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In The News

March 10, 2020 – update: 

Metropolitan Luxury Tea Group and the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

 

BACKGROUND

  • Covid19 is now starting to create the potential for serious business interruption in Canada and the USA, notwithstanding all the other countries in the world.
  • Whilst it may not be what we want, we need to be pragmatic and realistic about the potential for complications.
  • Your company relies on us as a source of premium quality and stable supply
  • We rely on you as a loyal client.
  • It is a partnership which we enjoy.

 

ACTION PLAN TO MAINTAIN NORMAL OPERATIONS

  • We are building a computer network which will allow our office staff to work from home with full access to email and the company’s main computer systems.
  • We have a plan in place to have 50 % of our office staff work from home and 50% work at the office (the banks are doing the same with their trading departments)
  • We are cross training staff to assist in order preparation, manufacturing, production, order picking, and shipping. Getting our luxury tea to you is job number 1.
  • Implementation if required, to occur immediately

 

OUR TEA SUPPLY

  • We have very large inventories in our warehouse under vacuum
  • Shipments are continuing to arrive from the farms
  • With raw materials (tea and herbs) in course of shipping to us, plus on hand stocks, we have sufficient inventory on hand to accommodate 12 months of normal demand.
  • We do not anticipate any interruptions

 

IMPLICATIONS

  • Should we need to activate our Action Plan, you may see minor delays – perhaps 1 or 2 day fulfillment times compared to our normal turnaround time of less than 24 hours.

 

TRADE SHOWS

  • Natural and Organic Products, London                            the show has been delayed until July
  • SIAL Montreal April 1517                                                     we are cancelling our participation
  • SCCA, Portland OR. Apr.2426                                             we are cancelling our participation        
  • National Restaurant Show, Chicago May 1821            on our watch list – likely will be cancelled
  • World Tea Expo, Denver CO. June 811                            on our watch list – likely will be cancelled          

 

March 3, 2020 – Update: 

Metropolitan Luxury Tea Group and the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

 

2020 CHINA CROP UPDATES:

  • Farms are back at work and the new crop is just starting
  • Crops are not affected and initial reports are that quality is good

 

SHIPPING FROM CHINA:

  • Currently there are delays up to 8 weeks
  • Offices and shipping companies are starting to get back at work
  • The offices and companies have labor shortages due to mass quarantines
  • Normal shipping is expected to be back on track by the end of May

 

AFFECTS ON METROPOLITAN’S INVENTORY AND SHIPPING;

  • There is no affect. (We keep large raw material inventories (generally 15 months and in vacuum for the ultimate in freshness – you’d have to go to the tea estate to get fresher tea!)
  • There is normal shipping and normal order fulfillment from our facility with no ‘hiccups

 

METRO’S MANUFACTURING PROCEDURES AND WHY YOU ARE SAFE

  1. Constantly in contact with the farms for weekly updates
  2. Tea is packed at the estate into superior food grade packing materials
  3. Palletized, containerized and shipped by sea   (mechanically – no human contact)     
  4. Arrival at Metro tea and unloaded     (mechanically – no human contact)
  5. Refined as required     (mechanically – no human contact))
    1. Equipment sanitized with food grade sanitizer (eliminates contamination @ 99.99% effectiveness)
  6. Prepared for raw material storage (vacuum packed)   (mechanically – no human contact)
    1. Equipment sanitized with food grade sanitizer (eliminates contamination @ 99.99% effectiveness)
  7. Finished goods blending and packing   (mechanically – no human contact)
    1. Equipment sanitized with food grade sanitizer (eliminates contamination @ 99.99% effectiveness)

Note: Our food grade sanitizer is a plant-based compound and water-soluble…. and 99.99% effective!

 

Other notes:

  1. Teas that are flavored:
    1. The flavoring we use is ethyl alcohol based**. Ethyl alcohol is plant-based, water-soluble and in itself, a known sanitizer.
  2. Ethyl alcohol complete evaporates following flavoring.
  3. Our manufacturing processes are virtually human contact free. Between flavors and/or different blends the equipment is sanitized (eliminates contamination @ 99.99% effectiveness).
  4. Throughout our facility, enhanced personnel sanitizing stations are standard protocol and regular staff training is undertaken to ensure compliance (FSSC 22000 certified)

 

** Ethyl alcohol is the ‘carrier’ for the essential oils. How it works is the essential oils are blended into the ethyl alcohol. The essential oils breakdown into molecules creating a flavoring solution. The fluid is then applied to the blend by atomizing the flavoring. The molecules in solution with the ethyl alcohol penetrate the tea leaves. The ethyl alcohol evaporates virtually instantly. The result is that the essential oil molecules are deep within the tea leaves giving the consumer an extraordinary taste experience

 

The other option (which we don’t use) for a flavoring carrier is known as Propylene Glycol (PG). PG is a petroleum-based volatile compared to ethyl alcohol which is water based. We have seen that PG based flavored teas have a slight ‘chemically’ aftertaste. Understandable, as it is petroleum based. {You might be interested to know that PG is used by airports around the world to de-ice aircraft if necessary – yum!}

 

February 25, 2020 

 Metropolitan Luxury Tea Group and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We would like to share the following statement in respect to the Coronavirus and tea.

CHINESE TEA

The new season (the best quality) for Chinese tea does generally not begin until the end of March and carries through to end April/mid-May – corresponding to our purchase times. Shipment to us does not normally take place until the beginning of June and the transit time is about 60 days from the estate to our facility.

 

JAPANESE TEA

The new season (best quality) for Japanese does not begin until May/June – again corresponding to our purchase times. A transit time of minimally 60 days transpires once the tea is available for shipment to us. Japanese tea is primarily green tea and it undergoes steaming for 3 minutes before being processed and finally dried at high temperatures. In all cases, temperature exceeds 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

 

TEA DRYING

All tea (black, green, oolong) including Chinese and Japanese Tea, is mechanically dried at temperatures above 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) for minimally 15 minutes. Chinese white tea is sun dried and may undergo up to 5 minutes of mechanical drying at the above noted temperature. Reports from the W.H.O. and other health authorities indicate that the incubation period of Corona Virus is up to 14 days in a live host – (transit time is 60 days). There have been NO reports that Corona Virus is able to survive in high temperatures or in products that are dried to below 4-5% moisture.

 

RECOMMENDED STEEPING TEMPERATURE and TIME

The recommended steeping temperature of tea in water is greater than 190 degrees F (90C) for 5 minutes. (We also recommend that you bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired steeping temperature).

Whilst tea is prepared to individual tastes, the longer your steep tea the better it tastes and the higher the probability that any microorganisms in the water will die due to high temperature.

We believe that drinking tea regardless of the origin of the tea, is a safe practice. To the best of our knowledge, there are no microorganisms that can survive high temperature tea steeping; so not only is tea good for you, but with proper and recommended preparation, you also ensure that the water is free of potentially harmful microorganisms.