The Tea Spot's Steep & Go...Genius Idea, But Wait...
by Naomi Rosen
I am not just on the lookout for great new tea blends and growers when I attend the World Tea EXPO every summer in Vegas. One of the most exciting parts of the show is checking out all of the new accessories being unveiled. 2012's show certainly did not disappoint! When looking at accessories, there are a few guidelines that I use to choose something for Joy's Teaspoon:
- Does it make brewing tea easy?
- Is there something about this product that really sets it apart from others that I carry (or have my eye on)?
- Does it fit with our environmental ideals?
So, why can't I shake this feeling in the back of my head??? And again, why haven't I placed my order? Answer: I just can't bring myself to endorse the use of disposable water bottles. It's that simple. This product has been designed to fit the bottle top of a Dasani/Evian/Volvic sized bottle and as you are well aware, re-usable water bottle necks are usually much larger. Only about 13% of the 29 billion water bottles produced annually ever make it to a recycle bin. On top of that, it takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make that much plastic, plus transportation costs to distribute those bottles on top of the chemicals and contaminants that can be found in the water.* Insert sad face here!!! I have made a promise to my customers that I will do my best to provide products that are environmentally responsible and that I will run my business as efficiently as possible. Offering a product like this one, while it meets all of the other criteria on my "What to look for in a new product" list, just doesn't fit with the message I want my customers to get from Joy's Teaspoon.
All hope is not lost however. I had the honor of speaking with Maria Uspenski, Founder of The Tea Spot, at EXPO and she absolutely understood my concerns. In fact, she mentioned that they were currently working on a similar product that would fit most universally sized re-usable water bottles and that she expected it might be available by 2013. I assure you, I will be the first in line to snag as many of those Steep & Go's as I can! I applaud The Tea Spot's efforts to make products that make tea brewing simpler and look forward to looking around the city and seeing thousands of people enjoying their tea on the go!