Tea Council Intern Traces Tea from Origin to Retail

Taylor Calderon at Harney & SonsNEW YORK CITY, NY

Most of my time was spent at the Tea Council of the USA and Pollock Communications office, where I debriefed the “Tea Team” on my adventures and quickly captured all my experiences in writing, which wasn’t too hard as I took extensive notes during my internship and  journeys through Sri Lanka and Kenya.

I gained some great experience while working with the PR team. I wrote a quote for a press release about the Sip of Success internship, and offered my insights into how to use all of the information I gained to further the public’s knowledge of tea…including, of course, its many health benefits and all the different varieties.

While at the Tea Council of the USA I had the chance to meet with the president, Joe Simrany, and to thank him and the whole association for making this internship possible. He was very welcoming and excited to hear all that I had learned and observed.  His incredible knowledge of all things tea – and his deep passion for the industry – convinced me even more of my own desire to make a career in the tea business.

He served me a delicious cup of Japanese green tea – perfect for this warm NYC weather we've been having.

Click here for a slideshow of Taylor Caldron's adventures in Africa and Sri Lanka.

Follow the Tea Council intern's adventures on the Sip of Success Blog.

August 15, 2011
Ballston Spa, NY

Taylor Caldron is in upstate New York this week at SalonTea in Ballston Spa, NY. Owner Tracy Stern has an amazing company, says Caldron. "They go far beyond just selling tea. Tracy has created a unique lifestyle based around tea, fashion and being social." Caldron is doing everything from pulling orders in the warehouse, to brainstorming new ways for the company to become more eco-friendly. They're already doing a lot: Everything from corn-based lids, to biodegradable tea sachets. Right now they're prepping for the World Tea East expo in September – looks like it’s going to be exciting!

August 4, 2011
New York City, NY

The final leg of Taylor Caldron's Sip of Success journey takes him to New York City this week where he begins an internship with Tracy Stern at SalonTEA. He will also spend time behind the counter at tea retailer Harney & Sons. Click here for a slideshow of his adventures in Africa and Sri Lanka

July 28, 2011

"The Imenti Tea Factory, managed by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), earned the highest prices in the entire Mombasa auction, so we were very curious to see just what made this tea so special. The answer? Hard work, attention to detail, and high elevation! This beautiful factory was actually commissioned by President Kibaki (Minister of Finance, at the time) in 1971. It now is Fair Trade Certified, and does processing for over 5,000 smallholders in the area. Located on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, it is over 2,000 meters above sea level.," writes Calderon.

July 20, 2011

Yesterday morning we had the chance to tour the grounds of the James Finlay property here in Kericho. This enormous 12,500 hectare blend of tea estates, flower farms, factories, and forest was truly breathtaking. It employs a total of 15,000 people and is the second largest commercial tea operation in Kenya.

Taylor Calderon

July 11, 2011
Sri Lanka

After dining on a breakfast of milk-rice, eggs and spicy onions and fish Sip of Success winner Taylor Caldron tours the Lumbini Tea Factor and experiences the freshest tea of his life. Next stop Vithanakanda Tea Factory in Delwala. Read more.

July 7, 2011

Sip of Success Winner Taylor Caldron embarked this week on a life changing journey. The young entrepreneur, a 21-year-old MBA candidate, will live and work on tea plantations in Kenya, Sri Lanka and India after submitting the winning video in the Tea Council of the USA contest.

Caldron reports that he is working out regularly, eating healthy and finishing a round of vaccinations against Yellow Fever and Typhoid Fever and stocking up on anti-malarial medication. Caldron is drinking black tea, “I love the boost of energy it gives me.”

“College students need a ton of caffeine,” says the University of Michigan grad. “I once drank lots of coffee but tea is more fun to explore. A number of my friends, guys and girls both, regularly order from vendors and are becoming connoisseurs.”

His three continent travels first take him to tea gardens in Sri Lanka and then Kenya before returning to New York City. On his return to the states he will intern with Tracy Stern of SalonTea in New York City for eight weeks to learn the retail and wholesale aspects of the business.

To follow his exploits check out his entries on BlogSpot, visit the Tea Council Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.

The Tea Council sponsored the contest "to educate the public, including young people, on the strong science supporting the health benefits of drinking tea and to give one young entrepreneur a leg-up in the tea business.”

Dan Bolton

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.