Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spot of Tea

Hot tea is a winter necessity, which is why it makes perfect sense that January is Hot Tea Month. Whether you’re enduring winter’s freezing temperatures or warding off a cold, hot tea provides soothing relief.

In 2009, total U.S. tea sales topped $7.3 billion, up from $6.9 billion in 2007. More than 25 countries produce 2,000-plus types of tea. Black, white, red, green, oolong, chai, organic, herbal, loose-leaf, and flavored teas have all grown in popularity, and specialty teas are now a staple on supermarket shelves. So what's latest in the world of hot tea and how are tea manufacturers embracing Hot Tea Month? Let's take a closer look.

Recently, Lipton launched a line of Pyramid Tea Bags in nine different flavors. The unusual packaging allows the tea space to flow freely with real pieces of fruit, herbs, or spices for truly authentic infusion. The company also introduced three new Superfruit green tea flavors. Additionally, as the largest buyer of tea in the world, Lipton has committed to sustainability by agreeing to source all of its products from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates by 2015.

In honor of Hot Tea Month, both Bigelow and Twinings are offering loyal fans a chance to win a year's supply of tea. Visit Facebook to enter Bigelow's sweepstakes for the opportunity to win one case of tea per month for a year. For a limited time, new "tea-mail" subscribers to the Twinings newsletter will also be entered to win a year's worth of tea.

If you're looking for additional ways to enjoy tea this month, visit Good Earth Tea and uncover tips to brew a perfect cup. Or, cozy up with a steaming mug of Celestial Seasonings and take a virtual tour of the company's Boulder, Colorado-based factory, the world's most advanced tea production facility. Try your hand at building your own tea concoction with loose-leaf options from Mighty Leaf. Want to feel more Zen? Find out which TAZO Tea is right for you. Finally, round out your collection of Wade miniature figurines from Red Rose.

For more information on the state of the tea industry, look to Tea USA, a collaboration of the Tea Association of the USA, Inc., the Tea Council of the USA, and the Specialty Tea Institute. Also, be sure to stay tuned for news from the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, June 24-26 – the peak of National Iced Tea Month!

How will you celebrate Hot Tea Month? Comment below and enjoy your time indoors this January!

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