Coffee and Tea Newsletter: November 2009
coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival

Brownie Pops

Marley Coffee

Café La Paz

Braswell Special Teas

Sweet Tea For Adults Only

Khaya Cookie Company

A Quick Course In Organic Coffee

cup for education



chopsticks ny

92 y

2009 Year In Review

Brownie Pops
Really Neat Sweet Treats

Born in Kansas City to a family who never met a cookie it didn’t like, Marsha Pener Johnston learned early from her mother the fine art of baking. She went on to perfect her craft as a home economics major at Stephens College and later at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Marsha taught cooking classes in Los Angeles after college, but eventually moved to Chicago to start her own business.

Going door to door with a homemade, chocolate mousse pie, she landed restaurant accounts belonging to Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You and the Levy Brother’s chain of restaurants in the famous Watertower Place, to name a few. Thus, The Mousserie wholesale bakery was born, supplying Chicago’s finest restaurants with various flavors of mousse pies, chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, brownies and blondies.

In Chicago, she once again taught cooking classes while continuing her education, studying with chefs such as Marcella Hazan, Nina Simonds, Nick Malgieri, Giuliano Bugiallis, Jim Dodge, and Colin Cowie. Three years and 40 restaurant accounts later, Marsha closed up shop and moved back to her hometown of Prairie Village, Kansas.

A true love of American desserts followed her home and her new catering business became known for its luscious cakes, cookies and brownies. For the next two years, her labor of love was the pursuit of a perfectly moist and gooey brownie. After studying in Paris once again at Anne Willan’s famous La Varenne cooking school, she triumphantly came home with the perfect techniques to reach her goal.

Now Marsha makes (and samples) Browniepops™, the perfect combination of a gooey brownie interior with a crisp chocolate exterior. Browniepops are available in 11 delicious flavors, including peppermint, toffee,raspberry, mocha, and caramel just to name a few.

Earlier this year, Browniepops were featured as Rachael's "Snack of the Day" on the Rachael Ray show. Browniepops are great for bridal shower favors, corporate events, gift giving, and are even available in personalized holiday and event designs!


Marley Coffee
Music For Your Mouth

Earlier this year Rohan Marley, son of the late Bob Marley, announced the launch of Marley Coffee, a certified organic coffee brand cultivated from the Marley family farm in Jamaica.

The brainchild of long time friends Rohan Marley and Shane Whittle, the company is a labor of love and a tribute to Rohan's father, music legend Bob Marley. "My father came from the farmland in Nine Mile. There, he learned a deep respect for nature and humanity--respect that helped guide his life and ours. He said he would return to the farm one day. That was his dream," said Rohan.

Bob Marley's dream has now become a reality and is very much alive in the company's core philosophy “ITAL”, meaning for all things Pure, True and Vital. ITAL is embodied in everything the company represents, from the ethical treatment of the company's farm workers on the Marley coffee farm to the sustainable cultivation of coffee trees. The Marley Estate sits atop of the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, a beloved region of the world especially for coffee lovers. Marley Coffee offers both single origin and intoxicating blended coffees.

  • MysticMorning Wake Up Coffee MediumRoast – this rich but snappy coffee is medium to full bodied with wonderful acidity. Aromas and tastes of cocoa, spice, cedar, cinnamon and cooked pumpkin gives youthe perfect morning kick. 12 oz. $11.99.
  • Simmer Down Organic Swiss Water Decaf – Aromas of cocoa, nutmeg, star anise and spices of the West Indies fill this cup. Simmer Down reveals chocolate, and smoky tastes with great body and mild acidity leaving a peppery finish. 12 oz. $8.99.
  • One Love Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – From the birthplace of coffee, One Love’s floral aromas unfold with hints of blueberry, cocoa and spice with a medium body and bright acidity. It tantalizes the palette leaving a profound cherry finish. 12 oz. $11.99.
  • Lively up! Organic 5 Bean Espresso Blend – This 5-bean espresso is dynamically balanced and rich in body. The dense, abundant taste leaves a long, savory finish with flavors of cocoa, candied fruit and buttery caramel notes. Enjoy as espresso, drip or press. 12oz. $11.99.
  • Jammin Java Organic Bold Full City Roast – Sultry, smoky, sweet, and yet unexpectedly smooth. Full bodied with traces of earthy overtones, dark chocolate berries that produce a zingy acidity and rich lingering finish. 12oz. $11.99.

Proceeds from the sale of the coffee will go to the Marley Coffee Foundation, which helps youth soccer programs in rural coffee growing regions of Jamaica.


Café La Paz
Sweet Cinnamon Coffee in an Instant

If you don’t have an olla de barro (earthen pot) on hand, don’t worry. You can still enjoy all the flavor and aroma of an authentic Mexican café de olla thanks to the creators of Café La Paz, the instant café deolla.

Rich and delicious, an authentic Mexican café de olla is created by making coffee, pot-boiled in traditional earthenware pots, with cinnamon, cloves, and piloncillo sugar. While contemporary recipes may use dark brown sugar as a substitute for the traditional piloncillo, the historical recipe dates back to the 18th century where reports tell of thisbeloved coffee being served at funerals in remote Mexican villages and even spiked, on occasion, with a splash of tequila or rum to relieve an evening chill.

Today, you can enjoy a café de olla at authentic Mexican restaurants or at specialty coffeehouses (where you may still get your café served in a traditional earthenware mug). Now you can also enjoy a café de olla at home, in an instant, with Café La Paz.

Hailing from the Chiapas region of Mexico is an instant and delicious version of the traditional café de olla called Café La Paz. Easy to prepare and a delight to the senses, if you can boil water you will find delight in this decadent instant beverage. Café de Olla La Paz Chiapas received the highest praise when it was recognized by “Alimentaria Mexico” and selected as Innovative Product of the Year in 2006.

100% natural, you need only to add hot water to enjoy all the flavor, aroma, color and taste of the original café de olla Mexican style coffee. Feeling adventurous? Add a bit of warm milk and you’ll enjoy a delicious cappuccino de olla or serve it over ice for a sweet treat to beat the heat.

Café La Paz is currently available in select specialty grocers in the New York/New Jersey area.


Innovative Product Alert!
Braswell's Special Teas in Re-Usable Glasses

In 1946, young Albert Braswell returned from World War II with a GI Bill and no job. Using his mom’s recipe, he began canning and selling pear preserves out of the back of his truck. More than 60 years later, Braswell's of Georgia has grown into a true Southern tradition and one of the country's largest producers of specialty jams, jellies, preserves, toppings, relishes, dressings, fruit butters, fruit spreads, fruit syrups, sauces, marmalades, and salsas. Known for its tremendous selection of flavors and consistent high quality, Braswell’s is one of the most popular suppliers of specialty and gourmet condiments for private labels, and is known for its own brand of gourmet items like preserves and teas packaged in European glassware.

The Braswell Food Company introduced Braswell’s Select Special Teas at the 2009 Summer Fancy Food Show held last month in New York. Made with all natural and/or organic ingredients and packaged in beautiful, reusable European glassware, Braswell’s Special Teas are available in 11 fl. oz. glasses for 3.75 at specialty retailers.

Braswell’s Special Teas are handcrafted in small batches using triple-filtered water and all natural and/or organic ingredients and flavors. Deliciously unique flavors include:

All Natural: Vanilla Chai Tea, Watermelon, Pomegranate Passion Red Tea, and Blueberry Black Tea

Organic: Pomegranate Blackberry Tea, Peach Pomegranate Green Tea, Raspberry Red Tea, and Wildberry White Tea

“Like biscuits and gravy, and homemade peach pie, an ice cold glass of tea is a true Southern tradition” said Andrew Oliver, President of Braswell’s. “While Braswell’s Special Teas have distinctly modern flavors and packaging, we hope they will help transport us back to when we had the time to sit, relax and enjoy a neighbor’s company over a delicious glass of tea.”

A small number of foods and drinks have been packaged and sold in reusable drinking glasses or jars over the years, however Braswell’s is the first to package its gourmet preserves and teas in high quality, attractive European glassware, making them a uniquely elegant and eco-friendly gift.

For more information on Braswell’s and to purchase products, visit


Sweet Tea For Adults Only

A long-time newsletter reader, Patty K. (Omaha, NE) wrote to us to recommend a new product she discovered—boy, were we glad she did!

From a small still on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, comes a unique hand-crafted sweet tea vodka from Firefly. The vodka is infused with tea grown on a local plantation and blended with real Louisiana sugar cane. As per Patty’s recommendation, we mixed it with lemonade to create an adult-only version of the well-known Arnold Palmer (a mix of lemonade and iced tea).

Refreshing and delicious, this sweet tea cocktail really satisfies and it sure to be a big hit at summer bbqs and backyard gatherings. Thank you, Patty, for the introduction to a great elixir.



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


A Quick “Course” in Organic Coffee
and A Showcase of Industry Leaders

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, avoid the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, avoid the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

The Organic Trade Association’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. OTA's members include farmers, processors, importers, distributors, retailers, certifiers, and more.

The Organic Coffee Collaboration - a project of the Organic Trade Association, the business association for the North American organic industry, includes the companies listed below. These participants represent some of the newest companies in the market as well as well known firms that source, decaffeinate, or roast for the largest coffee companies in the United States.

-CAFFE IBIS (Logan, UT) An award-winning “green business,” Caffe Ibis ( is a custom coffee roasting house featuring triple certified—organic, Fair Trade, and Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly®”- coffees, mountain grown, mountain roasted. Caffe Ibis® also operates a celebrated gallery/deli-licious espresso bar. University franchise, private label, equipment programs,monthly specials, and consulting servicesare available.

-CHIAPAS FARMS (Austin, TX) Chiapas Farms specializes in superior fair trade foods. Its Café de Chiapas coffee is from an organic/fair trade cooperative in the Chiapas, Mexico, highlands. The coffee has a nutty and buttery taste with a smooth, slightly sweet finish. The product is offered in dark and medium roast, and is available online at

-CRIMSON CUP (Columbus, OH) Since 1991, Crimson Cup® Coffee & Tea has roasted and packaged great-tasting coffee in Columbus, Ohio. Led by Harvard “Crimson” graduate Greg Ubert, Crimson Cup offers a full line of certified organic Fair Trade coffee and teas to over 350 coffee houses, colleges and universities and grocers throughout 26 states.

-ELAN ORGANIC COFFEES (San Diego, CA) Elan Organic Coffees is a coffee developer and importer offering certified organic socially responsible and Bird Friendly® coffees it has developed through partnerships with village co-ops in coffee-producing countries. Elan pioneered the supply of the world’s finest certified organic coffees, while supporting farmers and protecting the environment. Visit to learn more.

-EQUATOR ESTATE COFFEES & TEAS (San Rafael, CA) Equator is known for its distinctive specialty coffees, socially responsible sourcing, and longstanding relationships with prominent chefs and national retailers who are passionate about quality. The women-owned company procures exceptional certified organic coffees from farmers who practice environmental stewardship, resulting in an empowered supply chain from crop to cup.

-GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE (Waterbury, VT) Green Mountain Coffee is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees and socially and environmentally responsible business practices. Green Mountain Coffee offers a broad selection of double-certified organic and Fair Trade coffees under the Green Mountain Coffee® and Newman's Own® Organics brands. Web site:

-MAXIMUS COFFEE GROUP (Houston, TX) Maximus Coffee Group’s carbon dioxide (CO2) / triple-filtered water decaffeination process is the only decaffeination plant in the United States that supplies coffee both naturally decaffeinated and USDA Organic certified. It is an EPA Green Power Partner with one-third of its energy coming from alternative sources. To learn morevisit

-S&D COFFEE (Concord, NC) S&D is the second largest coffee roaster in the United States supplying both conventional and organic coffees. The company feels strongly about fostering sustainable agriculture and promoting a healthy planet. Quality Assurance International (QAI) certifies S&D’s six organic coffees sold under the Buffalo & Spring label.

-SWISS WATER DECAFFEINATED COFFEE COMPANY (Burnaby, BC, Canada) A wholesome process for decaffeinating coffee – pure water, 100% chemical free – ensures the best of the bean remains, while only caffeine is removed. Swiss Water decaffeinates organic coffees for premium roasters. Look for the SWISS WATER® seal on packs or in stores to guarantee remarkable tasting 99.9% caffeine-free coffee. Learn more at

-TRUE ORIGIN ORGANICS (Weston, FL, and Bogotá, Colombia) -True Origin Organics ( premium Colombian coffee hails from the magnificent Santa Marta and Tierradentro valleys. Like fine wine, this coffee has one true origin. It is harvested, roasted and packed right where it grows. True Origins Organics is available at East Coast specialty and natural stores and mid-Atlantic Whole Foods Markets.

Click here for further information about the Organic Coffee Collaboration.



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

coffee and tea festival

To request exhibitor information, contact