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Press Release 11/7/2008

Aurora, IL 60504 USA

Although Dethlefsen & Balk Inc. is only approaching it's 5th year of business in the US (trying to follow the footsteps of its 172 year old German mother company) it has made a milestone in the North American Specialty Tea market. Without question it has become one of the leading and most respected specialty tea wholesalers in the US.

Having been far from alone in this market in 2004 Dethlefsen & Balk Inc. was then also unknown to most smaller US specialty tea retailers. The reason which made Dethlefsen & Balk set apart and made specialty tea retailers hook to Dethlefsen & Balk are success factors which are also very similar to the ones for their German mother company which enjoys worldwide reputation for uniqueness, quality and service:

1) Providing a high quality orthodox tea assortment which is available throughout the year at a stable quality. Quality control through:

a) Taste: Controlling teas from all popular regions and many exotic places are continuously tasted by highly experienced and industry leading experts.

b) Sourcing: Decades of key relations in the production countries secures purchase of the best grades at the best price.

c) Analysis: All imported teas are analyzed by official laboratories to comply to tough European regulations and ensure satisfaction of increasingly health concerned customers.

2) Keeping up with the newest flavor trends by offering a vivid and inventive assortment of flavored teas, tisanes and rooibos blends. These blends are outstanding in terms of visual appearance, pungent aroma as well as superb taste. All of these factors are equally important for tea specialty retailers when attracting new customers and holding the often very "savvy" tea enthusiast.

3) An additional offering of a comprehensive line of tea accessories which includes exclusive designs marked with the own "ChaCult" label. Promising a constant high-quality and unique product which can not to be found at big department stores, the accessory offering is unique, high quality and competitively priced.

4) Personal and attentive service, custom blends, quantity and pallet pricing, special product inquiries conclude the offering.

Better than ever the new 2008/2009 wholesale catalog reflects the above points and offers an outstanding selection of teas and accessories. An excerpt of the new offerings can be seen here and on this website. Dethlefsen & Balk Inc. is thanking their North American customers for their trust and support within the first 4 years in the US and looks forward to continue serving and growing with them.

Sascha Karimpour

General Manager

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Press Release 06/10/05

As one of Germany’s oldest and significant suppliers of the specialty tea trade, Dethlefsen & Balk (founded in 1836) has expanded their presence now also in the US.

Dethlefsen & Balk provides a wide selection of premium loose leaf teas and tea accessories. Their orthodox tea selection captures all major tea growing areas in the world. An even bigger selection of unique and outstanding flavored teas and tisanes completes the list. The accessory selection is one of the most complete on the market. It includes unique items for resale such as porcelain, glassware, ironware, as well as goods for in store use like packaging bags, personal tea bags, strainers and storage containers.

All goods are stored, shipped and priced ex Aurora warehouse relieving customers of previous importing hassles from Germany like shipping coordination, custom duties and vague estimation of delivery time.

Following an excerpt of a recent correspondence with Sascha Karimpour (General Manager) which points out D&B’s strengths:

“What is so different about you?” “We differentiate from other tea suppliers by being an actual tea producer whose only business is to wholesale directly to specialty tea retail stores, tearooms and tea & coffee shops. Tea retailers want to stand out and offer their customers what they can’t find anywhere else - truly fresh teas and unique flavors. Having direct control over the entire business chain from sourcing, production to the direct sale to the reseller we can guarantee you an exceptional tea.”

“Our second big advantage is that we probably offer the largest selection of unique tea accessories worldwide – anything from tea timers to storage tins - we are a one-stop-shop. This is key since many tea shops make more profits from selling accessories. Our design team in Europe is constantly creating new ideas and exclusive designs customized to the tea business. Being an All-in-One supplier allows our customers to focus on marketing and sales instead of haggling with a large number of suppliers.”

If you guarantee freshness how old is your tea? “We flavor our teas in Germany right before shipping them to our US warehouse. Using only premium flavors (no artificial additives) we reach the maximum freshness possible. To ensure freshness D&B restocks older teas on a regular basis. Our teas are heat-sealed in aroma-safe triple-layered foil to maximize shelf life.”

Why don’t you manufacture directly in the US? “ An obvious answer would be investment cost but more importantly quality and image might be hurt. In Germany there are strong laws and regulations about the processing of teas. For example all tea processed in Germany are controlled for a minimum amount of pesticides by law. There is no comparable quality control in the US. In addition we have our even more stringent in house laboratory which is allowing only the best teas to pass for production. This is also the reason why we had to leave out some popular specialties from our assortment. There won’t be a problem importing teas directly from Japan to the US but we filter out in Germany what will pass in our selection.”

Are you price competitive? “ Every quality has its price. Our German office has been in the industry for over 165 years and knows the ins and outs. We know that we are very competitive with our products. “

“In China and other countries used to be standard numbers for each quality of tea (by type, country, province and more) which was globally used terminology. Unfortunately these standards have lately been neglected and so it is up to us to choose the best qualities.”

“We don’t exclude you possibly finding a tea with the same name from the same garden and leaf size at a lower price. However we are quiet confident that this tea will not be from the same premier crop or underwent the same ideal fermentation process and again simply is not of the same quality…”

Do you give discounts? “We are not a discounter but do want to give our loyal customers a long term break. Therefore we do offer an Annual Reimbursement Policy based on the customer’s combined annual invoice amount. Also we offer special pricing for high value, high volume or single bulk shipments.”

Is there anything else D&B does? “ We do have the ability to create custom blends for our customers with a low minimum of 5kg (11 lbs). In addition we source special requests for teas which might not be included in our catalog in bulk quantities. We offer expertise of tea selections, consult for start-up tea businesses and provide tea classes to customers. You can observe our product line and meet our team at trade shows all over the US.

Twice a year we issue an extremely detailed and pictoresque catalog. The glossy color catalog features close-up views of all teas and accessories. Every of our about 500 items also has a detailed description which works as a great selling tool for our customers.

For 24h order convenience we have a secure online webshop which reflects pricing and availabilty for validated customers only.

…we know we are still new in the US and not quiet perfect yet, but we try to give our customers an excellent service. I make a point of speaking with all customers personally and will try to continue this as long as possible.”■

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