World Tea Expo to recognize global tea community

Event recognizes the leading team brands

Conference and expo set for June 15-17 at Las Vegas Convention Center


LAS VEGAS – Penton’s World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE16) will honor the tea community – and some of the best and brightest from the industry – during its World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards) program on June 15. The program will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center immediately after the closing of the exhibits on day one of the conference and exhibition.

The tradeshow focused on advancing the business of tea, takes place June 15 – 17 (with a pre-conference program June 13 – 14) here. Registration and conference details are available at (advance registration rates available through May 20).

Samantha Hammer Mitchell, a Penton event director and the World Tea brand leader notes that “we’re thrilled to continue the World Tea Awards program, now in its third year. It’s the perfect platform to recognize the industry as a whole, in addition to honoring tea ‘champions’ in a broad range of key categories.”

New this year, the World Tea Awards event will be open to all World Tea Expo attendees as a complimentary program vs. being a separate, off-site ticketed affair. The event will also be referred to as the “Welcome Reception and World Tea Awards,” intended to be an inclusive program and celebration with all World Tea Expo delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and press.

“We want everyone from the tea community and those in allied fields to gather and celebrate while recognizing this year’s award winners,” adds Hammer Mitchell.

At the Welcome Reception and World Tea Awards, several honors will be presented, including: Best Retail Tea Shop or Chain; Best Tea Brand; Best Tea Educator; Best Tea Industry Innovation; Best Tea Accessory, Technology; Best Tea Community, Social Initiative; Best Tea Health Advocate; Best Tea Marketing; Best Tea Publication; Best Social Media Reach; Best Tea Industry Website; and Best Tea Blog.

Tea notables Kevin Gascoyne and Bruce Richardson will host World Tea Expo’s Welcome Reception and World Tea Awards, along with to-be-announced sponsors. Gascoyne is a British tea taster/buyer who began buying tea in Asia back in the 1980s. He is one of the four owners of Camellia Sinensis with headquarters in Montreal. Well known as a writer and educator, he runs two tea schools and also co-authored the prize-winning book, Tea, History, Terroirs, Varieties. Richardson, owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press, is a tea blender, writer and frequent speaker at tea events. He’s also the author of a dozen well-received books on tea.

“I’m delighted to be a part of the World Tea Awards again,” says Gascoyne, who co-hosted with Richardson in 2015. “Changing the set-up a little, so that everyone at World Tea Expo can be there, is a great idea. The World Tea Awards is a perfect opportunity to acknowledge our peers and all the hard work and innovations that advance the tea industry and benefit the development of our market place. Aside from that, it is an excellent way to socialize while connecting to the network, developing new business possibilities, and having some fun with the unique community that the tea industry is so lucky to enjoy.”

Richardson notes: “The World Tea Awards at World Tea Expo is a time when the international tea family gathers to honor those who have made significant achievements in the culture of tea. Opening the event to the thousands of delegates at World Tea Expo is ideal, so that we can all experience the exciting energy that continues to infuse our industry.”


About World Tea Expo

World Tea Expo will attract thousands of professionals for a platform of new tea products, education sessions, workshops and business-growing activities.

The education curriculum covers a broad range of topics to help businesses across different vertical markets boost sales and profit through tea. Core Conference Sessions are designed to meet the specific needs of retailers, foodservice businesses, distributors, product developers and others with different levels of experience. Numerous Focused Tea Tastings offer 90-minute organoleptic explorations of tea styles, tea regions and tea pairings. And the Skill Building Workshops hone important industry skills.

In addition to the education sessions, World Tea Expo’s bustling show floor features hundreds of the latest tea products and services, many of which cannot be found at any other trade show.

Other World Tea Expo highlights include: The North American Tea Championship (NATC) Winners Tasting Circle; World Origin Tasting Tour; Tea Business Boot Camp; and World Tea Academy LIVE!

World Tea Expo attendees include top companies and professionals from more than 50 countries, representing: tea and coffee shops, grocery chains, private label brands, gourmet retailers, convenience stores, distributors, online businesses, restaurants and chefs, foodservice, hotels, distributors, manufacturers and beverage developers, among others interested in building their business through tea.

To register for World Tea Expo, visit (advance registration rates available through May 20). And be sure to follow World Tea Expo on Twitter: @worldteamedia (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE16). The World Tea Awards event, June 15, is complimentary and open to all attendees, exhibitors and press registered for World Tea Expo 2016.



U.S. potato industry donates salad bars to schools

The U.S. potato industry, inspired by the United Fresh Start Foundation’s program, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, challenged members of the United States Potato Board to donate salad bars to 300 schools annually as part of the program.

The Board leadership approved using assessment funds to match every salad bar donated by the potato industry starting in July, 2015. Through February 2016, the potato industry has donated 84 salad bars which have been matched by the Board. Together with additional bars donated by the Board, a total of 180 salad bars have been placed in schools. The potato industry has now donated more salad bars to the program than any other sector of the produce industry. According to Richardson, “Salad bars donated by the potato industry have been placed in school districts in sixteen different states. The Board is excited about the involvement of the potato industry in this program as state commissions, individual farms, and industry members have stepped up and become contributors.” To facilitate the program, the Board is working closely with the United Fresh Start Foundation, which is coordinating outreach to schools, tracking donations and ordering salad bars, and facilitating connections between school foodservice leaders and potato industry donors.

“We are very appreciative of the potato industry for their significant contributions to support salad bars for schools,” say Tom Stenzel, president and CEO, United Fresh. “Working together, we can ensure children have access to a wide variety of vegetables in school meals. Salad bars are an excellent way to give kids choices and highlight new and innovative options that speak to a generation of students who want more fresh and healthy options. “Today’s students recognize good food quality when they see it and crave food that is on-trend and customizable,” says Richardson. “They want choice—whether at home, dining out or at school. Potatoes are the perfect healthy canvas for everything from global flavor inspired salads and sides to simple herb-oven-roasted spuds, providing the choice today’s students demand.”

To capture the palates of today’s students, the Board has also partnered with Chef Garrett Berdan, a registered dietitian and child nutrition specialist, to develop over a dozen new school-friendly, potato-centric recipes. The recipes range from Potato Wedge Nachos to Smokey Chipotle Potato Salad to Thai Potato Veggie Curry, for variety that appeals to students, meets the USDA guidelines and fits within the diverse school foodservice operations. The recipes  are featured in leading school foodservice and nutrition publications, School Nutrition Association conferences and at various industry events through the Board’s Potatoes Raise the Bar program. The Potatoes Raise the Bar program works to increase overall vegetable consumption in schools by integrating potatoes into salads and other vegetable items being served at schools. Students consistently choose items with potatoes and are more willing to try something new if their favorite vegetable is included. By raising the bar on all vegetable consumption in schools, the Board seeks to establish life-long healthy eating habits.

Lucien Albrecht Cremant brut website-2

Wine of the Week – Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé

For many centuries, Lucien Albrecht has  been a leader, indeed, a “founding father,” of Crémant D’Alsace in Alsace where Romanus Albrecht began making wine in 1425.

Today, the winery is overseen by a leading produce, Wolfberger, an  overseer of 450 wine estates. Like Albrecht, they have deep respect for the grapes, declaring: “Respectful of the Past and Ambitious for the Future.”

This sparkling Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir in the “methode traditionalle.” Considered a great specialty of the house, it exudes notes of strawberry and wild cherry and is a rich aperitif with dry acidity, and is well suited to accompany fruit-based desserts.

The wine is 12% ABV and in 2004, the winery won four separate gold medals in the 14th Concours National  Crémant de France competition.

A delightful addition to celebrations, it is also a beautiful example of its unique terroir, exemplifying the winery’s style in this versatile region. It’s available through Pasternak Wine Imports.




What’s Brewin’ – Foolproof Brewing’s Raincloud

There is beer, and then there are brews – great beers that surpass your expectations! We stumbled across Foolproof Brewing’s Raincloud on a sunny day in Somerville, MA at La Brasa and instantly were transported.

Raincloud is designed to be drunk on a rainy day – all of Foolproof’s brews have specific experiences they are created for drinking at. This one is designated as one for days when it’s pouring outside.

As a fan of dark beers, we were instantly intrigued, asked our waitress about it and ordered it on the spot. We weren’t disappointed. Raincloud is rich and flavorful, identified on its label as a Robust Porter, which describes it well. It’s dark, smooth and is made with chocolate, European hops, and crystal malts. There’s no question it would brighten a rainy day if you’re a dark beer aficionado, but it’s terrific on a bright Spring day as well. It’s raining in Boston as we write this, and we wish we had some here right now. Ask your distributor if they are carrying Foolproof Brewing’s Raincloud. We suspect the other beers coming from their brewery in Pawtucket will be equally impressive. It’s only three years old, but it’s already Rhode Island’s largest brewery.



Happy Earth Day!

BOSTON – We in Boston are fortunate to have many foodservice and lodging operations that are interested in being green, sustainable and earth-friendly.


We celebrate them this Earth Day and want to honor, in particular, the Seaport Hotel, which early on, created an area on its rooftop for bees. This year, Vice President and General Manager Jim Carmody tells us, they decided to add two new raised planters on the fifth floor roof where the bee hives are located. “We are fortunate to be surrounded by two-plus acres of green space, so our bees have always had plenty of plants and flowers to pollinate.”
This Spring, he adds, “we are planting carrots, gourds, tomatoes and cucumbers which we’ll be using in our team members’ cafeteria. We believe the bees will enjoy having new plants to pollinate, and, so close to home!”
The Seaport Hotel’s waste is collected bi-weekly by Maine-based Exeter Agri-Energy and the food waste is made into compost, Carmody explains. Exeter Agri-Energy will bring the hotel the compost from the food waste to use in the new planters.


The best Fall harvest teas named in Penton’s North American Championship


Honorees Will Be Featured at the North American Tea Championship ‘Winners Tasting Circle’ at
World Tea Expo, June 15 – 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center


NEW— Penton’s North American Tea Championship (NATC) named the best hot teas from the fall 2015 harvest and the best packaged single-service teas during a recent evaluation this winter in Las Vegas, Nev. NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America, and all of the high-quality winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace. Visit to learn more.

Companies that took home an esteemed first-place award in either the Fall Hot Tea or Packaged Single-Service evaluation include: DoMatcha; Farmer Brothers; Florapharm; Garden to Cup Organics; ITO EN; Newby Teas; Rishi Tea; SAHPAT teas; Silk Road Teas; Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co.; The Tea House; and Walters Bay.

Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (, June 15 – 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

David De Candia, one of the NATC evaluators and director of tea at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., says, “I was very pleased to see the large amount of quality entries for the Fall Hot Tea and Packaged Single-Service evaluations of the North American Tea Championship. Congratulations to all of the winners.”

Lydia Kung, an NATC evaluator, tea buyer and expert with Eastrise Trading Corp./VeriLeaf LLC in Rosemead, Calif., notes, “This February event covered various autumnal teas – in addition to the Packaged Single-Service teas – and it therefore seems very fitting that the category earning the highest points consistently was Oolong, a group that ranges from lightly oxidized teas akin to green teas, to darker, layered cups that demonstrate the pleasures to be found in this category. The sheer variety of teas in the Oolong category, and the NATC-winning Oolong teas, should entice more consumers to explore this group, complex in the making and complex for the senses.”

All NATC tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf (hot tea competition only), brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth-feel and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic. Winners were determined by rank. Judges evaluating the teas were not allowed to enter teas from their own company.

A complete list of first, second and third-place winners from the North American Tea Championship’s Fall Hot Tea and Packaged Single-Service Tea evaluations is available at


Fall Hot Tea first-place winners include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):


  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Dong Ding Classical – Aged/Baked Oolong



  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Champagne Oolong – Bai Hao/Oriental Beauty



  • SAHPAT teas (, CTC (BOPSM) – Black Tea CTC




  • ITO EN (, Wuyi Water Golden Turtle – Dark Oolong Tea


  • Rishi Tea (, Organic Moonlight Jasmine – Green Jasmine Open Leaf


  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Imperial Jasmine Pearls – Green Jasmine Pearl


  • Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co. (, Ali Mountain Oolong – Green Oolong


Packaged Single-Service Tea first-place winners include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):


  • Farmer Brothers (, English Tradition – Black Tea Blends


  • Newby Teas (, Oriental Sencha – Green Blended/Flavored


  • Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co. (, Pine Oolong – Oolong Blended/Flavored



The next North American Tea Championship will be held May 12 – 13, 2016, at the Wilbur Curtis corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif.


Meet dozens of local food startups & farmers at Meet Your Maker

WARREN, RI – Hope & Main, a RI food incubator here, introduces you to its member local food startups and farmers as well at Meet Your Maker, a local food marketplace from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, at its century-old former schoolhouse here.

More than 30 vendors are expected to participate, offering samples and selling their wares. There will also be live cooking demonstrations and live, local music.

Vendors include:


Eat with the ecosystem, says Hope & Main. Learn more at