Author Archives: Dan Bolton

A New Mandate for Sri Lanka’s Tea Industry

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Leaders of the global tea community attending the Colombo International Tea Convention last week heard a reasoned and pragmatic assessment of the way forward by Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The occasion was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of a tea industry that has grown to...

Sri Lanka Celebrates the Future of Tea

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Instead of immersing themselves in the accomplishments of the past 150 years, Sri Lanka’s tea industry shared its vision of a bright future. Led by the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) the year-long festivities culminated last week in an International Tea Conference, the Ceylon Tea Festival, a successful exposition and media...

Talks May Quiet Darjeeling Unrest

Talks with organizers of a Darjeeling uprising that has halted tea production in Darjeeling since June 15 may begin soon. Government officials are now open to meeting with a coordinating committee representing several Gorkha groups seeking statehood. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister in West Bengal, previously refused to meet until the strike, nearing two months,...

Purple Tea Ready for Prime Time

Purple signals the presence of anthocyanins in tea leaves, a type of antioxidant praised for its health benefits. Purple may also turn out to be profitable for tea retailers seeking to upsell health-conscious consumers who favor its taste over that of grassy green tea.  U.S. and Canadian wholesalers imported approximately 10 metric tons of...

Darjeeling Tea Stocks Soon Depleted

Stocks of freshly processed Darjeeling are nearly exhausted. Private sales continue through next week but larger quantities needed to sustain the largest brands will soon vanish from auction. The Darjeeling Tea Association reports that for the first time in 156 years there will be no tea to sell at next week’s auction. Prices for...

Tea Industry Responds to Teavana Opportunity

Shuttering 379 Teavana retail locations presents a $275-million-a-year opportunity to finally discover retail success in tea. The announcement that Starbucks will close its Teavana stores gives retailers an opportunity to capture the attention of the several million tea drinkers who frequented these mall locations. The closures also shed light on why the Teavana concept,...

India’s Tea Auction GST Resolved

Implementation of India’s new goods and services tax (GST) is chaotic according to news reports and tea industry executives. “This is likely to increase the effective retail prices by a minimum of 6-8 percent,” Nirmal Khurana, chairman of the finance committee at the Indian Tea Association (ITA) told the Business Standard. The GST, which...

Teavana: The Tea Industry’s Tempest?

Starbucks’ decision Thursday to close every one of its 379 Teavana retail stores is like a powerful specialty tea magnet suddenly reversing polarity. This is not about tea. Teavana teas remain profitable and popular online and at overseas locations, and the recently announced ready-to-drink Teavana-InBev partnership shows strong growth. Teavana sales topped $1 billion...

Retailing Flash-frozen Fresh Tea

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia Tracy and Rory Bell, founders of Millennia Tea, are working with Halifax retailer Philip Holmans at World Tea House to offer customers freshly plucked, quickly frozen tea. The tea is transported thousands of miles from tea lands like Fujian and Hangzhou, China. No one else has confronted, much less worked out all the...

Security Forces Sent to Quell Darjeeling Unrest

DARJEELING, West Bengal The Indian government turned off the internet as several hundred heavily armed security forces arrived in Darjeeling over the weekend to help quell a 34-day strike by West Bengal Gorkha seeking statehood. Organizers announced the agitation will “turn terrible” if their demands are not met. The strike halted the second flush...