The North American Tea Championship – the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America – named the 16 best, premium hot teas from the fall 2014 harvest. The evaluation was held Feb. 26-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and all of the high-quality winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.
Companies that took home an esteemed first-place award include: The Tea Kings; Glenburn Tea Direct; Mountain Tea Company; Garden to Cup Organics; Nepali Tea Traders; Chico Chai; Florapharm Tea-USA LP; and La Creme Coffee & Tea.
A complete list of first, second and third-place winners of the North American Tea Championship is available at teachampionship.com.
North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:
(Company/Website, Name of the Winning Tea, Category)
Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (WorldTeaExpo.com),May 6 – 8, 2015 at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California.
The next North American Tea Championship will be held in June 2015 for an evaluation of iced teas. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geared towards bolstering businesses of all kinds through its in-depth education program, the 13th annual World Tea Expo (@worldteamedia – #WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15) takes place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center. World Tea Expo is focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products. To register or for additional information, visit WorldTeaExpo.com.
This year’s agenda covers a wide variety of industry topics and tea retail strategies, including: the state of the tea industry, direct trade with tea producers, sustainability and the global tea system, product quality, false marketing/labeling, growing tea commercially in the United States, marketing of organic teas, increasing sales through the latest trends, the culinary world and tea, and tea and health, among other topics. In addition to the education program, the exposition floor features hundreds of new products and services, many of which cannot be found at any other trade show.
World Tea Expo attendees — top companies and professionals from more than 50 countries — will attend the event to discover “what’s next” in tea. Conference delegates represent: tea and coffee shops, grocery chains, private label brands, gourmet retailers, convenience stores, distributors, online businesses, restaurants and chefs, foodservice, hotels and distributors, as well as manufacturers and beverage developers, and others interested in building their business through tea.
Highlights of the Education Program at World Tea Expo
Global State of the Industry: A Review of the Top Tea Trends and Markets Around the World – Presenter Jonas Feliciano (@JonasF_EMI), a beverages industry analyst with Euromonitor International, will focus on the largest and fastest growing tea markets around the world. He’ll also provide insights on the top trends that are driving sales, using Euromonitor’s latest beverages data.
Emerging Hot Issues in Current US Tea Market: Speaker Youngmok Kim, Senior Research Scientist at Synergy Flavors, will uncover current issues related to health benefits, scientific research, product quality, false marketing/labeling, health claims and tea myths. Solutions/answers will be provided based on scientific facts, data and literature.
Direct Trade – Building Relationships with Tea Producers: Elyse Petersen (@peaceelyse), founder of Tealet, will discuss how retailers can now develop relationships with tea producers, providing more transparency of sourcing to their customers. During the session, lessons will be learned from the infrastructure developed in the coffee industry. Terms and standards for direct trade will also be defined in this presentation, as well as how retailers can move forward with direct trade practices.
Promoting Sustainability and Climate Mitigation in the Global Tea System: Selena Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems, Montana State University, is scheduled to present on the impact of climate change on tea quality, and how tea industry agents can mitigate this risk. Ahmed will explore these topics from a sustainability framework and a guided tea tasting. Tangible business practices will also be recommended that can be adopted towards enhanced sustainability of the global tea system.
Growing Tea Commercially in the USA: Nigel Melican (@teacraftecm), CEO of Teacraft LTD, says there’s a trending interest in tea growing in the United States, but there’s sparse information on how to set up a tea growing business. Melican’s session will look at how tea growing in the United States is different than other countries, profitability, where to start, and the limitations
Tea Moves Back into the Bar & Back to the Kitchen: Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, Inc., will discuss culinary cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, and how everything from tea, bacon, herbs, fruits and vegetables are the “rock stars” at the bar. The session will also look at how tea has been making its way into food, showing up as a seasoning in desserts, entrées and side dishes. The presentation will explore the forces behind the movement of tea into beverages and into the kitchen.
The Big Chill in Premium Tea: Maria Uspenski (@uspenski), CEO of The Tea Spot, says many upscale restaurants and cafes now prepare their iced teas using the cold brew method. Foodservice professionals have touted the ease and flexibility of the process, as well as the finesse of the resulting flavor. In addition, research studies have hyped the chemical benefits to cold brewing certain teas. Uspenski’s session will provide a comprehensive introduction and overview to cold brew tea and how it can play into foodservice offerings.
Increasing Your Sales With the New Matcha Madness Trend: Presenter Rona Tison, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, ITO EN (North America) INC., says matcha is the new culinary trend of 2015. In her session, attendees will learn how to maximize sales with the revered ceremonial green tea that’s making its way into the American mainstream market. Attendees will learn the expansive world of this growing tea trend, and how to integrate matcha into a business through culinary diplomacy.
Production, Demand and Marketing of Organic Teas: Nikhil Ghosh Hajra, Director / CEO / Technical Adviser, Tea Board of India / Organic Tea & Agri-Horticultural Consulting, will review the development of organic tea, cultivation practices, current global trends of production and the global market.
Selling Tea For Health: The Power of Talking About Tea and Health: Babette Donaldson, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book, notes that many speak freely about the health benefits of tea, yet the FDA limits merchants from using this powerful message. So what can be said? How can one (legally) tap into this conversation and build business on current scientific research and ancient healing wisdom? Donaldson will present an overview and discuss ways to navigate government controls, while participating in meaningful conversations with customers about the many healthful benefits of tea.
ITO EN, a leading green tea company, debuts its new Matcha LOVE® CULINARY MATCHA in booth #1464 at the Winter Fancy Food Show. With 2015 predicted to be a year of “Matcha Madness” by trend forecaster, Sterling-Rice Group, CULINARY MATCHA is the new must have ingredient for the modern pantry. The new ingredient has an MRSP of $19.95 for 3.5 ounces.
The finely milled Matcha powder made from shade-grown green tea leaves is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Fast becoming a popular ingredient for its rich umami taste and antioxidant rich benefits, Matcha LOVE® CULINARY MATCHA, packaged in a 100 gram tin, can be used for baking or cooking, whether for sweet or savory dishes. Also a favorite in smoothies and super drinks, Matcha is hailed for its powerful EGCG tea antioxidants, Vitamin C and natural energy boost with a “calm alertness.”
“With more people falling in love with the vitality of matcha, our Culinary Matcha makes it easy for home cooking,” said Rona Tison, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Relations. “Aspiring cooks can now enjoy the purity of the entire green tea leaf in a variety of recipes, both traditional and new.”
Rich in L-theanine, the amino acid necessary to create what scientists and renowned chefs refer to as umami synergy, matcha generates new layers of amplified flavors with a sweet lingering taste sensation. Bold and rich in flavor with an herbaceous finish, a little matcha goes a long way.
The new CULINARY MATCHA joins the Matcha LOVE’s® line of ceremonial matcha powder and convenient on-the-go “no fuss” Matcha drinks, available unsweetened and sweetened. With a modern take on an ancient ritual, the innovative Matcha LOVE® line is making its way into the urban lifestyle for its fresh authentic taste and restorative powers.
Also being introduced are Matcha LOVE® Teabags, a special blend of premium quality green tea leaves and 100 percent Matcha. The teabags will be available in 10 individual envelopes in a small, compact carton.
Building on the success of award-winning Gourmet Sea Salt Collections, The Spice Lab has added sampling selections of spices, seasonings and now tea.
Introducing at NY NOW, three Tea Collections of 11 or 12 tube sets of British Teas, Asian Teas or Infused Teas, showcased in a handcrafted wooden base of reclaimed Colorado pine or sustainable bamboo. Each tube holds enough for three pots of tea.
See them in booth # 3677 in the Tabletop + Gourmet Housewares Show at NY NOW, August 17-20 at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Hot & Spicy Infused Salts - Sriracha, Smoked Chipotle, Ghost Pepper and More
The Spice Lab blends its own infused salts using all natural unrefined sea salt and premium finely ground chili peppers from around the world. Each unique salt offers distinct flavor and heat, true to the peppers that season it. In 100 ml glass jars and 3-ounce stand-up foil pouches.The line includes:
Click here to read about what’s driving Americans’ renewed interest in spicy cuisines.
Boyd’s Coffee®, the oldest family-owned coffee company in the Pacific Northwest, is ready to chill with its new line of cold beverages, which includes Boyd’s Iced Tea, Boyd’s Ice Cap™ and Boyd’s Iced Coffee. This new line enhances and continues Boyd’s authentic, high-quality-for-the-everyman experience with compelling merchandising and easy-to-operate, energy-efficient equipment options.
Boyd’s Iced Tea
Backed by a 114-year history as a tea purveyor, Boyd’s emphasizes the fresh-brew experience with its rebranded line of Iced Tea with eight flavors including Original Brew (black tea), Green Tea, Tropical Tea and Raspberry Herbal. The addition of Torani® syrups such as Cane Sugar Sweetener, Raspberry, Peach and Blackberry create limitless options for operators. In addition, fresh-brewed iced tea is the number one purchased beverage in restaurants and is significantly more profitable for operators than the bag-in-box option.
Boyd’s Ice Cap™
The whimsical and refreshing Ice Cap™ line captures the nostalgia of childhood summers, featuring an updated, fresh design and innovative flavor options. With frozen coffee drinks growing in popularity, especially with millennial consumers, Boyd’s offers a combination of coffee-based flavors, such as French Vanilla and Mocha, and fruit-based flavors, including Cherry Smart Bomb and Strawberry Banana Smoothie.
Boyd’s Iced Coffee
As iced coffee drinks continue to build a following among all consumers, and particularly among millennials, Boyd’s Coffee offers shelf-stable iced coffee beverages available in Kona Blend Mocha and Kona Blend French Vanilla. Iced coffee is a well-liked beverage in all dayparts as well as year-round.
The Iced Tea replaces the company’s former Island Mist® product, and the new Ice Cap was formerly Coffee House Freezers®.
Boyd’s Coffee provides everything operators need for a highly profitable beverage program, including reliable, space-saving, easy-to-operate, energy-efficient equipment as well as visually appealing merchandising from posters to equipment dressing and flavor labels. For information about Boyd Coffee Company’s products and services, call 800-545-4077 or visit www.boyds.com.
Numi Organic Tea is launching a new product line: Turmeric Tea. Numi’s Turmeric Tea is the first full line of organic, fair trade, premium turmeric-focused blends on the market, and highlights its namesake ingredient’s earthy and robust flavor in a collection of four cleansing and refreshing herbal teasans.
An ancient root related to the ginger family, turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and is often found in curries, giving the food its brilliant, golden orange color. Turmeric has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and has surged in popularity over recent years as scientists have discovered its many health benefits.
Curcumin, the medicinal compound in turmeric, has been associated with numerous health effects. A powerful superfood, health experts such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Andrew Weil have written about turmeric’s positive effects on the mind and body.
The turmeric in Numi’s new blends is sourced from Madagascar, where Numi is the first brand to purchase Fair Trade certified ingredients from this specific farm group. Dedicated to improving the lives of people involved in every step of their business, Numi has contributed incremental funds to support the farm group’s Fair Trade certification process and has provided new tools such as knives, brushes, cleaning pans and bags for transporting raw materials from the farms to the processing factory. The first Fair Trade premiums are being invested in improved drinking water infrastructure there.
“Our love of tea, travel, and creativity has inspired us to blend unique ingredients and create new tea experiences,” says Ahmed Rahim, CEO, Co-founder, and chief alchemist for Numi Organic Tea. “Turmeric Tea is rich in this vital root and blended with 100 percent real ingredients for tasty aromatic flavors. This healthy tea tonic will revitalize, enrich and restore and can be enjoyed any time of day.”
Numi Turmeric Teas are certified organic, verified non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, kosher and halal certified, and made with 100 percent real ingredients (not “natural” flavorings, or perfumes) including turmeric as the primary ingredient. Like all of Numi Organic Tea’s products, the Turmeric Tea blends are expertly crafted to not only be healthy but also exceptionally delicious. Consumers can choose from four enticing blends that are excellent served hot or iced:
Three Roots: Blending earthy turmeric, spicy ginger, and sweet licorice, Three Roots transports your senses to an exotic Indian Bazaar.
Golden Tonic: This uplifting blend of turmeric, lemon verbena and dried lime mingle for an exhilarating dance. Golden hues of turmeric have an earthy sweetness as the zesty citrus notes soar and enliven the senses.
Fields of Gold: The mellow richness of turmeric, the sweet calming notes of chamomile, and the lively zest of lemon myrtle reside in Fields of Gold.
Amber Sun: With a radiating, smooth richness, this blend of turmeric, rooibos, vanilla beans and a hint of cinnamon offers mellow apple notes with a sweet peppery zest.
Numi Organic Tea Turmeric Teas will be available to ship in August, 2014 to retail for a suggested price of $7.99.
Sylvain Toutant has been named president and chief executive officer of DAVIDsTEA. He will be responsible for all operations at DAVIDsTEA and will oversee the company’s growth in Canada, the United States and around the world. He will also serve on the board of directors.
A recognized specialist in retailing, Toutant has developed businesses in Canada, the United States and Europe. After joining VanHoutte in 2008, he became President of Retail and subsequently, Chief Operating Officer. Since 2012 and until recently, he was President of Keurig Canada, where he accelerated growth through a strategic alliance with Keurig Green Mountain in the United States. He also headed Keurig’s operations in the United Kingdom.
During the course of his career, Toutant has been at the helm of a number of well-known brands in renovation, and alcoholic and other beverages. Employed by Reno-Depot from 1987 to 2003, he became its President in 2001 and helped make it one of Quebec’s most admired companies. He also served as President and CEO of the Société des alcools du Québec [Quebec’sliquor board] from 2004 to 2007.
“Sylvain’s vast knowledge of the beverage sector, combined with his expertise in consumer behaviour, makes him one of the best managers in the industry,” said Pierre Michaud, Chairman of the company’s board of directors. “In addition, his proven ability to generate organizational growth will be extremely valuable to us.”
Herschel Segal, DAVIDsTEA Co-founder and majority shareholder, said he is very pleased with Toutant’s decision to join the company. “We founded David’s Tea in 2008, and since then the business has grown continuously. We now find ourselves at an important time in our development, and I’m convinced Mr. Toutant will be an extraordinary asset for us as head of our business.”
“Tea is the second most popular beverage on the planet, just after water,” said Segal. “There is incredible potential for growth, and we intend to play a leading role in this market.”
The all natural TEAS’ TEA® line is now available in Sprouts Farmers Markets. Starting this month Sprouts will now feature the following TEAS’ TEA products: four unsweetened teas—Pure Green, Jasmine Green, Green White and Golden Oolong and three Lattes-Matcha Green Tea Latte, Black Tea Latte, and Chai Latte in 16.9 fluid ounce bottles. Sprouts is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. Its more than 170 stores offer a complete shopping experience that includes fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, meat and seafood, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items catering to consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness.
Named from the Japanese expression “Ocha No Naka No Ocha”, simply meaning “The Tea of ALL Teas!”, TEAS’ TEA is hailed as Only The Purest Tea™, for its thoughtful sourcing and meticulous brewing methods. The Non-GMO, unsweetened TEAS’ TEA® offers zero-calories, while the TEAS’ TEA Lattes are guilt-free with 0 grams of fat and 80 calories per serving.
“ITO EN and Sprouts are both committed to helping consumers live a healthy lifestyle at an affordable price,” said Jim Hoagland, COO of ITO EN (North America) INC, with makes TEAS’ TEA. “Sprouts’ customers will now be able to purchase a wide variety of healthy, great tasting Teas’ Tea products at a great price.”
June is National Iced Tea Month, and the North American Tea Championship (NATC) is naming the 25 best, premium iced teas in key categories. The NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America and the premier platform for showcasing quality teas. Visit TeaChampionship.com for a complete list of first, second and third-place winners in the NATC Iced Tea Class.
Some of the NATC victors are scheduled to be featured in the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (WorldTeaExpo.com), May 29 – 31, 2014 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach, Calif. And all of the high-quality NATC-winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.
Companies with 2014 first-place iced tea awards from NATC include: Argo Tea; Bhakti Chai; Crystal Geyser Water Company; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group; Honeybush Health Ltd.; Immaculate Leaf; ITO EN (North America); Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods; Mellow Monk, LLC; QTrade Teas & Herbs; S&D Coffee and Tea; Shangri La Tea Co.; and Walters Bay.
ITO EN (North America), S&D Coffee and Tea, QTrade Teas & Herbs and Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods boast the most first-place wins in the NATC Iced Tea Class.
“All of this year’s North American Tea Championship winners in the Iced Tea Class are exceptional and highly recommended for summer 2014 and beyond,” says George Jage, director of the North American Tea Championship at The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media. “The NATC had a lot of high-quality iced teas to choose from. Most notably, we’re seeing an increase in premium iced tea offerings for foodservice, so we added four ‘Best Value Awards’ in Foodservice in different categories. We also presented a ‘Best Packaging Award.’ Congratulations to all of this year’s winners; we expect them to gets lots of attention from consumers and the foodservice industry, especially in the warmer months ahead.”
North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)
New NATC categories and winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)
All NATC tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth-feel and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic. Winners were determined by rank.
Wilbur Curtis, a leading manufacturer of tea brewers and accessories, is the official equipment supplier for the North American Tea Championship Iced Tea Class evaluation. Global Customized Water is the official water supplier.
The next North American Tea Championship will be held in summer of 2014 for an evaluation of spring teas. Entries will be accepted and details will be at TeaChampionship.com once dates are established. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail email@example.com.
Rooibee Red Tea announced the launch of Rooibee Roo at Natural Products Expo West. Developed just for kids, the bottled tea offers the same health benefits and similar great taste of its parent line in three fruity flavors: cherry, mango and orange. A certified USDA organic rooibos tea that is naturally caffeine free, only 12 grams of organic cane sugar and less than 60 calories per eight ounce BPA free bottle, this is a tea parents can feel confident giving their children. For more information go to www.RooibeeRedTea.com.
When Rooibee Red Tea Chief Tea Officer Heather Howell joined the company four years ago, she noticed how much kids enjoyed the drink and knew they deserved their own. “I’m happy to fulfill the need of a healthier drink option for children by offering a tea with kid-friendly flavors, filled with unique minerals and antioxidants that also fall in line with school nutrition standards,” said Howell. “As a parent I know how important it is to feel confident about what your children put in their bodies.”
Rooibee Roo is currently production ready and will be available to consumers in select stores and online in late spring as a six-pack or individual bottles. It will cost an average price of about $1.00 per bottle.