What’s Brewing? – Cherry Iced Tea Spheres, Leilani Fine Tea, VAHDAM India, Farmer Brothers

Photo: Courtesy of Capresso

“What’s Brewing?” is a World Tea News round-up of recent happenings, news and factoids from the global tea industry.

Here’s what’s notable:

Inspiring Idea: Try Cherry Iced Tea Spheres with Prosecco to Celebrate the New Year

Say "cheers" to the New Year with homemade Cherry Iced Tea Spheres with Prosecco, suggests Capresso. Using the Capresso Iced Tea Maker, brew a pitcher from loose or bagged tea and add a cup of cherry juice. Once brewed, pour into your favorite ice molds and freeze. Place one ice sphere in a glass and top with Prosecco and serve. The Cherry Iced Tea will slowly infuse into the Prosecco.

The Capresso Iced Tea Maker features a flavor enhancer that adjusts brew strength from mild to strong. It also offers a removable water tank, dishwasher-safe glass pitcher, automatic shut-off and more.

To learn more, visit Capresso.com.

Leilani Fine Tea Launces, Supports the Greater Vancouver Food Bank

On Dec. 18, 2020, Leilani Fine Tea opened its online doors to fine tea connoisseurs everywhere. Leilani Fine Tea is North America's first modern, ultra-luxury tea company that is modeled after a high-end jewelry atelier. The company says it offers an ensemble of rare and luxury teas that celebrate authenticity, craftsmanship and terroir.

Leilani Fine Tea was founded by husband-and-wife Gregory and Cindy Lui. "We wanted to create a tea company that represents a new generation of sophisticated tea drinkers who seek a true authentic tea experience that answers the who, what, where, how and why,” said Gregory Lui, co-founder. “For those connoisseurs, we offer a boutique collection of teas that celebrate this epic journey shaped by traditional artisanal skills. We are obsessed with our craft and we elevate it to the level of fine art, even our details have details," Cindy Lui, co-founder, said, "Aligning with our beliefs in tradition we would like to start off our own with giving back to our community. For the next 30 days, 50 percent of net sales [through Jan. 15, 2021) will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.”

To learn more, visit LeilaniFineTea.com.

VAHDAM India Appoints Ketan Desai as Chief Tea Educator & Sustainability Officer

VAHDAM India has hired former tea entrepreneur Ketan Desai as its chief tea educator and sustainability officer. Desai has also invested an undisclosed amount in the brand.

Desai joins VAHDAM with 25-years of experience, and he previously started and successfully ran multiple tea ventures in the past. He’s also a seasoned tea taster. Prior to joining VAHDAM, Desai has been a tea entrepreneur twice before. He started TeaAuction.com, the world's first B2B tea auction portal, and he launched a range of tea boutiques by the name of CHA. He also recently co-founded a sports apparel company, DFY.

Bala Sarda, founder and CEO of VAHDAM India, said, “We are very excited to see Ketan join us in our journey of creating India’s first global tea and wellness brand. His personal investment in the brand is also a strong conviction in our journey and very humbling given his strong background and decades of experience in the tea industry. I am inspired and motivated by his commitment to VAHDAM and look forward to learning from his experience. We are building a strong executive team for the next stage of growth and to strengthen the brand presence globally.”

Desai noted, “The biggest reason for me to invest and join VAHDAM was Bala’s audacity and passion to create a truly global tea-brand that is proudly Indian at heart and global in spirit. Within just five years, VAHDAM has been able to achieve what no other Indian brand in any product category has been able to do. The other aspect about VAHDAM that impressed me was the larger purpose and philosophy: ‘Do Good By Doing Good.’ I am convinced that in the next few years, VAHDAM will redefine what new India’s entrepreneurs can dream and achieve.”

To date, VAHDAM has raised more than US$17 million in funding from India’s top investors, including VCs like Fireside Ventures, Sixth Sense Ventures, Mankind Pharma, SAR Group, Urmin Group, Chona Family and entrepreneurs like Kris Gopalkrishnan (Infosys Founder), Pankaj Chaddha (Zomato Founder) and Amrish Rau (PayU Founder), amongst others.

To learn more about VAHDAM India, visit VahdamTeas.in.

Farmer Brothers Recognized by Newsweek as One of “America’s Most Responsible Companies”

Farmer Bros. Co., a national coffee roaster, wholesaler and distributor of tea, coffee and culinary products, announced that it has been recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s Most Responsible Companies of 2021. The awards list was announced on Dec. 2, 2020 and can be viewed on Newsweek's website.

The list recognizes the top 400 most responsible companies in the United States and was developed by analyzing key performance indicators within the environmental, social, and corporate governance areas.

Deverl Maserang, CEO of Farmer Brothers, commented, “This recognition as one of the country’s most responsible companies is a validation that our multi-year commitment to sustainability is working. We will continue to set ambitious goals and hold ourselves accountable as we work to achieve balance between natural capital, human capital and economic capital.”

To learn more, visit FarmerBros.com.

-Aaron Kiel, World Tea News