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Vanilla Creme from Teavana. . . . A Honeybush Blend

SororiTEA Sisters - 4 hours 42 min ago
Every August in my childhood, my family would spend a week or two at my grandparents’ cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin. My sisters and I would spend days catching sand toads, splashing in the river, hiking through pine forests, gorging ourselves on cheese curds & ice cream, and staying up way too late to stargaze and– even more importantly (to 6-year-old Mary), make s’mores. I was obsessed with roasting the perfect marshmallow– brown and toasty on the outside, nice and gooey on the inside. Never burnt (yuck)– those got immediately relegated to my dad’s plate, undiscerning-marshmallow-eater that he Read More

Video - Episode 24: Interview with Lauren Purvis of Mizuba Tea Co.

Tea For Me Please - 7 hours 42 min ago
I've gotten a bit off schedule when it comes to videos over the last few months. 2017 is a new year so let's start off on the right foot! I'm going to change the format a bit going forward. For starters, I'll only be publishing episodes here (and on YouTube, of course). I discovered that the majority of viewers were watching there anyway.

This will help me to avoid having to pay podcast hosting fees and I won't have to render two different versions of every episode. For that reason, I won't be calling it a podcast anymore but the content will remain largely the same. You can still expect tea industry interviews, how to's, and more.

I first met Lauren on Mizuba Tea Co. at World Tea Expo a few years ago. It turned out that we had been following each other on Instagram for years! Her effervescent personality and passion for matcha made us fast friends. In this episode, we talk about how Lauren discovered tea and the happy accident that led her to start her own matcha company.

Read more about Lauren and Mizuba Tea Co. here:

A Mizuba Matcha Moment with Friends
Guest Post: The Chasen by Lauren Danson

Is there something (or someone) that you'd like to see in a future video? Let me know in the comments!

Pop Goes Life! from TeaTaxi. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - 8 hours 42 min ago
I am always excited for a flavored genmaicha. Now 52 Teas is normally where I find them but every so often they pop up at other companies too. This is Tea Taxi’s take on one and it is quite nice. With this blend the genmaicha seems to be the focus. The main flavor is the roastiness of the popped rice. There is also an underlying note of cereal that I would attribute to the rice as well. The green tea base is really quite mellow but is contributing a slight vegetalness that compliments the roastiness. However, it conflicts slightly with Read More

Smoking Coconut Black Tea from 52Teas. . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - 12 hours 42 min ago
I loved everything about this warming tea. I loved seeing the big coconut pieces, the delicious coconut aroma, and of course the taste. As soon as I poured the boiling water over this tea, all I could smell was coconut. I associate coconut with all things sunny and warm, so it was very soothing on a cold, grey, snowy winter day. I added a little raw sugar and a splash of coconut milk and just enjoyed the heck out of this cup. I never thought of combining any kind of tea with coconut(other than milk) but it really works out Read More

Lucky Bags

T Ching - 15 hours 41 min ago

More than one friend had told me that what they missed the most, after they left the States, were the freeways.  While galloping on deserted Interstate 10 early morning on New Year’s Day, I pondered how I would never miss the freeways because I would never leave the States.

When I reached the day’s destination – one Japanese supermarket in the Valley – it was exactly quarter till 9 a.m.   There were only 11 strangers waiting in line; I was destined to purchase one of the 30 fukubukuro (福袋), or lucky bags in English, the store would be selling that day.

After acquiring my very first lucky bag in this life, I hit Interstate 10 again to reach the other side of the Valley where another Japanese supermarket had started offering its limited number of mystery bags, also at 9 a.m.   At 9:50 a.m I parked.  One of the seven strangers congregated in front of the entrance told me the store would be open at 10 a.m. instead.  I was destined to purchase a lucky bag at this store too?!

For me, Fukubukuro is a concept almost as old as my knowledge of the nation named Japan, but not until 2017 did I gather enough interest to pay for one.  A lucky bag laden with expired merchandise will not vex me as much as its unavailability, its being sold out.

The first mystery bag at $20 contained only food products.  I quickly identified the three tea-related items:  canned green tea, matcha hard candy, and kukicha.   Having written the Canned Green Tea post, I am no longer befuddled by any Japanese beverage.  The caption on this small can reads, “Matcha is made from ground tea leaves.  When you drink matcha, you ingest the whole leaf.  Matcha enhances mood and gives you energy.”   Japanese bekkouame candy, often redolent of inedible artistic glasswork, is almost always yummy.  I have not opened the bag of kukicha.

I paid $30 for the second mystery bag and received full-year supply of shampoo and conditioner.

This is inscrutable – in Japan, Starbucks’s fukubukuro seems once again the most coveted lucky bag this New Year.   Won’t you be disappointed if you end up getting this bag, or this one?  Maybe the experience is not as frustrating as playing the Starbucks for Life game during a holiday season.  There are of course lucky bags for every product line from every industry:  Appliance, clothing, toys, etc.   Manufacturers and business operators must make a final attempt to rid of unsalable merchandise!

The post Lucky Bags appeared first on T Ching.

Hibiscus Fruit Punch from Hackberry Tea. . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 00:19
I either love or hate hibiscus tea. Some I find way too tart, and others are perfect. I was excited to try this blend because it had fruit punch in the name. It seemed like it would be fruitier and less tart. This blend includes apples, orange peel, raspberries, lemongrass (my love) and other fruits and berries. I made a pitcher and iced it because i think iced is the only way to drink hibiscus tea. I was not disappointed at all. It still has the typical hibiscus tartness, but the fruits balance it out. I made it with just Read More

Victoria premieres tonight on PBS: Celebrate with afternoon tea and credit the Queen's friend, Anna, Duchess of Bedford

Barb's Tea Shop - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 14:10

Rachel in front of Kensington Palace - our visit in 2011
For those of us still looking to fill the void Downton Abbey created last year with its final season, and who have already binge-watched The Crown, it's with great anticipation we have waited for tonight when PBS premieres its new mini-series, Victoria.

It seems absolutely fitting to celebrate this new drama with afternoon tea as it was Queen Victoria's friend and lady-in-waiting, Anna, Duchess of Bedford who is credited with creating this quintessential British repast.

The Orangery tea room on the grounds of Kensington Palace

The summer of June, 2011, Rachel and I toured Kensington Palace. We were in awe of being in Queen Victoria's bedroom, the exact spot where, on June 20, 1837, she was told she would be the new reigning monarch of England.

Another highlight of the tour was having afternoon tea at The Orangery, the beautiful tea room on the grounds of Kensington Palace. (It still remains one of our Top Five Tea Rooms in England.) Considering afternoon tea was a creation of Victorian times, it seemed essential to partake in one so near the childhood home of  the Queen.

But what inspired Anna to package up scones, tea and tiny sandwiches into an elegant mid-day event? It began as a solution to a problem. In 19th century England, the span between lunch and dinner for the "one-percenters" was great. By mid-afternoon, our poor Duchess suffered from what she described as a "sinking feeling". Basically, she was hungry.

To combat this, Anna began asking for cakes and breads to be served with her afternoon tea. She loved it - and so much so, she began to invite friends to join her. And, since this was Victorian times where more was more, it became not only a time to break scones with fellow aristocrats, but an occasion to show off your lovely new tea accouterments and fancy tea dresses.

Afternoon tea at The Orangery. Prepare your own for Victoria viewing!
So, my anglophile friends, buckle your seat belts, brew up some Earl Grey, warm up the scones, slather on the clotted cream and get your remote control pointed to your local PBS station at 9:00 tonight. Victoria may not completely fill the empty Sunday nights we've experienced since last March, but served up with scones, sweets and savories, (thank you, Anna!)  it should be delicious fun!

Ever Been Curious about Steeped Tea? Matcha Green Tea from Steeped Tea

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 20:00
Matcha Green Tea from Steeped Tea is straight-up matcha! That’s right…Green Tea Powder…as many of you already know! There really isn’t a LOT to say about Matcha Green Tea from Steeped Tea but I will certainly try. It’s a more mellow tasting matcha that is for sure. It’s smooth, too! The natural creaminess is nice! Matcha Green Tea from Steeped Tea smells like green beans and tastes like green beans. I guess one of the reasons I like straight-up matchas and like to spend some time with them is to see how they are alike but also differ. I’ve had Read More

Black Third Flush (Autumn) Single Estate Darjeeling FTGFOP1 from Teabox

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 16:00
The scent of the dry tea leaves is bright and fresh with a richer, perhaps malty tinge. At first I was a little worried that my tea would end up tasting like a bale of orchard grass hay, but fortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case. I steeped the tea according to the steeping recommendations on the packet, although I may have been a bit generous with the leaves. The leaves are on the small side but not superfine or too small to be good quality. They’re third flush, or autumn harvested, which means the flavor is different because the Read More

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from BlendBee

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 12:00
  My family made a lot of strawberry rhubarb pies in the summertime, and each time I was tasked with washing and chopping the rhubarb from our garden. I was warned that the leaves were poisonous, and only the stems were okay to go in the pie. That dietary fact always made the bowl of chopped rhubarb and eggs and sugar all bubbling together seem like some questionable witches brew. But the resulting pie was always worth the danger, especially with all the pink strawberries in the mix. Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from Blend Bee works to recreate this strawberry rhubarb combination. Read More

Turmeric Lemon Ginger from Yerba Bueno Tea Co. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 00:00
I feel like I’m suck in an episode of PeeWee Herman’s Playhouse and the Word of the Day is “Turmeric” with all of the Turmeric type teas I have been reviewing lately! But that’s ok because I’m one of Turmeric’s biggest fans! Today I introduce to you Turmeric Lemon Ginger from Yerba Bueno Tea Co. Organic Turmeric Root, Organic Lemongrass, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Lemon Peel, Organic Licorice Root, Organic Black Pepper are the official ingredients in this herbal tisane. I could see, smell, and taste each of those ingredients! Pretty impressive if you ask me! I’m not sure why Read More

The Day The Earth Shook

The Devotea - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 22:43

Yesterday had potential to be a day of high drama. Not just because there was a predicted apocalyptic level storm for my home town. Not just because it was the day of the first AUS vs PAK one-day cricket match of the series. Not just because I started a rumour that The Wiggles were about […]

The post The Day The Earth Shook appeared first on Lord Devotea's Tea Spouts.

Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co. . . An Earthy Chai to Try!

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 20:00
Spiced Chai from LucidiTea Co was a tea and a tea company I discovered while attending the Erie VegFest in late September. They were one of the vendors at the festival and for that I am VERY grateful! I ended up buying 3 of their teas and this was one of them. This chai is a great starter chai because the spices are not overly intense like some others I have tried. Don’t get me wrong I like both Chai’s…the ones that are more mellow and the ones that are intense. There is just a time and a place for Read More

Friday Round Up: January 8th - January 14th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 17:00
5 Things I Know About Tea, That I Didn't Know Last Week
Elizabeth is the author of a new to me blog called The Tea Journals. She's just starting to go down the rabbit hole and I've really been enjoying following her journey.

Causes for Sour Flavors in Puerh Tea
+Cwyn N's posts are always insightful and full of knowledge. This week she sheds some light on some of the reasons why sour flavors might occur in tea.

How to Make Matcha Green Tea
+Lu Ann Pannunzio wrote a fantastic post (with an even more fantastic video) on making a perfect bowl of matcha. This is definitely great post to check out if you're not sure where to start.

Spotting Old Arbor Bullshit
Cody at The Oolong Drunk pulls no punches with this week's entry. He did an awesome job of tackling some of the controversies that are popping up in the tea world when it comes to the age of the trees use to produce puerh.

Art of Tea - Silver Needle, Fukamushi Sencha, and Crimson Oolong
+Georgia SS at Notes on Tea is always very thorough in her tea reviews. I really enjoyed this week's post because she compared three very different different teas from the same vendor.

LUPICIA Plantation Specified Teas

Notes on Tea - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 16:01

The twelve days of Christmas have passed and it does not feel like hot-tea weather in New York City. Temperatures have been rising and reached over 60 degrees F today! Despite all this, I've been drinking hot cups of LUPICIA plantation and original blends as well as flavored holiday teas all week. I am not enamored of blends but I enjoyed the one I drunk from the tea bag set. The box has a clever design feature: there is a pop-up of two rabbits when you open the box. Also, the individual tea packets from the Holiday Teas line are beautiful illustrated.

There were pure teas included in the tea bag set as well. The "Omaesama" sencha was quite good. The Darjeeling Second Flush, a blend of summer harvested leaves, was fantastic. The leaves in the tea bag were orthodox full leaf. I prepared this tea as directed in 5 ounces of boiling water and steeped it for 2 minutes then 3 minutes. The liquor was delicious! The tea was aromatic; it filled my nose and mouth with dark fruity, sweet, and baked flavors. It reminded me of an Oriental Beauty oolong. The liquor was robust yet smooth. I did not add milk and neither should you. There was minimal astringency. The 3 minute infusion reminded flavorful but with a lighter body and mouthfeel.

One of the three tins of whole leaf tea I received was Darjeeling The Second Flush. I assumed it was the same tea as was bagged in the pyramid sachet. I steeped this tea also as directed: 2.5 grams in 5 ounces of boiling water for 2 minutes then 3 minutes. In retrospect I should have used 3 grams, the higher end of the gram range. The light copper liquor had a similar profile to the liquor from the tea bag but the intensity of flavors and mouthfeel were noticeably lighter. The steam off the 3 minute infusion smelled like the taste of the 2 minute cup with the taste had a more herbal character.

The other two tins were La Belle Epoque, a "classic blended tea", and "Uji", a sencha. I did not record any of the occasions on which I prepared the black tea blend but I recall enjoying it and noting it would be a good daily morning tea. I have notes on the Uji sencha.

I prepared this sencha the way I did the fukamushicha from Art of Tea because the method was fresh in mind. I don't think this Lupicia sencha is a deep steamed tea. I infused 1 teaspoon of leaf in 3 ounces of 155F water for 4o seconds. I steeped the leaves three times. The first infusion was light, smooth, and creamy. The second was also smooth but the creaminess intensified. The liquor tasted creamy and displayed a creamy mouthfeel. An additional note of umami appeared. The third infusion was still smooth with an umami note but with a decrease in the creamy taste. The mouthfeel remained creamy but an astringent note emerged. I have not discarded the leaves and will steep them for a fourth time; I think I will get another flavorful cup.

Have you "rolled over" teas you were drinking late last year into these first two weeks of 2017?

P.S. Chill overnight your hot brew of the loose Darjeeling The Second Flush for a malty, slightly spicy drink.

Ginger Lily Oolong from Tea Ave. . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 16:00
Tea Ave has some of the most NATURALLY AMAZING Oolongs I have ever tried. Recently I was luck enough to sample Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave and I knew right away I just HAD to share my thoughts and feelings with you! Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave features an Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong base with low roasting and oxidation levels. It’s light, sweet, smooth, and somewhat earthy with a subtle ginger finish that gently lingers onto the aftertaste. My mind was puzzled as I sipped on Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave. How could this flavor happen to Read More

Hindbaersnitter Shou Mei from 52Teas. . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:00
Normally I am not a lover of Shou Mei blends. I find the base can get a little soapy at times. This tea definitely does not have that problem. Instead the base is buttery and maybe a touch floral, which in this case is working with the other flavors in the blend as opposed to working against them like so many other white teas/shou meis I have tried. The buttery element of the base helps to sell the concept of the pastry notes while the floral notes contribute to the raspberry flavor that really shines. Jammy and bright. On top Read More

Blast from the Past: When the cold takes its toll, try peppermint tea

T Ching - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 09:33

Have you ever craved something warm and relaxing during the winter – something to soothe your body of ailments from the cold?  Recently, while on the cold snow-covered mountains of central California, I discovered why so many people enjoy peppermint tea.  The change from warm southern California weather to cold central California weather had taken a toll on my body.  But this warm aromatic tea tickled my nose and enticed my palate.  My body aches and head swirls eventually vanished.  And with the disappearance of my ailments, I began to wonder what else peppermint tea might help.

Peppermint, or Mentha piperita, tea has a variety of health benefits, ranging from easing abdominal pain to alleviating tension headaches.  Animal studies performed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) have demonstrated a relaxation effect on the gastrointestinal tract and anesthetic effects on the central and peripheral nervous system, while studies on humans have shown analgesic, or pain-reducing, effects on the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts from drinking peppermint tea.  The NIH has given peppermint a B letter grade for its ability to reduce coughs, according to good scientific evidence.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the menthol in peppermint is a decongestant that reduces mucus and, therefore, relieves nasal pressure.  Menthol is also helpful in breaking up phlegm.

Although peppermint is most commonly used in the form of a tea, it can also be used be externally.  Peppermint tea or oil (the concentrated form of peppermint) can be applied to the temples to relieve tension headaches and on rashes to cool the skin.  Peppermint tea extract feels wonderful on one’s skin during or after a bath.  Consider adding a few drops to your bath water for a great tingly sensation.

As with most tea, there are many benefits to peppermint tea.  These benefits range from internal to external, mental to physical.  Through a swirling head and body aches, I was able to discover my new favorite tea. What’s your reason for loving peppermint tea?


This post by Kelley Gold was originally posted to T Ching in January of 2010.

The post Blast from the Past: When the cold takes its toll, try peppermint tea appeared first on T Ching.

Tea Tastes in 2017: A Forecast

World of Tea - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 23:09

A new year is upon us and the tea industry is rife with innovation, cheeky trends, and funky fads. We asked 7 tea folk from around the world what they see coming down the pike in 2017 — here’s what they had to say:

Henrietta Lovell
Owner, Rare Tea Company

“I see a significant trend for 2017 and beyond in the rise of the conscious consumer. People have, for some time now, started to wonder what lies beyond the industrial bag. But real change is starting to happen as customers – especially online where they expect clear, transparent company information – dig deeper into where their tea comes from; who grows it, crafts it and what is the impact of the tea trade on their lives. We are seeing an ever increasing spike in traffic to our website looking at our “About Us” section. Our Direct-Trade model and our ethical standing with our tea garden partners have never been so relevant to potential customers over our 13 years of trading. My customers want really good tea, not just in terms of flavour but in the impact it has on the growers. They don’t want to be involved in the long-standing exploitation of poorer nations so that faceless shareholders can make more profits and blind consumers can get a cheap mug of tea. The support we have seen from our restaurant and hotel customers for Rare Charity (returning a percentage of revenue back to the farms for tertiary education scholarships) has been truly astounding.

Even without the rise of this conscious consumer – flavour is winning. There is a reason why tea bags are cheap: highly industrialised farming and bulk machine processing replaces skilled labour and craft. But agro-business can’t produce the best flavors. We accepted this with wine a long time ago; we are prepared to pay significantly more for truly delicious liquid crafted with skill, expertise, and care. Tea is now having it’s time. The trend is turning away from gimmicky packaging and lab created “natural” flavorings that treat us like children. Consumers are searching for better and better tea and with that comes great craft and a value market. This will eventually see tea gardens thrive like vineyards rather than struggle in poverty that has become deeper, in real terms, over the last 70 odd years as bags have become cheaper. It won’t be achieved in 2017, but it has begun. As Ferran Adria said at the second MAD Conference, organised by the Danish restaurant Noma back in 2012, “If you search for great flavour you will find great people who care about the land, the people, and their futures who are growing and producing it.” As we search out really great tea we will be supporting the men and women who most deserve our help.”


Nigel Melican
Managing Director of Teacraft Ltd & Executive Director of Nothing But Tea Ltd

“I am not sure if I am the one for guessing tea trends – I have for 40 years confidently predicted (and hoped for) the demise of the auction system, but it still flourishes.  However, my antennae twitch at:

  1. New green tea origins and styles. The health driven market wants green teas but traditional producers can barely make enough for their home markets, hence many new origins are showing interest: India, Sri Lanka, and African tea countries. For a decade these have been crude make-do copies – but I see more interest in making quality green teas now. Add to that some totally new green tea sources questing for quality – Australia, Colombia, and Hawaii for example – then I see 2017 as a great year for green tea.
  1. There will be a move towards bringing the economy of scale into specialty tea production without losing the “special” appeal. Successful scaling up artisanal manufacture into business sized units depends primarily on shortening the value chain – by direct selling to retail or at least by reducing the middleman’s cut. I expect to see more tea smallholders taking an interest in marketing.
  1. Recently, in China, I tasted concept teas with several companies that might well be called fusion products. Mixes of green and oolong tea processing techniques, or a meld of white and black tea manufacturing. I suspect we shall see more unconventional mixing of processing techniques (and a few entirely new ones as well) to answer the insatiable desire for novelty in western specialty tea markets.
  1. Expect also to see deliberate blurring of the food and beverage categories and incorporation of novel experience into the mix. Tetley has recently floated a range of mood enhancing teas – formulated to stimulate, calm, warm and even to induce serenity. Not yet launched they have other concepts slated – men’s vitality tea, tea jellies, tea sniffers and tea sorbets.
  1. In Hawaii I have spotted a new tea production development up and running that promises to become a trend. The Hawaii Tea Cooperative is pioneering a consumer cooperative, creating a sustainable model for automated growing and processing tea under labor limited conditions. This is cutting edge stuff, bringing together the best innovations and systems from around the world to solve upcoming problems that the antiquated tea industry is ignoring. Their mission is to develop a cooperative tea growing business model that can be replicated around the world.

Lastly, although not my information, there is good news from MarketWatch that the global tea market will grow to $21.33 billion in 2024 up from current $14.45 billion in 2016.”


Bin Chen
Co-Founder of Tea People & Boba Guys

“Last year, one of the biggest trends we saw in the tea world was the rise of tea cocktails. We saw classic drinks have their main ingredients replaced with tea concentrates. Our personal favorite was the Matcha Mule we concocted, a matcha-based riff off of the traditional Moscow Mule. As 2017 unfolds we don’t expect this trend to fade but rather begin to highlight tea and tisanes as an even more important component to alcoholic drinks. Look for tea to star as the key ingredient at bars that are pushing the envelope in mixology.

At Tea People, the other big tea trend we were into last year was cold brewing. Influenced heavily by the coffee world, cold brewing loose leaf tea allowed for a sort of fail proof steeping method that created an iced tea that wasn’t diluted or bitter in taste. Towards the end of the year, we wanted to take that and push it one step further. Looking at the trends in the coffee and craft beer worlds, we wondered, what would happen if we use nitrogen to keg our cold brew?

In 2017, we plan to see a lot of this kind of experimentation with what tea can do. From cocktails to nitro, we expect to see a rise of tea x science. We’ve seen it in the past with the rise of kombucha, but we think specifically “Nitro Tea” will be this year’s sip of choice. We plan on offering a rotation of our loose leafs on tap in stores but also build out guides for tea people to try out at home. Kegging tea with nitrogen creates a whole new flavor profile and taste: super smooth, clean, unlike anything you’ve ever had. By nitrogenating a tea, a head of nitrogen gas forms on the top of the tea, creating a new creamy mouthfeel. When drafted, it cascades like a Guinness beer, with a foamy head. The flavor of tea is broken down into three different sensations: taste, aroma and mouthfeel. All of these are determined by the amount of different chemical compounds in the tea. When adding nitrogen to a tea we are not actually “changing” the flavor of a tea, but rather contributing to it. Nitro tea just elevates all three aspects of flavor that a tea has to offer.

Our next Boba Guys location will be in Potrero Hill (1002 16th St., San Francisco) and will be dedicated to all things nitro!”


Denis Shumakov
Co-Founder of Tea School Studio, Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Tea Masters Cup, Manager of Tea Provisions

“To my mind, the modern tea culture is a micro-phenomenon culture. Methods for preparing and serving tea, books, opinion shapers, special teas and tea products, fashion, etc will arise, evolve, and disappear in 2017 as they did before. None of these will have a decisive influence on the tea culture. But the totality of such micro-phenomena can have a very strong impact on the tea culture.

This impact is only possible when there are tools which enable effective control over the totality of the micro-phenomena. Large tea communities and media can be such tools. The Tea Masters Cup – a system of tea competitions, which allows us to identify and promote interesting ideas and the brightest professionals – is also such a tool.

Judging by the current progress of these tools, the trend in 2017 will be, firstly, a growing interest in tea micro-phenomena and, secondly, in a variety of local tea traditions.”


Emily Erb
Co-Founder, Leaves & Flowers

“I’ve seen a lot more people become interested in tea in the past few years. I think people are now seeking to incorporate tea into their daily lives as a “wellness” aid, now that it’s widely known that tea is high in antioxidants and herbal infusions have a number of health benefits. I have spoken with so many people who are not drinking as much coffee and love the gentler stimulation that tea offers. Tea provides steadier energy levels throughout the day.

I’m seeing a lot of herbal infusions targeted as aids in everyday health, which is a shift from thinking of it as the beverage of choice only when you are feeling under the weather. Examples of this are beauty teas, that are said to fight free-radicals in turn giving you glowing skin, detox teas, and even de-stress teas.

Another trend I have seen is more tea-based drinks on cafe menus. Matcha lattes are becoming more popular and golden milk is now popping up occasionally. I think this is only going to increase in 2017. I have also seen a lot of bartenders incorporating tea into cocktails. Overall, it seems people are finding new and interesting ways to use tea in beverages in cafes and restaurants.”


Wolfgang Boehmer
Business Developer, Flavor Chemist, Tea Sommelier at Flavor Dynamics Inc.

“What’s trending for flavored whole leaf tea right now are all-natural and organic compliant flavors, specifically with chocolate and caramel components.

Flavored iced teas are staying stable with fruit combinations, like Papaya Strawberry or Peach Mango. Don’t forget the traditional Raspberry as well as Mango / Passionfruit.”


Jordan G. Hardin
Beverage Director for Alfred Tea Room & Alfred Coffee, Editor in Chief at World of Tea

“It was apparent that 2015 and 2016 were big years for matcha in the brick and mortar consumer market. In the last two years we’ve seen matcha-exclusive tea bars pop up all over the country. Matcha has become a standard, and although we may see a bit of matcha fatigue, we won’t see it go anywhere anytime soon. 

What I see growing even more, partly as a response to the rapid success of matcha, are other kinds of tea or herbal based latte-style drinks. Specifically, turmeric will be everywhere! I’ve seen experiments with beet or carrot powder lattes, charcoal and blue algae lattes, even wasabi lattes with tea and coffee. Not everyone is excited about this, but those who are excited seem motivated by the promoted “wellness” of these experimental drinks. In the consumer market, tea has always struggled to represent itself as more than just a health tonic and the downside of these drinks might be a step backward in that direction. Somewhat unfortunately, I think we’ll see more brands realize that there’s money to be made by advertising claims that their teas promote specific wellness, no matter what’s actually in them.

I also predict a larger and broader range of herbal teas to diversify the market. The number of customers I get who ask about little to no caffeine beverages, or different types of herbal teas has only been on the increase. Specifically, on the flavor wheel, I think we’ll see more pine, cascara, chicory, butterfly pea, cacao, chilis, and more. At least, those are the items I’ll be playing around with!

Puer is having even more of a moment than it’s had in the past. It had a little momentum behind it before, but now you’ve got some very interesting, stylish, hip Puer brands out there attracting a lot of social buzz. The near cult-like status Puer occupies in many tea enthusiast’s life has only broadened the appeal for novel, unique, funky heicha. The fact that more customers know what this is and can order it with confidence is very encouraging. I wish I saw more in the way of traditional specialty tea consumption. It’s certainly there, and it moves slowly and steadily upward, but this may just be the pace it’s destined to stay at for now. We definitely will see these specialty teas amplified or exoticised in some way which will drive a different kind of consumption, e.g. through carbonation, interesting infusions, and novel brewing techniques.

Finally, boba. There’s gonna be a lot more of it in the US. Ready or not!”

*Featured Photo Credit: Tea People

Lively Rose Blend from Plum Deluxe. . . . . .

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 20:00
As the days get shorter and the dark stretches longer, unsurprisingly I’ve been looking for comfort. For me, that looks like the typical things– a warm bath, a cozy blanket, a cup of tea (duh. :)), a burning candle, twinkle lights, good food, my favorite book, and the list goes on and on. A few years ago, I learned that this innate need for coziness and comfort that always pokes its head out during this time of year has a name! And an entire nation of people who are experts at practicing it! Who knew? This Danish concept, hygge, is Read More
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