Coffee and Tea Newsletter
coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival

cup for education

Coffee and Tea Festival to Welcome Urasenke Philadelphia

Urasenke Philadelphia is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to supporting and promoting awareness of Japanese tea ceremony in Philadelphia and the surrounding region.   “We are thrilled to partner with the amazing leaders at the local Urasenke chapter for our upcoming Coffee and Tea Festival being held in the Philadelphia area on November 2nd and 3rd,” said event manager Kristyn Dolan.  “Our attendees will be able to watch and learn about the art of chado from experienced masters.  They are in for a really wonderful experience.”

If you were invited to a tea ceremony -- more properly known by its Japanese name of chado or chanoyu, since it's not really a ceremony at all -- what you would see is the host carrying an assortment of objects into the room, arranging and cleaning them very carefully, and whisking a bowl of tea for each guest. Once everyone has had their fill of tea and sweets, the host cleans up and carries the utensils back into the kitchen. Only then would you and the other guests bid farewell and leave.

As you watch the host prepare to make tea, it might seem to you that every move is made deliberately, and that the host pays special attention to each object he or she touches. Every move both host and guests make is strictly choreographed, from the order that the utensils are picked up and put down, to the way they are held, to the spots where those items are placed, usually to within the nearest centimeter. There are dozens of different chado procedures — temae in Japanese — and even the simplest of these takes months for a beginner to learn.

If you're the practical sort, you might ask, "Why all the fuss? Why not just boil some water and mix it up with tea in a bowl? What's the point of having all this ritual?"

If the goal of chado was just to drink tea, there wouldn't be much point to it at all. But chado isn't just about tea; it's about an experience. The place, the people, even the sequence of events are unique. Even if everyone in that room were to come back again the next day at exactly the same time, sit in the same order and watch the host do exactly the same thing, it would still be different. Why? Because the people themselves will be different: they've lived through another day, they're thinking about different things, and the feeling in the room will be subtly different. That's what chado is about -- creating a feeling of beauty and harmony, and an appreciation for the fact that this moment will never come again.

Urasenke members are teachers and students of chado as well as people who enjoy participating as guests or just learning more about it. They offer lectures and demonstrations to groups around the region and, for those who are interested in exploring more deeply, their teachers offer lessons. Their teachers are all licensed by the Urasenke school of tea ceremony in Kyoto, Japan.

Click here if you are interested in learning more about the Urasenke School of Tea Ceremony and to find local chapters.  For more information about the upcoming Coffee And Tea Festival being held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on November 2-3, 2013, visit


Iced Coffee That Rocks!

Marley Beverage Company, maker of popular relaxation drink Marley’s Mellow Mood, this summer launched Marley’s One Drop, a premium ready-to-drink (RTD) iced coffee made with Jamaican Coffee.

“Jamaican coffee is considered by many to be the world’s finest,” said Rohan Marley, coffee expert, businessman and son of reggae legend Bob Marley. “Our father was a farmer and an entrepreneur as well as a musician, and we’re pleased to deliver the fine taste of Jamaican coffee and our family’s heritage to people everywhere through Marley’s One Drop.”

According to SymphonyIRI, the consumer packaged goods market research firm, consumption of RTD coffee jumped 6.2 percent in the last year, resulting in sales of $1.1 billion. Starbucks, the major player in the category, currently accounts for approximately 80 percent of the market.

“The ready-to-drink coffee category is dominated by one major brand and we’re thrilled to bring this premium Jamaican alternative to coffee lovers everywhere,” said Kevin McClafferty, President and CEO of Marley Beverages. “Marley’s One Drop is the natural alternative for the coffee connoisseur – and Bob Marley fan – in all of us.”

The Marley Beverage Company is a true partnership with the Marley family that honors the values and commitment of reggae icon Bob Marley: peace, love and tolerance. Each sale of Marley products benefits the family’s charity,, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, and its mission to support youth, planet and peace around the world.

Marley’s One Drop is available now in three flavors – Original Coffee, Mocha and Vanilla Light. The suggested retail price for one 11 oz. can is $1.99.  Look for it at your local supermarket or specialty store.


Spotlight On: Ajiri Tea

After graduating from Bowdoin College in May 2008, Sara Holby headed to Kisii, in western Kenya, to volunteer for a health-related non-governmental organization (NGO). Sara previously studied in Kenya for a semester through St. Lawrence University. Sara worked closely with Nick Miyogo, a Kenyan co-worker who spent hours patiently teaching her the local language, introducing her to friends and family, and answering her endless questions. Sara came to love the community--the incredibly welcoming people, its bustling streets and markets, and the beautiful rural areas outside of town where many of the HIV/AIDS patients live. The NGO provided free medication and food to the patients, but in January 2009 the organization lost its funding and this support abruptly stopped. There was no longer money to pay the local workers nor funding for the drugs that the organization had been dispensing. Sara began to question the role of "aid" in helping Kenyan communities. It became obvious that the aid had fostered dependency and that the people needed sustainable economic opportunities to emp ower themselves.

After being laid off in March 2009 after 30 years as a financial editor, Ann, Sara's mom, decided to return to Kenya, where she had studied in 1978, to visit her daughter. Following lots of discussion, Sara, Nick, and Ann decided to launch Ajiri Tea. The company's vision and mission is rooted in the opinions, passions, and skills of people living in the Kisii community. In addition to the hopes of employing local women, a recurring theme voiced by many in the community was the serious need to pay school fees for the growing number of orphans.

In May, Sara's sister Kate Holby traveled to Kenya to visit her sister and to scout out the feasibility of a tea company that would directly benefit the local women, farmers, and orphans. After visiting numerous tea factories, Sara, Nick, and Kate chose the Nyansiongo Tea Factory to supply our tea. Pauline, one of the managers, was especially helpful in educating us about Kenyan tea. Florence, in Kisumu, helped us with the initial banana leaf label designs and continues to help us. Today, our women's groups have over 40 members making our labels, beads, and twine.

Amidst these travels, they ate a lot of goat meat and kale, spent an afternoon with Mamma Sarah Obama--President Obama's grandmother--and hurtled around the country in matatus (terrifying public transportation) all the while struggling to communicate in a mixture of English, Swahili, and Ekegusii (the mother tongue of the Kisii people). Nick is at home in Kisii, working with the Ajiri Tea Company and coordinating the Kenyan activities.

Ajiri Tea embodies the richness of the land and the people. Their tea is as amazing as the company story.  Ajiri Tea is an award-winning Kenyan black tea. Winner of the 2011 and 2012 Buyer's Choice Award for Best Black Tea, and First Place at the North American Tea Championship in 2011.

High in antioxidants, Ajiri Tea is remarkably fresh, bold, and flavorful. Coppery in appearance, rich in body, and deeply pungent with a distinct flavor, Ajiri Tea is an enjoyable drink, hot or cold.  Ajiri tea is produced at the Rain Forest Alliance Certified™ Nyansiongo Tea Factory, a cooperative owned by local small-scale farmers. The farmers independently grow the tea on their one-to two-acre shambas in the Kisii Highlands, an area known for its fertile volcanic soil and its abundance of rainfall and sunlight.  The farmers pluck the top two leaves and a bud with their fingers, throwing these handfuls of shoots into a woven basket. Handpicking the tea ensures that the highest quality of tea is always produced. The leaves are then carried to the community-based tea buying center, where they are weighed and checked for quality before being brought to the factory. At the factory, the tea is withered, cut, oxidized, dried, and sorted.

Teas currently available:

Kenyan Black Tea with Ginger
Kenyan Black Tea with Lemon
Kenyan Black Tea with Mango
Rooibos, Red Bush Tea
Kenyan Black Tea (available in bags or loose tea)

Most of the teas sell for $9 for a box of 16 bags.
To purchase Ajiri Tea or to learn more, visit


Boyd's Coffee® Becomes First U.S. Roaster to Launch Harvested by Women™ Certified Coffee

Women play a major role in coffee production throughout the world, but they often have little or no control over the economics of coffee transactions. This all changes with the new Harvested by Women™ certification, which gives women in coffee-producing countries more financial investment in the production process from bean to cup.

Boyd's Coffee is proud to be the first coffee roaster in the United States to purchase the new Harvested by Women™ Certified coffee. Boyd's will sell ¡Cafe Libre!, a Costa Rican single-origin coffee, in select grocery stores, as well as on the Boyd's Coffee website and in select foodservice accounts. A 25-cent donation from each retail package of ¡Cafe Libre! goes directly to non-profit organizations in coffee-producing countries, in addition to an initial donation made at the time of purchasing the bulk green coffee beans.

"As a family-owned coffee company, we stand behind a coffee certification that is empowering women to create a more sustainable future for their families," says Katy Boyd Dutt, a fourth-generation Boyd family member. Dutt learned about the new certification at the International Women's Coffee Alliance conference in Guatemala this past winter and expressed interest to Nancy Moore, the certification's co-founder. "The pioneering spirit has been in our blood since 1900," says Dutt. "Boyd's was the first certified roaster to sell organically grown coffee in 1990 and the first U.S. roaster to import Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee in 1999. The new Harvested by Women™ certification allows women to reinvest in their communities, and that is an economic incentive we can stand behind."

Co-founded by Nancy Moore of Almana Harvest, the new Harvested by Women™ Certified is the only worldwide verification system that ensures coffee is grown, harvested and sold in a way that promotes a fair and sustainable lifestyle for the women involved in the coffee production. "When consumers purchase coffee with the Harvested by Women™ logo on the package, we guarantee that the women associated with its production are fairly compensated for their contributions," says Moore.

For information about Boyd's Coffee's products and services, call 800-545-4077 or visit


What's Brewing in Denver?

The Tea Spot announced last week a new use of its Earl of Grey loose leaf tea–as a flavoring ingredient in a Apollo Tsai–the latest microbrew from Boulder, Colorado-based FATE Brewery.

FATE Brewery’s head brewer, Jeff Griffith, created the beer with Kyle Hollingsworth, from the band “The String Cheese Incident”. Kyle is a beer fan and avid home brewer. Jeff and Kyle developed the style and recipe of the microbrew and found it to be a perfect fit with The Tea Spot’s Earl of Grey. FATE Brewery Founder, Mike Lawinski, stated ”The beer is an American Honey Wheat that we hopped up like an India Pale Ale. We blended it with some of your Earl of Grey tea that we steeped on our 3 barrel brew house. The result is an amazingly complex wheat beer that has a little more bitterness from the hops and the most amazing citrus finish that displays an intriguing balance of earl grey citrus and hop flower citrus. This beer is a perfect match for the late summer heat and fall harvest.”

The beer falls under the Hoppy Beer naming structure at FATE Brewery. One of FATE’s core beers, the Moirai IPA, is named after the three women who in Greek mythology determined man's fate. So every hoppy beer FATE produces will have a Greek name relating to the beer and mythology. In this case- Apollo is the Greek god of music and Tsai is the Greek word for tea. So the brewers at FATE chose this name in their collaboration with Kyle Hollingsworth, a music wizard, by naming it after the god of music. And, the brewers at FATE like to think that Apollo's drink of choice would naturally be beer mixed with tea.

The Tea Spot’s Earl of Grey loose leaf black tea takes a modern twist on the traditional Earl Grey by combining the expected bergamot flavoring on black tea leaves and then adding other citruses, vanilla, licorice root and mallow flowers. The result is a smooth, bright and creamy flavor profile. It is one of The Tea Spot’s award-winning and best-selling teas.

FATE Brewery partnered with Hollingsworth on this project to help promote his fundraiser benefitting Conscious Alliance. Headlined as "Kyle's Brew Fest", this year’s 4th annual benefit included a series of exclusive craft beer events hosted by Kyle Hollingsworth. Conscious Alliance has as its mantra “art that feeds”. Since its inception in 2002, the nonprofit has successfully collected and distributed enough food to provide over 1.6 million meals to people in need. This national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operates through ongoing, grassroots food collection, hunger awareness and youth empowerment programs throughout the United States, primarily by organizing food drives at concerts and music events. Donations to Conscious Alliance benefit America’s local food pantries and economically isolated Native American reservations.

The Tea Spot’s Wholesale Sales Director, Elise Ridgway, spoke enthusiastically about the project: “This extension of using The Tea Spot’s premium teas in a quality beer exemplifies the innovative way in which FATE does business. In addition to great beer, they serve delicious and high quality food to give the best experience possible to a wide array of people. The Tea Spot teas are a perfect addition to their sumptuous brunch!”  For more info: &


Coffee-Based Grooming System from Barista Bath & Body

Barista Bath and Body, the award winning natural line of coffee-based bath and skincare products offers many great grooming products for men and women.  Most recently we had the pleasure of testing b3 shave—their four-step, coffee-based men’s shave system.

More than 72% of men start their day with a blade and razor (wet shaving) attempting to achieve the “perfect shave” that they define as a soothing experience resulting in skin that is silky-smooth, without irritation, that lasts well into the evening.  The b3 Shave System utilizes a four-step process to achieve the “perfect shave”:  1) Grind, coffee face polish for pre-shave cleansing: 2) Fix, coffee pre-shave oil for lubrication: 3) Buzz, coffee shave cream, and 4) Chill, post-shave soother as the after-shave refresher.

Supercharged for the skin with a jolt of java, the b3 Shave System products contain coffee; coffee oils; caffeine; Vitamins A, C, E and B-complex; and natural emollients to nourish and revitalize the skin. Each step of the proven four-step system builds on the last resulting in the closest shave possible. Their b3 products are paraben-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free. The b3 Shave System sells for $65.00 at

Why Coffee?  Coffee has a stimulating richness recognized for centuries as a natural curative.  According to the folks at Barista Bath & Body, there are published studies which have documented the benefits of the topical application of coffee and its major constituent, caffeine. Barista Bath and Body products are formulated with organic coffee, coffee oils, coffee extract and essential oils to maximize the revitalizing benefits of the coffee.

Coffee, along with caffeine – its major ingredient –has the following advantages. It:

  • features a pH balance similar to the human body, meaning that it cleans better than ordinary soap
  • acts as a gentle exfoliant
  • performs as an effective astringent
  • promotes the appearance of smoother-looking skin

”Brewing up new additions to our award-winning b3 line will continue to be our focus because we believe in the proven benefits of coffee for bath, body and skincare products. In pre-launch testing of our b3 Men’s Shave System, the response, even from men who never before used a four-step process, was overwhelmingly positive.  Quotes of ‘best shave ever’ and ‘I’ll never go back to my old way of shaving’ validate that natural products can be performance-driven,” said Christine Willett, CEO of Barista Bath and Body. 

Don’t feel left out ladies…a few females tested this shave system on their legs and were thrilled with the results!!!  Look for other great products including a full line of grooming and spa-type products at  They offer great gift sets too!


Congratulations Devan Shah

Later this fall at the 2013 World Tea East, Devan Shah will be awarded the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award.  If you were lucky enough to meet him at the Coffee and Tea Festival NYC earlier this year, you know that this is a remarkable honor for a remarkable man.  The creator and owner of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Rooms, "Devan has been an inspirational educator and advocate for American tea culture, with a taste for quality tea and a nose for opportunity," says George Jage, founder and director of World Tea Media explains Jage.  “Devan has extended his love of tea to thousands, and has helped spearhead America's tea renaissance,” added Jage.


Wedding Bells!

Congratulations to Coffee and Tea Festival producer Kristyn Noren who became Kristyn Dolan last month when she married Mr. Christopher Dolan.  The couple spent her honeymoon in Hawaii (always working, Kristyn just happened to stop by a coffee farm, pictured here).



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