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We won! World Tea Award for Best Tea Publication! blog post by Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times

Monday, June 27th 2016 @ 12:00 AM

We won!! It feels so funny to say that out loud because it’s not about me. It’s about you. It’s about all of our dedicated writers, supporters, all of you who work hard for me or with me or in your own business or enjoyment of tea. But….wait, we W O N!! Did I tell you we won!??! If you know me personally, you can probably hear my excited laughter or feel my tears and my grinning from ear to ear at the same time. The Tea House Times brought home Best Tea Publication at World Tea Awards!! Read all about it in our own press release – click here.  A full list of winners will be communicated by a World Tea Expo press release later this week. I was also presented with the New Product Award, Open Class for my creation of the #DrinkTea Campaign. Read about that in the press release too.

My thanks are expressed briefly in the latest July/August 2016 issue of The Tea House Times and through our own press release linked in the above paragraph. But here, in my personal/business blog I must take time to list the people who have been incredible supporters, those who continue to stand by and support my vision for connecting businesses and consumers to all things tea. Winning this award has turned into a much bigger deal than I thought it would be. You’d be crying along with me if you could read the notes being sent my way. I so appreciate the outpouring of tea love.

First, of course – I must thank my incredibly supportive husband, Dan (we will be married 31 years next month, yes I’m old enough to be married that long!), who has pushed me to persevere and believe in what I am doing through every day of every year since 2003 even when I did not put one penny in my pocket or that of our household but constantly reinvested in my business to support its growth and not that of my bank account. Yes, that’s true. And that is why I work so hard for all of you who follow me. I know what it costs to be in business so I do more for you, charge you less money than others for advertising and also provide tools for you to succeed and create relationships to advance your business.

And my children are so beautifully supportive. My son Alex (24) loves tea and boy I tell you he could probably be a tea taster. He can differentiate a good tea from a bad tea in two seconds and has not even tried that many.  Alyssa (20) is my coffee gal. Eeek!  That’s OK. She helps me spot design flaws or make adjustments to things when I need a second set of eyes.

My parents. Everyone thanks their parents, right? Many of you have met my parents (Pete & Sue) since they travel with me and help at trade shows when they can. They are both retired and love to help. Mom is with me most of the time and knows every essential element of my business in order to be able to communicate it to others. I trust her implicitly to handle my booth during times when I am networking or teaching classes at trade shows like Coffee Fest or World Tea Expo and consumer events such as the Coffee & Tea Festival.  Did you see the great fun we had at the CTF #PhillyIced event? If not, you will when I get around to writing all of my June show recaps.

I’d like to thank the academy. Ha ha ha, just joking. I see your eyes rolling! : )

I’m going to try very hard not to forget anyone but my age is showing now so if I forget anyone, please forgive me. I will name those freshest in my mind at least.

Thanks to the multitude of advertisers, tea room owners, tea retailers, tea wholesalers, educators, book and magazine publishers, consumer and trade event producers and staff, writers, contributors, sponsors, partners, and subscribers.

Looking through the most recent issue of The Tea House Times, I will now thank contributors in order of appearance:  Peter Goggi, President, Tea Association of the USA, our @Work columnist and distribution partner – Louise Roberge, President, Tea Association of Canada, another @Work columnist and distribution partner – Kim Hendrickson, Salvia Press, our Occasion columnist and partner for soon-to-launch new Culinary Tea Course – Gail Henderson, our Culture columnist – Cynthia Grosso, our Etiquette columnist, owner of Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette and my partner for our online Tea Etiquette Certified course – Red Hat Society, a distribution partner with thousands of tea-loving hatters – Barb Tuson, our Travel columnist – Select Registry, another distribution partner with more than 320 premier inns and B&Bs throughout North America – Susan Patterson (aka Earlene Grey), our Poet from Oregon! – James Norwood Pratt, America’s Tea Sage and our Connoisseur columnist and contributor to our online Tea Course continuing education – Linda Villano, another Connoisseur columnist and contributor to Tea Course. 

Our guest bloggers may be found here: http://teablogs.theteahousetimes.com but most active contributors I must thank include: Victoria Bisogno, El Club del Te (Argentina) – Susan Patterson (aka Earlene Grey) – Linda Villano, SerendipiTea – Kim Hendrickson, Salvia Press – Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mysteries – Keven Gascoyne, Camellia Sinensis Tea House (Canada) – Cindi Bigelow, Bigelow Tea – among others and some new people just joining us. Thank you all. Our feature blogs such as the Matcha blog are thanks to Aiya-America and Ito En.

TeaCourse.com continuing education (to help tea businesses stay in business) could not happen without the very dedicated and expert support of people like James Norwood Pratt, Linda Villano, Zhen Lu (Zhen Tea), The Lease Coach, myself and many others. Special thanks to Indi Khanna, Tea-n-Teas for his constant and consistent Tea Market Reports that keep our students informed on tea growing and market values around the world.

Thanks to all of the show management and staff of Coffee Fest, World Tea Expo, and Coffee and Tea Festival for the work they do for all of us in the industry and for constantly looking to me and trusting my advice and feedback and most importantly the teamwork in brainstorming something new each year. It is exhilarating to say the least. Thanks to all who attend my classes and keep giving me all 5’s on the evaluation forms. : )

Thanks to all other magazines in the industry too. We are all in this together and each has a unique focus. We work well together and help one another when we can. Truly. Plus, we recently came together to form a media panel at World Tea Expo. (I will report on that another time.)

Sponsors: My Tea Course Fast Track could not happen without the support and assistance of SerendipiTea for our tasting session teas and Maryland China for their incredibly priced cupping sets. Thank you as always for your support! Next classes are Oct. 1 at Coffee Fest (trade only) in Anaheim, CA and Nov. 5 at Coffee and Tea Festival, Philly (Oaks), PA (open to public).

Friends: My dearest of friends, I will not name you here. You know who you are. You are the people who go out of your way to call me and know I will pick up in the middle of the night. You text me. You message me, email me and write and send real notes and cards to me. Thank you for your support and love and for gluing me back together when I need it. 

Colleagues and followers: So many, too many. Friends you all are to me. Tea people are family. Thank you.

My apologies if I have missed anyone. I’ve said enough. I’ve said too much. I wanted to accept this award quietly but my advisors advised differently telling me that I need to be enormously proud of my accomplishments and embrace finally receiving this recognition for every sleepless night and all-nighters to bring dreams into reality for my business and yours.  Thank you again. I am touched and honored and speechless (can’t you tell?)  :)

 

For the Love of Tea. . .

Gail

   

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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of TeaCourse.com continuing education and TeaEtiquetteCertified.com online tea etiquette certification. She is also producer and presenter of Tea Course Fast Track and produces numerous other products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here. Contact Gail via email here.

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Gail is RINGLEADER of this fantastic group of Guest Bloggers!  Enjoy stories of our careers, tea experiences, and overall joy for tea.

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