World Tea Expo: A Look at Tea Trends
The SoCal Food Beverage Professional | March, 2017
Maria Uspenski, CEO of The Tea Spot, a World Tea Expo 2017 exhibitor and the 2017 World Tea Expo Yoga Sponsor, relates, “We’re seeing an explosion of ways to combine the traditions of premium tea with the convenience of modern lifestyles. People don’t want to compromise any longer and with the increasingly global market for premium teas and innovative tea ware designs People don’t want to compromise any longer and with the increasingly global market for premium teas and innovative tea ware designs, consumers are more connected than ever to the origin of the leaf.”
Uspenski, who is also the author of the new book, Cancer Hates Tea, points out there’s a lot of interest in pour-over and cold brew tea, just as in the coffee world.” Similar to pour-over in coffee, more and more people are interested in the premium tea experience,” she explains. “Leading-edge cafés, restaurants, spas and hotels are taking note of this trend and coming up with many creative ways to offer this to their customers. This can be as straight-forward as showing off a premium tea sachet infusing in a glass teapot or mug, or a glass carafe of coldbrewing tea leaves for iced tea. There is also a plethora of new brewing devices available for tea, which factor into consideration of the subtleties and peculiarities of steeping tea leaves, including water temperature, pressure and the duration of the infusion. These range from elegant, simple designs costing less than $20 to designer hightech programmable systems which can cost more than $20,000.
Uspenski continues, “Cold brew is one of the newest and coolest trends in tea, and is booming perhaps because of its incredible simplicity. We’re seeing new types of RTD (ready-todrink) cold brewed iced tea products appearing monthly, as well as creative applications in food-service. One of the attractive aspects of cold brewing for premium tea is that it can help minimize the finicky aspect of delicate higherend teas. Coming up next on the cold brew horizon may be ideas like shake-and-go teas as a convenient single serving option.”