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Observations for 2006

Passion - Itís one of the ingredients in both tea and coffee now. Roasters swarmed to the Specialty Coffee Association of Americaís (SCAA) Roasters Guild Retreat in August, to participate tediously with various roasting equipment, and explore the latest technology has to offer. More roasting classes are being held by roasting equipment manufacturers, and now there are roasting certification courses given at all three Coffee Fests.

As for tea, Iím meeting new tea packers and tea blenders all year round. Theyíre happy to be in the tea industry, and of course, their rising sales.

Retail Expansion - Itís global! Shops are storming China, India and Russia (for years now), bringing a new culture and appeal to young people. Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops are the new hangout spots for teens. Product offering are just about immeasureableÖ thereís a beverage for everyone and the quality is there. Fast food chains are gearing up to take part of this rising consumption trend. McDonalds is rolling out espresso machines, and Dunkin Donuts, who already did this some time ago, has successfully launched espresso drinks to the donut crowd.

Associations - Although, the Tea Association cancelled their annual tea convention due to lack of interest, their STI classes multiply in terms of locations and education levels. The demand for tea education is growing, and the Association has certainly handled it well. Meanwhile, the SCAA was hurt and is trying to overcome a scandal involving a former c.f.o., who was later indicted for theft and wire fraud, including misappropriation of federal grant funds. Projects were dropped as the association scrambled to keep itself afloat. Its members, while not happy, stood by the Association and contributed monetarily to keep the organization a strong resource. Recently, a new executive director was welcomed.

The National Coffee Association continues to represent the U.S.ís interest in global affairs, attempting to keep the market a fair system. Their conventions and conferences are growing and the Association is continually seeking out more and more ways to serve its members. Itís been a good year for them.

The EAFCA (East African Fine Coffees Association) is building their conferences, the quality of their programs, and continuing to attract buyers to the varieties of coffee they offer.

Best wishes to all, and a healthy and happy New Year!

Jane McCabe
Editor & Co-Publisher


Tea & Coffee - December, 2006

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