by John Craven and Matt Kennedy, BevNET Editors
More than 300 exhibitors and 5,000 buyers gathered in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, June 9-11, for the World Tea Expo. While certainly not the focus of the show, RTD teas were on exhibit.
Unsweetened purists Ito En (Tea’s Tea, Dr. Weil for Tea, etc) and Adagio were both at the show. Z Red Tea, under new ownership, was busy serving samples of its Rooibos blends. Other RTD brands at the show included Puripan traditional Korean fruit teas, Dong-Suh Green Tea, Delta Blues Iced Tea, and Republic of Tea.
Among RTD teas, the biggest product introduction was the launch of a new premium organic line-up from Salisbury, Conn.-based Harney & Sons. In business since 1970, Harney & Sons is best known for high-quality steeping teas found in many hotels and gourmet stores. The Harney & Sons RTD line-up has five lightly-sweetened, organic flavors, all in 16 oz. glass bottles. They are: Black, Green, Black Currant, Peach and Bangkok (flavored with coconut and lemongrass). For more info on the new brand, check out our video interview with Michael Harney in the show photo gallery.
We ran into a small chai producer from Sedona, Ariz. called Mighty High Chai. Their organic, hand-crafted chai was excellent, although you’ll have to travel to the Sedona area if you want to buy it at the moment! We also ran into a private label tea producer by the name of Papa’s Simplici-tea, LLC which had its own organic energy tea called Bangkok Blast.
Atlanta-based Amelia Bay had the largest exhibit at the show. Amelia Bay develops and manufactures of coffee and tea extracts, essences and aromas.
Please view our photo/video gallery to see our glimpse into the rarified world of fine teas.