Navigating the ambiguous realm between premium and specialty tea

Unlike specialty coffee, the definition of specialty tea is far more illusive, especially when distinguishing it from premium tea. By Kathryn Brand

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One response to “Navigating the ambiguous realm between premium and specialty tea”

  1. Roland Hill says:

    A beautifully written piece, politely illustrating one of the reasons why tea has fallen behind coffee in OOH consumption and individual stated preference (The Statista Global Consumer Survey 2023), that is its marketing, or rather lack of.

    If the tea industry cannot decide whether “specialty” means the highest quality grades of tea, or everything “that is not a straight black or green tea”, ie is it a horizontal or vertical separation, what hope is there?

    Anyway, how come the American term “specialty” is even in the mix for tea classification, coming from the country that eschewed tea following the Boston Tea Party?

    As the inventor of one-way vision graphics (, my first licensee, in 1987, Avery Dennison, had a Specialty Films division, eg not standard cling film or polythene sheeting, which favours (favors?) the second definition above.

    As the inventor of the TEAPY T-4-1 tea service taking off in the UK in hospitality (foodservice?), home and office markets (, I am hoping the tea industry will decide that it is “special” (already adopted by a Michelin-starred chef), also “premium”, served in the cafes of the renowned Westmorland Family motorway services, like their “premium” petrol (gas?), or with over 10 million visitors a year should that be “commodity”, though they use TEAPY’s infuser for all their loose leaf tea and other infusions, except for their superior Canton English Breakfast tea bags (definitely not “bog standard”).

    Finally, after 58 years of reading professional and trade journals, Kathryn Brand’s article is definitely “superlative” .

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