla Mint Chai is a creamy, pu-erh-based chai unlike any other, with a perfect balance of creamy vanilla bean, soothing peppermint and sweet cinnamon.

Caffeine-free West Cape Chai combines healthful rooibos, roasted ramón nut, South Asian star anise and a blend of spices for an aromatic and enlivening anytime chai.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New Website Helps Take Tea Lovers to the Gardens

New two leaves and a bud Website Helps Take Tea Lovers to the Gardens
(from a press relase)

Two leaves and a bud tea co. has launched a new website aimed at helping tea drinkers experience the company’s travels to tea gardens around the world.

The tea company wanted to bring its journeys abroad back to tea fans on its website, using real photographs taken during trips to tea gardens. “We go to the tea gardens, and we realized that our site was the primary vehicle for our customers to go there with us,” says Phil Edelstein, marketing director for two leaves and a bud. “The background photo of the site rotates randomly with each new visit, so the site feels like a fresh journey to the gardens each time.”

Other new site features include a reward points program for frequent cuppers, along with a referral program, integration with Facebook’s “like” button, and a running feed for Twitter, Facebook, tea reviews and the company’s blog.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tea Review 112: Wiseman Tea Company

My apologies to the gang at Wiseman Tea Company for not getting around to this sooner. I've fallen behind on my reviewing lately but I'm making an effort to get caught up.

First things first. Wiseman sent samples of an Earl Grey and Genmaicha, but since these are both varieties that I've never cared much for I wont say much about them. Ditto for the Puerh. I will say that all of these seemed of a decent quality or better, if you're into this sort of thing.

Some of the Wiseman teas that I did like included a very good Rooibos. It might be tempting to think - as I used to - that all Rooibos is created equal, but this is definitely not the case. What set this one apart was simply that it was smoother and more flavorful than many Rooibos varieties I've tried.

Wiseman also provided a very nice Dragonwell. As far as reliability goes, Dragonwell might be among the tops of all tea varieties. I've been trying to think if I've ever run across one I didn't like and I'm coming up dry.

Among the surprises in this bunch were some of the flavored teas, which I typically don't get too excited about. Both the Shalimar Oolong (oolong, aronia berries, mango cubes, rose petals) and the Pearl of Fruits (green Tea, black tea, orange peels, rose petals, safflowers, and marigold petals) were interesting. But I think it was the South Sea Magic (black tea, rose blossoms, sunflower blossoms, cornflower blossoms) that stood out the most from this bunch. Not a bad combo as far as this sort of thing goes.

And how about that slogan?

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Songs About Tea

PopCandy recently did a brief piece on five songs about tea, including ditties by the Police, Sting, Doris Day, Sinatra and Kevin Gilbert. More here. One might also mention Have A Cuppa Tea, by the Kinks and English Tea, by Paul McCartney. Can you think of any others?

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Twinings New Zealand Breakfast Tea

Wake Up To A Cup Of Twinings New Zealand Breakfast Tea
(from a press release)

The tea created in New Zealand for New Zealand is now available. Twinings is proud to announce a delicious new tea especially created to get New Zealand off to a great start every morning is now available in supermarkets.

Inspired by the magic of birdsong in the bush as day breaks, Twinings New Zealand Breakfast Tea is the creation of Nelson local Andrew Fenemor, who won the Twinings New Zealand Breakfast Tea Challenge in April.

The competition -- a world-first for Twinings -- challenged people to create a blend of tea that captured the essence of New Zealand. Around 250 people submitted entries using the Twinings range as a base, which then went to a judging panel that included Stephen Twining, 10th generation of the Twinings family, New Zealand Master Tea Taster and Blender Matt Greenwood, Paul Henry, Kate Hawkesby, Celia Harvey and Dr Laurence Eyres.

Fenemor's flavoursome blend came out on top with judges describing it as “brilliantly unique.” In May, Fenemor travelled to London where he met with Stephen Twining and the Twinings Tea Masters who helped him fine-tune his blend. The result is a full-bodied, satisfying blend with generous malty flavours.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Canadian Coffee & Tea Show

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show returns to Toronto in September
(from a press release)

Fulcrum Events, Inc. is pleased to announce the dates for the 2010 Canadian Coffee & Tea Show. After hosting the show in Montreal and Vancouver, the show returns to Toronto on September 26 and 27 at The International Centre - Hall 1.

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show is a comprehensive educational conference and trade show catering to independent coffee & tea retailers, restaurateurs, chain operators and buyers. The conference features an extensive educational program which provides delegates with insights on consumer trends, statistics and hidden profits for retail operators. Interactive workshops include: coffee and tea cuppings, smoothies and creating profitable coffee and tea cocktails. Each afternoon the trade show highlights growth opportunities with the latest product innovations.

A key feature of the event is the annual Canadian Barista Championship, hosted by KRUPS. This year's competition is predicted to be intense and the most challenging in the competition's history. The championship features competitors preparing a series of espresso-based beverages in a tight window of time for a discerning panel of official coffee judges.

New for this year is the Coffee and Tea Cocktail competition on Monday September 27th. Baristas, bartenders, coffee and tea enthusiasts will have the chance to handcraft a cocktail using coffee or tea as the base. Attend the show to sample the winning recipe.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

CrafTea Designs' New Product Lines

To a Tea: CrafTea Designs To Introduce New Product Lines

Following a successful year of operations for Tea Dyed Tees, a specialty apparel and accessories business, tea industry publisher and entrepreneur Janis Badarau has re-branded the company as CrafTea Designs.

The new name reflects the company's diversification into additional tea-related gift products.

Amongst the new product lines, which will be introduced in time for holiday shopping, are tea-dyed ribbons of lace and embellished fabric; origami teapot jewlery; and tea leaf bead jewelry.

All products are completely hand-crafted, all-natural, and eco-friendly.

Based in Lavonia, Georgia, Badarau is best known among specialty tea professionals for her online publications The Cat-Tea Corner and TeaGuide Worldwide Tea Directory. But on the side, she has perfected a method for dyeing clothing and accessories with tea. These products are offered to the public and trade via Tea Dyed Tees website.


Image: Tea Dyed Teas

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taiwan Tea Adventure Selling Well in Asia

Taiwan Tourism Bureau: Taiwan Tea Adventure Selling Well in Asia
(from a press release)

The Tourism Bureau’s Taiwan Tea Adventure tours are selling well in the Asia market! The Tourism Bureau this year created the Taiwan Tea Tours as a theme tourism product, and had been promoting the tours overseas. So far, the tours have sparked a lot of interest from international tourists and have generated a warm response from Asian tourists. In particular, tour groups from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of Asia will visit Taiwan from Sept. 7-10 to experience the Taiwan Tea Adventure. These overseas tourists will transform themselves into tea picking ladies and visit Taiwan’s famous tea farms to experience a different side of Taiwanese scenery and culture.

Since the Tourism Bureau began promoting the Taiwan Tea Adventure tours in July in nine target markets, including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia, nearly 20 tour groups, with altogether more than 400 tourists, have purchased the tour packages.

The Taiwan Tea Adventure tours take tourists to tea farms in the northern, central, southern and eastern parts of Taiwan. The tours will focus on introducing tourists to famous Taiwanese teas such as oolong and black teas. Five tea tour routes have been planned to cater specifically to international tourists. On the tours, the tourists will get to experience tea picking, tea making and tea tasting. They will also be able to try the special cuisine and see the unique cultural performances of the local areas where they will be visiting.

For more information about the tours, please visit the Tourism Bureau’s website: and look up Taiwan Tea Adventure and the five tour itineraries offered.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tea Mavericks Of America

In an unprecedented Bay Area meeting of the world’s foremost tea influencers, culled from a variety of industries including technology firms, retail and wholesale outlets, and literary authors, these savvy entrepreneurs will share insights about why the tea industry is surging in America. Noting the clear benefits such as providing focus and clarity to a distracted and hyper-connected society, these experts will explore, taste, and discuss this fascinating artisan world and its relevance today. They will converse about health benefits, sustainability trends, challenges in the industry, and other topics.

Each participant will also bring along the latest and greatest artisan teas from their collection for an on-camera tea tasting. Never before have these tea impresarios all gathered together. Come learn about what’s currently happening in the tea industry in America, and why, and hear the inside scoop regarding all the new innovations on the horizon.


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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tea Expedition to Sri Lanka Contest for Customers

Zhena's Gypsy Tea and Tully's Coffee Announce: 'Tea Expedition to Sri Lanka' Contest for Customers
(from a press release)

Zhena's Gypsy Tea, known for its dedication to sustainability and innovative tea offerings, and Tully's Coffee, a leading specialty coffee retailer, have announced an unprecedented contest to engage and show appreciation for their vastly expanding tea customers at Tully's throughout the Western United States.

Each Tully's Coffee will have displays where customers can sign up to win the free trip to Sri Lanka. Tully's will also feature a new Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte promotional drink, formulated especially for the Fall contest. Winners will be announced one month after the last entry is in. Contest runs from September 8th- 30th.

The winners of the tea expedition to Sri Lanka will be heading to Sri Lanka with Zhena, where she will take the winners to several organic tea gardens, beautiful Sri Lankan beaches and even an elephant orphanage in January 2011.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Sanctuary T's Tea-Recipe Contest

Until September 30th, Sanctuary T will be hosting a tea-inspired recipe contest. The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Sanctuary T Shop and have their winning recipe featured on the Shop's site. The runner up will win a free bottle of T-Dust Seasoning and a 2oz tin of tea of their choice.


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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Honest Kombucha Returns to Store Shelves

Honest Kombucha Returns to Store Shelves -- Honest Tea Re-Launches Line of Fermented Tea Beverages
(from a press release)

Honest Tea, maker of the nation's top-selling organic bottled tea, reintroduces Honest Kombucha, brewed with an innovative, new process, to store shelves. Following a voluntary withdrawal of all brands of raw kombucha from store shelves in June, Honest Tea has developed a proprietary process to brew Honest Kombucha that allows for the benefits of raw, unpasteurized kombucha while ensuring lower, more stable alcohol levels.

Honest Kombucha (kom-boo-cha) is a lightly sparkling beverage brewed with organic, Fair Trade Certified tea, raw culture and a touch of organic cane sugar for an effervescent blend of active enzymes, organic acids and polyphenols. Kombucha is a fermented tea with Chinese and Russian origins once referred to as the “elixir of life” due to its probiotic properties believed to aid in digestion and support immunity. Kombucha is made by fermenting black or green tea and sugar with a culture of various bacteria and yeasts, resulting in organic acids such as gluconic acid and glucuronic acid, which are believed to support a healthy GI tract.

Honest Kombucha is available in five low sugar varieties: Berry Hibiscus, Lemon Ginger, Peach Mango, Maqui Berry Grapefruit and Apple Jasmine with 35 calories and 7 grams of sugar per serving. Due to the live and un-pasteurized nature of the product, Honest Kombucha must be shipped and stored cold.

Honest Kombucha will be available at Whole Foods Market stores and other natural food stores nationwide the last week in August 2010 at a suggested retail price of $3.49 - $3.99.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

China Xiamen International Tea Fair

China Xiamen International Tea Fair Opens the Asian Market
(from a press release)

The China Xiamen International Tea Fair will be held this coming November 5?8 at the pristine, modern Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. This significant event is destined to become a major international trade show in the tea industry for tea enthusiasts and suppliers alike. Those attending will be able to visit exhibitors showcasing their latest developments, new products, freshest teas, equipment innovations, and ways to increase profitability. Tea industry suppliers will get to meet hundreds, if not thousands of key buying influences as well as other suppliers, sales agents, and distributors. Patterned after the success of the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas in June of this year, the China Xiamen International Tea Fair promises to be a magnificent trade show for all of those attending.

China, the birthplace of tea, is one of the biggest tea producing and consuming countries in the world. Since ancient times, Xiamen, located at the southeast coast of Fujian Province, has been one of the world’s major distribution centers for tea, as well as the starting point of the “Tea Road by Sea.” In 2009, tea output of Fujian Province reached 260,000 tons, with over 15,600 tons being exported through Fujian ports. “With long and rich tea culture and the significant tea output of Fujian Province, China Xiamen International


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet Green Tea Vodka

Phillips Distilling Company Introduces UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka
(from a press release)

UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is the only sweet tea vodka blended with natural green teas. Steeped in the rich coast-to-coast tradition of sweet teas, UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is the sophisticated sweet tea choice for cocktail enthusiasts.

Not your typical sunporch tea, UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is infused with a distinctive green tea flavor. This sweet green tea flavored vodka blends the Zen-like qualities of green teas with a modern sweet tea twist.

Beautiful inside and out, UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is infused with green tea leaves sourced from global locations. Capturing the taste, aroma, and colors of these natural ingredients, UV exudes a hint of citrus and tropical fruits. Such flavors yield a divine, honey-green vodka presented in UV Vodka's award-winning bottle design. Like all UV Vodkas, UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is distilled four times and carbon filtered to assure purity and the perfect pH balance.

UV Sweet Green Tea Vodka is the 12th variety of flavored vodka within the popular UV Vodka brand. Other flavors include coconut, cherry, blue raspberry, vanilla, grape, apple, citruv, orange and lemonade.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iced Tea Maker Features Brew Stop Filter

Iced Tea Maker Features Brew Stop Filter, Providing Complete Control of Brewing Process
(from a press release)

Online tea shop ESP Emporium, purveyors of fine loose leaf tea, has announced the arrival of their “Brew Stop” Iced Tea maker – a revolutionary invention that offers complete control over the brewing process and the taste of iced tea.

“Our iced tea maker makes it very easy to make the perfect brew of iced tea” said Elena Popec, co-founder of ESP Emporium. “A simple turn of the lid interrupts the brewing process without compromising the taste, allowing you to stop the brewing process at any desired point and control the strength of the brew”.

“This iced tea maker puts a twist on the specialty teas we offer” said Popec. “Tasting our tea served cold is a pleasantly unique way to experience flavors that our customers already love, especially so since the strength of the brew can so easily be adjusted”.

The new (61 fl. Oz) iced tea maker is comprised of high-quality PC (Polycarbonate) BPA-free material, and is ideal for making up to 7 cups per brew. The stylishly-designed pot is constructed in such a manner as to allow for monitoring of the expansion of the tea leaves during the brewing process, which can be stopped at any desired point.

ESP Emporium’s new Ice Tea Maker (SRP $38.95) is available immediately from ESP Emporium, and qualifies for free shipping.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wall Street Gets Honest

Wall Street types are basically good, honest, upstanding types. Right? The people from Honest Tea put this notion to the test a while back.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

World's Finest Hot Teas

Tea Championship Ranks
World's Finest Hot Teas
(from a press release)

From cinnamon and cardamom to mint, ginger and rose, the North American Tea Championship Hot Tea Class / Spring Tea competitors showcased an assortment of pleasing flavors for discriminating judges. The Championship, which took place July 27 – 28 in Las Vegas, Nev., evaluated premium spring teas in 15 different categories.

More than 200 teas entered the Championship, the only independent and professionally judged tea competition in North America, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the marketplace. Many of the teas originated from China, India, Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka. A complete list of first, second and third place winners is available here.

Image: World Tea Expo

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Salada Announces Spokesperson Search Winner

Salada Tea Announces Winner Of First-Ever Nationwide Consumer Spokesperson Search
(from a press release)

Salada Tea, the company that encourages tea drinkers to switch from bottled tea to freshly brewed tea made with tea bags because of the wellness, environmental and cost benefits, has announced the winner of the nationwide search for its first-ever consumer spokesperson. Clinical nutritionist Tara Coleman, from San Diego, Calif., will help spread Salada’s “Unbottle Your Tea” message through tips and suggestions for living an all-natural lifestyle. She will be blogging, tweeting and attending health and environmentally focused events across the country, for which she will be awarded $10,000.

Between May 3 and June 13, 2010, nutritionists, trainers, fitness instructors and tea lovers from across the country visited the Unbottle Your Tea Web site to submit an entry form and upload a video explaining why they were the perfect choice for the spokesperson job. The submissions were then narrowed down to the top 10 finalists. America was invited to visit the website, review their entry videos and vote for their favorite through Aug. 1, 2010.

Coleman, a 32-year-old clinical nutritionist, received the most votes for her creative submission video about incorporating tea into her everyday activities like shopping, jogging and yoga, earning her the spokesperson title. Coleman currently owns her own nutrition consulting company and regularly creates customized eating plans for her clients. She provides tips on eating well on a budget and believes that small, realistic steps are the best way to achieve large wellness goals. Her submission video can be viewed here.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Tea Making Meets Technology With Breville

The Art Of Tea Making Meets Technology With Breville
(from a press release)

As the most consumed beverage in the world after water, tea forms a daily ritual that requires careful preparation for maximum enjoyment. The new Automatic Tea Maker & Kettle (BTM800) from Breville knows exactly the right temperature and brewing time required to extract the full aroma and flavour from the most popular tea varieties.

Pouring freshly boiled water onto more delicate tea leaves, such as green, oolong and white varieties, may scald the leaves and result in a bitter, astringent taste. Similarly, brewing the tea for too long or too short can result in an unpleasant or tasteless cup.

The Breville Automatic Tea Maker & Kettle simplifies the process with its five preset brew temperatures according to tea type; green, black, white, herbal and oolong. Its LCD screen guides you through selections, including a choice of three preset brew times to control tea strength. There are also custom options for passionate tea drinkers who like to experiment.

Once selections are made, the tea maker automatically lowers the tea basket when the water reaches the ideal brewing temperature. After the preset infusion time, the basket automatically lifts and the tea is ready to pour.

Offering flexibility, the Automatic Tea Maker & Kettle allows you to pre-select a start time – perfect for that freshly brewed pot ready for breakfast. It also provides an option to keep your pot of tea warm at the selected temperature for up to 60 minutes and can function as a variable temperature kettle as well.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tea Guy Speaks Amazon Store

Please take a moment to visit the Tea Guy Speaks Amazon Store. It just opened and the focus, as you might reasonably have guessed, is on tea, tea-related accessories and books about tea.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

V8 V-Fusion +Tea Juice Beverages

V8 Juice Serves up Deliciously Refreshing V8 V-Fusion +Tea Juice Beverages
(from a press release)

Campbell Soup Company is expanding its innovative V8 V-Fusion line of beverages with new V8 V-Fusion +Tea juice beverages. These refreshing juice beverages provide a combined serving of vegetables and fruit in each 8-ounce glass*, along with the antioxidants and cool, crisp taste of natural green tea, all for 50 calories per serving.

V8 V-Fusion +Tea juice beverages are available in three delicious flavors: Raspberry Green Tea, Pomegranate Green Tea and Pineapple Mango Green Tea. Each meets the American Heart Association's criteria to display its heart-check mark and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Through Sept. 30, people can visit, where the brand will be giving away 1,000 free samples a week before the juice beverages become available nationwide in October.

V8 V-Fusion beverages are available at supermarkets, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99 for a 46-ounce bottle. For more information, visit and

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lady Gaga Does Tea

The word on the street lately is that the esteemed Lady Gaga - who is apparently something of a tea fancier - is being pursued by various tea companies to serve as spokesperson for their wares. Among the firms supposedly hoping to get in on the action - Twinings, Lipton, PG Tips and Tetley. In the sports section of one British paper they even give the odds of which of these companies is likely to score this coup - with Twinings the clear favorite.

In the interests of not getting slapped down for copyright violations I won't swipe any photos of the Lady herself clutching teacups. You can see several of these here - if you must.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Largest Variety of Earl Grey Tea

Largest Variety of Earl Grey Tea Available at
(from a press release)

Although tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, behind water, many enthusiasts limit consumption to plain varieties. Few realize that Earl Grey is the second most popular type and the number one flavored variety., an Internet retailer, offers the largest selection of Earl Grey tea from brands around the world.

Earl Grey is traditionally a black tea flavored with bergamot, which is a small, pear-shaped sour orange that has a citrus flavor. Today, even green, white and herbal varieties are available in the flavor.

Many enthusiasts are unfamiliar with the large number of companies offering Earl Grey. These international brands offer high-quality varieties easily available in the USA.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Salada Tea Announces Top 10 Finalists

Salada Tea Announces Top 10 Finalists in First-Ever Nationwide Consumer Spokesperson Search
(from a press release)

Salada Tea, the company that encourages tea drinkers to switch from bottled tea to freshly brewed tea made with tea bags because of the wellness, environmental and cost benefits, has announced the top 10 finalists in the nationwide search for its first-ever consumer spokesperson. The spokesperson will help spread Salada’s “Unbottle Your Tea” message through tips and suggestions for living an all-natural lifestyle, blogging, tweeting and attending health and environmentally focused events across the country. For his or her efforts, the spokesperson will earn $10,000.

Between May 3 and June 13, 2010, nutritionists, trainers, fitness instructors and tea lovers from across the country visited to submit an entry form and upload a video explaining why they are the perfect choice for the job of spokesperson.

After reviewing the submissions, Salada Tea has narrowed the field down to the top 10 finalists:

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

World Of Tea 14

How much do the British pay for a cup of tea? As this article in the Guardian noted, "The consumer group Which? looked at the prices of takeaway tea at nine major retail outlets and found Britons are being charged as much as £1.65 a time to enjoy their favourite hot drink."

The Chicago Tea Garden claims to be the first to import New Zealand tea to the United States. The tea is produced by Zealong and you can find out more about the venture in this press release.

Speaking of New Zealand, if you're not sure what tea caddies are or what would motivate someone to collect more than 3,000 of them, refer to this article from the New Zealand press.

While places like China, India and Japan get more notice for being tea producers Africa also turns out a considerable quantity of the stuff. Here's a good overview of African tea production from the UK Tea Council.

Also from the UK Tea Council, a rundown of Scotland's Top Tearooms.

From Fresh Cup, a trade magazine for the tea and coffee industries, here's an article in which a "future tearoom owner talks about traveling to Taiwan to find inspiration at the source."

Stay tuned for more World of Tea, an occasional feature that gathers tea-related dispatches from around the globe.

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