World Tea Expo Founder Moves on, Says ‘Future Is in Your Tea Cup’

The Tea Community Thanks George Jage for More Than a Decade of Service

World Tea Expo Founder Moves on, Says ‘Future Is in Your Tea Cup’George Jage, founder and director of World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo, is moving on to a new position outside of the specialty tea and healthy beverage industries. And the community is thanking him for more than 10 years of dedicated service to enhancing tea in the North American marketplace, as well as bringing attention to better-for-you beverages with healthful ingredients.

Charlie Cain, vice president, Teavana Tea Bar operations and franchising, Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, Wash., says, “As I think back over the 10 years I’ve spent in the U.S. specialty tea industry, George Jage stands out clearly as a charismatic and enthusiastic leader for the healthy growth of our industry. He built an incredible show and media platform, but more importantly he built a family. I’m honored to be part of that family and will forever be grateful for the impact he has had on my career and my industry.”

In 2003, Jage created Take Me 2 Tea, the nation’s first tradeshow devoted solely to premium teas and related products. In 2005, the event was re-branded as World Tea Expo, to more accurately reflect its position in the international tea industry. In 2013, he helped premiere Healthy Beverage Expo, which facilitates the dialogue surrounding what “healthy” means to the industry and ultimately the consumer. Jage also founded the North American Tea Championship, World Tea Academy and World Tea News.

In a recent World Tea News article, Jage shares some final thoughts and wisdom on the dynamic tea marketplace: “We are in a golden age of expansion for the specialty tea industry. Tea remains the most-consumed beverage globally, second only to water, but lags at 7th in the United States. The opportunity for growth is strong and the returns are significant, making this an attractive industry to capitalist and entrepreneurs. Market makers like Starbucks are making bold moves, and significant innovations are being made by companies like BKON. The stars are all aligned. The fruit is ripe. The future is in your tea cup.”

Thanks & Thoughts on Jage – Beth Johnston, founder and CEO of Teas Etc. Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla., shares, “George has been instrumental in the growth of the specialty tea industry. Since he first envisioned Take Me To Tea [the former name of World Tea Expo], George saw a need in the specialty tea industry to bring tea people together in a meaningful, beneficial way.”

World Tea Expo Founder Moves on, Says ‘Future Is in Your Tea Cup’John Chaffey, director of sales at the Metropolitan Tea Company, with offices in New York, Canada and the United Kingdom, says, “World Tea Expo has raised the profile for specialty tea in the United States and, as a result, raised the bar for other consuming nations and producers as well. George’s relentless pursuit of this goal asked us to aim higher, and hopefully we have.”

Brian Keating, publisher of the Specialty Tea Is “Hot” Report, Seattle, Wash., notes, “George Jage made exceptional sacrifices to advance the specialty tea trade in North America. His relentless promotion of the trade show he founded — World Tea Expo — devoted to specialty tea was only equaled by his support of individual entrepreneurs and brands. The specialty tea industry will forever be indebted to George and his wife Kim for their work to promote the advancement of specialty tea.”

Tea writer Babette Donaldson, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book: Discover the Healing Benefits of Tea, says, “George Jage has written a new chapter in the history of tea by building a bridge over the chasm between the large corporations and small retailers through World Tea Expo. His creative legacy challenges us to honor our interdependency as a strength, a fuel, with the potential to make us the 2nd most popular beverage in the United States, as it is in most of the rest of the world. George adopted the specialty tea industry in its infancy and bound us together as a tea family to love and nurture it. Thousands of us are indebted to him and to the World Tea team for helping us find our place at the table and our voice in the marketplace.”

Richard Enticott, president and CEO of Martin Bauer Inc. in New York, N.Y., adds, “It is essential that the platform George has put in place is now built upon by the specialty tea industry, in order to ensure lasting recognition of the massive contribution he has made. Thanks for everything, George.”

Currently, The Beverage Group [a.k.a World Tea Media], a division of F+W Media, is guided by a diverse group of advisory board members — all influential leaders from the tea and beverage communities.

Healthy Beverage Expo Advisory Board:

  • Janet DiGiovanna, co-founder, dash Advisors
  • Art Eggertsen, sales and brand ambassador, Kate Farms
  • Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Food Sleuth, LLC
  • Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru
  • Tim Lucas, CMO, Funktional Beverages
  • Rob McCaleb, founder and president, Herb Research Foundation
  • World Tea Expo Founder Moves on, Says ‘Future Is in Your Tea Cup’Ian McLean, founder and creative director, McLean Design
  • Danny Rubenstein, co-founder, dash Advisors
  • Donald Wilkes, president and CEO, Blue Pacific Flavors

World Tea Expo Advisory Board:

  • Charles Cain, vice president, Teavana, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • John Chaffey, director of sales, Metropolitan Tea Company
  • Mim Enck, president, East Indies Coffee & Tea
  • Gail Gastelu, publisher, The Tea House Times
  • Manjiv Jayakumar, president, QTrade Teas & Herbs
  • Beth Johnston, CEO, Teas Etc.
  • Sascha Karimpour, president, Dethlefsen & Balk
  • Brian Keating, founder, Sage Group
  • Marc Kluge, VP and general manager, Florapharm Tea USA
  • Holger Lohs, CEO, Haelssen & Lyon North America Corp.
  • Devan Shah, president, International Tea Importers
  • Fumi Sugita, executive general manager, Aiya America
  • Rona Tison, senior vice president of corporate relations, ITO EN (North America), Inc.
  • Maria Uspenski, CEO, The Tea Spot

About The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media
The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media, Inc., is an integrated media company dedicated to providing business solutions to the global beverage industry, including: Healthy Beverage Expo, World Tea Expo, the North American Tea Championship, World Tea Academy and World Tea News. F+W Media is a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products/services for enthusiasts, with a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education and more.