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A New Era for Specialty Tea

The newly established Specialty Tea Institute held a launch party this summer at Ito-En, an upscale teashop in New York City. The Institute is the result of the recent merging of APTI (American Premium Tea Institute) and STAR (Specialty Tea Registry).

APTI was founded on the West Coast and, simultaneously, STAR was established as a division of the U.S. Tea Association, both back in 1996. For several years, both organizations found themselves with the same mission - promoting and educating tea companies and the public on high quality teas. The two associations joined forces in order to coordinate efforts on a grander scale and not duplicate them in a localized area.

Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of which the Specialty Tea Institute is a part, sees a great deal of enthusiasm for specialty tea, and is confident that the new advisory board of the Specialty Tea Institute will further tea’s success in North America. Plans are already being finalized for an extensive convention in October in California that will cover both the commercial tea industry and the specialty tea industry’s concerns. One of the groundbreaking events the convention will feature will be estate contest.

Simrany feels this is an exciting period of time for specialty tea...on several different fronts - premium, single origin, and specialty (including all the tea variations such as chai and bubble teas.) The annual tea seminars held in conjunction with the SCAA will be expanded at the next SCAA convention in April 2003 in Boston, and more plans are underway. Joe is very happy with the newly formed advisory board. “It is a blend of specialty tea people, old-line traditional tea people and is a perfect and harmonious blend,” he said. “This will enable us to draw upon all the resources of the entire tea community.”

There are many opportunities here for the global tea industry. We intend to report on all you will be accomplishing and help spread the word on tea’s quality and value.

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher


Tea & Coffee - August/September 2002

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