Trends, Challenges and Opportunities in the Specialty Tea Segment
The US tea industry is growing, largely due to ready-to-drink (RTD) teas and innovation in the specialty tea segment. Whereas the RTD category (including kombucha and cold brew teas) uses large-scale machine-picked and processed teas almost exclusively, premium specialty teas generally use higher grade whole leaf teas, which are made by labour-intensive traditional methods. These approaches to production are distinctly different in terms of supply chain, labour, cost and origin. The specialty tea sector has made huge strides over the past 20 years, having shaped a sophisticated and thriving tea renaissance in the US. Premium options can now be found at most independent coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores – and even some gas stations.
Straight from the Cup, by Maria Uspenski