What does 2014 offer in terms of tea?
Here are a few key trends to keep on your radar:
1. A growing appreciation of classic, quality teas.
The 2013 World Tea Expo especially highlighted the importance of topics like terroir and the teas of China. Read more about these trends here. Teavana went so far as to offer a limited supply of yellow tea for National Hot Tea Month.
2. Tea will become on-the-go.
The Bkon TX and Alpha Dominche Steampunk systems can replicate a 5-minute steep in as little as 90 seconds. You can see a Bkon at work in the newly opened Teavana Tea Bar. Instead of waiting in line for your cup of morning coffee, you could be out the door with a cup tea steeped to your parameters.
3. 2014 is The Year of the Gaiwan.
Run a search on Twitter for “gaiwan,” and you’ll see a steady flutter of talk. And some misspellings of Sir Gawain that may make you grin. A few years ago, you could find a small number of online retailers offering affordably priced gaiwans. Now they are everywhere. Verdant Tea, Teavivre, and Wan Ling Tea House offer gaiwans for practiced elegance and for beginners.
4. The Teas of the Year will be Assams and Nilgiris.
The Tea Board of India has begun subsidizing the construction of micro and mini factories on small tea farms and plantations. That means small growers will be able to legally process their own leaves and sell direct from their factories. Through experimentation and the development of variations in processing techniques, new and diverse artisanal teas will become available. Look to pioneers like Teaneer Suresh as they develop signature green, black, oolong, and even pu’er teas.
Happy Tea Drinking,
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