Coffee and Tea Newsletter
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Magisso Tea Cup Brings Smart Living into the Kitchen
By Meagan Schuster

Let’s face it, everyone has their one favorite cup.  They use it to to start off the morning or end the night. Thanks to the help of Swedish company Magisso, there is now a new kind of tea cup that will revolutionize the way that you drink. Magisso aims to promote smarter living, and with ergonomic designs that stem from the collaboration of engineers, artists, and designers, the company looks for trouble in order to make the solutions functional realities.

At first glance at the Magisso tea cup you may be a bit confused. With no handle and an all-in-one design (thus eliminating the need for a tea ball or tea bag), the product does take a bit of consideration and getting used to. Especially when you consider that most people drink tea in a vessel with a handle, or as Magisso likes to refer to it as “the mugging of America” according to COO Sue Pregartner, this new design is nothing like consumers are used to. This user-friendly product is the perfect solution for tea enthusiasts who like to enjoy loose tea outside of their homes, as the mess- and break-resistant nature allows for easy transport and use in atypical tea-breaks, such as college dorms, classrooms, or at your office desk. Click here to view short video.

The cup, which went through 9 sizes and designs before the final decision was made, has an Eastern feel with a focus on overall wellness. With an inspiration of activating consumer senses, you are able to see, smell, and taste your tea; you can wrap both hands around the cup as it warms your hand without any burning thanks to the environmentally-friendly glass-reinforced-plastic, thus the reason for removing the handle. “You truly get the whole experience from this cup,” says Pregartner, “you can see it, smell it… it’s a great experience every time.”

Every design aspect is purposeful and ergonomically sound to give you the best consumer experience you could hope for while relaxing with a cup of tea. Once the metal filter is in place, loose tea of any kind is then put into the smaller of the two compartments. As hot water is then poured over the loose tea directly into the cup, the product design is able to truly shine and show its purpose. The triangular bottom allows for the user to adjust the strength of the tea without making a mess. Like a stronger brew? Leave it tilted left with the leaves submerged longer. For those who prefer a slightly weaker cup, the consumer friendly design allows you to just tilt the cup over to the right with no risk of spill. Whatever your preference, you are able to surround yourself with the aromas of your favorite blend almost immediately, and watch as the water changes to your steeped creation.

Though there was a multitude of research that went into this production, Magisso is constantly pleasantly surprised by the innovative and creative ways that consumers find to use their cups, says Pregartner. Who is the biggest culprit of this multi-purpose attitude? College students, of course! Realizing that break-resistant materials could be easily and quickly thrown into a backpack, microwaved (so long as the filer isn’t in it), or used as a bowl (again, without the filter), the cup was quickly considered to be an all-in-one tool great for a cup of cereal, mug of hot chocolate, or, of course, the perfect cup of tea.

Like most Magisso products, the tea cup has received accolade and award for their innovative design, such as Honorable Mention with Red Dot Design and the German Design Award. The Magisso tea cup can be found at art museums, such as Minneapolis’ Walker Art Museum, specialty tea shops, or online at For more information, and to take a look at some of Magisso’s other smart living products, visit their website at


Coming This Fall: TEAPPUCCINO® from Argo Tea

Argo Tea will begin rolling out new, category-defining Teappuccino® tea-based dairy beverages in select leading retailers this fall across the country.

Decadent in taste, but balanced in nutrition, these unique bottled loose leaf tea infusions feature protein-packed milk and real fruits, flowers, spices and herbs, which deliver robust flavors. The three new shelf-stable Teappuccino varieties offer consumers an all-natural beverage, with real ingredients and smart calories:

  • Chai – fresh-brewed Assam black tea blended with spicy ginger, cinnamon and sweet vanilla (90 calories per serving)

  • Earl Grey Vanilla Crème – classic black tea infused with bergamot and sweet vanilla (80 calories per serving)

  • Green Tea Strawberry Crème – antioxidant-rich Japanese green tea and sweet strawberries with a hint of vanilla (100 calories per serving)

Teappuccino is the latest innovation from Argo Tea’s creative mixologists and intelligent nutritionists who recognize consumer demand for healthy drinks with real ingredients. Argo Tea proudly sources the best ingredients from around the world, including handpicked, loose-leaf teas, to create a variety of innovative signature beverages that taste great – and are good for you. The new Teappuccino flavors, which are convenient and perfect for on–the-go, will be available in 12 fl oz. bottles for a suggested retail price of $2.99.

In 2010, Argo Tea launched a line of ready to drink Signature Teas, which are now sold in more than 20,000 retail outlets, making it one of the largest independent bottled tea brands. Available in retail chains such as Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, Walgreens and Kroger, the line includes 10 delicious flavors in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, the latter which contain zero calories and no sugar. Two flavors from the line – Green Tea Ginger Twist and Mojitea – received first place recognition as the best ready to drink iced teas in the 2014 North American Tea Championship.

“Argo Tea is committed to delivering innovative new products like Teappuccino that meet consumer demand for great tasting healthy beverages,” said Arsen Avakian, founder and CEO of Argo Tea. “With a growing presence in retail stores and in new Argo Tea cafés, we’ve quickly become a one-stop shop – offering tea connoisseurs ready to drink options, loose leaf and sachets – that’s poised for continued success, both domestically and abroad.”


Kill Cliff Launches Cold Brew Coffee Line

Kill Cliff Inc., the makers of the nation’s leading line of recovery drinks, has answered consumers’ calls once more, adding a new line of cold brew coffees in a can. The new cold brew is smooth, rich and ready to travel, in three flavors. Because it is brewed for 24 hours it’s a full-bodied cold brew coffee that doesn’t need milk and sugar to taste great like other traditional ready to drink coffees.

Founded and created by a Navy SEAL Todd Ehrlich, Kill Cliff® produces cold brew coffees and a line of Recovery Drinks that is a premium sports beverage formulated with quality functional ingredients which aid in recovering from strenuous activity and physical exertion. Kill Cliff Recovery Drinks are an alternative to everyday beverage choices; no sugar, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors. Packed with essential vitamins, electrolytes, plant extracts and enzymes, Kill Cliff delivers key micronutrients that support the body’s recovery process.

“Our customers were looking for a clean premium quality cold brew coffee in a can, that can be taken anywhere and enjoyed at any time,” said Kill Cliff Founder and CEO Todd Ehrlich. “Brewmigos, if unicorns could can cold brew coffee, they would make Kill Cliff Cold Brew Coffee, its that good. We sold half of what we budgeted for the year in seven days. This new product provides coffeehouse quality cold brew with killer taste that is second to none in the space. A lot of people are going to replace their existing coffee regimen with Kill Cliff Cold Brew Coffee.”

The coffee is available in three different flavors — Epic Mojo, a robust yet smooth, unsweetened black coffee; Sweet Mojo, a rich black coffee with a touch of natural sweetness; and Mojo Rising, a creamy blend of our black cold brew coffee and coconut cream.

Not only does the coffee have an epic flavor, but it’s made with Fair Trade Certified®, organic 100% Arabica coffee beans, and it’s sugar free, gluten free and dairy free. The key to the premium flavor is the 24 hour cold brewing process that extracts all of the best stuff from the high quality beans without the bitterness and acid that can come from hot-brewing.  Visit for more info.


8 Amazing Beauty Benefits of Tea

As the end of summer draws near and the temps turn colder, we're going to be exchanging our iced teas for warm soothing herbal teas. Sipping on the hot drink instantly brings a sense of calm to a hectic day. But did you know that you could brew a cup of tea for homemade beauty recipes?  Thanks to Dana Oliver, beauty writer at the Huffington Post, soon you will…

Teas, including green, black and red, have been used to improve the overall health and appearance of skin and hair for centuries. Rich in antioxidants and anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, tea is one of the most powerful grocery store staples that can be used topically. Here are eight amazing beauty benefits of tea.

1. Adds shine to dull, lackluster hair. A hair rinse using green or black tea will boost brassy and blah strands. Simply steep tea bags in boiling water for 15 minutes and allow to cool for a few hours or overnight. Pour it onto freshly-washed hair and leave on for ten minutes. Be sure to shampoo and condition afterwards to seal in the shine.

2. Soothes sunburns. Missed a spot with the sunscreen and ended up with a sunburn? Cold compresses made out of tea bags can relieve pain and reduce redness.

3. Minimizes bug bites. Love laying out in the grass, but hate mosquito bites? To take down the sting and bumps, apply a used cold chamomile tea bag directly to the area and relax.

4. Reduces puffy eyes and dark under-eye circles. Another reason not to toss out your used bags of Earl Grey. The caffeine helps to shrink blood vessels underneath the skin and eliminate darkness around the eye area.

5. Rids smelly feet odor. Strip off your shoes and socks and soak your feet in a cool solution made out of boiled tea. The tannic acid in tea is both antibacterial and antifungal, so it stops feet from sweating and smelling funky.

6. Tones and moisturizes dry skin. Spritz cool green tea onto your face (you can also apply it with a cotton ball) twice a day to draw out impurities, shrink large pores and get a healthy glow.

7. Calms skin after shaving. If your legs are itchy and red after shaving, try pressing a cool black tea bag onto your limbs. The tannins work to provide immediate relief from razor burns.

8. Enhances hair color. If you're looking for a chemical-free alternative to dyeing your hair, try using tea. Its staining properties add color to naturally blonde or brunette locks.


Consumer Reports: 5 Steps to Brewing Exceptional Coffee

The best coffee, for many of us, is what you pick up at your local coffee haunt on the way to work. But that can get expensive, with a medium-size coffee every workday adding up to $500 or more a year, according to Consumer Reports. Here’s how to improve your chances of making top-notch coffee at home:


Start with clean water

If your tap water has an off taste, that’s reason enough to filter it for your coffee and tea. Some drip coffeemakers tested by Consumer Reports, such as the $100 KitchenAid KCM1202OB, come with water filters. Any other means of filtering water would do as well, provided you replace the filters as often as the manufacturer recommends.

Use a high-performing machine

Among drip machines we’ve tested, those with excellent scores for brew performance reach 195° to 205° F and maintain it for five or six minutes, the industry standard for optimal brewing. Single-serve (pod) coffeemakers operate differently, but our expert tasters haven’t found one that makes coffee that's better than mediocre for taste. Whatever you use, experiment to get the best ratio of grounds to water.

Grind top-quality beans

Most of us aren’t about to start roasting coffee beans as does one of our coffee-taste experts. But quality beans stored away from moisture, heat, light, and strong odors will produce better taste than something ground at the store—or before making it to the shelves. Grind your beans just before brewing; the $100 Black + Decker Mill & Brew CM5000 grind-and-brew model is one possibility, though its brew performance was only so-so. A separate grinder lets you set grind size suitable to what you’re brewing.

Keep it from sitting

While you have to let coffee cool before sipping, there’s no getting around that brewed coffee is best the moment it’s done brewing. A thermal carafe is meant to keep coffee hot, as is a brew-and-dispense coffeemaker such as the $100  Viante Brew-N-View CAF-05T. But neither can keep the rich flavor of fresh-brewed, fresh-ground beans from dissipating. Like to program your coffee to brew as you’re getting up? Fussy coffee drinkers, keep your hand off that snooze button.

Clean your coffeemaker

Various deposits in your coffeemaker, including minerals from your water and oily residue from coffee, can build up over time and affect taste. Coffeemaker owner’s manuals typically advise running a cycle of white vinegar through the machine every month or so; the process differs by model. Pod coffeemakers have a similar process, though the it might vary further. Keurig, for example, sells a special descaling solution ($13 for 14 ounces), which it calls “the only Keurig-approved cleaning solution for Keurig brewers.” The one-year warranty excludes damage from using non-Keurig pods and accessories; that could include using another cleaning solution. But after the warranty is up, there’s no reason not to try white vinegar instead. As always, run at least one cycle of just water afterward.

Looking for a new coffeemaker?

Check out the Consumer Reports coffeemaker buying guide for a rundown on the available types, before checking  their coffeemaker Ratings of more than 110 coffee and espresso makers.


Honest Tea Names Atlanta Most Honest City in America

Maybe it wasn't the most scientific approach, but Atlanta came out with bragging rights after the company Honesty Tea put Atlantans through an honesty challenge.

Honest Tea went to 27 cities around America, all of the biggest cities. They set up an Honest Tea stand and put out racks of tea for a dollar a bottle.  You had to pay on an honor system, by putting a dollar in a box.  Thousands upon thousands of bottles of tea were sold, and the one city came out on top.

Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman said, "This year, 94% of Americans were honest. The top city this year was Atlanta at a 100% honesty."

Only in one city did people take money out of the box. That happened in Washington D.C.  Some other interesting results -- people with brown hair were the most honest.  Bald people were the least honest.


SAVE THE DATE! Coffee & Tea Festival Philly, Nov. 7-8, 2015