Tea People

Shabnam Weber to Lead Tea and Herbal Association of Canada

Shabnam Weber, a Toronto-based tea retailer and founder of The Academy of Tea, is the new president of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada (THAC). Weber, who co-founded the Tea Emporium, a chain of specialty tea shops, serves as a member of the THAC board. “I am hugely delighted, honored and excited –...

Investors Put $7 Million More into Teabox Subscription Service

SILIGURI, India Five-year-old Teabox is now selling 250 varieties of tea sourced directly from 100 growers. The monthly subscription service has provided 100,000 customers in 110 countries with 40 million cups of tea, making it a formidable player in the specialty category. Last week the company received $7 million in Series B funding led...

Shark Tank Investors ‘Wake the F**k Up’ for Snarky Tea

Wake the F**k Up! That got your attention. Another attention-getter is Snarky Tea “Chief Snark Officer” Jenni-Lyn Williams, who recently accepted $150,000 from Shark Tank’s Bethenny Frankel and Kevin O’Leary for a 25 percent equity in her company following her Nov. 5 appearance on the popular ABC TV show. The fledgling company sells a...

Innovation: Tea Untied

Beverage retailers from Acosta and Dunkin’ Donuts to Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee & Tea feature wholly owned house tea brands. Chicago-based Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea is pioneering a more open way to showcase specialty tea. CHICAGO, Ill. Michael Schultz prizes selection over gross margins. “Choice is what matters,” he says, and when he opens...

Obituary: Ann-Marie (Brouder) Leeming

LEDBURY, Herefordshire Dr. Ann-Marie Brouder, a leader in the global sustainability movement, died this month. Ann-Marie was the principal sustainability advisor at Forum for the Future, a London nonprofit that identifies and supports initiatives in biofuels, agriculture, and food. Her research and the Tea 2030 initiative brought her into contact with many tea professionals...

From Tech to Tea

By Janis Hashe It might seem a long way from an optical communications network to a classically styled teashop in Mountain View, Calif., but for former JDS Uniphase production manager Stephen Chien and his wife and partner Ann, it’s a dream come true. The Chiens, originally from Taiwan, immigrated in 1980, initially to Minnesota, then to California’s Silicon Valley...

In Memoriam: Devan Shah (1962 – 2016)

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we recognize the unexpected death of specialty tea import pioneer Devan Shah, founder of International Tea Importers (ITI), Chado Tea Rooms and Waterfall Tea Company. He was 53 years old. Shah was born in Mumbai, India and grew up in Coimbatore (where he returned for a...

International Tea Sippers Society: More Than a Beverage

The International Tea Sippers Society has developed a clever new means of inviting tea drinkers to become specialty sippers. Nationally known book author Babette Donaldson is producing 15-minute audio recordings relating the personal stories of tea people “who demonstrate great diversity in the industry.” “Not just the best known and most beloved, but also...

Jane Pettigrew to Receive the British Empire Medal

The Queen of England is among the many admirers of Jane Pettigrew. An official notice in The London Gazette announced “THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) to Ms. Jane Pettigrew.” The official posting Dec. 30 by the Central Chancery of the Orders of...