Saturday, April 18, 2020 - Organic and Fairtrade Certifications

Video Subtitles

hello friends hi T community around the
world
happy Saturday April 18th I hope you
guys are having a beautiful weekend so
far I am the weather is a little funny
here in Vegas today it's a kind of rainy
around different parts of the valley so
that's a good thing though we can always
be grateful for a little a little water
and a little rain to to wash things
through so today I don't have any
particular plan just gonna give a few
industry updates and then also you know
talk about some some tea business
education around those updates so if you
guys are interested in you know hearing
what's going on in the industry please
stick around if you're on Instagram you
may see this link here that's a place
that you hi mark good to see you thanks
for hopping in yeah you can you can join
the the broadcasted video which has a
bit more of the content through Facebook
and now we are streaming to YouTube
periscope as well as twitch so you can
catch us all over the place and you can
see the live stream so we just
start talking about tea industry news I
have been talking a lot about the
shutdown and how that's affecting the
industry and the supply and in in our
industry from India but today I wanted
to talk a little bit more about the
markets here in the in the US and how
the market is reacting to cope in
nineteen so the industry yeah so you may
have seen a lot of people in articles
going around making claims about how tea
can yeah Jonathan still does hop on here
and have some fun with us he actually
was a part of the the virtual tea
festival when we we had several
different presenters and Jonathan had
done a pottery demo before that so that
was a special treat for us so yeah you
may have been seeing some articles
saying making claims that tea can either
fight coronavirus or you know help treat
it and you know I'm not going to say one
way or another you know what the
benefits are but I will say that there
is no legal health claim that can be
made so that's that's the the main
update I want to make today and kind of
talk about how hiden Coyote heads yeah I
just wanted to talk about how labeling
at least in the United States is
regulated and you know how different
pandemics or different things can easily
be manipulated to take advantage of of
these different health claims which
is to be honest illegal to do so you
know it is your responsibility as a as a
responsible consumer to be mindful of
these types of uh you know wrong health
claims and also you know I'll kind of
show you how you can go about reporting
reporting these incorrect health claims
so you know I I have seen recently a
couple of articles about specific
products that have been pulled from the
shelf or specific health claims that
have been required to get pulled off of
products and so the end of these health
claims they may be based on either
anecdotal evidence or even some
scientific evidence about you know how T
has been found to either bees with
respiratory you know health you know and
and that is something interesting I saw
a peer-reviewed scientific journal study
that said that there is a compound a
polyphenol MT that is actually used in
inhalers so it already is a known
ingredient for asthma inhalers to help
alleviate stress in the respiratory
system so when you are having you know
difficulty with breathing as people with
asthma do that that compound can help
whether or not you know that compound
has been isolated from T and put into
these inhalers so it's you know very
irresponsible to make that assumption
that just because that compound exists
in t it will automatically you know work
if you drink tea to either treat
coronavirus or alleviate the the
respiratory issues that come along with
it but that hasn't
certainty companies from that making
these claims oh my little Bitcoin tipet
is down I gotta help them up there yes
so the FDA has very strong regulations
exactly mark so that's that's exactly
what I wanted to talk about was that we
as businesses and as consumers we really
should avoid looking at P as a health
benefit type of product and really focus
on T as an enjoyable value in our life
you know a lot of other really cool
stuff will work out if we see T in that
way but you know the kind of a theme
that we've been talking about and in a
lot of these sessions is the challenges
and difficulty of building business and
specialty T there are not big margins
there's not big money to be made so you
know it causes marketers to become quite
desperate and to rely upon these types
of health claims as their marketing
power so you're right you know we really
should avoid doing that at the same time
we have to understand why companies are
doing it but the FDA at least here in
the United States I don't know exactly
how these things are regulated in other
countries as well as in the EU but I
know in in the US for health claims and
actually even for the label itself like
the FDA has very particular regulations
on how you like the title of your
product and what you can call it and
what ingredient in like the way you
listen ingredients and the way that you
list the nutritional information is very
particular and the FDA does have the
power although they don't execute this
power a lot because they just they
frankly don't have the bandwidth to
execute that regulation unless of course
there's whistleblowing and I'll get to
that later about how as a consumer you
can participate in that process but the
FDA does have the power to make you
recall your products and actually even
shut you down
if you do not do an effective recall the
protocol of how they enforce these
things is you know different on a
case-by-case basis but so I'm actually
gonna drink a tea today from from Joe
our friend Joe that's you know he's
tuning in on our our little daily lives
from sage and Cedars is called love and
respect it is a blend of Indian green
tea lemongrass rose chamomile and
hibiscus so oftentimes products like
this would have a health claim on it you
know this is gonna you know reduce blood
pressure or you know there's a lot of
anecdotal claims around different herbs
and different products but you know this
company is is quite responsible and not
making those claims you know I really
feel like people consumers of these
types of products they already know the
claims they already know what medicines
are good for them
and they they don't need like a
marketing claim on the labels so you
know that's another thing to keep in
mind if you are you know in a in a
business position and you know selling
these health related and health like
holistic lifestyle related products you
know a lot of times you don't have to
market those types of things on the
label your your consumer is gonna know
those things and they don't they don't
need you to tell them about that
so yeah the FDA has their own list of
claims that are allowable and it's very
few because just like how the FDA has
regulations about medications like you
cannot get a pharmaceutical product out
into the market until there's all these
layers of different testing including
human trials and and clinical tests
before they allow those pharmaceuticals
to be out in the market is the same
thing with the health claims and food so
there are health claims that have been
legally proven so that's why you can see
health claims around like diet
fiber and you know around like
hypertension and heart disease so you
know cereal companies oftentimes will
take advantage of those types of claims
and that is completely legal
you better believe that a company like
craft or Kellogg's you know those are
major cereal companies that do utilize a
lot of those claims
you better believe that they're their
legal team is up to par on on all the
health claims it's mostly these small
mom-and-pop businesses that are dealing
with holistic health products that
really don't know about these
regulations so you know as as angry as
you might become that you see an invalid
health claim around you know a tee
product I know T products have been
associated a lot with these coronavirus
health claims you know it may be easy to
become angry about the irresponsibility
in that claim but really to be honest it
could just be a matter of ignorant of
just they don't know around these
regulations but it's very serious you
know I know in the news there there
there's been some mix-up about certain
medications that a certain president has
endorsed that has caused some major
health problems so the same thing can be
said with tea you know if you make a
health claim and convince the consumer
so yeah you see this is pink
there's hibiscus and that blend so
that's what's causing it to be pink
because very flowery also a little spicy
I wonder where that spice is coming from
maybe from the green tea you can see
what leaf nice beautiful blood
what's my favorite black tea hmm that's
a big question
ah maybe ginger may I mean it's like the
most premium really beautiful you know
buds only Chinese black tea it's also
you know high values so very costly not
a not a tea that I can drink regularly
on my budget but I do enjoy it when I
have the chance to enjoy it so so yeah I
just want to chill with this I'm not
looking for a big buds maybe maybe I'll
jump into some macho later if I'm
looking for a good buzz so back to
health claims around t you know T itself
is a big health claim and you know I'll
go a little bit later into you know what
I feel like is appropriate conversations
that t marketers can have around a
healthy lifestyle and T but making
direct health claims such as this T will
cure Cove in 19 or this this T will
alleviate as symptoms of the virus may
seem harmless it's just T it's
definitely not going to you know kill
someone but it could inhibit them from
seeking the proper treatment that they
do need to seek and so that is something
that we really need to keep in mind as
marketers when we give health advice to
somebody and so the easiest thing is
just to avoid the health of ice
altogether but it's understandable that
that's a that's challenge so I wanted to
talk about the FDA's portal for for
reporting these health claims and also
for keeping updated on different fraud
campaigns and and and fraudulent news so
if you visit the website fda.gov for to
slash consumers for slash health fraud
scams
and I'll put that link up in the
comments everywhere if if you go to this
website it does have first and foremost
a list of all of the most recent
relevant news around current you know
help came help claim fraudulent cases
and those even in these news will tell
you what the repercussions for those
companies were so that's just kind of an
interesting place to go and then even on
the FDA website too you can also keep
updated on different recalls that are
happening so you know sometimes in the
news we hear about like romaine lettuce
recalls or other type of recalls the FDA
website keeps all of those recalls
updated you know so even the ones that
don't make it into the major headline
news you can stay updated so that's
always kind of interesting to hear how
the food industry is performing and you
know what are some of the issues going
on in our food supply chain that at one
point or another so I'm just finishing
putting this link everywhere so you guys
can visit this website if you choose to
and so yeah first like I said there is
the health fraud news so you know
there's a whole list of articles a lot
of it you can see right now is currently
covered 19 related so there's obviously
a lot of companies not just tea
companies but a lot of companies that
are making fraudulent claims around how
their products will treat the virus you
know that's just predatory marketing
right there and it's it's nice that we
have the FDA there to to protect us and
to keep us updated on these fraudulent
claims there's a whole bunch of other
links you know a lot of little details
about the different regulations that are
in place and you know a lot of this the
FDA covers both food and drug right the
FDA is Food and Drug Administration so
you know don't come to the FDA website
thinking you're only going to get food
related stuff
majority the content there is going to
be related to drugs pharmaceuticals are
very high risk category of consumer
products so you can only imagine the FDA
is is quite bogged down with regulating
drugs and you know on another point and
related to that that's always just
totally confused me is why food and drug
got mixed together but then we have the
USDA the USDA is the United States
Department of Agriculture
they are both you know branches you know
under the you know regulatory branch of
or the bureaucratic I'm sorry if you
have had a branch government so they're
very similar and how they behave and the
things that they do but the
jurisdictions of their regulatory powers
are you know it's very confusing and
very conflicting so the USDA has
jurisdiction over meat and over dairy as
well no no not Dairy Dairy is FDA it's
mostly me and then it's like the
agriculture part the farming part of
produce once produce goes into
post-harvest supposed harvest is you
know it food industry like when the the
tomatoes make it to the food factory
where it's going to get processed into
its next steps then it all of a sudden
is under the jurisdiction of the FDA so
there's a lot of confusion and the two
organizations behave completely
different they regularly completely
differently and and so yeah there's a
lot of inefficiency and a lot of
confusion around how things work and I
you know ever since I was in my
undergraduate degree and studied all of
these things and in the food science
department I always wondered why the
heck they were never merged together and
you know the the drug and supplement
portion could become a much richer you
know regulated autonomous piece of the
the beer fighting system but you know
I'm not in charge so I you know I don't
know these things so at the very bottom
of that page of the link that I shared
with you guys in the blue box says
report a problem
and this is like where you can come in
and report things that you see so if you
ever see a faulty health claim that just
makes you angry you know rather than
just going to your social media and
exposing you know to your followers this
fraudulent claim which is a totally
valid thing to do you're welcome to do
that more effective than that is
actually reporting this to the FDA so
that the FDA can come in and actually
take care of things and they do take
care of things and the FDA the only way
that they ever get alerted about these
things because they don't have the
bandwidth you know only 2% of all of the
food that we eat here in the United
States is actually directly inspected
and regulated by the FDA so that means
that 98% of all the rest of the food is
there's not enough bandwidth to regulate
and inspect those things so the FDA does
rely on us as consumers to offer I'm
there good to see you happy Saturday I
was inspired by all your baking last
Easter and I've been you know doing a
lot of a lot of relationship building
with butter and flour and my fingers
I've been loving it so yes
again the FDA really does rely on us as
consumers to help them know when these
kinds of issues are coming up so please
if you ever see a faulty health claim
around a tea product or around any other
type of product that just doesn't feel
right you can come to this website to
the link that I shared and report report
that problem directly to the FDA and
they will listen to it and they will
respond to it more so than if you were
to you know post something to your
social media you know I just like I've
been seeing a lot of that I've been
seeing a lot of people you know upset
with all of this predatory marketing
around kovat 19 and when it comes to our
food and medicine it is really important
that we keep those companies in check
and so there is a portal here that is
very accessible for all of us to keep
those companies in check so that's that
is the industry update for the day and
now I'm going to segue into giving some
advice to business advice relating to
you know what we've what we've just been
talking about and and a neuron health
claims and compete so you know T is a
very important well here we go sorry
about that guys have this ready queued
up t is a very important health product
for a lot of people it is for me I I
feel it to be a medicine a lot of you
know people that I work with and and
that I sell T to see it as medicine and
so it's understandable that people do
want to attach themselves to a certain
health claim and to understand how T can
help them in their life to live a more
holistic life but there is not a single
certified FDA certified health claim
around teeth so no health claim legally
can be made about teeth you know of
course you can try to educate your
customers to know how to seek out this
information there are several
independent peer-reviewed studies that
have you proven different specific
health claims around different types of
teas but I mean really to be honest from
from what I've you know reviewed of
what's out there
it is like just the tip of the of the
iceberg I think that they're still yet
to be a lot of discovered health claims
associated with different types of tea
that just haven't been studied yet so
but with that said I I think that there
are very effective ways to market teeth
without utilizing specific claims okay
but Quinn's ready to to join in say hi
to everybody bitcoins so you know health
claims are a funny thing with consumers
how you think good to see you good
morning
people want to they want to attach
themselves to health claim you know not
only for this like promise of a future
healthy life but they want like
immediate immediate reaction and so a
lot of the health claims even the ones
that are proven through these
peer-reviewed studies a lot of these
health claims are not ones that you'll
see right away and actually they're not
ones that you're gonna see until he
becomes a daily significant part of your
your lifestyle right so one of the main
health claims that you know you see a
lot and T especially around green tea
you know the Japanese tea companies have
invested a lot of money into proving the
the power and the effects of catechins
and and green tea is around the
antioxidants and its ability to inhibit
cancer but that health claim is not
going to become anything until you have
a long life style of drinking that green
tea and and and having those catechins
in your life throughout a lifetime so
you know it's really hard to tell people
oh yeah drink this green tea it'll
prevent cancer but then you have to also
tell them you have to drink this for you
know 50 years of your life every day
maybe not every day but regularly but
you know it has to be throughout your
entire lifetime and a lifestyle part of
your life before you will see that
health benefits so that's a bit
frustrating and it hard to communicate
to the customer and actually can come
back in a bad way so you could have a
customer coming in and say oh I saw dr.
oz and he said something about tea party
is gonna help me lose weight great
awesome you know there is some ability
to see that but again that's you know
over a lifestyle lifelong
habit of drinking tea you know and and
and how that tea can help your body in
its metabolism and with processing you
know fatty foods and all of that it's
you know people that are looking for
weight loss health benefit like these
are the types of folks that are wanting
and like to lose ten pounds in a week
and that's not gonna happen from forty
perhaps if you only drink pour tea for a
week and eight nothing else and exercise
the whole bunch and you know didn't
retain that water that could happen but
just implementing pour tea into your
life is not ever going to create those
kinds of results but of course
integrating a good tea that you enjoy
that replaces those sugary soft drinks
and and helps with processing your
metabolism and increasing your body's
metabolism over a long period of time
will help with your health and how that
will buy you back is that person that
came in looking for that weight loss and
in a week that magical weight loss
solution in a week
they're they're gonna be disappointed
and they're potentially even going to
assume that all tea is fraudulent and
doesn't work and if they're new to tea
party maybe not an acquired taste for
them yet so they may even think the tea
doesn't taste good and I know that this
is the case with a lot of these detox
teas that you see heavily marketed on
social media which I think we can kind
of say goodbye to those teas I think the
whole economic situation happening right
now in response to kovin nineteen is
doing you know a big push out the door
for influencer marketing which has been
a big you know driver for these detox
teas but these detox teas are usually
not pleasant to drink and you don't lose
the weight so you feel like all tea is
fraudulent LT is not good and you know
you end up losing a customer for life
because you sold them this fake health
claim but there is good news especially
with good quality teeth very good
quality tea there is a health benefit or
you know maybe we should call a health
benefit but there is a physiological
effect from drinking good tea that you
do feel immediately and that does make
you feel good and and will encourage you
to create a daily lifestyle around tea
and that is around the l-theanine so
l-theanine is an amino acid that is
found in the camellia sinensis plant
that's the tea plant all tea comes from
camellia sinensis and the community
census plant is actually the only
bioavailable source of this theanine
bean is actually a leading nootropic
supplement now nootropics is a very
fast-growing category of supplements
that helps with mental focus and
awareness and a lot of like younger you
know male demographics are kind of
driving the growth of this category of
supplements these are a lot of
programmers and and video gamers that
want to stay up all night and stay
focused you know they they buy these
pill packs and stacks they call them
stacks that will you know keep them
focused and they can just take these
pills which is a mix of caffeine pills
and theni pills and you know like the
the Fenian is actually completely
ineffective in our bodies without the
the caffeine and i believe that there
are other compounds that are also useful
in accentuating the bio viability of the
theni in our body but caffeine is the
main one and camellia sinensis also has
caffeine so that's that I always like to
call tea gods or tea is the new tropic
of the gods
because yeah that's like the ultimate
tropic that you can take so theanine
changes the caffeine's reaction in our
body and this is why tea is different
than coffee
it changes the caffeine's reaction in
our body from being that's like Joel a
body
energy that you feel in your heart and
can can often spike and then drop the
Uni will make it a slow release of
energy and that energy is not you know
pumping in your body it's all mental
focus and it actually relaxes your body
so this is ideal for putting yourself
into a meditative state it's also ideal
for putting yourself into a very
high-level manifestation state as well
as brainstorming so that's why tea is
such an important collaborative tool and
in even the corporate environment and in
China and Japan if everybody is drinking
tea together getting this theanine
caffeine combo then they'll be able to
come up with really great solutions
together empathy levels are really high
and and everybody's like calm and
relaxed together it's like everybody
like meditated for 20 minutes before
they started brainstorming so this and
and and this hasn't been proven and this
is kind of like a peer-reviewed
scientific study that I I think would be
really relevant to help with this health
claim is that there's a correlation
between high quality tea and higher
levels of thinning you know so if you're
drinking tea out of the teabag and CT CT
out of a tea bag I think theming levels
are very low caffeine levels may be high
and levels of other compounds that may
you know negatively affect your your
body's energy your chi level but
theanine is the key thing that balance
is everything it relaxes everything but
then your brain is hyper cute really
working strong you feel really strong
smart and you can talk really fast and
your ideas are really articulated and
you know again really good for empathy
and for brainstorming and in
manifestation that's exactly what
manifestation is so you know if you're
trying to encourage your customer to
acquire tea as a healthy part of you
know a daily lifestyle then telling them
about the theanine even though you may
think that it's too high level and too
scientific is actually a very effective
health claim because that is something
that
can attach to immediately like even one
cup of very good tea 1 cup of ceremonial
matcha has enough DNA in it to create
this effect so they drink that cup and
they immediately start feeling it and
they could tell it see that's it that's
that's what you should be feeling in
teeth and then joe says the eye quality
is always correlated to health it's so
unfortunate that like a lot of our
university research its reliant on
funding right and this funding is not
coming from you know the the good
hearted governments this funding is not
coming from good heart and nonprofits
that you know want to create these
correlations between between theanine
and and and and high-quality tea but you
know it's being funded by the
corporations and and conventionally
right now the corporations are not
focused on high quality products they're
looking for research that backs up their
commodity minded meant you know
commodity mentality so of course they
want the research that that's going to
better support supplements that's better
that's gonna better support you know
mass production of so yeah if you look
at a lot of this catechin catechin ECG
to see cancer prevention research that's
been done in japan it's like it's all
geared towards like how like how can we
like isolate this thing and then put it
into a pill versus how do we you know
create the most ideal response and an
efficacy of this compound from the
product itself you know also taking into
considered the production of the product
and all of these other things so that's
why i think like you know anytime i go
to UC davis with the global tea
initiative and i need somebody that's
involved in in in you know plant
chemistry or are those aspects of the
research they're within their tea
program
I always give them this ideas like hey
you know I think it's really important
to look at the correlation between
quality and theanine and also along with
the effect of theanine right this so
this is like a meditative relaxing
focused type of effect you're going to
like better accentuate that effect not
just from like the chemistry of the
product but also in like your behavior
activities while you're consuming that
product so if you're consuming that
product in a very like Zen doubt quiet
peaceful state and you're doing it in a
way where you're really focused on on
what you're doing it's like ritualistic
then it's going to accentuate that
health benefit so you're you're gonna
have a far better efficacy of that
compound if you're taking it you know
through this process of focusing on
preparing this is like meditative and
ritualistic in itself and I believe that
even if the milligram per serving that
you're taking and in this cup versus a
pill let's say the pill has ten times
more they extract ten times more of that
compound and pack it into that pill I
feel almost like ten ten times less
paired with this process of making it is
even more effective than the pill and so
I mean they're right there it's a really
incredible marketing opportunity for any
tea company that is thinking about
targeting kind of that gamer
young male demographic which right now
is taken over by energy drinks and by
these new tropic supplement companies
that you can tell these gamers like you
can get the same effect from these pills
you can pay a fraction of the price than
you would pay you know buying these
pills because these companies can charge
hundred a dollars a month for these
stacks that you get to take every day
and then and then you get to enjoy this
tea you get to you get to prepare it you
get to learn something you get to
explore something new
and actually I wrote this article it was
kind of a fun article I wrote years and
years ago like over seven years ago for
VentureBeat back back in the day when I
was trying to raise money and trying to
be something and Silicon Valley I wrote
this really fun article about how to
market tea to gamers and there's this
whole like game theory and game
developers designers of MMO games so
these are like multiplayer you know big
world games where you have all these
different you know they play online so
like I think like world of warcraft and
these types of games are considered in
them oh and so game designers have this
theory that there are four main
personalities that you have to equally
balanced activities to to enable their
their pleasure basically and each gamer
is going to be a different blend of
these four personalities and so I think
it's the the achiever the Explorer the
the specialist like you know the
know-it-all and then the the killer
right so you know how I related to that
city was was kind of fun but it's it's
basically like you know taking a pill a
supplement pill if you're thinking about
like how you're going to sell this this
nootropic value to to a gamer taking a
pill is like not satisfying anything at
all in that but when you when you trying
to sell them tea there's so much that
can there can be said to satisfy those
four personalities right there's the
exploration piece right so you can buy
teas from all over the world and you can
learn you can learn and experience all
these new things and then there's the
specialists so you can become like the
super honed in tea nerd which we all
know we've seen online you know that's
like just super fast to correct you and
you're wrong on something you know they
know everything and then you have the
the achiever
so the achiever is somebody that like
wants to like graduate in this process
of knowing something and
has that you know there's definitely a
hierarchy at all though it's infinite in
my opinion but there is a hierarchy of
acquiring knowledge around tea and
around developing your gum food and your
mastery around brewing tea and serving
tea and join tea and then the killer you
know that's a hard one
but you know I think that's that's
basically kind of tapping into and and
as much as I hate doing this but it's
encouraging kind of the elitism around
tea it which is kind of related to the
the know-it-all type of thing you know
you see a lot more of that in the wine
world than you do in the tea world but
it does exist in tea and there are some
people that that need to satisfy that so
I just gave a bunch of free advice about
how to sell tea to gamers and I hope
that somebody takes it because no one's
done it yet I was considering pursuing
it myself but you know related to my own
business I am NOT trying to build a
retail brand or a niche within a retail
brand
I am definitely happy to encourage
someone else to do it and especially it
was one of my one of my accounts someone
that is you know sourcing tea through
our platform I'd be really happy to help
them and doing that but this whole
health claim around theanine is not
something applicable just to gamers and
just to you know wedging into the
nootropic niche but it's something that
even a humble little tea shop
or even like a British high tea and
you're trying to get into good quality
tea no a lot of people that do high tea
service say it's very hard to get their
customers to drink high-quality
loose-leaf tea they bring this into it
bring this into the conversation talk to
them about the any talk to them about
how T is not just a delightful
experience to have with your friends and
wear big hats and and and enjoy these
different sweets and treats to eat but
it's something that can actually elevate
your mood
and elevate how you're feeling and then
that's how you're gonna yeah you're
gonna get these like lifelong great
customers that are addicted to this
lifestyle versus just you know trying to
you know have some loose-leaf in their
cabinet it's like no this is a daily
part of my lifestyle and I value it very
much Michael I'm gonna catch up on your
comments I see you are you are you
listing off all the stuff that you've
been eating you just wrote a lot of
stuff it's really hard for me to follow
that maybe you'll have to send me an
email and explain what you're talking
about it's farmers market in Costco the
dog and cat wow you're having a fun fun
Saturday that's good to see Michael
so Joey said the four part model you're
explained is taken essentially the same
approach as Young's model of
psychological or our types the aromatic
doses and the innumerable other
traditional models of life yeah see and
it's about gamers you know I'll send you
Joe send you the article you'll probably
enjoy reading it that was a fun article
to write you know really stretched it
really stretched about how to integrate
tinta into gamers lifestyle but you know
like I wrote that article rewatch okay I
wrote that article almost eight years
ago and this was like before T was cool
you know don't mind the hipster pun but
this was before t was cool and I wrote
this and a lot of people were like wait
T is like this is like grandma's thing
you know like at that time like my
challenge was like how do I make T sexy
how do I make people's perception of T
to be sexy that it's something beyond
you know something that your grandma
enjoys but you know now and I think
irregardless of all the work I've done
of course I do take some credit that my
work has been a part of the whole of
popularizing T culture among the younger
generations but now T
if you look at the specialty tea market
like that segment of the market compared
to grocery or compared to tea bags or
compared to iced tea or all these other
things the specialty tea like the the
loose leaf type of tea the the type of
tea that I'm always talking about the
main driver of that market is like gen
gen Z and millenials like gin see more
gens II more than Millennials actually
you know everybody's talking Ville any
ol so you go to royalty Expo and they're
like how do you sell tea to Millennials
how do you sell tea and Millennials and
and it's like well you know it's just
hot but we shouldn't put it into a
generational category it's like how do
we excite young people
what are young people looking for
they're looking for unique experiences
they are having some limited expendable
income which they're not spending on
buying houses now are spending on buying
big possessions but rather experiences
and lifestyle you know habits and in
teens is part of that and you know I
think that our generation or our
movement and community of tea marketers
and tea businesses has been instrumental
and cultivating you know that marketing
for teas so yeah so you know that's why
I think Joey said that so many of your
friends are addicted to gaming and
energy drinks and and that's why I think
that there is like such an opportunity
for brands to to target that and take
out redbull take out monster let it be
tea you know and that's like matcha go
that's probably the closest company you
know that that has started to do that
that's like the the 5-hour energy sized
little you know three outs
matcha shot Alena is using ceremonial
grade matcha in this shot and yeah
trying to target but your I think
gun food - is something that no one has
tried to target I do remember when I
wrote this article and back whenever I
was trying to to build a retail brand I
went heel at first launched we were a
retail brand for a very short period of
time less than four months we were a
retail brand that's where the the tins
and all of that we quickly switched over
to wholesale cuz I realized that that
was where I'd be able to accomplish my
goal so my goal is not to build you know
a famous retail brand and and you know
build a glorious friend around myself
because that would only create an
economic opportunity for a small portion
of the farmers you know in my whole goal
is to create like a legitimate
opportunity for these farmers so that's
gonna require a lot of retail brands and
and you know I don't want to own all
those retail brands I'd rather than
power all those retail brands so that's
why we switch the business model that
way now but back whenever I was trying
to build this retail brand and I wrote
this article and I had also had to reach
out from Tony Kegley from world of tea
now from Epicure I think he's that and
he had this idea about that correlation
between gaming and tea and I saw it I
understood it you know he was like oh
you might think this is silly everybody
else I tell things that still am I know
that is not silly like this is a thing
and that's like almost eight years ago
and no one's jumped on that opportunity
yet so Joe if that's you go for it
I recently got in contact or someone got
in contact with me and they are gaming
company and they they builds like
interactive virtual like the are games
and so like very you know very high
level gaming company and they actually
have a pretty big community and they do
go through in their events and this is
their like a novelty type of thing they
have different like in life and in real
life events and they have gunk food
tables there and it's just
kind of like it's kind of like people
got introduced to it at Bernie MIT like
higher-ups within this gaming company
not not the gamers themselves but it's
something that the owners of the company
wanted to do at these events and they
reached out to me cuz they're like yeah
this gunk food is kind of popular at our
events and so we're thinking that we
could actually create a branded product
like t blend that we can sell to our
community as like an additional revenue
stream yes so that was actually that
really dank matcha again my table and I
made for them because I told them it's
something that you can prove in my or
you can brew it go through but doesn't
you know because matcha is like a little
tricky much as fun and I think it's it's
it's possible to sell it to people but
there is kind of a barrier to entry for
new tea lovers that aren't so you know
experienced with with how to make matcha
and all the equipment's to make it but
you know gong to I think is something
that can start very simple and it's
something that goes beyond just matcha
you know there's so many different types
of teas that you can you can enjoy with
the they're going through set or even
not just gonna fuke just be Western
Western brewing like a western-style
teapot so yeah I just gave away a lot of
free good information so if you guys are
gonna use this information I greatly
appreciate if you would work with Tila
on your supply chain with it so you know
with that said I think that kind of
rounds out my educational portion of the
show I kind of went a little bit longer
than I anticipated but I think it was
all good I don't think I rambled it too
much I think I shared a lot of good info
so yeah if you guys want to join and
have a chat with me the link is right
here you can see the link it's bit dot
ly / Tila Tea Party
go to that link and you'll come right
into the zoom room to drink some tea
with me a bit Quinn the Quinn's here
he's a little tired today we went on a
long walk so he's he's tired but he was
very excited cuz I've been doing some
some good cookin lately yesterday I
received a very large box of produce
Farmer's box from Kerry close be at
intuitive forager a very great service
here in Las Vegas if you're here in
Vegas please reach out to me I can give
you the details about how to get this
box they are doing deliveries here
throughout the Las Vegas area and they
will just come and deliver it right to
you
so yeah I'll be doing some like live
cooking demonstrations I'll be posting
those not here on tila but through my
personal social medias so if you're
interested in that you can totally try
putting the name of the tease under the
link well I'm not selling any tees right
now so there is no date and time I guess
I could put the date and time that's a
good idea Michael
yeah the purpose of these live streams
is not really to sell tea it's more to
you know just keep the community
connected and share some information and
some tidbits and knowledge around tea
and yeah you know cuz I market mostly to
tea businesses right so you know as as
much as consumers in tea liveries
enjoying this information and learn
something from it I'm really trying to
target this information for tea
businesses you know so today is talking
about health benefits and kind of
regulations around labeling our products
but yeah this is all with the hopes that
we can keep specialty tea business alive
for one during this time so please
support local tea business especially
small-scale tea business that is
supporting high quality tea and so high
quality tea
you know simply just tea that you value
you know it's really hard to say what is
high-quality what constitutes
high-quality I have my own standard but
it's a very subjective thing you know
and you could all have to check out this
google win so Joe is here now
he's probably wants to share with me hi
Joe yeah you know I'm sure it's very
applicable for you because you you're
like a health and wellness company and
so health claims are you know part of
your your whole marketing well for us
it's like I just said this earlier your
lifestyle is the first medicine um and
then like supplemental stuff like
substances tea and that kind of in herbs
and that kind of stuff that's the second
so for us when it comes to health claims
we really try not to sell people on
something because that's I feel like a
big problem with like that we help like
the diet industry you know what I mean
where everybody's got something to say
and oh this is the this is the Silver
Bullet this is that you know this is
that magic cure to all your problems and
this and that and there's you know I'm a
truly holistic perspective goes so far
beyond that I mean you have to make
changes to everything in your life it's
not just like oh I can drink tea and now
I'll be healthy yeah I think you touched
on that you know and that's it's just
that's that's not how it works
there's so much more to it so when it
comes to health claims we tread very
very very lightly because we don't want
to the whole point is to kind of get
people out of that perspective of like I
think I mentioned this the other day
that you use this or that mindset of
like oh I have this problem so I'll use
this thing to get rid of it
you know and it's more about changes in
your lifestyle and what are you doing
all day every day there's not just this
one easy solution like drink to you know
eat healthy it just doesn't work like
that so we really try and tread lightly
with that because it's I know one of my
biggest pet peeves is MLMs um
multi-level marketing yeah they're
always they're always the first and I
don't I don't believe in my product you
will fix all your problems they mean
that like from here you know it goes so
much more yeah trick
yeah funny story about MLM solve all
throwin is kind of unrelated but I just
want to feel the fire of your hate for a
man when I was when I was an uber driver
I won one time gave gave a ride to this
hotshot guy that was here in Vegas - it
was his conference he was here to give a
conference and I'm like wow okay giving
a conference must be a big deal but it
he's like uh it's the world's largest
MLM consulting conference and I'm like
what does that mean you know and so it
means basically that like he will he
works with brands to turn their brand
and their marketing strategy into it MLM
and so he immediately asks hey this this
is your side hustle I can tell them
what's your main hospital I'm like yeah
I got a business and that's like what
you do and you always try to get all
stats from me and then he's like yeah
you know you should do an MLM on what
you're doing you know Tito's
well like you can make tea parties lit
I'm like yeah I do make tea parties it's
like what I'm known for and he's like oh
well you know like you could do some
really good business if you if you do
them all limbs and and I was like okay
I'll I'll humor you like let me know
what would would would I need to do and
he says well first of all what's your
margin on your product and well I do a
wholesale so it's you know it's a little
different you know then and then he's
like okay well we we need to figure this
out you know so that your your product
would have to be competitive like in the
retail market but it needs to have an
80% margin from you know cost of landing
product into the United States to MSRP
would need to be an 80% margin I was
like no we have to retail my tea at like
you know like $500 for a unit or
something like that and and he was like
oh that's that's not gonna work can't
you just go find cheaper tea and I'm
like so yeah that you know that that
right there is a big lesson about
nollans that like majority of what
you're paying for is not the product
itself you're paying for you know all
those levels of marketing and so the
product oftentimes is very low quality
product yeah because I see so many
people that I love and know that they
have like I know they're coming from a
good place
yeah I'm a self-made businessman or and
this and that and that is it's so
disrespectful to people who have built
their business from the ground up yeah
you know it's you got a box of stuff
shipped to your house with all this
material that was like here's exactly
what you do and this and that I've never
had anybody see
anything and it has been a mess the
whole time you know what I mean it is
not easy like I didn't let him go to
school for this I didn't nothing
I just was like one day I was like I
need to share this and every we've
created everything ourselves get
compliments on our packaging are on our
informational materials and one of my
best friend's was even like so who are
you working for I'm like who's read one
of our M flicks like one of our Iraq
cards that information about Tiana he's
like so who is doing this I could work
its me like this all you pregnant you
wrote all this in these MLMs jump on
like young entrepreneur you still work
for somebody so it's a huge it's so
about me and that that like transparency
and things like that you know so it's
really hard to watch people that I love
and I know are smart get sucked into
that stuff you've got a passion you can
do a lot with it but you chose to follow
somebody else's thing I came to know
about which is kind of related to the
topic of today is a genetic diet so like
they do a genetic test they spit out you
know kind of your your code diet that
you should you should have really this
is what you should eat based on your
genes yeah yeah and I've got like a big
group of friends here in Vegas that are
that are all looped into it and you know
trying to get into it and like it my
lungs would be different I mean maybe
they
there is some merit to kind of the
community building marketing style oven
alums that I think is cool and something
to learn from but you know there and and
I actually have like we have a program
on toilets website called the Ambassador
Program and that could be a little bit
construed as like you know getting into
the MLM level but well I got franchising
kind of deal yeah you know so it's like
it's very low impact about low-impact
way of getting your toes into the tea
business and that's what I tell people
it is like this is not like an MLM and I
do not want you to be doing this forever
like I've created this program so that
for less than $300 you can like start
you know in the tea business and will
give you all the tools and the resources
about how to host tea parties how to
host events will give you all the
materials for curriculum on like tea
education you can do and then product so
like they get they get you know you know
a branded product it is Tila branded but
they get enough inventory and there's a
50% margin for them this product and I
made these really low so that you know
for less than 300 hours someone can get
into it but I communicate to people very
early on even before they they jump into
this and pay for their first box I say
you know my ultimate goal is that within
6 months like you're gonna have your own
label in your own brand and you're gonna
switch from buying these tins to buying
bulk and packing your own stuff and and
doing your own thing because this is not
an MLM
but you know like some people they they
don't know if entrepreneurship is right
for them so you know like completely
submerging themselves into this whole
process and investing which it's not a
light thing to do know so I think it's
there there is some merit and there's
things you know to be taken from em
alums but yeah the the overall
like man it just grosses me out you know
some of these like I like I let some in
you know cuz like there's good people in
them there are like you said you have
friends like there are good people in
them and yeah and so like the essential
oil but you know I thought it was kind
of fun you know I met one at a you know
conference that I was at and she was
like hey you have an event two things we
should do an event together we could do
a tea party and I'm like yeah I'll buy
people over and we can learn about
essential oils because you know
essential oils that is essentially what
goes into like flavor teen so I was like
this could be cold like we could make
like Earl Grey replicated teas like
different you know you know type of
flavored teas that people are usually
used to and just use the essential oils
and and so yeah the the actual content
of our programs were always pretty good
but then you know they they ended up it
was just like a recruitment for them and
then they said oh at least you've got
such a good community here you know you
could make a lot of money you know we
could just put you down stream from us
and you don't even have to do any work
or anything and you'll just get you'd
get paid every month for all the people
you introduced us to put this mansion in
a nice car I'm gonna make money for
doing nothing no I
I'm not into no you know no no I like I
like to generate value and I make money
so yeah flavored tea thing really messes
me up too because o Neill on like Earl
Grey thing yeah and we sell a lot what
we call vintage Jean Grey so as a it's
an Earl Grey black tea with rose petals
rosemary and lavender added to it and
people are crazy about it but it is like
we love it it smells great it's awesome
but it kind of hurts our parts because
you should ingest essential oils I mean
it's just the bottom line
they're not your body can't process
stuff like that the essential oils can
actually damage the nephrons and your
kidneys and your kidneys don't
regenerate so it can you permanent
damage to your kidneys you know it it's
a very dangerous lining to walk as far
as you know we've had people ask us like
can one of our wholesalers like do you
recommend her what do you think about us
recommending essential oils and your
teas and we were like no please please
please do not do that
you know she listened to us but it's
just not something I recommend if you
drink a little bit Earl Grey here and
there that's fine
but you shouldn't be putting drops of
essential oil on your team you shouldn't
be drinking constant flavored teas tea
has enough to offer by itself it's
amazing you know it doesn't it doesn't
mean she has Doug like everybody thinks
it does is it's not just lifting teabags
like there's so much I'm drinking an
iced Spring tieguanyin right now and
it's awesome what's that yeah and it's
hard to find that true like organic
process right yeah and she is like
really this is the NGT bunion or is it
like Taiwanese see going in what was
what was the first pregnant Chinese yes
yeah I went I went there one time and I
won't go back because there's no I'm
pretty sure yeah I think so yeah yeah I
went there one time on my way from
Chowchilla back up to Shanghai I was
taking the train and I stopped off in
chenza which is like the main city or
Franchi and so that's where you go to
buy tieguanyin
yeah I couldn't find any good stuff and
then I did I met this really cool guy he
was running like a bookshop like a
library of sorts a really cool guy just
like super humble and right down my
alley
and he was drinking some good tea and
I'm like what are you drinking this is
really good he was like oh this is the
real tieguanyin and I'm like oh I want
to know about this you know because all
these other tea shops I've been to and
all these tea farmers that I've met like
their stuff gives me a headache like on
contact music oh yeah it's all chemicals
everything is all my punch of chemicals
in this area now he said but I've
started this company you know cuz in my
in my research of you know meeting
writers and and he writes himself he
started writing the stories of all of
these elders and and the villages and he
found like this mountain community
that's like the last standing place for
like the traditional tieguanyin growing
and processing and he started kind of
like a tea light of sorts like he showed
me this brochure he made have like all
these profiles of farmers and all their
teas and I'm like yes yes finally I can
have tieguanyin which have the samples
like you're welcome to sample it but
when I tell you the price of it you'll
probably say no because it's like 20 you
know more expensive than any other
tieguanyin you can find on the market so
and it's fine you know because they sell
it all themselves it's like such a
limited supply so like they don't care
it's not like they need us to buy it but
right well they don't have all that
overhead trying to get it over here and
there's just enough domestic demand for
them them selling to us would just be a
novelty but I would love to sell their
tea I did I bought a bunch of samples
and I took them and when someone does
ask me for tea Bunyon I say I got it I
don't have it on the catalog because
it's you know way priced out of our
market here but if you're looking for
the legit thing in the clean one is yeah
some extras I want to try it I'm super
interested yeah it's really good so yeah
and so that kind of asks
Yvonne is questioned Yvonne asked about
talking about pesticides and and tea and
she says the answer seems simple buy
organic no that is not the answer
[Laughter]
with all produce any kind of agriculture
products yeah buying buying organic does
not mean anything if anything it just
means that the producer you're buying
from is more corporate and more you know
larger scale and driven a small-scale
humble guy but auntie specifically there
is a big problem with organic certified
tea that still possesses chemical
residues and there's several articles
that have been written like third-party
companies that will go to the store and
buy out all of the organic certified
product and test all of them and they
find that a grand majority of them test
positive and and sometimes even beyond
lethal limits of residues and the main
reason for that is that the grocery
store brands of tea and this is also
associated with companies that can
afford the organic certification those
producers are very large factories that
are sourcing their green leaf from like
hundreds if not thousands of farms
surrounding their area so when the the
certifier the auditor comes to certify
them they will certify their factory and
they will certify perhaps if there's
like a plantation around the factory
that will be organic but there is also a
really large amount of leaf that is like
coming from surrounding areas and those
farmers do not get audited so there's no
accountability there and then
everybody's leaf gets all mixed together
so yeah celestial seasoning is one of
the main culprits of this there there's
one article and celestial Seasonings
like all certified organic right the in
their major tea company they were like
the the big company that was kind of
all doubt in this controversy that all
of their certified organic teas tested
positive for residents and it's for this
reason and so that's all the more reason
to you know fine to use that you enjoy
and value that are high quality coming
from individual producers that you can
see their soils so when it comes to me
like certifying in my own head if
producer is organic and clean and safe
is looking at their soil I don't want to
see a certification I don't want to see
any of that stuff I like I want to go
see their soil water or soil yeah you
want to see worms you want to see other
shit growing there you want to like step
on it and feel it being like squishy and
soft and I don't I don't need anything
else beyond that that's all I need right
I'm sure that because with their
large-scale process just I feel like
you'd run into that problem well more
often than not yeah it's uh it's really
sad actually
ya know when you're driving through like
a saw like majority of the land there is
all just covered in tea it's all just
monocle to tea and you can see between
the tea plants the soil
it looks like styrofoam it's like you
could tell it's solid and if you walk on
it it feels like cement it's so solid so
it means it's holding no water it's
holding no nutrients so yeah it's like
styrofoam it's like planting something a
styrofoam so like all of your water all
of your nutrients like you've just got
to continuously be adding to it and
nothing is gonna stick it's all just
gonna you know flow right through verses
like a biodiverse really organic soil it
has all that other shit in there it's
got all the worms and the tree trunks
and the you know various root systems
and the cover crops and and the bugs and
spider webs everywhere and like layers
of all this stuff and and so yeah well
the water stays in there
all of the nutrients stays in there and
it makes a big difference
yeah our farmers market director said
one time she said what should you do if
you find a worm in your Apple be
grateful yes
if nature wants it you want if nature
doesn't want it you don't want the bugs
are our friends yeah yeah but sometimes
you know farmers are they don't want the
bugs because the bugs you know start you
know eating at the team we use and but
you know in some cases the bugs are good
you know and the the processing so right
yeah one of the one of the keys this is
what I always tell people they're like
well what do I do if I can't just buy
organic and like shop small that's the
best thing you can do the smaller than
the operation the better I mean that's
that's that's where you start anyway
yes look beyond the marketing beyond the
advertising you know whoever's most of
easily available is probably not good
yeah probably up to something Shady yeah
so go to the go to the small places
where you can like talk little bit with
you and tell it it's like we're talking
to the owner of tila you know name we're
not dealing with this big marketing
sector of your company and then you got
to go through like - who's to actually
hold you you know it was the same way
with your farmers same way with your
food it's like shop local shop small
talk to people
shake hands that's the best thing you
knew so our friend Heidi on Facebook
says that she can buy everything that
she needs direct from the farmer or
raise it herself
except for tea and so that is also
something that you know you can do you
know like you may not do it from the
grocery store like none of your grocery
store teams gonna be farm direct even if
they say it
it's not like it's it may be factory
direct but it's it's not farmer direct
so but there are other vendors you know
where you you can't ask them and don't
be afraid to ask them so think that's my
main tip I give to people more so than
saying buy my tea is ask these questions
and if you don't get an answer don't
don't be offended and don't worry about
offending in that vendor they can't
answer your question but continue to ask
that question because the more you ask
those questions like where is this from
can you describe a little bit about the
community about where it's from is there
a farmer is there a tea maker because
there are those people those people do
exist and the vendor if they can answer
that question then that's great then
that means if this is a tea that you can
you can trust and enjoy if that vendor
can't ask answer that question you know
it's a it's not completely their fault
you know because the conventional
supplier system is not transparent at
all but you know you can always tell
them hey check out teal it teal it can
help you answer these questions so
that's something I say basically the
exact same thing is that when you when
you're buying anything food to you
whatever ask them about their processing
ask them these questions and if they
can't give you the answers oh they give
you the answers that's a red flag yeah
it's it's helpful because you can just
go somewhere else if they can give you
good answers like basically anybody who
has the answers to these questions is
probably very very willing to share them
with you because they're probably
passionate about the exact same thing if
you hadn't questioned you know don't
don't be rude this is what I tell them I
people it's farmer for when they're
going to the farmers market it's like
don't don't be rude but be like so how
do you how do you feed your chickens you
know and if they're like
[Music]
but if they're like oh you know and they
give you like very detailed answer it's
like yes are you going to be respectful
but anybody who can answer those
questions will answer those questions
gladly yeah they probably have them
ready you know T is something tricky
with the with the vendor you know like
you know they go to world T Expo to meet
their vendors like more than likely
they're not going to get this level of
transparency and so I always tell people
you know like be patient with them like
continue to ask the questions like don't
feel discouraged if they come back to
you and say oh no I don't I don't know
that answer don't ask me like don't take
that as an answer like continue to ask
the question tell them these people do
exist like the tea farmer exists the the
terroir information exists you should be
able to find it and you know of course
if you're a friend of ours you could
totally tell them about Tila and that
has worked actually you know I have
friends that like say oh yeah you know
went to this small town somewhere I went
to the tea shop and I you know I told
them about Tila and you know a few weeks
later you know I get an inquiry from
them so you know that that that kind of
pressure does work you know so someone
was curious about I was gonna ask you
about that a couple weeks ago or a week
ago or something when we were talking
about the expo but I kind of assumed
that going to the expo there would be a
whole lot of the direct access kind of
thing to get a lot of brokers to get a
lot of things like that you know you're
getting lots of business type people
rather than like hey here's a farmer
actually trying to sell this product or
even a relative or a employee of that
farmer you know yeah I feel like you're
gonna see a lot of that at the expo no
no no but you are gonna see a
banners that's a directory burn direct
and yeah and you know there are you know
a lot of like Chinese
you know tea factory representatives and
you know and that's that's like
something else that like I struggle with
is that the fact that like I'm not
located in those countries or I'm not
Chinese or Indian myself kind of like D
values my work in that sense so like
someone would say oh well I do direct
trade because I buy from this Indian tea
trader in Calcutta and that's more
direct trade than buying from this
American company and it's like no you
still can ask those questions about the
soil and about the people and all these
places I'm more than happy to answer you
know I it's kind of hard to offer all
that information you know on the front
page because it's a lot of information
but it's there it exists and as it is
accessible you just kind of have to ask
for it right yeah so yovan was asking
about growing tea in the United States
and that is very possible we actually
have a page on the toilet website I'll
comment in there that talks about where
places and resources in places where you
can know three or four farms three or
four yeah three or four hundred in the
United States yeah specifically yeah oh
wow I didn't know about that I've only
heard of a few cool yeah course there's
one in South Carolina like that likes to
convince everybody that they're the only
one but no well I feel like is not the
problem with a lot of these places the
fact they're so young uh well they're
young and then they're you know also
just mostly more than being young
they're just up against a lot of odds
right in the main thing that like
resources cost of resources is so much
higher here than it is and other places
so right
you have that major disadvantage and
yeah it's been so like you you can get a
higher value for your tea to justify
that difference so that was my whole
start in researching tea like okay so
first I started working for Ito in you
know I started working for a big you
know tea corporation but as far as
working with farmers and working with
camellia sinensis that all started in
Hawaii doing a market feasibility study
during my MBA for Hawaii bread and tea
and so that's like a pretty extensive
long report about the this exact
challenge that water costs organic
fertilizer cost certifications
commercial kitchens you know because if
you're gonna process tea and the United
States you have to have the same you
know FDA approved commercial kitchen
that you know all the other food
industry has so those costs are all so
high that the minimum price that you can
sell your tea wholesale like from the
farmer like if you were to reach out to
them and buy it directly for your
business
is like over a thousand dollars a kilo
right price explored some Hawaiian white
tea and I'm just like wow for that yeah
so that's it you know and that that
exists that price exists that that value
in the market exists but it's uh it's
difficult to get that price you have to
achieve the value to get that price and
tea mastery requires time and sometimes
generational knowledge but you know more
so it's just you know the time invested
into understanding your table and
understanding tea processing and there
are a handful of growers in Hawaii that
have been at it long enough that I've
figured it out but you know there's a
whole bunch of other tea growers popping
up in the United States that are trying
to figure it out and some of them are
trying to go the other trap path they're
trying to say
no we're gonna get some scale and we're
gonna cater to you know like the iced
tea market in the u.s. because that's
like the big market and and and we're
gonna justify a higher price because
it's it's locally grown and they're
starting to realize that that's not
enough
like farm-to-fork is not enough to
justify that high increase in price
because something like sweet tea your
iced tea is so you know it has so little
value in the market that right yeah so
it's a challenge but it exists and there
are a lot of nurseries where you can get
plants and you know I've always ever
since I wrote that report I have always
encouraged people to grow tea as a hobby
growing tea as a business is fun yeah
not not something feasible not something
that I would invest my retirement into
doing some across is that you know with
with the American tea farms their plants
aren't nearly as old for one so a lot of
the nuance that comes with you know like
let's say high mountain Chinese plants
is just not going to be present because
they don't have the root systems you
know where they like these older trees
or drawing up tons of minerals and
nutrients from the ground because the
root systems are massive you're in the
United States with a five-year-old tree
I mean how much are you really gonna be
how much of that nuance are be really
gonna be pulling out and also how much
of a harvest can you get off of a five
year old tree versus an 80 year old tree
you know that's probably some issue
there as well it's not an issue actually
a five year old tree will produce just
as much as an 80 year old clone okay if
you're talking about trees from from
seed so like where like the plant
material where that's when you're
talking about age making a difference
but there are some old trees in the
United States
yeah there that were planted by you know
like Chinese migrant workers from you
know the plantation days back you know
200 years ago 300 years ago but the main
issue is the varieties right so that
that is the concern with the industry
being young is not so much the age of
the tree so a tree from 3 years old will
be able to produce enough so that's not
the issue
but if you weren't taking cuttings from
a different tempura even with in other
places in the United States right
because we don't have like a established
nursery system of clones that you can
pick up so like if you're in a psalm and
you decide oh I wouldn't become a tea
planter and I have this land I'm gonna
plant tea like there is a very mature
network of nurseries that you can go get
your plant material to put into the
ground and get going right and that is
plant material that is already selected
for your temple that doesn't exist here
in the States so that is actually the
time-consuming piece of developing a tea
garden here or anywhere any new tomorrow
that is the big challenge is that really
the the best strategy and everybody
hates hearing this strategy because this
rickshaw strategy takes money it takes
time it takes patience but the best
strategy is to acquire seeds from as
many different places as you possibly
can
regardless of temporal information or
whatever you just get all the seeds you
can propagate all those seeds out see
the best performing plants select those
plants let those plants seed out collect
those seeds propagate them all out let
those all grow out select the best
performing plants let those seed take
those seeds you have to do this like at
least five cycles of propagation proceed
and then through all of these selections
you'll find like the most ideal best
performing plant and you can even start
harvesting it and tasting its its
character and then that's what you would
select as your mother plant and from the
other clan is
make all your melons from and right so
so that's when things get interesting
right but that's already like time
during this age of the plant it's the
age of the holes yeah that makes a whole
lotta sense yeah exactly but so a lot of
these guys that are like oh I got two
million dollar investment I'm gonna turn
this land and diversified into tea
because I grow blueberries here and I
heard blueberries a tea grow really well
together so I'm just gonna bring a whole
bunch of seeds from Nepal and just put
them in the ground and I'm gonna be tea
farmer and it's like yeah that's that's
not the best way to do it the best way
to do it would be like okay I have 10
years to you know build this out let me
get some seeds from Nepal let me try to
guess the seeds from China let me try to
get some seeds from Kenya like out let
me get seeds for everywhere and and
really do this right because yeah you're
not going to start building up your
nursery and cleaning out your your
mother plant until like 7 to 10 years
into doing that process which is not in
alignment with typical American business
development like right that it's not we
definitely don't look at the
generational thing like we used to do
you know you look it you can compare
that to architecture or like you know
more ancient architecture they were
building projects that took forever and
would last generation upon generation
upon generation you know you look at
these old cathedrals and places like
that
these old temples and they had such a
longer mindset and today we live in like
if it doesn't happen in the next three
years we don't want no part of it ya
know we want to reap that reward right
away in my lifetime the most talented
and then I'll get my kids laugh so
that's why the tea plantations in my
China and stuff exist like they do is
because it was it was a
multi-generational project and they knew
that they weren't getting everything out
of it in their one lifetime that would
outlast them by a long shot
yeah yeah that's a cultural difference
big-time yeah it's there are some places
in
States though where this work has been
done you know and that's exciting
actually
there's this one place and he's kind of
like the Johnny Appleseed of tea in the
United States really incredible
character that is in a place called
Fairhope Alabama really beautiful place
on the goal Clements oh yeah yeah yeah
so there's actually a lot of right
climates for tea in the states there's
this whole thing called the camellia
belt so camellia japonica it's like an
or mental flower is really popular
that's a cousin to tea there they grow
in the same conditions so the chameleon
belt is like it goes all the way from
like like even like North Carolina all
the way down south to Florida and then
across Texas and then all the way back
up to like Washington State so there's
tea that's growing and Washington
actually one of our oldest tea gardens
is in Washington State almost Canadian
Washington so yeah but the guy that's in
Alabama he he has an interesting story
so his father was like a part of the
whole Lipton tea research so lifted did
do some like pretty addressable research
of growing tea in the States for the US
command that project got squashed
because they were like nope the
commercialism doesn't work and all of
those plant materials and everything
were supposed to be destroyed you know
cuz looked or didn't want any of their
work to be replicable or used by anybody
else but you know his little legend is
that when he was young and there was
like this fire where I was supposed to
destroy all these tea plants in this
research station he went there and
recovered like a few of them and just
grew them himself and now he's you know
way into adulthood and those you know a
few bushes or everybody
just been one Bush have you know
propagated themselves out and now he has
this pretty lush diverse
multi-generational patch of of tea
garden and he shares his tea plant so
that's why I say he's kind of like the
Johnny Appleseed is uh he's like a
museum docent or even higher than that
he I think he manages like the History
Museum of the small little tourist town
and so he gets a lot of people that come
through to hear about the history of the
town and everything and his tea growing
is a part of that history of that town
and he'll let groups come in and harvest
tea there and process that tea and take
it for their own drinking it's very
small-scale but they also gives plants
and seeds to people he's just very open
it's not a business he has no commercial
intention in what he's doing and just
trying to spread the history of that
town so there are people now that like
20 years ago received plant material
from him and you know they created their
own multi-generational little plots in
Florida or in other places so that's why
I saved like three to four hundred like
you need to be surprised mother T is
actually growing our women so I may I
might be a little less a little talking
a little less about how much G is
growing and how many of these places are
actually producing a a marketable
harvest like are these are these small
places actually producing and processing
enough to share or is it just going
right out the door you know what it
means like continue is it something that
someone could source from them you know
what I mean are they producing enough to
even do that or is it just like one
small farm kind of sharing with their
family and maybe selling at the local
market sort of thing yeah but that's
that's what US grown tea is you know
right it's it's small-scale like maybe
you like 20 or so those projects are
larger than an acre okay that's like
that that's where I get my number
promised like who could I actually get
tea from if you're not really okay if
you're not willing to pay at least a
thousand dollars a kilo wholesale then
none of them right yeah I mean I think
that the guys in Mississippi you can you
can try to get some tea from them their
price I don't think I don't know I don't
know their pricing or anything I was
helping them you know I was very
enthusiastic about helping all the UST
growers but this is a funny little story
about my business is that like we are
known internationally for being like
super culturally sensitive and able to
like transcend across all these
different cultures and work within these
different cultural contexts but when it
comes to working with the American
farmers like there is such a cultural
clash there that like it doesn't work so
yeah the the culture and the farmers
here is like very independent and and so
they've been actually very kind of
backstabbing with me and standoffish
yeah well no no they're they're more
than happy to accept the help and accept
the the friendship and the connections
and everything but then you know the
second that business gets involved and
like I don't have exclusivity contracts
on anybody I'm not trying to do that but
it's almost like they require that
that's what they want
thank God they want that contract and
it's like well I don't want that you
know like I want to help you and I want
you know the work that I do for you to
ultimately help me but I you know like I
know that I'm not able to 100% help you
and I don't want to put myself into that
position of being liable for a hundred
percent healthy right so that's why this
is an open relationship and we can you
know as long as we communicate openly
with each other and respect each other
it'll work but those promises are I mean
that's a real quick way to knock
everybody down all at once kind of thing
you know
anything I can't I can't you know
provide in the end yeah it's a little
bit difficult for me to work with the US
farmers because the the ego is high and
autonomy in the independence decide and
that's part of the American spirit right
is that like we we take care of
themselves and we can do it for
ourselves
so well if they do have the opportunity
to do a lot of what you do just because
they're American whereas if you go to
China to work with you because you have
that you have that reach you have that I
don't know America has got that special
type of culture that a lot of most other
countries seek in some way but the
American farmers themselves looks like
they're one step away from having it
themselves so I can see how they'd be
like when I encourage them to I'm like
hey you know your supply is small enough
like just just go to the farmers market
yourself and sell it yourself and build
your own little thing like you don't
need anyone like me but you know there's
one Bob Jacobsen you know he's like very
humble guy and he just wants you know he
just wants to spend time in his his
isolated place and doesn't want to have
to worry about the international market
and and trying to get out there and so
you know he's been really respectful of
our relationship and how things work but
yeah I've even had like even guys that I
don't work with yet
I don't officially I've never sold their
product I've only told them how the
network works and how they could sell
product on my network and you know they
they have their their lawyers send me a
letter saying you know wanting to
solidify that we don't have a
relationship and that I can't you know
have my name associated with their name
and I'm like wow okay that's how it is
that's that's how these guys are but
yeah I think the the guys in Mississippi
they they are producing some tea as far
as what I've seen online they have an
exclusive deal with
supplier and Texas so you'd have to go
through that supplier to get from the
honey but I think they're they are
trying to make their prices more
competitive but that was something that
we had always kind of disagreed on from
the beginning I'm like you shouldn't try
to make your product commercial or
commodity or you know ready for a tea
bag or iced tea cuz the market just
doesn't value it like they'd rather just
go get cheaper tea from Argentina in
Kenya and like say it say it's American
you know cuz it's so easy to do that
right you can like it's really country
and like you know put some American
branding on it and all of a sudden it
feels like and you know like the
regulation in the States for it to be
like us made like local the u.s. made
you just have to open a package and
repack it here you don't have to blend
it you don't have to make the blend or
anything you just have to open their
local section there'll be all these
local teaser same thing at farmers
markets you go to Mars markets and
they're selling like gunpowder teen it's
like local support local and it's like
yeah this is commodity and stuff it's
not the same thing Safeway or like
there's no small small small small small
small get it so yeah there is a lot of
us grown tea and it's just it's kind of
inaccessible but it's okay that it is
because it's small-scale and you know I
don't I don't think that any us farmers
are sitting on big stocks you know like
none of them are rolling in the dough
though I know that's for sure you know
if you see someone selling tea in the
United States for really high price like
there
doing that because they're rolling in
the dough or they're doing that because
growing and making tea is very
resource-intensive and they're just
trying to make ends meet but it can't be
good you know like that the us the the
Hawaii the Hawaii spring white tea that
we have is probably like the highest
quality team that we have on our lineup
and it's the highest price so you know
when you're only dealing with a little
bit you know you're willing to put in
that extra little bit of energy to make
your teas produces best a product as you
possibly can totally know where your tea
grows just just ask the person that
you're buying that tea from just ask
them don't be afraid actually I have a I
have a list of questions that you can
use you'll find hopefully that has all
those questions or asking potential
vendors about where the tea comes from
you never be afraid to ask questions I
have not seen the original link but
here's a link that has it you can see
posted across several different
platforms so you can just see it from
this link so questions such as what is
the farm name what is the website of the
farm who is the farmer what is the main
contact what is the farmer address what
is the main farm phone number I mean you
can even ask questions like this because
all this information exists what
language is a spoke among the members
when was the farm established what
altitude or the fields with
certifications do they have how many
owners or partners are involved how many
members they have how many members are
part-time contractors is the what is the
minimum wage of the workers how many
acres fields do they have what cultivars
are planted are your plants planted from
seeds or clone do you accept visitors to
your farm does your farm have
accommodations for guests to stay what
type of tea do you grow processed what
percentage of production is commodity
bulk or specialty what is your average
annual production output of finished tea
so yeah these are all these questions
that you can go into detail and you know
nice to say that every vendor is gonna
have the answers to these questions but
just posing those questions is gonna put
it into their head and let them know
that this is important to the consumer
won't know how serious you are - you
know you answer some of those hard
questions and they're good they're gonna
immediately the sales it's just gonna go
out the window person knows what they're
talking about we can actually just we
can talk straightforward or they'll just
like yeah yeah yeah we deal with the
same thing with a lot of our urns - I
gotta answer I gotta ask a lot of those
exact same questions is because for us
not only do we have to go through all of
this stuff with tea we have to do it
with 75 other herbs you know so we have
to do this exact
same thing with all of the other herbs
that we use and it's it's not easy you
know it it's a complicated process it's
not like you know there's not a one-stop
shop you can just trust you have two
people that people ask me at the market
they're like where do you get yours from
and it it's like we source them
individually if you have a specific
question because I you know what I mean
like asking about one
oh sure I can go into the detail with
you but I have 40 different Urban's on
the table and they're all coming from
different places
you know yeah it's a complicated
business when it comes to sourcing can
become complex very quickly really
people that's the hard part as we've
been finding out yeah yeah trust people
and and trust the information itself you
know sometimes that people just don't
have the information so yeah well you
gonna put yourself out there good you
know you know let yourself be vulnerable
among yourself get fucked over you know
essentially
it happens you know or silly like that
sucks you know what that's part of the
game you know in order to find good
sources you it's kind of a trial and
error process MPN the weeds that people
will weed themselves out if they aren't
legitimate you know it will prove they
will prove to you quickly what they're
actually made of you'll find quickly who
who wants to stick around
he's doing it who's running an ethical
business who's got their heart in it you
know you're finding that stuff out
quickly and you get betrayed and hurt in
the process and it's not it's not always
easy we've been through that several
times like they take wholesale accounts
from you or well no just like you find
out that they're not is they're not as
genuine as they thought as you thought
they were you know like we found this
especially with people who want to buy
from us where they act like oh yeah
we're all in and we're all in a role in
it you know what I mean and then one
thing comes up and they're like oh we're
not in it you know it's like they can't
make enough money you know and it's like
we were never really interested in our
product in the first place because we're
paying for that quality we can't do that
you know and it's like man I really
thought you guys were there you know you
advertised your whole business it's like
oh we offer these amazing products and
this and that and and then when it comes
down to it it's really just an ego as
you've put it a couple of times there's
it's all about like that control but
people won't reveal that to you quickly
and with the suppliers that kind of goes
along the same lines you know they will
they'll they'll sell you until you ask a
certain question like they'll they'll
they'll be the they'll be the perfect
salesman until you ask a certain
question and make it clear you know what
you're talking about and they'll kind of
just like disappear into the weeds you
know what I mean they'll just like that
mean with Homer Simpson really into the
bushes yes right question they're like
just radio
I thought we had something going about
connecting and doing something just
doesn't happen so why I prefer local for
one especially with our herbs because we
can actually go to these places and work
for them to you know we can go out a lot
of our like you know like echinacea is a
weed around here burdock root is a weed
around here some of our farmer friends
are more than happy for us to just go do
it just come out here and take you don't
want taking over my field anyway I
raised sheep you got all these all this
burdock all over in the Sheep you know
and they like come get it really sweet
now I get to go visit your farm you know
you invited me into your house you know
I got to see the whole operation it's
like those are the kind of people you
want to work with yeah and so we've made
really good friends and really good
connections through doing things like
that but that's not always the case
especially with things like it's I can't
find cinnamon in the u.s. it's just
impossible and we used so much cinnamon
yeah you know it's one of those deals
where like now I have to rely on word of
mouth until I can get to that farm you
know
[Music]
Croatia I deal with like 70 Hertz so I
have to look at the list but if you know
a cinnamon farm and I me in touch with
to be great yeah cuz it I want a farm
doing each thing or a farm doing like
five things you know what I mean far not
distributors are the worst to work with
they really have got no but as far as
the distributor just kind of like Tila
like there's value to it of aggravating
there's actually these in these
international commodities right well
depends on
you are I mean you know what I mean
you've done so many teas yeah these
larger distributors they're like hey
we've got 500 herbs and it's like look
that you know now you're losing
credibility in my eyes because you've
got so many different things coming from
so many different places yeah in these
massive amounts it's like I can only
trust you so much at that point but you
know part of our international
commodities it's a challenge you know
for all your locally sourced stuff it's
great yeah cuz I'm sure you can just
work directly with the farmers and
that's why I haven't tried to expand you
know into u.s. grown herbs cuz it's like
I'd rather just tell you to Google a
lavender supplier in your local area or
I just guess you can find it but things
like cinnamon or tumeric or you know
these these other herbs that you know
aren't abundantly available in the US
are things that have to be imported and
yeah turmeric is a hard one yeah awesome
turmeric from Hawaii right now so highly
recommended one of my one of my favorite
musicians actually he runs a he runs a
gardening down there all right thanks
some of the most yes they're amazing
yes all is a huge inspiration for me me
and Kelly are working on because we like
the cut and sifted turmeric so we don't
want powder and we don't want fresh we'd
like it if they cuz we can't even have
the facility to process that much
turmeric yeah um so me and Kelly they're
working on and I keep pushing her
everybody so I'll be like hey what's up
did you you know cuz she wants to get
into it too sure you know basically
we're looking for a turmeric that will
blend with tea I don't want it powdered
because then it just goes right through
the strainer you know and I'm saying we
want we want like little chunks of it
and they really only just sell dried
powder or big ol boxes of fresh stuff so
I keep bugging them about it but it's
one step at a time basically but they're
well that's cool so they're drying
in powdering it that's cool I was they
actually was at their farm just last
year okay it's all their tumeric harvest
it was it was their farm was really nice
that's for sure yeah yeah I used to live
on Oahu and I was I was first friends
with Kelly and when she first moved to
Hawaii to be with Paul and that's how I
met Paul oh I do a lot of work with them
with they were doing these permits where
they community people like once a month
we meet at somebody's house and we just
like permaculture their whole yard for
them and it was all just volunteer and
then we jump around at different
people's houses and do that together
awesome and I used to build the solar
dryer boxes for all these places so
Kelly Kelly drives a lot of their fruits
and stuff in the solar dryer box that I
left for them right but yeah when I saw
them with the tumeric and I was asking
them about that I was like hey you know
tumeric is a big demand and and you know
my my network of buyers like and they
still weren't processing it at all it
was just fresh turmeric and and I've
heard that actually like a having fresh
tumeric travel in air is like negatively
impacts the quality of the product
that's pretty much the case with every
herb if it's coming from a different
place it's definitely going to degrade
some you know with changes in pressure
and yeah and MEA just it's it's the it's
inevitable that's why you know that's
what humans are supposed to they're
supposed to gather and scavenge from
their local environment and that's what
we're supposed to do you know parents
love us to be shipping good stuff a
thousand miles you know so but it does
degrade the quality but it's still
better than a lot of the other stuff the
most genuine amazing people I've ever
met in my life so I can imagine yeah
you know polls really really cool
they're their new farmers is nice they
have so much going on that's all I'm
surprised that they were even able to to
set up some processing on the turmeric
because they have so many other projects
going on right you know in addition to
all the music and the yoga and the other
community development stuff that they do
right yeah they're very involved yeah we
go out and see Paul at least every year
in Minnesota he goes to shangri-la a lot
I don't know if you're familiar yeah yep
it's that kind of that whole scene
Whoopie foot is the one but yeah there's
the one that puts it on and Paul's out
there every year pretty much we've
thought about it we've thought about the
whole trailer deal as soon as I saw was
that Jasmine dragon ya know I'm like
looking at it I'm like oh so it's hard
it's got it's gonna be really hard to
even break even in that kind of business
though you would think or you do break
even you know so like what I what I
always do with these organizations it is
like I don't make a commercial thing so
then there's not that pressure that
you've gotta like make enough money to
cover the vendor fee and all the
expenses you you pitch to the
organization okay we're adding a value
to the overall experience of your events
right you know so first of all you know
like volunteer passes for all the people
that are going to be working there and
then also some stipend to cover the
transportation costs and the tea costs
and whatnot and then you don't set up
with all the vendors
necessarily yeah you can be a part of
festivals Park back in the campground
you know and set up back there yeah yeah
Laura tried to get you know closer to
the stage and the dance floor you know
because the the tea area ends up being
like highly guarded our highly regarded
kind of browning the space for for the
overall event that people will retreat
to you know if like you know they're
feeling overwhelmed or tired or whatever
so it is nice to be kind of in the
action somewhere right but cool yeah you
want that cinnamon link so send me that
honestly any any earned supplier that
you want to share I will gladly look
into it a lot of the growers that were
already importing for they they also
have other products you know so we can
we can ordered along with the other
things that we're already importing
sweet yeah yeah husband no like the
spices like cinnamon and such like the
suppliers I'm working with like maybe
the price points to I know but I am
working on you know more like specific
suppliers that are more equipped to to
offer you know quantity and all of that
because yeah the the suppliers of
cinnamon that I have like they're doing
cinnamon kind of as a novelties so you
know the prices is not competitive but
it would definitely be more affordable
than Hawaii tumeric you know I'll let
you know
doom absolutely but yeah I think I've
been on for over two hours now so I
think I'm gonna in the live stream but
Joe you wanted to chat yeah we can we
can stay on and chat I'll just go ahead
and sign off from the stream do I stay
stay on it's fine I'll just stop the
stream so far everybody I'll see you
tomorrow
please

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