Tag: Rachel carter’

I Love My Job!

 - by iheartteas

Back from a rather long trip visiting family in Maine and I am eager to start refocusing my energy back to iHeartTeas.  I have so much planned before the end of the year and want to share my excitement with you.

I have plans to add new products, that I am sure will get the attention they deserve.  I am currently in the process of testing those products which only reinforces just how much “I love My Job!”

Before I share what’s new I want to share my direction for iHeartTeas, other than tea of course.  I want to introduce iHeartTeas as a website offering unique products, most of which are limited in nature.  It is my intension to keep a small number of handcrafted teas on a permanent basis including select tea-inspired beauty products.  The remaining offerings would be made available in small quantities and once sold out, they are gone.  As a result, keeping my site stocked with new and exciting products always.  Just remember if you see something you like you had better jump on it.  If you don’t, you may miss your one time opportunity.

Some of the changes will include several opportunities to customize tea-inspired beauty products.  I will be offering relaxing “Spa Bath Salts”, “Emulsifying Sugar Scrubs”, “Perfume Oils”, “Bath Bombs”, “Lip Balms”, and so much more.  Many of these products will be prepared to order based on the fragrance you select.  Be careful when you make your choice, you wouldn’t want to smell like onions would you?  I will provide a wide range of options, thus making it fun and unique to you.  For select products you will be given the option to select up to three different fragrances.  If you want your bath to smell like Apple Pie, I would combine apple, vanilla, and cinnamon fragrances, yum!
Next, tea! I already have a selection of tea handcrafted by me. They are listed below…

1. Sweet Velvet Fog {Black Tea Blend}

2. Winter Frost {Black Tea Blend}

3. Creamy Pumpkin Spice {Black Tea Blend}

4. Raspberry & Apricot Delight {Green Tea Blend}

5. Strawberry Lemonade {Herbal & Rooibos Blend}

6. Strawberry Island {Black Tea Blend}

These teas have become a part of my permanent collection.  So many of you have been enjoying these far too much for me to retire any of them.  In the future I may add more to my handcrafted selection however for now this will be it.

*NEW – Tea Blends & Orthodox Teas

I have decided to add new teas that I have sourced for their unique qualities.  I am in the process of testing them all right now.  I will be releasing them soon, slowly, and on a limited, small available quantity basis so that I may find more gems to offer in the future.

*New – Tea Accessories and Wares

I’m so excited to announce that I will soon offer Yixing pots and cups on an EXTREMELY LIMITED basis. I also have a couple of other unique items but will only announce them once I have them listed.  Don’t want to give away all my secrets.

I hope you’re as excited as I am. Working on streamlining iHeartTeas and what I want is so much fun. Pretty soon I’ll even have a small panel of testers for my beauty products.  Once everything has been tested and tweaked as needed I’ll start to slowly roll out the new products.  I will even be coming out with my first newsletter with many of you already subscribed. If you are not yet it’s never too late.  Go over to iHeartTeas and head to the bottom right corner to sign up.
Lastly but never least, I just want to thank my amazing husband.  He is my behind the scenes supporter.  He has encouraged me to reach for the stars and is always there for me. I even need to thank my five year old daughter who now has been touched by tea her entire life, who helps me whenever she can. Breeding the next generation of tea drinker and lover.

It’s my goal to cultivate an affinity of tea and all tea-inspired products. Finding ways to incorporate tea in a multitude of ways thought out our daily lives.  That’s why “I Love My Job!”  That’s why I started iHeartTeas.

World Tea Expo: The Video (In Korean)

 - by iheartteas

Here is a video of the World Tea Expo that was aired on a popular Asian laugage TV station LA 18.  I’m sure those who understand Korean will get the most from this video.  For the rest of use you’ll be able to see the show floor, listen to interviews of people attending, and running the show in English.  For me I am actually in the video for a brief moment towards the ends.  Looks like I’m famous.  LOL :)

Another Tea Sample? – World Tea Expo Day #1

 - by iheartteas

It’s been about a week since we have been back from the Expo. We meaning myself and my husband Ralph. It’s been an interesting week at that just trying to see if I can’t put my thoughts together onto virtual paper.  This was our first exclusively tea Expo and I feel we saw and learned so much that the idea of putting together a blog post became a bit overwhelming.

On a personal note, many of you know that the week prior to actually departing for the Expo was a bit mentally and physically challenging time for us. Fortunately things are getting better on the family front.  What I mean by that is my dad’s health is improving dramatically every day.  As a matter of fact my dad was released released from the hospital the day prior to our leaving for Las Vegas and because he was doing so much better it made our trip that much more pleasurable.

Let me set the scene,  a week before leaving my dad had a massive heart attack but now is doing much better. Next, this was also the first trip that both my husband and I were taking out-of-state without our five year old daughter.  Another huge obstacle for me and her considering I’m a stay-at-home mom and being always around was sort of my thing.  It was hard for me to let go.  Not so much my husband since he travels a great deal for work anyway.  For example, he’s in the Bahamas right now as I type this. So anyway I just wanted wanted to lay down a foundation so you knew my mental state prior to leaving, that’s the end of that and now off to the World Tea Expo.

I think my husband would best describe my attitude as extremely giddy.  I was about to come face-to-face with what I would call utopia. Just imagine a microcosm comprised entirely of tea, tea accessories, tea education, tea fanatics, from all around the world.  Reminds me of that daydream where you are wandering through streets of candy, where the houses are built of chocolate but in my case, steeped in tea.

I knew once I arrived it would just be a whirlwind adventure full of meeting new friends and old, learning new things, seeing new products, a veritable cornucopia of tea goodness.

I will say I was on a mission to find some really good friends of mine. Friends that I’ve made through social media, such as Twitter, Google+, Tea Trade, and Steepster.  Funny, I remember as a child I used to have pen-pals.  How times have changed, still my friendships through social media are just as strong if not stronger than those that I’ve made by way of traditional methods.

It was an extreme pleasure to meet Jo also known on Twitter as @agiftoftea. It was like in the movies.  Our eyes met and in slow motion we ran to each other as I imagined Chariots of Fire playing in the background.  Truly an epic moment. No, wait dare I say it… “Legend…wait for it…dary” – Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother” moment.  Similar moment happened yet again when I got to meet Katrina also known as @TeaPages on Twitter.  We had near chance meetings on several occasions and I finally we had the opportunity meet in person, it was just like meeting an old friend.

By this time it was still earlier on Friday, the first day of the expo and what a way to start.  However, even before then I went to my first lecture regarding how to “Find Gold In Green Markets” by Dan Robertson Owner/Director of The Tea House & World Tea Tours. The lecture covered key points on how to best be successful at farmers markets, what to look for, how to pack, how to present, and more.  I felt reassured that much of the information being covered was what I had already known.  Still it does make me feel better hearing that from someone as experienced as him.

After getting a good start to my morning I spent the rest of the day on the show floor. I got to see many of the vendors I’ve been wanting to see including some very unique vendors.  I will get more into more details about the specifics of exactly what I saw, what I found intriguing, and what I would like to get involved with in my next blog post.  Right now I just wanted to be able to set a foundation as to what this Expo has been for me.

So far I can say this Expo for me was mostly about networking.  Of course, included in that is learning about new products.  Plus a rather pleasant surprise, I learned what sort of footprint I’ve left within the community without even realizing.

In one of my other blog posts I’ll go more into detail about those wonderful tea education courses I was able to take thanks entirely to Beth and Neumann of Teas Etc.  I was one of two lucky winners that won $400 to spend tea education courses.  Thank you so much again Beth and Neumann.

After a long day on the Expo floor and many tea samples later, it was time for our Tweet-Up that was so graciously put together by Jo.  It was such a great experience meeting all the people that I’ve been talking to on Twitter for such a long time including Naomi from Joys Teaspoon @JoysTeaspoon and her two other friends and associates Sarah @oolongofficer, and Audrea @EarlSteeper.  Also, had the pleasure of meeting Chris Giddings @Teaity and @chrisagiddings, Lisa @LisaBraithwaite, and of course Jo and Katrina as mentioned.  I do hope I didn’t forget anyone.  My husband Ralph @ralphcarterii also joined us.  He was kind enough to make sure we had hot water and tea during our meeting.  Tea was provided by Teas Etc.  Beth and Neumann were kind enough to come to rescue with some delicious Oriental Beauty oolong, a Zojirushi that Ralph guarded with his life, and T-Sac’s when we found out Lochan Teas supply of teas never arrived at the Expo.  Thanks again for everything.  The best part of the tweet up is that we finally got a chance to sit down have general conversation regarding our likes and dislikes at the Expo, some interesting finds, and just general catching up.  I was meeting everyone face to face for the first time so there was a lot of catching for me.  Towards the end we had great conversation about what we should do as bloggers at next years Expo.  I feel confident we are going in the right direction with some of these ideas but until I can confirm we are going forward with the plan I won’t be sharing the details.  Just know it is a great idea, includes the collective powers of bloggers and retailers and hopefully in the end will bring forth a cornucopia of new rich information.

Once the tweet up was over we all decided to head back to the expo floor and witness the Wu-Yu Tea Ceremony.  It was a beautiful ceremony where the person who prepares the tea is to be silent and the person receiving the tea is also silent during the entire ceremony.  There were many participants and from what I understand all spots for the ceremony were filled.  It was so beautiful to see all these people who didn’t even know each other, maybe some did but others didn’t, just graciously offer a stranger a cup of tea with sincere smile.

Now the day had ended I was ready to head back to the hotel with sore feet, sore knee and a full bladder.  Totally worth it.

I suspect I will have many entries regarding the Expo some more technical and some more personal I hope you enjoy them all.

Hand Painted Matcha (Tea) Bowl

 - by iheartteas

I just have have to share with a new matcha bowl that I had painted and had glazed.  I also put into it a message that saw on Pinterest on another mug that really spoke to me, “No Tea…No Work” and to that I say a rousing “Heck Yay!”  I plan on making more and will share them with you as I go along.

I wish the front was a bit clearer but I did want to mention it is a dark green and light green mix in drip like streaks.  Just gorgeous.

Lovely Ladies of Tea Trade

 - by iheartteas

To My Lovely Ladies of Tea Trade,

Today I wish you all a very Happy Mothers Day!  I know I am a day early but I am certain all of us will be fawned upon tomorrow and thus distracting us from our social media responsibilities so I decided to send you my best and my appreciation for all you do, today.

I have made this card as a gesture of appreciation and recognition to all my tea drinking women out there.  This goes to the moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and to even those who are mothers to their pets.  Who says you have to have a child to be a mother.  We women have that maternal instinct when we are caring for our nieces and nephews and even our little animal friends.

Today, I am specifically recognizing those that influence me the most and they are the “Lovely Ladies of Tea Trade” because it is you ladies that impact me the most on a daily basis.  You ladies keep my day interesting and whats more you are in love with the very same thing I am and that is “Tea” of course.  Giving us plenty to discuss all the time.

Regardless, of how busy we are and you know we are.  We always make time for each other and I want to share with you just how much I’ve come to enjoy our daily interactions.

Thank you for all you do to brighten my day.

Happy Mothers Day!

P.S. I have also posted this on Google+

Fashionably Late To The Gaiwan Party?

 - by iheartteas

As many of you know I just purchased two new Gaiwans.  I already had one but it was small and the material it is made of  a bit thin causing me to burn my fingers more than I’d prefer.   I actually stopped using my Gaiwan mostly because it was a bit cumbersome for me.  I am the type of person that must see tea making as more of a calming process.  If the process becomes complicated, daunting, or just flat out annoying I usually just go back to the methods I am most comfortable with.

Recently, I have been seeing Gaiwan’s used more and more.  Plus, I see more Gaiwans available for purchase in retail stores and online.  All of the sudden I see them popping up everywhere.  It is this reason I had decided to find out, “why all the rage?”  Maybe I am missing out on something?  Clearly, the way I went about using my little 2-sided Gaiwan, flowers on one side, writing on the other was probably wrong.  How could it be so many enjoy using  theirs and not me.  So rather than blaming  myself, I decided perhaps it was the Gaiwan.  Good old fashioned blame someone or something else. (I know it was me)

There I was back in the market to purchase new tea ware.  Imagine my excitement. I love buying new tea ware.  Heck, I love buying anything tea.  Clearly I am a fanatic with slight obsessive compulsiveness towards tea.  I am sure none of you could relate. Tea-he.

I purchase the ones you see here.  One has a dragon pattern and the other a crane.  These are larger than my original one and the material it is made from is much thicker and clearly sturdier.  I feel with these I can make a good cup of tea.  Best part… I don’t burn my fingers.

Anyway, I know I am just blathering on about how cool my new tea ware is and I know your jealous, perfectly understandable but I promise there is a purpose to my back story.

I now understand why people love their Gaiwans… They produce amazing results!  The teas I have tried so far are a Ben Shan and a Milk Oolong.  Both of these I enjoy making in my traditional fashion and would have never complained about the flavor.  After preparing it in my new pieces I feel like I am experiencing these teas in a new light.  I can’t believe these could taste better than the best.  I am not certain what magic these Gaiwans possess and I am certain I don’t care.  Although, I am almost certain it has something  to do with the shorter infusions.

I promise you from now on I will be frequently including the use of Gaiwans when preparing teas.  I encourage everyone to give it a try.  Plus, when you start working on your technique you will find a way that best works for you.  You will no longer burn your fingers and experience little to no spilling.  I can’t wait to invest in some more accouterments for the complete Kung Fu experience and report back.

Two thumbs ups for Gaiwans, I’m just sorry I was so late to the party.  Fashionably late I hope.

New Additions To The Family

 - by iheartteas

Just recently purchased two new Gaiwans for my rather lacking collection.  With the addition of these two I now have three.  I particularly like these because they are larger than the first one I have a the material is thicker and stronger making them better for everyday use.  The one I have always had is a bit more dainty and made of fine bone china.  I am always worried I will break it, plus it is much to small for a proper cup.  Below the first two pictures are of my two new pieces, the dragon and crane.  The other two pictures are imagines of my first Gaiwan on either side as they have different imagines on both.

On A Bubble Tea Mission

 - by iheartteas

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Today I received my first ever bag of Tapioca Pearls (a.k.a. Boba) from Amazon. I am so very excited. It is my first time ever trying to make Bubble Tea at home. I have always gone to the mall and picked up a nice cool glass of either Milk Bubble Tea or a combination of Milk and Coconut Bubble Tea. Of course they ask always ask if I want to tapioca added and my answer is always a gleeful “Yes, please!”

Now to the mission. I need some recipes. Yes, I can “Google it” but what I am looking for is recipes that have been tested and successful from you guys, my tea friends. Can you help me make my first Bubble Tea at home?

Perhaps, who ever sends me the best (uncomplicated please) recipe that I just simply adore can be featured on my blog here on Tea Trade. I’ll publish the recipe and just gush about how amazing you are for discovering and sharing the recipe with me. So in other words… Sweet, sweet bragging rights.

Alright let’s get those submissions in, I’m dying to make some Bubble Tea.

Now all I need are those “fat” straws. Wouldn’t be the same without them.

Why Am I Addicted To Tea?

 - by iheartteas

I often ask myself what it is about tea that has me coming back for more. I imagine many of you have asked yourself something similar as well. Here is my answer and I challenge you to answer this question as well. I’d love to hear about your reasons…

1. So many choices, endless possibilities, a flavor vacation all over the planet without so much as leaving my home.
2. Health Benefits? Well, I am certainly happy there are health benefits but for me it’s more exciting that there are no serious health side effects. Basically, I would be drinking tea despite the fact that there all sorts of amazing health claims.
3. I love the way it tastes. I much prefer the taste of tea to pop, juices, milk, even water. If tea was bad for me I’d be in a heap of trouble.
4. As many of you know I have diabetes and have had it since my early 20′s, which basically means I’ve had it even longer without knowing it. Being diabetic plus I am also vegetarian it makes for difficult and limited choices when it comes to food and drink. Yes, I can have many of the things everyone else can have but it is so much more limited. In most cases I have to avoid certain things altogether. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people where if you tell me “no” I want it even more. Tea absolutely fills my urge to gravitate towards the foods and drinks I can’t have and helps be to avoid them. It’s actually amazing. I can have “Coconut Cream Cheese Cake” by sipping a cup of Honeybush tea from 52teas. If I want something slightly sweet and creamy I can drink an inviting cup of Milk Oolong from thepuritea. Even if I feel like taking trip through memory lane I can drink a hot cup of Sticky Rice Pu-Erh provided by +Tony Gebely of Chicago Tea Garden.
5. Lastly, and it isn’t so much to do with the tea but more to do with “tea people.” I meet and have met so many wonderful tea fanatics just like me. Such as @Tea Trade Jackie and Pete, Vivek Lochan, Courtney Powers, @the_devotea Robert Godden, @lahikmajoe Ken Macbeth, @teaconomics Billy Dietz, Verity Fisher, Jennifer Bliss just to name a few. Tell me about any other beverage that can do that.

Tea is such am amazing thing and …. (ok this is going to be cheesy) My name is Rachel Carter and I am addicted to tea!

So what’s your story?

My Coconut & Honey Matcha Latte Recipe

 - by iheartteas
My Coconut & Honey Matcha Latte Recipe
Ingredients:
2 tsp Matcha – I used Obubu Teas Matcha
Hot Water – Enough to make a Matcha paste
2% Milk – 4oz
Coconut Milk – 3oz
Half & Half – 1oz
Honey – 3 tsp or add to your taste
Whipped Cream – Optional but delicious
* Warning – Rich & Creamy but worth it.
Directions:
- Add Matcha to bowl and whisk a touch of hot water to make a thick paste. Be sure to whisk until the contents are smooth and creamy.
In separate container add 2% milk, coconut milk, and half and half together. Microwave for 2 mins or use stove-top to heat.
- Pour matcha paste into a mug. Next, slowly mix in milk mixture into the mug with matcha. Once all the milk is in the mug stir until evenly distributed.
- Next, stir in desired amount of honey.
- Lastly and my favorite part… Top off with whipped cream and Enjoy!
Please share your experiences with this recipe if you make it. Thank you!

 

 

Bringing Order to Chaos

 - by iheartteas

Here is the simple explanation to what it is I am trying to do…

Currently, iHeartTeas is just little old me trying to make room for new teas in my cupboard with the occasional custom blend I create using aforementioned tea.  I have had more success than I had ever anticipated with minimal to moderate effort.  That is the “Good News.” The “Bad News” is trying to figure out what’s next.  It isn’t really “bad news” more like difficult decisions that need to be made.

Luckily, I don’t have a lack of ideas.  In fact, I have more ideas than I know what to do with.  Believe it or not that is actually a problem because I truly need to streamline my thoughts and come up with a real working model and set some goals.  I can’t believe I am at this point.  It’s that point where the dream meets reality and it’s time for me to make some tough choices. Such as…

Where am I am going with this?

Do I keep doing what I am doing?

Should I make an attempt at growth?

If I make an attempt at growth, do I go all in and make big risks or take it slow?

What sort of time and energy can I devote this venture?

What sort of money can I invest in myself?

What makes me different from all the others out there offering the same thing?

What level of growth will I be satisfied with?

I feel I have some answers to the following questions but they are not as clear as I’d like them to be.  I am a cautious individual.  Although, this is a valued trait it can also be a hindrance.  It has often caused me to stall in my efforts.  However, I believe I have figured out a way to prevent this from happening.

What I need are the “best of the best” ideas I can muster.  I am planning on going in cautious at a reasonable pace.  I am not in a rush to bring in the big bucks nor do I need to take any unnecessary risks.  As I always say, “if you can’t do it right the first time don’t do it at all.” In other words, “don’t cheap out on yourself and really put in 100%.”

Here is the plan: Clear the “chaos” in my mind.

Step 1: Write down my goals for iHeartTeas (ex: What type of business would I like to be, what would make me happy, what would I like to offer? Do I want to be a business?)

Step 2: Determine who I want to work with. (ex: Wholesalers, schools to learn new skills, internet advertising services, etc.)

Step 3: Determine How Much Time and Money to invest. (ex: No need to explain this one. Pretty sure everyone understands this challenge.)

Step 4: Determine what I will provide. (ex: tea, accessories, etc.)

Step 5: Determine what will make me unique. (ex: why shop at iHeartTeas, what can I offer that is one of a kind, what’s my niche, etc.)

Once I can adequately answers these questions and feel comfortable with my answers will I have hopefully brought order to the chaos and potentially launched something amazing. It has always been my dream to do something like this.  We are a family of successful entrepreneurs and that drive and determination runs through my veins.

To be continued

*Spoiler – There WILL be more to come from me at iHeartTeas. It will be fun and distinct.  More products and teas will be on their way. It will be slow with an eventual larger increase come July 2012.  Wish me luck and I thank you in advance for your support.

World Tea Expo Names The Top 6 Leading Tea Trends for 2012

 - by iheartteas

World Tea Expo Names Six Leading Tea Trends for 2012
  
From Quality Tea and Matcha Lattes to Tea-enhancing Wares and Cold Brew Green Tea, World Tea Expo Evaluates the Latest Retail Developments, June 1 – 3
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 1, 2012) – Organizers of World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent B2B event for the industry, pinpoint quality tea, growth in tea retail, cold brew green tea, green tea popularity, Matcha lattes and tea-enhancing wares as six of the key tea trends for 2012. World Tea Expo, which covers the latest retail developments, takes place June 1 – 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Registration and information is available at www.WorldTeaExpo.com.

“At World Tea Expo, we always strive to stay one step ahead of emerging trends, so we can deliver a relevant event to participants that fuels business growth,” says Kim Jage, sales and marketing director, World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media. “Each one of these six trends – as well as numerous other hot topics – will be addressed and explored during the Expo this year. At the event, attendees can: taste cold brewed green tea and the latest Japanese Matcha lattes; gain current knowledge regarding tea retail growth, supply chain transparency and FDA regulations; learn how to capitalize on tasting trends; and taste for themselves whether or not the newest tea ware on the market does in fact enhance the flavor of tea.”

Six Notable Tea Trends
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, World Tea Expo is gearing up for its three-day exposition and educational conference, to help retailers navigate the critical trends and make key business decisions. The event caters to tea room owners, coffeehouse proprietors, retailers, foodservice and beverage professionals, spa managers, hoteliers and grocers. More than 4,500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend, to learn about the newest tea product launches and business issues, including these six trends for 2012:

1. Quality Tea on the Rise
World Tea Media, which also produces the North American Tea Championship, World Tea News and World Tea East, says, “The tea industry is educating tea consumers about quality, thus improving their palate and desire for better tea. We’re still a bit behind here, but many retailers and manufacturers are making progress, and consumers are increasingly looking to buy better teas; they want to know what makes certain teas high quality rather than relying on the manufacturer’s word or enticing packaging,” explains Jage. “At the same time, industry members continue to discuss and ask one another, ‘How do we internally define quality,’ and that’s fabulous. We’re scrutinizing our own product; we’re asking what Fair Trade really means; and we’re asking if products calling themselves ready-to-drink [RTD] tea should contain a minimum of tea’s total dissolved solids, or if tea-flavored sugar water should be allowed to call itself tea.” Jage adds: “We’re also seeing big tea buyers take notice of the high-quality winning teas from the North American Tea Championship, a professionally-judged tea competition. A win here means quality has been assessed by a third party professional, and that’s making a significant difference for manufacturers when closing major deals.”

2. Tea Retail Continues Its Upward Trend
The tea retail trend hit a nice stride in 2011, according to World Tea Media, and it will continue to move up quickly in 2012. Last year, for example, tea retailer Teavana launched its IPO and Canadian-based DavidsTea opened two retail stores in N.Y.C., adding to its line-up of 69 locations. Most recently, Starbucks Coffee Company hired tea-retail expert Charles Cain as its new vice president for Tazo tea merchants and operations, which leads to much speculation regarding Starbucks’ plans to launch tea retail outlets. “At World Tea Expo, the industry is set to discuss the future growth of tea retail – and what will happen in 2012 – in a session called ‘Will Tea Ever Be as Big as Coffee?’” says Jage. “Right now, in the United States, there are currently more than 25,000 coffeehouses and around 3,500 tea retail locations,” she adds.

3. Green Tea Grows in Popularity
World Tea Media is also watching green tea move ahead of flavored and blended herbal teas, in terms of popularity. “No doubt due to its association with health and the preferences of ageing Baby Boomers and conscious Millennials, green tea is experiencing a growing consumer base, and that will continue this year,” says Jage. According to Packaged Facts’ Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S., 4th Edition, green tea is currently the No. 2 top flavor for U.S. tea product introductions (the No. 1 spot is blended teas). Among households purchasing loose leaf tea, green tea edges out herbal and fruit/spice teas with black tea as No. 1. The study notes that green tea is the No. 1 selected specialty tea product selected by customers at restaurants and retail establishments.

 4. Tea-enhancing Tea Wares
Glassware maker Reidel creates some of the finest wine glasses and decanters, and it’s said that these special glasses make a significant difference in the taste of vino, bringing out the depth, flavor and balance. And now, as the general populous continues to build a sophisticated palate, innovators are emerging and looking at ways they can enhance the tea drinking experience on a more sophisticated level. “Not only are more and more tea enthusiasts embracing particular tea tools to steep specific tea types, we now have contemporary ceramic tea ware to enhance a particular tea type’s taste,” explains Jage. “Reidel wine glasses changed the way we drink wine, and World Tea Media suspects that this cup philosophy will begin to change the way we drink tea in 2012.” Jage notes that this trend is starting with advanced tea drinkers and spreading to the everyday consumer – just how it did with Reidel and wine drinking.

5. Cold Brew Green Tea
Cold brew green tea is expected to be big in 2012, cites World Tea Media. Last year, Japanese manufacturer Yamashiro Bussan Company launched the first cold brew green tea at World Tea Expo. This year, branded cold-brew green tea takes the stage, including Swirl Tea, by Breezy Springs LLC. Breezy Spring products are already sold in Whole Foods Markets and Publix Supermarkets, to name a few. “World Tea Media predicts that with Swirl Tea’s cold brewed green tea on grocery store shelves, there will be a larger consumer base and awareness for this product category in 2012,” says Jage. “Imagine the delight consumers will have when they realize they can enjoy green tea without worrying about over-steeping it or water temperatures causing the tea to taste like burnt grass.”

6. Matcha Lattes (Real Ones)
Unlike the poor quality Matcha lattes that have “crashed and burned” in the past, there are now superb product offerings in the market, according to World Tea Media. All of these use real and high-quality Japanese Matcha, blended with minimal sugar but packed with flavor, such as AIYA America’s Matcha Zen Café Blend. “Matcha lattes are already wildly selling in Canadian foodservice establishments,” reveals Jage, “and I suspect the time has come for American restaurants to catch on in 2012. They are easy to make, require no additional equipment, taste delicious and are packed with the nutritional benefits of Matcha. They’re certainly a wonderful alternative to over-roasted coffee after a lovely dinner.”

Tea Growth in 2012 & Beyond
On the whole, tea continues to grow in the marketplace. According to projections from Packaged Facts, in their study Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S., 4th Edition, tea retail market growth will edge up from approximately 6.6 percent in 2012 to 8.7 percent in 2014, reaching $8.3 billion in that year. World Tea Expo presenter David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, notes, “The horizon for tea indeed looks bright. Factors spurring continued overall growth of the tea market include: the success of refrigerated and RTD tea; the acquisitions of Honest Tea and Sweet Leaf Tea that will continue to expand the distribution channels for these and other organic and specialty brands; the rapid expansion of specialty tea retailers such as Teavana; increased emphasis by Starbucks and other coffeehouses on their tea offerings; the sustained promotion of tea by the big restaurant chains, led by McDonald’s; the proliferation of tea rooms and other tea offerings at foodservice; the continued recognition by consumers of tea’s healthy properties and their switch to tea from carbonated soft drinks.”

To learn more about these trends and other hot tea topics, register for World Tea Expo at www.WorldTeaExpo.com.
About World Tea Media
World Tea Media is an integrated media company dedicated to providing business solutions to the global tea industry. Events include the annual World Tea Expo, the largest and most prominent event for the industry, and World Tea East, the regional event for the northeast, mid-Atlantic and southeast United States. World Tea Media also produces the North American Tea Championship and World Tea News. The North American Tea Championship is the only professional and independent competition that distinguishes the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. World Tea News is an online portal that offers in-depth news, features and business insight for the global tea industry. World Tea Media is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev. www.worldteamedia.com

About F+W Media, Inc.
F+W Mediais a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts. The Company offers a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video and more. The Company serves 20 different markets, including writing, fine art, genealogy, antiques and collectibles, design, outdoors and horticulture. Its growing portfolio includes print and online properties, free and for-fee subscription sites, educational programs, competitions and events. www.fwmedia.com
Information Provided By: World Tea Media

Halfway Through

 - by iheartteas

I am just about halfway through this Bahama vacation and I am honestly starting to get home sick.  Believe it or not I actually miss cooking my own food and even some of the rituals I am used too.  I am sure you are saying…”Boo hoo, at least you are in a gorgeous place with plenty of sunshine and beaches everywhere.  I agree and I will probably miss this when I am back home.  The biggest challenge I am personally facing here is the lack of tea.  I haven’t found anything good outside of Starbucks and it isn’t the Tazo brand.  I have fallen in love with the China Green Tips and am also enjoying the English Breakfast.  Now that I finally have a microwave in my room I can heat water without messing with the coffee  maker which always makes me a bit nervous.  It isn’t how I do it at home but lets face it I am in survival mode.  So as it is for now I am missing my tea cabinet, cubbies, drawers, boxes, cubes, and bags that I have it all sorted in.  I will survive but still it is a little difficult.

As for the Bahamas I am staying on Paradise Island which is a part of Nassau and it is amazing everyday.  The weather is perfect.  I am beyond tan and my daughter officially has gills.  We spend everyday at the Atlantis Resort and we still haven’t seen it all.  Well, there is no rush since I have so much more time left to go.

*Sorry no time to spell check so sorry for any errors.

It’s a Bahamian Life

 - by iheartteas

A quick update.  My family and I are enjoying some time in the sun. We are taking time enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, the beach, shopping, and some relaxation.

I am keeping my shop open and will ship out orders early March.  I thank you for your patience.

I hope to do a little tea hunting here on Paradise Island and Nassau in the Bahamas.  I hope I find some interesting treasure.  I will be sure to report back with any new finds.

See you all soon. :)

Tea Review: Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea – Teavivre

 - by iheartteas

Another wonderful sample graciously provided by Teavivre for review.
I have taken a rather long time to review this tea.  Not because I dislike oolong or because I was just to busy or lazy to do it but rather because it is essential I be in a special mood for oolong and an even more special mood for milk oolong.  You see i have a special place in my heart for milk oolong.  Do you have teas like that too?  For me tea is the cure to moodiness . Each satisfying one and then the others.
So finally the day has come.  The setting is perfect, and my mood in the right place.  I have been so patient and I am so glad I can finally reap the benefits of my resolve.  I steeped the milk oolong three times each infusion a different experience, as it should be.
First, I used my Gaiwan for this special event.  I went to painstaking lengths to ensure the tea-ware was clean and warmed.  I used natural spring water freshly heated to 195°F (I understand it is recommended I use 212°F but I wanted multiple infusions at lower steep times and in most cases 195° F is the standard protocol.)  I gave the beautifully balled oolong a quick rinse.  Next, the infusions were as follows…
Temperature:     Steep Time:      Flavor Results:

195° F                 30 seconds       Light, fresh, slight milky aftertaste

195° F                1 minute            Balanced, creamier, fresh milk, not enough sweetness

208° F                 2 minutes         Greater oolong flavor, milkiness has faded, still fresh

My favorite infusion was the second.  While I did enjoy this milk oolong my favorite is still from thepuriTea.  I find theirs a little sweeter and creamier.  The milk plays a much stronger role than the oolong.  Where here the oolong is the major contributor.  So it is really based on what you want more.  If you are looking for a natural milk oolong that is more prevalently milky with an oolong flavor background, go for thepuriTea.  If you are looking for an incredibly fresh green oolong with a touch of fresh cream-like flavor in the background, go for Teavivre.  In this case one is not better than the other as they both offer different attributes.
I enjoyed this one a lot but I was hoping it to be just a bit more in milky flavor.  I am certain the qualities of this tea will vary by harvest but as for now I am grateful for the opportunity to try this and will happily complete my sample.  I can’t say for sure if I will keep it in my permeant cupboard, but then again I suppose it depends on my mood.  Lets just say I haven’t ruled it out.
Score: 4 out of 5