• SPOTLIGHT | Winners of India's Tech Brew Hackathon Announced

    India’s Tocklai Tea Research Institute in Jorhat announced the winners of a Tech Brew Hackathon competition hosted on International Tea Day. The winning students received 50,000 rupees for tackling their choice of five industry challenges. Teams from 20 universities participated, submitting projects addressing tea waste, marketing and promotion, and climate change. A panel of nine tea industry experts judged the projects.

    The top three teams are Team Orthodox, representing the Assam Science & Technology University with a novel non-chemical pest control solution; the second prize goes to Team Neuro Linga at the PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research in Coimbatore for designing an integrated weather and crop health monitoring system. Team Doodle, also from PSG, proposed a network of sensors that monitor plant conditions for growers, signaling areas of concern. A resource website with a chatbot informed by a machine-learning AI model will assess their concerns and suggest remedies.

    The winning students designed a drone-mounted hyperspectral imaging eye that roams tea gardens, searching for indications of pest infestations. Suspended below the drone is a smoke chamber that delivers natural fumigants that pests avoid.

    Fumigating crops with low-hanging smoke is an ancient, effective, and non-chemical method of driving pests away. In this segment, winning team leader Pragyan Sen Deka narrates how a modern “Spectro Smoke” generator heats ferns and grass with electrically controlled nichrome wire, producing a downward-driven column of smoke that rises to the underside of leaves and drives away pests like the tea mosquito, one of several insects that reduces tea yields in India by an estimated 147 million kilos a year.



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    2m - Jun 7, 2024
  • India Tea News | 7 June 2024

    Iran Halts Tea Imports From India | NETA Asks for Ban on Six Pesticides | Kangra Tea Seeks Interventions From State Government

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    2m - Jun 7, 2024
  • Tea News Recap | 7 June 2024

    Good Riddance, El Niño, Beware La Niña | Tea Sales Globally Projected to Slow | African Tea Stakeholders Sign Pact to Combat Child Labor

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    8m - Jun 7, 2024
  • Ep 171 | Beware La Niña | Tea Sales Slow | African Tea Stakeholders Sign Pact to Combat Child Labor

    Good Riddance, El Niño, Beware La Niña | Tea Sales Globally Projected to Slow | African Tea Stakeholders Sign Pact to Combat Child Labor

    INDIA TEA NEWS – Iran Halts Tea Imports From India | NETA Asks for Ban on Six Pesticides | Kangra Tea Seeks Interventions From State Government

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    NEWSMAKER – Pragyan Sen Deka, student, Assam Science & Technology University, Jorhat, India

    PLUS | Winners of India’s Tech Brew Hackathon Announced –

    India’s Tocklai Tea Research Institute in Jorhat announced this week, the winners of a Tech Brew Hackathon competition hosted on International Tea Day. With their innovative solutions, the winning students received 50,000 rupees for tackling their choice of five industry challenges. Teams from 20 universities participated in submitting projects addressing tea waste, marketing and promotion, and climate change. Judging was by a panel of nine tea industry experts.

    The top three teams are Team Orthodox, representing the Assam Science & Technology University with a novel non-chemical pest control solution; the second prize goes to Team Neuro Linga at the PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research in Coimbatore for designing an integrated weather and crop health monitoring system. Team Doodle, also from PSG, proposed a network of sensors that monitor plant conditions for growers, signaling areas of concern. A resource website with a chatbot informed by a machine-learning AI model will assess their concerns and suggest remedies.

    The winning students designed a drone-mounted hyperspectral imaging eye that roams tea gardens, searching for indications of pest infestations. Suspended below the drone is a smoke chamber that delivers natural fumigants that pests avoid.

    Fumigating crops with low-hanging smoke is an ancient, effective, and non-chemical method of driving pests away. In this segment, winning team leader Pragyan Sen Deka narrates how a modern “Spectro Smoke” generator heats ferns and grass with electrically controlled nichrome wire, producing a downward-driven column of smoke that rises to the underside of leaves and drives away pests like the tea mosquito, one of several insects that reduces tea yields in India by an estimated 147 million kilos a year.



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    22m - Jun 7, 2024
  • SPOTLIGHT | Sensors and Food Safety

    SPOTLIGHT | Sensors and Food Safety –

    Packaged herbal infusions are generally safe to drink, but there are rare instances that highlight the importance of food safety procedures. One such incident occurred recently when Yogi Tea voluntarily recalled about 877,000 tea bags in 54,000 boxes containing echinacea in a certified organic herbal blend that did not include camellia sinensis.

    Food safety scientist Dr. Bryan Quoc Le is an avid tea drinker, food safety consultant, and the author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered, published by Simon & Schuster. He earned a doctorate in food science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he studied the biological effect of savory flavors from plant-based sources on mammalian cells.

    Bryan joins us today in a conversation that touches on sensory input, tea processing, and the challenge of keeping the tea supply chain clean and safe.



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    15m - May 31, 2024
  • Tea News Recap | 31 May 2024

    Sri Lanka Boosts Tea Wages 70pct | Lipton Reformulates its Green Tea | Gene Research May Fortify Freezing Tea Plants

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    6m - May 31, 2024
  • Ep 170 Sri Lanka Boosts Tea Wages 70pct | Lipton Reformulates its Green Tea | Gene Research May Fortify Freezing Tea Plants

    HEADLINES – Sri Lanka Boosts Tea Wages 70pct | Lipton Reformulates its Green Tea | Gene Research May Fortify Freezing Tea Plants

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    GUEST – Food Scientist and Author Dr. Bryan Quoc Le

    SPOTLIGHT | Sensors and Food Safety –

    Packaged herbal infusions are generally safe to drink, but there are rare instances that highlight the importance of food safety procedures. One such incident occurred recently when Yogi Tea voluntarily recalled about 877,000 tea bags in 54,000 boxes that contained echinacea in a certified organic herbal blend that did not contain camellia sinensis.

    Food safety scientist Dr. Bryan Quoc Le is an avid tea drinker, food safety consultant, and the author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered, published by Simon & Schuster. He earned a doctorate in food science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he studied the biological effect of savory flavors from plant-based sources on mammalian cells.

    Bryan joins us today in a conversation that touches on sensory input, tea processing, and the challenge of keeping the tea supply chain clean and safe.



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    27m - May 31, 2024
  • Snapchill™ Hot Brewed Tea

    Tea’s enticing aroma dissipates so quickly after it is brewed that it prevents ready-to-drink (RTD) manufacturers from capturing one of the beverage’s most desirable characteristics. Oxidation then takes its toll, reducing shelf life and altering the tea’s flavor within the can.

    Kyle Bosshardt, director of business development, joins us today to explain why Snapchill™, a Massachusetts-based technology and bottling company, is venturing into tea. Snapchill’s patented innovative heat-exchange method produces canned teas that capture hot-brewed tea's delicate aroma and full flavor. Teas are rapidly cooled to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (about 4 degrees Celsius) without dilution and then nitrogen-flushed to purge oxygen. As Bosshardt explains, the key is to chill the tea rapidly during the brewing process (it takes about a minute), ensuring it retains its flavor and on-shelf stability.

    Bosshardt joined Snapchill in 2020. He previously worked as a coffee director in Boston's hospitality segment after graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Philosophy from the University of Arizona and a master's in healthcare communication from Boston University.

    He knew Snapchill co-founders Dave Dussault and Michael Corrado from their work producing a cold brew alternative, Snapchill cold coffee, an innovative process to brew coffee hot to be enjoyed chilled. The company, founded in 2017, initially sought to sell its technology but established a Green Bay, Wis., canning facility to serve roasters nationwide for e-commerce and direct distribution to regional retail stores.

    Snapchill has since adapted the brewing process to produce canned tea.



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    16m - May 24, 2024
  • India Tea News | First Flush is Finished | Workers Protest Decision to Close Bought Leaf Factories in Assam | North Bengal Producers Want Tea Named India's National Drink

    First Flush is Over | Workers Protest Decision to Close Bought Leaf Factories in Assam | North Bengal Producers Want Tea Named India's National Drink

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    3m - May 24, 2024
  • Tea News Recap | 24 May 2024

    A Global Celebration of Tea | The White House Hosts Kenyan President William Ruto | China Makes Tea Export Marketing Push

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    10m - May 24, 2024
  • Ep 169 | Global Tea Celebration | The White House Hosts Kenyan President | China Makes Tea Export Marketing Push

    HEADLINES – A Global Celebration of Tea | The White House Hosts Kenyan President William Ruto | China Makes Tea Export Marketing Push

    INDIA TEA NEWS – First Flush is Over | Workers Protest Decision to Close Bought Leaf Factories in Assam | North Bengal Producers Want Tea Named India's National Drink

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    GUEST – Kyle Bosshardt, Snapchill Director of Business Development

    Snapchill™ Hot Brewed Tea –

    Tea’s enticing aroma dissipates so quickly after it is brewed that it prevents ready-to-drink (RTD) manufacturers from capturing one of the beverage’s most desirable characteristics. Oxidation then takes its toll, reducing shelf life and altering the tea’s flavor within the can.

    Kyle Bosshardt, director of business development, joins us today to explain why Snapchill, a Massachusetts-based technology and bottling company, is venturing into tea. Snapchill’s patented innovative heat-exchange method produces canned teas that capture hot-brewed tea's delicate aroma and full flavor. Teas are rapidly cooled to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (about 4 degrees census) without dilution and then nitrogen-flushed to purge oxygen. As Bosshardt explains, the key is to chill the tea rapidly during the brewing process (it takes about a minute), ensuring it retains its flavor and on-shelf stability.



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    35m - May 24, 2024
  • The Ins and Outs of Refrigerated Organic Tea

    According to Mintel International, refrigerated ready-to-drink teas are leading the growth in the ready-to-drink tea category. US sales are approaching $1.5 billion of the $4.2 billion worth of bottled tea sold in multi-outlets. Interestingly, it’s not just the younger generation driving this growth. Older tea drinkers and millennials are also contributing, while Gen Zs prefer hot herbal infusions and sweeter profiles, including flavored green teas in ready-to-drink format.

    Matt McLean, founder and CEO of beverage brand Uncle Matt’s Organic, joins Tea Biz to discuss why his brand is betting on refrigerated Southern-style black teas. His sweet tea features a blend of organic agave and stevia. He says most traditional sweet teas contain 30 to 40 grams of sugar, using a mix of cane sugar and artificial sweeteners. His third tea is a sweetened half-and-half made with organic lemonade. McLean’s proprietary blend of black teas is freshly brewed and being packaged at his Texas bottling facility for a July 1 national rollout.

    Uncle Matt’s is a pioneer in the organic beverage category, noted for its Florida orange juice, lemonades, tropical blends, and organic energy shots. It is the largest US-certified organic orange juice company, with over 15 million bottles sold annually at 15,000 outlets. The brand launched in 1999 and became a Certified B-Corp in 2022. Matt McLean is a third-generation Florida citrus grower with orchards from the late 1800s. In the 1980s, a devastating freeze destroyed 600 acres of orange groves, and more recently, the industry experienced setbacks from pests and disease. Oranges are now outsourced mainly from Brazil and Mexico. In 2017, Dean Foods (a Dairy conglomerate) bought the company, enabling McLean’s parents to retire. Two years later, Dean Foods was bankrupt, and in 2020, McLean, his father, his wife, and his brother repurchased the company.



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    10m - May 17, 2024
  • Tea News Recap | 10 May 2024

    International Tea Day is Tuesday, May 21| Yogi Tea Recalls an Herbal Blend with High Levels of Pesticide Residue | Kenya President Urges Tea Sector to Add Value

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    7m - May 17, 2024
  • Ep 168 | International Tea Day | Yogi Tea Recalls an Herbal Blend with High Levels of Pesticide Residue | Kenya President Urges Tea Sector to Add Value

    HEADLINES - International Tea Day is Tuesday, May 21| Yogi Tea Recalls an Herbal Blend with High Levels of Pesticide Residue | Kenya President Urges Tea Sector to Add Value

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    NEWSMAKER – Matt McLean, founder and CEO of beverage brand Uncle Matt’s Organic

    The Ins and Outs of Organic Refrigerated Tea –

    According to Mintel International, refrigerated ready-to-drink teas are leading the growth in the ready-to-drink tea category. US sales are approaching $1.5 billion of the $4.2 billion worth of bottled tea sold in multi-outlets. Interestingly, it’s not just the younger generation driving this growth. Older tea drinkers and millennials are also contributing, while Gen Zs prefer hot herbal infusions and sweeter profiles, including flavored green teas in ready-to-drink format.

    Matt McLean, founder and CEO of beverage brand Uncle Matt’s Organic, joins Tea Biz to discuss why his brand is betting on refrigerated Southern-style black teas. His sweet tea features a blend of organic agave and stevia. He says most traditional sweet teas contain 30 to 40 grams of sugar, using a mix of cane sugar and artificial sweeteners. His third tea is a sweetened half-and-half made with organic lemonade. McLean’s proprietary blend of black teas is freshly brewed and being packaged at his Texas bottling facility for a July 1 national rollout.



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    24m - May 17, 2024
  • IN MEMORIAM – Dr. Francis T.P. Zee, retired Research Leader and Horticulturist with the USDA in Hawaii

    IN MEMORIAM – Dr. Francis T.P. Zee, retired Research Leader and Horticulturist with the US Department of Agriculture, is credited with reviving the Hawaii tea industry by inspiring small growers to produce specialty tea.

    Twenty-five years ago, specialty tea was grown on fewer than five acres on the Big Island of Hawaii, a remnant of the thousands of acres cultivated on large estates that flourished at the turn of the century. Today, Hawaii produces more specialty tea than any state in the U.S. thanks to an enterprising US Department of Agriculture researcher and horticulturist, Dr. Francis Zee. Zee, who was 70, passed away on March 29 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

    Zee, a black belt in Kendo martial arts, was born in Hong Kong. He received his doctorate in horticulture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he began working with tea cultivars for commercial production. The failure of those attempting large-scale production led him to champion specialty tea grown in harmony with the unique terroir of Hawai’i and high-altitude farms like that founded by Eva Lee and her husband, Chiu Leong. Lee collaborated with Zee at their Volcano Village farm to develop locally acclimated rootstock at her nursery, producing 25,000 saplings primarily planted on Hawai’i farms but also in demand abroad.

    In 2001, Zee explained to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin how cultivating specialty tea could transform the local tea industry. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “I believe many times these things start in the backyard. It has to become a hobby first," he said, highlighting the potential for growth and expansion of the local tea industry. Eva Lee reminisces about working with Zee and describes how his vision continues to shape the future of Hawai’i tea.



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    16m - May 10, 2024
  • India Tea News | Bought Leaf Factories Blame India Tea Board For Non-Support of Food Safety Compliance Requirements | Weather Impacts Tea Crop in Assam's Barak Valley |

    Bought Leaf Factories Blame India Tea Board For Non-Support of Food Safety Compliance Requirements | Weather Impacts Tea Crop in Assam's Barak Valley |

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    2m - May 10, 2024
  • Tea News Recap | 10 May 2024 | Lipton Sells All its Tea Gardens | Kenyan Growers Swamped by Incessant Rains | Sanctions Hamper Tea Trade

    Lipton Sells All its Tea Gardens to Browns Investments | Kenyan Growers Swamped by Incessant Rains | Enhanced Enforcement of Sanctions Hampers Tea Trade

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    9m - May 10, 2024
  • Ep 167 | Lipton Sells All its Tea Gardens | Kenyan Growers Swamped by Incessant Rains | Sanctions Hamper Tea Trade

    HEADLINES – Lipton Sells All its Tea Gardens to Browns Investments | Kenyan Growers Swamped by Incessant Rains | Enhanced Enforcement of Sanctions Hampers Tea Trade

    INDIA TEA NEWS – Bought Leaf Factories Blames India Tea Board For Non-Support of Food Safety Compliance Requirements | Weather Impacts Tea Crop in Assam's Barak Valley

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    | GUEST – Eva Lee, CEO of Tea Hawaii & Co. and founding member of the Hawaii Tea Society

    | IN MEMORIAM – Dr. Francis T.P. Zee, retired Research Leader and Horticulturist with the US Department of Agriculture, is credited with reviving the Hawaii tea industry by inspiring small growers to produce specialty tea.

    Twenty-five years ago, specialty tea was grown on fewer than five acres on the Big Island of Hawaii, a remnant of the thousands of acres cultivated on large estates that flourished at the turn of the century. Today, Hawaii produces more specialty tea than any state in the U.S. thanks to an enterprising US Department of Agriculture researcher and horticulturist, Dr. Francis Zee. Zee, who was 70, passed away on March 29 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

    Zee, a black belt in Kendo martial arts, was born in Hong Kong. He received his doctorate in horticulture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he began working with tea cultivars for commercial production. The failure of those attempting large-scale production led him to champion specialty tea grown in harmony with the unique terroir of Hawai’i and high-altitude farms like that founded by Eva Lee and her husband, Chiu Leong. Lee collaborated with Zee at their Volcano Village farm to develop locally acclimated rootstock at her nursery, producing 25,000 saplings primarily planted on Hawai’i farms but also in demand abroad.

    In 2001, Zee explained to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin how cultivating specialty tea could transform the local tea industry. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “I believe many times these things start in the backyard. It has to become a hobby first," he said, highlighting the potential for growth and expansion of the local tea industry. Eva Lee reminisces about working with Zee and describes how his vision continues to shape the future of Hawai’i tea.



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    35m - May 10, 2024
  • Africa’s Untapped Potential in Orthodox Tea

    Tea has reshaped East Africa for 120 years, evolving from colonial dominion to a vibrant entrepreneurial endeavor producing a third of the world’s tea. Kenya’s 650,000 smallholders are the beating heart of Africa’s tea industry, which provides a livelihood for five million people in ten tea-growing countries.

    In celebration of International Tea Day, the Purple & Specialty Tea Association of Kenya (PSTAK) will host its inaugural conference in the Nandi Hills on May 22-23. The event, endorsed by the Kenya Tea Board, spotlights Africa’s untapped potential in Orthodox tea production.

    Representatives from 50 specialty producers in eight nations will attend educational sessions by tea experts, a competition for the best locally produced tea, and festivities. Sessions will be streamed online, enabling the entire global tea community to participate.

    Conference Chairman Boaz Katah shares his enthusiasm for this long-awaited gathering.



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    9m - May 3, 2024
  • India Tea News | More Support For Small Tea Growers | Low Crop Volumes In Auctions This Year | IMD Predicts Light To Moderate Rain In The Coming Week

    More Support For Small Tea Growers | Low Crop Volumes In Auctions This Year | IMD Predicts Light To Moderate Rain In The Coming Week

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    2m - May 3, 2024
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