ROBUSTAS - Finally some nice words about this coffee species! A new association has been formed - World Alliance of Gourmet Robustas - to help promote the qualities and nuances this bean can deliver, as well as upgrading to gourmet standard the best washed Robustas, and increase the proportion of washed processing where feasible. Pierre LeBlanche, a seasoned trader, has founded this organization to give Robusta its just due. His list of goals is quite formidable and will be covered in this magazine next year. Please join him in his endeavor. Some present and planning-stage activities can be found on www.wagro.org. (French version: www.amrog.org)
ROME - Our Tea & Coffee World Cup set in Rome this June 15-17 continues to break records. This show has already sold out one hall of exhibition space. We are now expanding to a second hall for exhibitors to show off their products. More tea companies are on board this year than ever before (Thank you) and the ECF (CECA and EUCA) will be holding their annual general meeting during this time. (Thank you)
BARISTAS - A good thing - Barista training is becoming more accessible as many yearn to learn the craft. But all baristas should be aware of the advantages superautomatic espresso machines offer a coffee bar owner. More initial money laid out for these machines may be worth the trouble owners face by constantly training new personnel. I have the good fortune of employing a college-age lady to watch my children while I’m at work. She works part-time for a large coffee retailer and is an excellent barista. I know because I have tasted her beverages. She’s excited about working for me because of our magazine and I’m excited to have someone on the front lines readily available. Her coffee knowledge is advanced but she continues to ask me questions in order to further her education. Her enthusiasm for coffee and tea refreshes me.
TEA - With the recent merger of STAR and APTI, the tea industry has many opportunities. While tea consumption is flat…and I mean it…Flat - no increase in imports; however, specialty tea and green tea sales are booming. Tea shops continue to open, but many soon close….My neighbor is interested in opening a successful tea salon…So it’s time for us to research the subject, for her and the many readers who request information about starting a retail store. We start this new retail store series next year.
We hear a global gut in tea is coming; prepare and learn from the coffee industry who have been unable to arrest the problem and are losing their quality coffee farms.
Editor & Co-Publisher
Tea & Coffee - December/January 2002
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