Coffee and Tea Newsletter: August 2009
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Turn Over a New Leaf

On any given day, about one half of the American population drinks tea. Some, of course, like it hot, but an overwhelming majority, approximately 85%, prefer to drink their tea iced. This passinew leaf teaon for iced tea has lead to a great surge in ready-to-drink tea sales, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.:

  • Over the last ten years, Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Tea has grown nearly ten fold
  • In 2007, Ready-To-Drink sales were conservatively estimated at $2.8 billion

Feeding this growth, no doubt, are the challenges of busy grab-and-go lifestyles and the continued reporting of tea’s healthy benefits. Visit the refrigerator case in your favorite deli or a walk down the beverage isle at your local supermarket and you’ll see many RTD teas vying for your attention. Do consumers have to sacrifice great taste for good health?  Not anymore, according to Eric Skae, developer and founder of New Leaf teas.

new leaf iced teaAn avid brewed tea drinker with nearly fifteen years in the beverage business, Eric Skae woke early one morning in 2003 and decided to blend his favorite brewed tea with various fruit flavors and instantly knew he was onto something. “The beverage market lacked a beverage that was both great tasting and good for you” said Skae. Using family and friends as his tasters, the concept of New Leaf teas quickly started to take form. Less than a year later, in 2004, Skae launched New Leaf—100% all natural and preservative free ready-to-drink teas that are organically sweetened with evaporated cane juice. “Since cane juice is all natural and minimally processed, it offers a healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened teas,” added Skae.

New Leaf ready-to-drink teas start with green, white, or blue tea. While much has been written about the health benefits of green tea and white tea, many consumers are just learning about blue tea and its benefits.

What is Blue Tea?
Oolong tea is known as blue tea because of the bluish reflection of its leaves.  “Blue tea is known for its smooth taste which is unlike any of the other teas,” said Skae. New Leaf is serious about educating consumers about blue tea and reports that blue tea contains a large quantity of polyphenols which act as antioxidants and promote beauty and health. The polyphenols are also known to enhance the function of enzymes and aid in the controlling of obesity by
activating triglycerides and enhancing metabolism. “Blue tea has more catechin than black teas and more thearubigin than green teas. This smooth tasting tea has so much to offer,” said Catherine Daniel, a spokesperson for New Leaf. New Leaf introduced its newest addition last month with the launch of the Blue Tea Peach tea.  New Leaf’s peachy pairing offers consumers a savory taste of healthy goodness.

Fourteen great flavors make up the New Leaf all natural line of teas:  White Tea Strawberry, White Tea Tangerine, White Tea Honey and Ginseng, White Tea Honeydew Melon, Green Tea Plum, Green Tea Ginseng, Green Tea Mango, Blue Tea Lemon (and diet), Blue Tea Raspberry and Blue Tea Peach, available in regular and diet.

New Leaf is currently available at specialty, gourmet, health, and other fine retail stores. (


Equator Estate Coffees & Teas

Equator Estate Coffees & Teas® is a successful, women–owned company, co-founded in 1995 by Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell. They have earned an outstanding reputation as purveyors and roasters providing distinctive specialty coffees and rare teas at competitive prices with unparalleled customer service.

Equator’s mission is to continue to be a growing, customer-centric company, dedicated to quality, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. Their commitment is to procure distinctive coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques.

Proudly, they ensure quality from source to cup, through careful selection of sustainable green beans, artisan blend development, efficient small-batch roasting, and advanced brewing technology and training. Equator focuses on ways to advance sustainability practices that encourage productive relationships and an empowered chain of supply. "We believe that our efforts to support growers and the environment are a competitive advantage, and we intend to remain in the forefront on issues of sustainability."

Organic /Fair Trade MOCHA JAVA

Origins: Ethiopia Harrar with Sumatra and other Indonesian coffee.

Profile: Ethiopia Harrar from the Oromia cooperative is the star of this heavy-toned blend, nicely paired with a mélange of Indonesian coffees that provide earth tones and body at the base.

Price: $12.95/LB

For more information or to purchase a variety of coffee and tea from Equator, visit


Genmai Cha
The Popcorn Tea

Born out of poverty and desperation, today Genmai Cha finds a growing acceptance among the hippest tea drinkers.

The poor and underprivileged living in wartime Japan were unable to afford a luxury such as tea and were forced to either do without or find a way to “stretch” their tea supply. Rice, abundant and cheap, was hulled, boiled, roasted, and then added to the tea. During the roasting process a few grains of rice would pop and resemble popcorn, earning Genmai Cha the contemporary nickname, “popcorn tea.”

As this unique blend steeps with hot water, the roasted rice imparts a toasty and slightly nutty flavor and aroma to the subtle green tea. As a savory tea, Genmai Cha makes an excellent accompaniment to food.

“This tea has outgrown its humble origins to become a favorite of many urban dwellers in both Japan and the West,” according to Adagio Teas.

To Prepare:
Genmai Cha is best when brewed with spring water at a temperature of 180° to 190° for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over brew. Use one scant teaspoon per 8 ounces. You can enjoy 2 or more infusions from this tea.
Genmai Cha can be purchased at your local tea retailer or online. Visit


Khaya Cookie Company
From South Africa With Love

means “home” in Xhosa, the Bantu language of southeast South Africa. It is in this region, deep in the winelands of South Africa, that the Khaya Cookie Company makes their home. The Khaya Cookie Company produces a variety of delicious cookies and delivers some much-needed “TLC” to a region where poverty is rampant.

T stands for Training—job skills training for the men and women in this impoverished region.
L stands for Locally sourced ingredients—including rooibos extract, grapeseed powder, organic apricots, and butter.
C stands for Commitment—their commitment to operate a sustainable company that creates societal wealth by reducing what it calls “tin-cup dependency”.

The Khaya Cookie Company promises to use only the freshest, finest, all natural ingredients and no preservatives. Each cookie is carefully crafted by hand. They hire previously unemployed women from the townships of Khayelitsha, South Africa and through education and training, turn them into highly skilled bakers. “All Khaya employees also are provided with a Skills Training Program where they are cross trained in each aspect of our business; from baking to packaging to customer service,” says Alicia Polak, founder of Khaya Cookie Company. The company also strives to improve the life of their bakers. The bakers of the Khaya Cookie Company come from the townships surrounding Cape Town, primarily from the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa where people live in poverty, children suffer from malnutrition, and unemployment is high. The Khaya Cookie Company is committed to help their local residents and employees rise above the hardship and heartache.

Khaya cookies are made the time-honored way—from scratch and in small batches. They come in five delicious varieties. Three are shortbread cookies, orange rooibos, cranberry rooibos and grapeseed. The others are Krunchis, a granola-type snack treat.

Orange rooibos shortbreads: The allure of aromatic citrus peel transforms this dense, buttery shortbread, taking it out of the ordinary and into the realm of extraordinary.

Cranberry rooibos shortbreads: Their artisan bakers have added bits of naturally tart, intensely flavorful cranberries and all the benefits of rooibos extract to this classically buttery rich shortbread.

Grapeseed Shortbreads: Made with grapeseed, known for their incredible nutritional properties including a potent dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants, these shortbreads also have tangy, tiny currents. You’ll find it has a delectable depth of flavor—not too sweet and just buttery enough.

Granola Fruit Krunchi: Perfect for a 3pm snack attack, the Krunchis satisfy a craving for something sweet. You’ll savor the morsels of moist dates and organic apricots mixed with the satisfyingly chewy grains. The dates add 14 essential vitamins and minerals give you 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Orange & Chocolate Krunchi: A timeless combination of pure orange zest and pure dark Belgium chocolate. Enjoy its heavenly flavor along with the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in the flaxseed and essential fiber and nutrients in oats and sunflower seeds. A total of 13,5g of heart healthy Omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids per box.

It is not often that one comes across a company that so gently and so deliberately inspires others while at the same time delivers a superior product. The cookies themselves are petit in size and big on taste. They are delicious, satisfying, and good for you too. All received high marks in the Coffee And Tea Newsletter “test kitchen”. The shortbreads and krunchis would be a great afternoon snack or just perfect with a cup of tea after a crazy day. It is no wonder that Alicia Polak, owner of the Khaya Cookie Company, was the winner of the Food Network Edible Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2007. For more information about the Khaya Cookie Company or to place and order, visit


Artist Spotlight: BURLAPWORKS

This product is handmade with care using upcycled burlap coffee sacks from around the world. This particular bag was made from a burlap sack which carried green coffee beans from Colombia to a coffee roaster in Chicago.

The side satchel is approximately 13"wide by 12"high by 2.5"deep. It is large enough to hold a medium size laptop (perfect for a 13" MacBook). It has an adjustable strap with D rings. It is a unisex design, preference dictated only by the lining used. A great bag for a day outing, school, shopping or everyday use.

No two products by Burlap Works are the same. They are unique, durable and eco-friendly. Due to the nature of the original printing on the coffee sacks, it is recommend that purchaser only spot wash this product. $55. Click here for photos, info, or to purchase.

5th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival:
Save The Date!
February 20-21, 2010

coffee and tea festival

To request exhibitor information, contact