It has been a great year for tea! Despite the economic downturn, tea is holding strong, and there have been many advances in terms of health studies, new tea business openings and new levels of exposure and acceptance for tea across the U.S. Conveniently, these are the topics addressed in World Tea News' tea Year in Review. Here's an excerpt from my contribution to the article:
Teas are popping up in boutiques across the nation, and with the dollar down and international tourism to the U.S. up, American department stores are following the leads of international equivalents (such as Harrods and Takashimaya) by offering tea. Select Bloomingdale’s locations paired up with Tavalon for café and retail offerings, and custom Tay Tea blends appeared at several Henri Bendels. Both plan to expand to additional locations during 2009, and more retailers are likely to make similar moves in the near future.
The trend of tea and spa, previously thought to have peaked, has kept growing this year. Boston’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel opened a tea lounge in conjunction with its spa, Qua opened a scaled-down version of its Vegas tea experience in Atlantic City, Urbàna Cityspa & Teabar put its tea collection online and announced plans for a second location, and a number of other spas released blends as both beverages and treatments. Meanwhile, home spa treatments are holding strong: OPI added two tea-based treatments to its manicure-pedicure line, Allure Magazine gave Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask their Editor’s Choice Award and Pekoe Sip House partnered with Origins for a “wellness spa” offering tea and home-spa products.
Read more on the year of tea on World Tea News!