TEA NEWS: Sip success through US tea contest

TEA NEWS: Sip success through US tea contest – highlighting the Champagne of teas ?!!

Mirik Tea Garden - under conglomorate control with no cultural flavour ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY AVIJIT SINHA

Siliguri, July 13: The Tea Council of the USA will organise a contest to popularise tea more in the country, especially among younger generations, with the prize being a trip to the brew belts of India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. The winner will also be offered a job in a reputed tea firm in the US.

The web page of The Tea Council of the USA, inviting entries for the Sip of Success contest - a great new 'marketing idea' ?!!

“We’re launching this contest to continue educating the public, including young people, on the emerging science supporting the health-related benefits of drinking tea, as well as its delicious taste,” said Joe Simrany, the president of The Tea Council of the USA.

According to him, the objective of the contest is to generate more publicity for the brew while highlighting various types of tea produced in countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.

“It has been also found that as many young people and recent graduates are out of work, the prospects of winning a contest that could possibly lead to a good job in the tea industry might prove very appealing to them,” said Simrany.

Titled “Sip of Success”, the contest is open to residents of the US and Puerto Rico who are college graduates and have attained 18 years of age.

Tasia Hurt, who is associated with the contest and is taking care of public relations, told The Telegraph that the participants need to make a two-minute video, showing their passion for tea and knowledge of its health benefits.

“All the entries must be original videos created by the entrants and must contain at least one valid message regarding the health benefits of tea, and more specifically, black, green, white or oolong variety of teas,” said Hurt in an email. “The last date for submission of the entries is September 7 this year after which, the final judging will be done by a panel of representatives of The Tea Council of the USA, based on criteria like health-related message, creativity, individuality and popularity.”

The winner, sources in the council said, will embark on the international internship in mid-October 2010, beginning with a tour of Darjeeling and Assam in India. She or he will undergo a training in Assam for six weeks before travelling to Sri Lanka for another leg of internship. Finally, the winner will go to Kenya before returning to the US in December.

“During the internships, the winner will learn about all aspects of tea cultivation and processing. He or she will live in tea estate bungalows, earlier resided by Britons. This is a great opportunity for any youth living in the US,” said Hurt.

What comes next for the winner is a job internship in January 2011 in SalonTea under the tutelage of Tracy Stern, a tea entrepreneur in the US. SalonTea is a lifestyle brand in the US and has presence in locations beyond the country, like Dubai and Paris.

Stern, who is also the national spokesperson for the contest, feels the initiative can help bring in young people to the tea industry. “It is an opportunity for me to bring the new generation of young entrepreneurs in tea industry and show that there can be a rewarding career in it,” she said.

As of now, according to the council, tea can be found in almost 80 per cent of the US households and on an average, over 127 million Americans drink brew everyday.

The contest will be held in association with the Tea Board of India, the Tea Research Association of India, the Tea Board and Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka and the Tea Board and Tea Research Foundation of Kenya, Hurt said. “These are government bodies which control the tea industry in these countries. By joining hands with them, it is expected that the contest would become more popular among US youths and the winner can also get the best quality of training during internship in these countries,” she said.

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