There has been a lot of sadness in my life this year... too many family deaths (my father and both my husband’s parents), and a car accident from which I am grateful for sustaining only minor injuries. The positive outcome of these unfortunate events is that they have helped me to better appreciate my life, my comforts, family, friends, and co-workers.
I am celebrating 25 years with this Journal as well as with the industries we cover - both of which I have embraced and hopefully helped. Many of our writers and correspondents have worked tirelessly alongside me for much of that time, and to them I owe a debt of gratitude.
Donald Schoenholt, our Specialties Editor, joined me early in my coffee journalism career, guiding the magazine toward the specialty coffee end from its industrial roots. Suzanne Brown, who inaugurated the first-ever coffee newsletter for specialty roaster, First Colony & Tea, came on board and has covered every conceivable tea and coffee topic with style. Jonathan Bell has regaled us with stories and descriptions from almost every European locale that has educated our readers on all that Europe has to offer.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has also recognized the excellence of many of our correspondents over the years. Their first “Writers’ Award” was granted posthumously to William H. Ukers, the founder of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal and the writer of the renowned tomes All About Coffee, All About Tea, and several others. The organization has also awarded Shea Sturdivant, Mark Pendergrast, Tim Castle and most recently, Maja Wallengren. Tim Castle joined our masthead in the early 1980s, followed by Shea, Maja and Mark. They have all sought out important topics and spoke to the most informed sources in order to bring what is happening in the field to our readers. Some of the subjects weren’t always popular... but their stories had to be told.
We have seen many friends come and go. When Dr. Sam Lee, our technical columnist for some 40 years, passed away, John Heuman, a coffee and tea industry personality for over 50 years, took over. We lost Vijay Dudeja, who reported extensively on the Indian tea industry, several years ago.
Along the way, ambitious freelancers have tracked me down to pitch their stories. Such was the case with Larry Luxner, who has been traveling and writing for us on the coffee scene in Africa, South and Central America, for over 15 years. Reg Butler, a seasoned journalist in his 70’s continues to hop country to country in order to help us bring the current issues to our readers. He’s been with our company’s publications for half a century now.
David DeCandia is well into his second year with us - and fitting in just fine - writing in-depth pieces on tea, as he squeezes this new job alongside his production manager and tea buying duties at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
We thank all these excellent writers and the many other journalists and industry men and women who have taken the time to share their expertise and spread coffee and tea’s word in our Journal over the years. They are not just our writers, but are also a part of our family - and they have all made this magazine proud.
Editor & Co-Publisher