Brew Issue 2 May 2020

Page 1

MAY 2020

Brew Brew, Sip, Share

In this Issue: International Tea Day launch 21 May 2020 Orgin report: Malawi Drink the Rainbow



table of contents


Welcome to Brew

p.4 Cheers to Tea! International Tea Day launch

p.7 Lockdown learnings

p.9 Record-Breaking Tea Party

Join the #brewcrew Follow us @UKTalkingTea on Twitter and Instagram

p.11 Tea Origins: Malawi

p.16 Guest Editorial: Dr Carrie Ruxton Tea Advisory Panel

p.19 Project Report: Kenya

p.21 2

Competition Time


Welcome to issue two of ‘Brew’; the e-zine for teas and infusions enthusiasts everywhere. The United Kingdom Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA) is a trade association and the voice for the British Tea, Herbal and Fruit Infusions industry. Part of our work is to promote tea and infusions and we encourage you to visit our website to find more about the history of tea, the diversity of herbal infusions and even how to make the perfect brew To get regular updates follow us on Twitter or Instagram @UKTalkingTea. This month sees the launch of the UN-designated International Tea Day, 21st May 2020. Please read on to find out more about what is planned around the globe.


Cheers to Tea! International Tea Day Launch 21st May 2020 Sharon Hall, Chief Executive, UKTIA The United Nations General Assembly has declared May 21, 2020 as International Tea Day. This provides an opportunity to recognise that from bush to cup, the tea industry provides a livelihood for tens of millions of people across the world – from those harvesting leaves in a far-off country, to those who deliver a high-quality tea that we can enjoy in our own teapot at home. See more here: International Tea Day is a time to raise public awareness of the importance of tea and the tea industry’s workers through education and promotional activities. The aim is to highlight that tea production contributes to the fight against hunger, reduction of extreme poverty, empowerment of women, and is a sustainable use of ecosystems. We consume over 100 million cups of tea a day and the UK is one of the top five tea drinking nations*. As a result, we should not take our national brew for granted. There is actually huge skill and commitment involved in sourcing the right tea leaves at the right time from tea plants, that have received the right amount of sun, water and nutrients, so that we can enjoy the millions of cups of tea we consume in a day. *International Tea Committee Annual Bulletin of Statistics 2019 The UK ranks in the top five consumer counties (per capita) in the world, alongside Turkey, Morocco, The Republic of Ireland and China.


A massive 8.2 billion cups of tea are consumed around the globe every single day!


The expertise does not stop there. To ensure your favourite brew has a consistent great taste, master tea tasters blend teas with different flavour characteristics, sometimes from different origins, to create a well-balanced flavour and so each cup of your favourite brew tastes just as good as the last. International Tea Day gives us the chance to recognise the contribution of millions of workers in tea-producing countries, and all along the supply chain, and to celebrate the amazing flavour and quality of the tea we enjoy in the UK every day. Over the next few weeks, the UK Tea & Infusions Association will be celebrating the tea-producing regions around the world, and the people who work there and we will be saying cheers to you, the British tea drinkers.

WE LOVE TEA. BREW FACTS: A massive 8.2 billion cups of tea are consumed around the globe every single day In the UK we drink over 100 million cups of tea a day The UK is one of the top five tea-consuming countries in the world We kicked off our International Tea Day campaign on the 1st of May, with the premier of our tribute to tea drinkers everywhere, created with our colleagues at Tea & Herbal Association of Canada. You can watch it here: Throughout May we will be saying thank you to you, the UK Tea Drinkers on @UKTalkingTea (Instagram and Twitter) and on the 21st of May we will be launching our UK 'THANK YOU' video, where many of you in the #BrewCrew have raised your mugs in tribute to the Global Tea Industry. Thank you to all those who took part. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the premiere - UK Talking Tea on YouTube There are lots of events planned all over the globe. For all you tea enthusiasts we recommend tuning in to the International Tea Day 'Sofa Summit' being hosted by the Canadian Association. For more details and the schedule in BST see here:


Lockdown learnings As we write, the UK is still on lockdown. We are under strict instructions to stay home and protect the NHS, to





understand the PM will soon announce the initial plans




lockdown and we will begin to




might re-emerge into the new normal, but what will our lockdown learnings be? A new sense of community has emerged during the lockdown and people have found creative ways to help and support one another. Neighbours have made meals for those living alone. Sewing bees have been making scrubs and masks for our NHS workers and volunteers have delivered food and medicine to the vulnerable. At 8pm every Thursday, we have stood outside our houses and given our frontline workers a standing ovation #ClapForKeyWorkers. Whilst we are all keen to get back to (the new) normal, many have expressed a wish to see this new community spirit continue after lockdown. Tea has played an important role in the national effort. There has been a significant spike in retail demand for black tea over the past few weeks, as we have all enjoyed drinking more tea at home. We had to change our habits and move from buying some of our hot beverages on the go, to consuming everything in our own homes and no one wanted to be without their cup of tea. And who can blame us? There is something comforting about our traditional cuppa. Tea is a ‘hug in a mug’. In a recent survey* 50 percent of people said that their mood changes after they’ve had a cup of their favourite tea and a third said they find drinking black tea to be calming, making them feel less stressed or anxious. *Omnibus poll with 1000 respondents; Ginger Comms Global; 2019


No one has been more in need of a cuppa than the parents who have had to become teachers. Thank goodness for online resources and Joe Wicks!!! No doubt we all have a new found respect for the job that our school teachers do. UKTIA contributed to home schooling initiatives by encouraging children to turn tea history (BBC Bitesize – How Tea Conquered Britain- into teainspired-art (see 'Competition Time' on page 21). We had virtual cuppas together via video calls and communities held physically distanced tea parties, as a way to check in on their neighbours across the street. The VE Day celebrations on the 8th of May saw people up and down the country decorating their houses in red, white and blue and having Afternoon Teas in front of their houses lawns. It is this type of community spirit that supports us through challenging times and the words of the playwright Arthur Wing Pinero seem to sum this up nicely, when he wrote, “while there is tea, there is hope.” Let's hope that the sense of community spirit and being good neighbours continues in the new normal, when we can share a cuppa together! 8

Record-breaking Tea Party

Thousands of people raise a cuppa with Guide Dogs in Guinness World Record attempt at world’s biggest virtual tea party

A host of celebrities showed their support by sending in selfies of themselves enjoying a brew on National Tea Day On 21 April 2020, National Tea Day, Guide Dogs hosted a virtual tea party to bring some joy to the nation during these unsettling times. Guests enjoyed videos and photos of all things Guide Dogs as part of a Guinness World Record attempt at the world’s biggest virtual tea party. Some of the country’s most loved celebrities showed their support by sending in a photo of themselves with a cuppa. Martin Clunes even did a live national television interview in his pyjamas to mark the occasion! Other famous faces who supported on the day included Alan Titchmarsh, Alex Jones, Hugh Bonneville and Deborah Meaden. And the great news is, they did it!! Guide Dogs now officially holds the Guinness World Records title for the World’s Biggest Virtual Tea Party! They had 4021 unique photos of people enjoying tea on National Tea Day and have raised over £43,500 so far towards their life-changing services. 9

Pam White, Fundraising Manager at Guide Dogs said: “Over the last few years our wonderful supporters have been hosting tea parties around the country on National Tea Day and donating the proceeds to Guide Dogs." In 2019, Great Guide Dogs Tea Parties across the year raised an incredible £60,000. Of course, we are in a very different situation in 2020 but we wanted to give everyone the chance to join our #GuideDogsFamily and make a difference. We are delighted at how many people have joined us in our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest virtual tea party. “By asking people to donate the cost of their cuppa on National Tea Day, we’re raising vital funds to help ensure people with sight loss don’t feel alone now, and in the future. We completely appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for many charities and we are so grateful to all our donors who continue to show their support.”

The next Great Guide Dogs Virtual Tea Party is on 29 May where you can join the #GuideDogsFamily and connect over a cuppa on National Biscuit Day. Go to to join the fun. Follow @guidedogsuk on facebook and @guidedogs on Twitter


Tea Origins: Malawi You may not be aware that Malawi is the third biggest supplier of black tea into the UK, after Kenya and India. The terrain in Malawi is characterised by undulating plains and in the Thyolo Province, hillsides covered with woodland and ancient mahogany forest. Tea production covers 18,000 hectares, across approximately 40 tea gardens and supports over 12,000 smallholder farmers, with a production season that starts in December until May. The roots of Malawi’s thriving tea sector were first introduced at Lauderdale, Mulanje. Tea Field Number One became the prominent name for what is believed to be the oldest record of tea plantation on the African continent still in existence to this day. The plantation of 20 tea seeds at Lauderdale by Henry Brown in 1893 brought a change to core agriculture crops for the country. Today, tea continues to be the largest crop exported from Malawi.


Lauderdale Tea Estate is established in producing some of the finest teas, a tradition that dates back 127 years. The job of maintaining these standards is with General Manager, Huggie Fundi. With a Batchelors Degree in Agriculture and 22 years’ experience in the field, Huggie is passionate dedicated to the industry, specifically Lauderdale. His day starts early and ends after sunset, communicating and planning activities around the plant for over 900 staff. Huggie Fundi: “I would say that compared to other jobs found in Malawi the tea estates are highly organised, protected their employees and care for gender balance. The management and employees have a good working culture here at Lauderdale. We continue to involve our employees to ensure a sustainable future, an example would be our daily tea tastings. We look to ascertain the quality of tea, advise and control production�.


The success of tea in Malawi is largely attributed to the climate. A tropical climate that varies with elevation, the Southern region has many low-lying areas with long periods of sunshine during the day and seasonal rainfall, ideal for growing tea. "Mulanje and Thyolo are ideal because the area attracts the rain required and the hill slopes provide excellent drainage. 80% of tea here is produced in the rainy season from December to March�. Climate alone cannot solely provide conditions for tea plantation, equally as important is the variety of soils found within Lauderdale.


“The most suitable soils contain iron, are slightly acidic and don’t contain calcium. You find these prominent on sloping lands which we have in Mulanje�. The result of climate and rich soil is unique and distinct teas, known for their character, aroma, richness, and deep colour. With exports of over 35,000 tons per year across Malawi, the tea industry supplies vital job opportunities and provides sustainable living within local communities.


'We continue to involve our employees to ensure a sustainable future, an example would be our daily tea tastings...'

After tasting tea for over 22 years, Huggie is best placed to recommend his favourite tea. “I don’t believe you will find better tea than those made from superior cultivars, grade PF1SC. The best way to make a cup is to place 6 grams of tea leaf into a 500 ml cup, pour in the boiled water and cover for 6 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, sieve the tea and add a spoonful of milk”.



Bloom, Colour and Flower Power from Teas and Herbal Infusions By Dr Carrie Ruxton Tea Advisory Panel (TAP)

With flowers and herbs bursting into bloom, what better time to savour the fragrant delights of teas and herbal infusions – one for each colour of the floral rainbow. DRINK A RAINBOW Just as flowers come in yellow, orange, green, pink and red, so do herbal infusions. But, unlike most of the blooms we’ll see springing into life over the next few months, infusions and teas provide surprising health and wellness benefits for our hearts, bones, immune system as well as our minds. Check out my tasting notes and wellness tips on six colourful herbal infusions and teas.

DRINK YELLOW With gentle notes of apple and a mild honey-like sweetness, Chamomile is a firm favourite at bedtime. And its benefits for sleep are not an old wives’ tale”. A study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing [1] found that drinking chamomile daily for two weeks improved sleep quality and potentially helps reduce fatigue. So great news for those that need a little help with some quality ‘shut eye’.


DRINK ORANGE Made from the leaves of a South African shrub, Rooibos has a smooth, gentle flavour with a slight nutty sweetness. In a research study [2], six weeks of drinking rooibos daily helped stimulate what scientists’ term, antioxidant pathways in the body and out simply, a great stress buster. Plus, the same study scientists found the Rooibos could help lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides – fats linked with heart disease risk. So great news if your like Rooibos tea. DRINK GREEN Peppermint and spearmint have a refreshing minty taste and a vibrant aroma. While better known for digestion, mint infusions can also help re-balance hormone levels. Great news for those feeling angst with emotions. A super study trial over 30 days [3] with women with polycystic ovary syndrome found that drinking mint tea twice daily helped boost normal female hormones.

DRINK PINK With its gorgeous deep pink colour, Hibiscus offers a combination of floral notes sharpened by the acidic flavours of cranberry and redcurrant. Research published in a nutrition journal [4] found that drinking three daily servings of hibiscus helped lower blood pressure after six weeks compared. Some of us often find that stress can cause blood pressure to rise.


DRINK RED Well known for its rich red colour, Rosehip has an intense tangy taste similar to green apples and ripe plums. Rose hips have antiinflammatory properties. A recent review of around 24 studies [5] found that preparations of rose hips helped to reduce pain and swelling in conditions such as osteoarthritis.

DON’T FORGET THE LEAVES….. While herbal infusions are bursting with ‘flower power’ don’t forget the traditional cuppa, and the green tea, we all love. Both teas come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, and are bursting with a range of flavours, aromas and vibrancy too. Plus, they are packed with health and wellness properties from heart, memory and bone health benefits to gut, digestive fitness, skin and beauty hydration needs to stress busting properties. So, pop the kettle on, sip, take time out for yourself, dream and enjoy that tea moment, whatever the aroma or flavour. And remember, taking time out over a cuppa, whether you are drinking pink or prefer a mug of black tea with a dash of milk, it is great for our minds as well as our health and wellness. [1] Chang et al. (2016). J Adv Nurs. 72(2):306-15 [2] Marnewick et al, (2011) J Ethnopharmacol.7;133(1):46-52. [3] Grant (2010) Phytother Res 24(2):186-8 [4] Makay et al (2010) J Nutrition (2010) 140(2): 298-303 [5]Gruenwald et al. (2019 Phytomedicine 60:152958.


Tea Advisory Panel member Dr Carrie Ruxton has a PhD in Child Nutrition and over 100 published articles on diet and health. She is an independent dietitian with more than 25 years’ experience in nutrition and health. Carrie publishes widely in scientific journals, textbooks and magazines, winning awards for her writing. Carrie is also a regular contributor to national newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.

Project Report: Kenya

Angela Pryce tells us about project MARKUP, which is helping small tea companies to access global markets Spearheaded by Kenya, East Africa is one of the world’s leading exporting regions of tea. From black tea to green tea and specialty teas, connoisseurs are increasingly looking at the region for a high quality cup of tea. Rich volcanic soils at high altitudes, paired with well-distributed rainfall and the right temperature, make East Africa the ideal environment where to grow tea. Despite the potential of the produce, East African small tea companies struggle to access the international market. The main challenges are accessing finance, resource efficiency, marketing, packaging, being up-to-date with the global trends and knowing what the buyers’ requirements are. To address these issues, a regional development initiative by the East African Community in partnership with the European Union was set up in 2018.


The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) aims at increasing exports of agribusiness products by promoting trade from the region. Under MARKUP, the International Trade Centre is providing support to SMEs and sectoral institutions across East Africa. In Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania the International Trade Centre has trained over 100 small tea companies and five institutions from the tea sector on a variety of skills. From sensory analysis and blending, to resource efficiency and marketing skills, small tea companies from East Africa receive advice and exposure on how to better position themselves on the international market.

Tea lovers keep your eyes open: you might discover that East African teas are just your cup of tea!

The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a regional development initiative conceived by the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in partnership with the European Union (EU) and implemented by various agencies, including the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fĂźr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The MARKUP aims to increase exports of agribusiness and horticultural products, and promote regional integration and access to the European market by addressing specific challenges that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISIs) and policy-makers face in accessing regional and EU export markets.


Competition Time!

Looking for activities for the children to do? It’s competition time! Why not learn more about the history of tea and do some art at the same time? We are offering prizes for the best tea-inspired creations – see here for more details. We Brits have been drinking tea for over 350 years, but tea has been around a lot longer, and its origins are far from the British Isles. Legend has it that in 2737BCE, Chinese Emperor and renowned herbalist Shen Nung was sitting under a tree while his servant was boiling drinking water. Chinese mythology states that a leaf from a Camellia sinensis, or tea plant, fell into the water and Shen Nung decided to taste the concoction. And so, tea was born. You can read more about the amazing history of tea on BBC Bitesize and also on our website www To celebrate this iconic drink, we need your help. If you are 11 years of age or under, it’s time to get ‘art-tea’ with your tea-inspired creations! Use any media you fancy - it could be a drawing of The Mad Hatter’s tea party; a collage of a tea plant; a Chinese brush painting or even art with actual tea! The more original the better! See for the entries so far.

Email entries to by 29th May 2020.


Training and Masterclasses Want to learn more about tea and herbals. Try one of these classes UK The UK Tea Academy provides an online Foundation course covering the basics of tea knowledge, as well as three levels of certification held in our London classroom or in an approved training centre in selected countries. Courses are progressive, with each certification better than the last. To qualify at levels two and three, you must have already completed the previous level with us. See more here CANADA A TEA SOMMELIER is a trained and knowledgeable tea professional who has successfully completed the eight modules in the TAC TEA SOMMELIER TM/SM course at a college or online, and passed the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada certification examination. See more here USA The Specialty Tea Institute (STI) is the educational division of the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. and the leader in the education of tea professionals. STI created the USA’s first standardized and accredited tea education curriculum. Their Certified Training Programs, Levels I, II, III and IV, are held in conjunction with various food and beverage conferences throughout the country. Find more here

Coming soon! Tea Masters Cup-UK UKTIA will be launching the UK heat of this international competition. Find out more here: and follow us @UKTalkingTea for updates


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