plays a major role in providing relaxation, comfort, and refreshment. Savvy innkeepers know how to use tea products
and special tea times to pamper guests.
This month we take a look at some product trends in the tea industry and
some products of particular interest to innkeepers.
Earlier this year, organizers of World Tea Expo, the largest and
most prominent B2B event for the industry, pinpointed six key tea trends for
2012. These include: quality tea, growth
in tea retail, cold brew green tea, green tea popularity, Matcha lattes and
tea-enhancing wares. Organizers host a
new product competition each year and many of the new products follow these
trends. World Tea Expo, which covers the
latest developments, took place June 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center
and their east coast event, World Tea East, takes place October 2-3 in
Philadelphia, PA ~ you are welcome to look me up at either event to chat about
Green tea has become more popular not only for its healthy
aspects, but because more people are learning how to properly brew it. Brewed properly, it is a very enjoyable
beverage, but if it is prepared with too hot water, it is ruined. Quality loose leaf teas are moving ahead as
the public becomes more aware of the vast array of taste profiles found in loose
leaf teas from around the world.
Consumer demand has led suppliers to focus on quality more deeply as
competition grows and consumers begin to request organic teas as well.
And, of course, tea-enhancing tea wares are all the rage. Tea lovers want to enjoy tea by using tea
wares to enhance the experience and not detract from flavor. From teapots to teacups, each tea may be
enjoyed in something unique and special to the consumer. Glass teapots and teacups are particularly
nice for enjoying a flowering/blooming tea or for those who simply enjoy the
beauty of a loose leaf tea as it dances in the cup.
Another trend that has continued for a few years now is tea as an
ingredient in recipes or in products you might not expect; such as perfumes,
soaps, other foods, snacks, drinks, as an ingredient in cooking, etc.
A new product on offer at the World Tea Expo this year has caught
my eye specifically for innkeepers. A therapy line; sampler pack of body
lotion, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and green tea soap, offered by
Glenburn Tea Direct, known for their beautiful tea plantation and pampering of
guests on the grounds of their estate.
The sampler pack is available in a brocade or organza bag or small
Another company, Chado-en, offers a Stay Beautiful Spa Kit which
includes green tea, expanding facial cloth/masks, tea spritzer bottle,
strainer, teapots and cup. Tea is
wonderful for the skin and this kit makes it so easy to pamper yourself.
Tea and tea ware trends offer convenience and beauty. Loose leaf teas may be found in pyramid
sachets to make brewing easy and convenient for those not accustomed to other
steeping, straining, or decanting methods.
At my Tea Course continuing education site, I recently featured an
article on the Pyramid Teabag Revolution by Sachen Verma, Sr. Vice President - Marketingat JV Gokal
& Co Pvt Ltd(private label packers of pyramid nylon teabags). An excerpt follows:
The pyramid revolution started when Brooke
Bond launched its paper pyramids. Brooke Bond said, at the time, that it "had
proved that its pyramid bags brewed tea to the peak of perfection.” The three
dimensional pyramid has now been taken to the next stage of style and
sophistication, so that the consumer can have a teabag filled with a quality
large leaf tea, herb, flower or fruit, and can actually see what’s in the bag.
So even those tea drinkers who demand the best and want to enjoy the visual
appeal of the tea can also now indulge in the sheer convenience of the bag. The
hottest trend in teabags of the moment - pyramid shapes are made with silky,
food-grade nylon materials, with no glue or staples, and filled with whole leaf
tea, fruit, flowers and herbs.
Water, coffee, and tea
are always readily available for self-service by inn guests. Special attention is also given to tea for
just about any occasion you can think of.
Innkeepers have a particular advantage since inns are lovely places for
weddings, showers, and other events. All
of which can be used to incorporate a more complete afternoon tea service. You may use tea wares most fitting to your
décor, or offer a variety of tea wares from which guests may choose. Some inns keep cabinets full of mismatched
teapots and teacups and invite guests to make use of them. It might be fun to choose a different teapot
on each day of their stay.
As you consider trends
in tea and how to apply them, keep a few things in mind: beauty, quality, convenience, and
enjoyment. Use tea preparation, tea
wares, tea drinking, and afternoon tea times to enhance the experience of your
guests by creating special, memorable moments at your inn.
If you would like to submit
questions, contact Gail directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Gastelu specializes in
information management and is currently working within the tea industry to
educate and connect businesses and consumers through tea. Gail has been publishing The Tea House Times
since 2003. She also produces Tea Course
continuing education, a Tea Bureau resource directory, and other services to
the industry. See GailGastelu.com or
TheTeaHouseTimes.com for more information.