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THT BLOG: SIAL Canada 2019 Drink Ambassador Gastelu Shares Insight with Actualité Alimentaire

image loading... by Gail Gastelu, Owner/Publisher, The Tea House Times
posted Monday Apr 22, 2019 07:00 PM

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Gail Gastelu

Owner/Publisher, The Tea House Times

About Gail Gastelu

GAIL GASTELU is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of continuing education and 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!"

SIAL Canada is just around the corner, set to take place in Toronto from April 30 to May 2.  To get a feel for my involvement, you might enjoy reading a Q&A that I answered for a specialty agri-food magazine, Actualité Alimentaire

The article was published in French and may be seen by clicking here to open a .pdf document of the article.  The English version may be found below followed by my schedule of appearances at SIAL Canada 2019 >


1-    As an expert Drink Ambassador, what is your role at SIAL?

As an ambassador in the SIAL Canada Expert Hub, my role as their designated Tea and Infused Beverage Expert is to lead education and panel discussions within the beverage tract for SIAL Canada and act as spokesperson. Through panels, show floor demonstrations, and conference topics, my goal is to communicate best practices and share the most interesting and beneficial trends and innovation in the category to the benefit of food and beverage professionals in attendance. 

2-    How do you want to get involved in the show?

Since I live and breathe all things tea, my involvement at the show will be filled with excitement and enthusiasm.  My goal is to meet with and help as many people as possible; to confer a greater understanding of tea and how it can be a part of any food or beverage business; how to profit from it; and how to bring excitement to the category, uniquely. The Central Experts Hub at SIAL provides a dedicated space for people to come and meet with me and other Ambassadors. The panel themes I have scheduled to lead shall include several other ambassadors so that we may achieve a thorough understanding of branding, innovation, regulations and more. 

3-    In your opinion, what are the major trends and innovation areas in the Drink Area?

Trends for drinks quite often closely match or can be paired with what is happening with food. Trending ingredients such as matcha or turmeric can very easily be incorporated into cooking/baking, mixed drinks, healthy meals and more; beauty products too! Innovation happens when people think outside the box or teabag let’s say. Think about different ways tea can be used rather than simply sipping it and there you find innovation in quite clever new ways.

4-      What is the future of the drinks industry in your area of expertise?

The industry surrounding Tea and Infused Beverages is moving towards higher quality tea; a concentration in education towards proper handling, storage and consistent, tasteful preparation; and better hot tea or iced tea and herbal/non-caffeinated infusions. We are now looking more deeply into “infusing” tea or herbal infusions with additional ingredients, specifically added nutrients in order to layer health benefits. Functional ingredients for example, meaning a nutrient or dietary ingredient which is intended to affect the structure or function of humans are making their way into our beverages big time.  Functional is the buzz word right now.  Functional beverages in particular are in a race to the top. The key to this, however, is to ensure that the base ingredient, tea (Camellia sinensis) and other blending ingredients are of high quality.

Join me at SIAL Canada. My full schedule of activities may be found below. Register at and use my code SIALTEA19 for 50 percent off an attendee badge.

>Presentations, Panels, Workshops<
1. April 30
10:30 Tea Tasting Workshop*
11:30 Beverages Expert Panel**
12:00 Tea/Cheese Workshop*
1:30 Tea Regulations Panel**
3:30 Tea/Specialty Bev Panel/Conf***

2. May 1
10:30 Tea/Chocolate Workshop*
11:30 Look/Feel Panel**
12:00 Coffee/Tea Mocktails Workshop*
1:30 Profitable Pairings Panel**
3-4:30 accepting appointments scheduled through the Expert Hub

3. May 2
10:30 Coffee Tasting Workshop*
12:00 Tea & Honey Workshop*
1:30 Relevantly Speaking Panel**
2:30 Simplicity/Innovative Panel**

*=Inspire Drink workshop area on show floor
**=Expert Hub / Panel on show floor
***=Panel presented in general conference area

Learn more at and watch this space to learn more about each session.

Hope to see you there!!

For the Love of Tea. . .

~ Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times
Automatically run a search for all posts by Gail Gastelu, HERE.

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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of continuing education and online tea etiquette certification. She also produces and presents Tea Course Fast Track in person. Gail provides 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!"


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