When we come across persistent myths that are common among consumers, we must realize that the reason for this persistence is a torrent of easily accessible but contradictory information that rushes at people from all sides.
A good number of myths are born of inter-segmental competition,which manifests itself as sellers’ desire to stand out from the crowd, often by presenting a competing product in a negative light. To achieve this goal, all arguments are welcome, including spurious ones. A fertile ground for consumer myths is the lack of reliable information – or, to be more precise, the inability to verify claims made by someone selling a product. The confusion iscompounded by the fact that there are no universally accepted standards that would allow consumers to make sense of at least some of this information.
We have asked a panel of experts to discuss the need for an international nomenclature for tea. In my opinion, tea is the product that is more in need of systematization, since the market for coffee, a popular exchange-traded commodity, has already largely adopted a universal terminology.
You can the expert opinions in the Pressing issue section of our magazine. I, for my part, would like to take this opportunity and stress that a universal nomenclature is not an end in itself. I think that the development of a common ‘coordinate system’, available in case of need to any person in any corner of the world, is a pressing problem. This system should have the terminology for describing all known types of raw ingredients, technologies for tea processing, chemistry and physics of the production process, as well as all aspects of sales, storage and brewing. Someone can reply that there are already plenty of books on these subjects. But that is precisely the problem: what we need is not a book, but an international reference manual that would include information about every country’s unique approach to the product. For example, someone can open this manual and find out what kind of tea is called ‘red tea’ in China, and what that same tea is called in Europe, what happens to tea during the brewing process, why some countries brew tea multiple times and others only once, etc.
In my opinion, this work should be done under the auspices of such reputable organizations as the International Tea Committee or the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea. But in any case, the development and adoption of such a system must include all principal tea-producing and tea-consuming countries. After all, it is in everyone’s interest to prevent the lack of precise terminology, frequently used to advance someone’s short-term interests, from interfering with the growth of the global market.
4 NEWS UCTIE
6 PRESSING ISSUE
Tea standards: should they be harmonized or not?
7 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
16 India tea statistics
17 Sri Lanka tea statistics
18 The Chemistry of Coffee
20 Hot drinks in the Middle East and Africa.
Manufacturers Appeal to a Young Consumer Base
22 Hot drinks in Southeast Asia.
Coffee market trends
24 Hot drinks in China. China becoming
a global leader for hot drinks categories
26 The Land of Dragons and Coffee
30 Max Quirin: ‘Helping others is what makes all your efforts
worthwhile’ or The bird’s eye view of life and coffee
WHO IS WHO?
32 Filter paper branding – I like
36 CAFFITA-CAMA: two highly successful italian companies
38 Days that stick in memory
41 Pay With Kiss
42 The ‘Barista ranking’ project takes off
42 Diners shun wine for a nice cup of tea
43 The amazing Latte Art
44 What should be taught?
48 ADVERTISER INDEX