Editor’s Note: This article is from the new World Tea Expo 2019 white paper, “The Next Wave in Tea: Trends, Issues & Opportunities.” The complimentary report offers valuable insights and advice from some of the top experts and leaders in specialty tea. To download the free white paper, visit https://www.worldteaexpo.com/en/attendee-resources/whitepaper.html.
The world is growing in its consciousness, of all things related to food and health and the health of our planet. It has become clear that as a species we must do things differently, and that includes all aspects of our food supply, including tea. As a nutritionist who relies on evidence to coach students and clients, the evidence increasingly shows that the same practices that yield foods of the greatest nutritive value are the same practices that increase the nutrient density and health potential of tea.
I’ve shared conversations with conscious tea farmers, who already share this mindset. I’ve met the Chens in Anxi who labored over several years to convert an oolong farm to completely natural organic farming (free of agrichemicals) to bring renewed reputation to the region’s tea. I’ve conversed with Kenyan farmers who value natural farming practices as not only the most economical, but also producing the best tasting leaf. In Hawaii, forward thinking, conscientious farmers such as the Ino’s are going beyond organic – embracing permaculture over monoculture, and allowing the land to give and take what it knows best for the very best tea and all other surrounding nature, in communion.
The same forces that moved consumers toward increasingly organic foods on their plate, are the same forces moving consumers toward organically farmed teas. However, as the issues in play become more complex, the consumer also becomes more discerning. The new generation looking for regenerative agriculture and zero waste from the foods on their plate will be seeking the same accountability in their cup. They will demand evidence beyond a logo on a package that what they’re buying is both clean and fair. Verifiable stories and evidence take a greater role with conscious buyers over slick marketing. People are looking for connections with their food and their tea, and they value experiences that make them feel like they made a healthier choice, and that their purchase supported a system that makes a positive difference.
Download the World Tea Expo white paper here: https://www.worldteaexpo.com/en/attendee-resources/whitepaper.html.
Michelle Pierce Hamilton is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and Certified Canadian Tea Sommelier. A teacher and facilitator at heart, Hamilton is a faculty instructor at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and was formerly an instructor of the Canadian Tea Sommelier Certification Program at London’s Fanshawe College. Nutrition as her foundational passion, she remains current on the latest research on tea and human health and is presently involved in new tea and nutrition research with Montana State University. She is also the owner and founder of beTeas Inc. and The Tea Lounge in London Ontario. Visit beTeas.com.
Dive Deeper In These World Tea Expo Sessions
Creating an Online Store: The Treats and Opportunties will share lessons learned from an online tea vendor pertaining to technology risks, web design and more, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in room N259.
Tea Business Boot Camp: Beginners is an intense day of tea-specific courses taught by a group of successful professionals. It will take place Monday, June 10, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in room N255.