Author Archives: Dan Bolton

Tea Retail Concepts: Something Old, Something New

Tea retailing is roiling like water in a boiling kettle. The aging owners of quaint pastoral and small urban tearooms are not attracting youthful tea drinkers and many are retiring. The trendy urban chains of uptown shops and malls that drew droves of youthful enthusiasts are contracting. The latest is Capital Teas, which announced...

Assam Tea Workers Consider Strike for Higher Minimum Wage

DIBRUGARH, Assam Frustrated tea workers are considering a walkout that could seriously impact production in the Brahmaputra Valley, the world’s largest tea-producing region. Members of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) labor union staged demonstrations last week in several locations in pursuit of a wage hike. A one-day work stoppage drew attention to their...

Annual Coffee Survey Reveals Insights About Retailing Tea

Tea consumption among American adults dipped to 48 percent in January, falling two points since last year according to a long-running national survey of drinking trends. Coffee drinkers in the U.S. reversed a six-year decline as past-day consumption rose to 64 percent among adults, according to the National Coffee Association (NCA). The annual survey, conducted...

Pakistan Reverses Mandatory Testing for Tea Aflatoxins

Kenya has displaced India in recent years as a favored trading partner with Pakistan, one of the world’s largest tea consuming countries. In 2017 Pakistan purchased $495 million of mainly black tea, about 40 percent of Kenya’s export earnings from tea. That expanding relationship was put to the test in January when Pakistan adopted...

Darjeeling First Flush Experiencing Jittery Start

DARJEELING, West Bengal The arrival of West Bengal’s chief minister for a two-day business development summit signals a strong desire to expand opportunities locally. But Minister Mamata Banerjee’s arrival comes amid heightened anxiety in the Darjeeling Hills as tea workers complain about conditions there. The first flush harvest, critical to the financial health of...

Petition: Make PG Tips Teabags Plastic Free

Petition URL: Remove Plastics from Tea Bags A quarter of a million online signatures collected by gardener Michael Armitage proved the tipping point for PG Tips, a Unilever brand that announced last week it will phase out plastic in its teabags. Unilever pledged to make all its teabags out of 100 percent plant-based material...

Darjeeling: A Fortunate Reversal

Darjeeling growers are anticipating the most lucrative first flush in decades. Tea estates average 35 percent of their annual gross and some earn nearly 70 percent of their revenue during the first flush. This year looks like it will be one of the best harvests in years. Volumes are small but rates per kilo...

Tea Bags: Staid and Stable

Tea bags are convenient, conserve tea, and, depending on form, sell at a premium. In several tea-drinking countries, notably the United Kingdom, 96 percent of the tea consumed is bagged. Tea bags may be sedate, respectable, and unadventurous but they are gaining popularity globally and may be the key to increasing tea available for...

Tetley Report: Trends in Foodservice Tea

The behavior of out-of-home tea drinkers in the United Kingdom offers valuable insights for tea retailers in developed markets where competition with coffee is fierce. Tetley, in its second annual 30-page Tea Report, teamed with CGA, a market research consultancy specializing in foodservice drinks markets in the U.S. and U.K. Consumers were questioned on...

Thanks to Smallholders, India Tea Exports Rebound to Record Levels

Outstanding yields in South India offset declines in Darjeeling as tea production reached a record 1,279 million kilograms in 2017, up about 1 percent from 1,267 million kilograms harvested in 2016. Exports topped 240.7 million kilograms during calendar 2017, a level not seen since 1981, according to the Tea Board of India. Exports were...