An Introduction To The Wide World Of Tea

As a specialty food and beverage retailer, you have no doubt seen the unprecedented growth in tea consumption in the United States and are realizing its potential as a new product line to help increase profits in your business. The cost of making a cup of tea can range from 2 to 6 cents per cup. If you are serving tea to your customers, just remember that, one pound of loose tea makes about 160 cups! This translates to a lower price per cup cost than coffee, which averages about 8 cents per cup. Since 1904, the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company has been supplying fine teas to tea connoisseurs all over the world. During this time we have gained a superior knowledge of purchasing and marketing specialty teas to potential wholesale clients. If specialty tea is new to the mix of products in your business plan, we suggest that you review our very useful tea marketing tutorial, covering the varying types of specialty teas and some initial order suggestions. Our tea tutorial is available for download from our website.

All tea comes from the tropical plant known as Camellia sinensis. The tea plant grows best in a warm climate with long sunlit days, cool nights and an abundance of rainfall. Tea plants grow at altitudes ranging from sea level to 7,000 feet and on latitudes as far north as Turkey in the mid-east and as far south as Argentina in South America.

Tea is indigenous to China, Tibet, and northern India, though it is cultivated in many other countries across the globe, including Sri Lanka, Japan, Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, Vietnam, Argentina, Tanzania, Taiwan, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The most complex teas grow at higher altitudes and many bushes can be cultivated for over 100 years. Tea bushes cover about six million acres of the earth and are harvested every week during the almost year-long growing season.

After each winter season, the first small leaves and buds of the tea bush are hand-plucked and harvested. Once exposed to air, the leaf will begin to wither. When the picked leaf becomes pliable, it can then be turned into different types of tea.