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

cup for education

Coffee And Tea Festival NYC - March 22-23, 2014

“This will be our biggest and best show yet,” said Kristyn Dolan, event manager with show producer, Starfish Junction.  Tickets for Saturday are completely sold out and the Sunday tickets are approaching capacity very quickly.  “We have assembled a great line of speakers for general and specialty programming sessions, perfect for both coffee and tea lovers,” said Dolan.  The general programming sessions are free to all attendees.  Click here to see the free, general programming schedule. There are also specialty programs that require advance registration and a small additional materials fee.  The specialty programs have limited seating capacity, advance purchase is required.  Check out this lineup of speakers and topics for the specialty programming.  Limited tickets remain for these programs.   

Saturday, March 22, 2014
11:30AM - Tea & Chocolate (Presented by: Jo Johnson) - $10 -SOLD OUT
Attendees will be given an overview of the history of chocolate and tea while sampling six chocolate and tea pairings discussing the specifics of each offering that make them work well together.

1:30PM - Coffee Cupping (Presented by: Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters) - $10
A coffee cupping is generally used at coffee roasters for green bean purchasing, quality control, and to educate. In this coffee cupping, participants will be guided through the full sensory evaluation process, starting from the smelling of dry fragrances and wet aroma to the tasting of the coffee. Attendees will discuss factors that affect extraction, build vocabulary, and learn about coffee in an intimate way.

3:30PM - Tea Infusions & Enhancers for the Perfect Cocktails (Presented by: Peter Martino,  Capital  Teas) - $15
Black tea in the morning, green tea in the afternoon… boozy tea in the evening? Put the kettle on the latest trend in mixology with this program. A tea connoisseur will demonstrate how to use Capital Tea’s lager beer enhancers, Vino Teano wine mixers, and Teateani cocktail mixers to infuse your favorite adult beverages with a unique blend of spices. Then, settle in to sample these five tea-infused cocktails:

  • Cream Earl Grey Black infused into Stella Artois

  • Harbor Breeze infused into Stella Artois

  • Presidential Blend infused into white wine

  • Talk of the Town infused into red wine

  • Dolley Madison Whole Fruit infused into vodka

Sunday, March 23, 2014
11:30AM - Tea & Cheese (Presented by: Cynthia Gold) - $15
Join Cynthia Gold, chef, author, and Tea Sommelier at Boston’s L'Espalier, for a pairing of tea and cheese to examine the balance of each, flavor, texture and feel. Attendees will be walked through four pairings of loose leaf tea from SerendipiTea  with cheeses during this 90-minute presentation:

  • Aged Gruyere/Comte with Lung Ching Dragonwell

  • Triple Cream/Brie/Explorateur with First Flush Darjeeling

  • Aged Cheddar with Keemun of Golden Monkey

  • Assertive Blue Cheese/Spanish Valdeon with Lapsong Souchong

1:30PM - Finding the Harmony Code (Presented by: Jeni Dodd & Thomas Shu) - $10

You have purchased a fine tea, or so you have been told, but you can’t taste anything but bitterness. Not to worry! Every tea has a “harmony code” – the correct balance of tea and water volume to water temperature and steep timing. By examining the leaf of various teas, we will be able to “read the tea leaves” characteristics which will determine each tea’s perfect steeping harmony. Never again experience an under or over-steeped cup of tea.

3:30PM - Coffee & Chocolate (Presented by: Mary Ann Reis,  2 Chicks With Chocolate ) - $10
Are you a chocoholic and/or a coffee geek? Are you curious about coffee pairings but don’t know how to approach them? In this oh-so-delicious 90-minute presentation, you’ll learn how to choose the perfect coffee to drink with decadent chocolate. Find out how to properly taste the coffee and handcrafted chocolate treats individually and together. Discover what makes some pairings work and others, well, not so much. Take home pairing notes and suggestions for hosting your own coffee-and-chocolate party.


Milano Coffee Goes for Gold with Three Gold Medals Awarded by the International Institute of Coffee Tasters

The gold medals keep coming for Canada.  Hot on the heels of Canada's Olympic hockey win, the venerable Vancouver espresso roaster just announced its latest win: Three Best Espresso Gold Medals from the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (IICT) for Espresso Miscela Royal, Espresso Nuovo, and Lucky 13. 

When the refined palates of 26 international coffee judges gathered in Tokyo, Japan to determine the world’s best coffees in the fifth annual International Coffee Tasting Competition, three of Milano’s offerings were awarded the highest honors, making it the only Canadian coffee company to receive such recognition. 

“Last year we were over the moon with one gold medal, this year three is just incredible,” exclaimed the ever-passionate Brian Turko, Milano’s master roaster and espresso craftsman, who owns Milano Coffee with his wife, Linda.  “Over two decades at Milano we strive to pay homage to the Italian coffee tradition ofwith our own 21st Century, west coast innovations.  These awards are valuable recognition that we are on the right track.”

Now, Vancouverites can get a of taste gold at Milano Coffee’s Gastown and West 8th locations.  Experience the Gold Medal Espresso Tasting Trio, a flight of any three gold medal winning espressos ($6.50 for three 2oz cups).  Choose from La Futura, a luscious, aromatic and intricately complex blend of 10 premium Arabica varietals; Lucky 13, an extremely technical mix of 13 coffee bean varietals expertly blended to create a dynamic and delicious espresso fusion; Nuovo, a marriage of eight premium rain forest, small farm and shade grown varietals creating one to die for espresso blend; or Miscela Royal, a super-premium marriage of several extraordinarily rare varietals to consummate an espresso above all others. 

In a clear point of distinction over other coffee shops and roasters in Greater Vancouver, at any given time, guests can sample eight different espresso blends at Milano Coffee lounges on West 8th, and on Powell Street in Gastown.

For more information and café locations visit


Giving Voice to Tea: The Tea House Times Rolls out
Two New Outreach Programs

In an effort to extend the voice of the tea industry and promote the finer aspects of the enjoyment of tea and its health benefits, The Tea House Times has rolled out two new outreach programs; TEA SCOOP and guest bloggers for TEA BLOGS.

TEA SCOOP is a means of sharing tea related news including product launches, unique tea events and fundraisers, and stories of people enjoying tea, and stories of people succeeding in business with tea.  TEA SCOOP is compiled and shared as often as there is news enough to share. Portions of Tea Scoop come direct from news releases sent to The Tea House Times while other news is discovered, pre-screened, summarized, compiled, and shared.  Summaries are posted at and shared to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as published. Summaries are also mentioned in The Tea House Times weekly e-news usually sent out on Mondays.

GUEST BLOGGERS have been brought in to further amplify the voice of the tea industry.  They have been invited to share their knowledge, their passion and everyday enjoyment of tea, and insight into their careers in the tea industry.  Blog topics will be as varied as the guests and will include the fun side of tea and tea gatherings to the business side of tea.  Guests will post to their blogs as often as they “feel” something or have experienced or observed something wonderful because of tea.  A directory to all of The Tea House Times Guest Bloggers and new series of TEA BLOGS may be found at
To stay on top of most recent content, all guest posts will be mentioned in TEA SCOOP as they appear.

The impressive line-up of guests includes owners of large tea companies, people who have direct contact with tea farmers, some who have become a voice in the industry through the publishing of books and other amazing businesses and tea related experiences.  To name just a few, we will hear from Cindi Bigelow, President and CEO of Bigelow Tea; Michael and Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas; Peter Martino, CEO of Capital Teas; British tea taster, Kevin Gascoyne, Camellia Sinensis Tea House; New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Shop Mysteries, Laura Childs; and several other business owners and writers.  To take us beyond tea into the world of tisanes, author Cassie Liversidge (Homegrown Tea, to be released March 2014 by St. Martins Press) joins in to introduce a different herb each month.

Some say that the US Tea Industry will double by 2017. That is only three years from now. As much as tea has been and will continue to be popular and not just trendy, it is our responsibility to support its growth in the most positive ways possible. By extending the voices of those who are deeply immersed in the tea industry, tea will not only gain in momentum, but be appreciated for the way it touches people’s lives in addition to contributing to a healthy diet,” said Gail Gastelu, Publisher of The Tea House Times.

Gail further added, “I have recently been approached by several, very large companies interested in diving into tea.  The interest in tea is expanding fast and furiously.  I finally asked some of these people, why me? Why have you called upon me to help? The answers surprised me when I was told that The Tea House Times bi-monthly publication and all of my services, websites, tea information and outreach had been at the forefront of these businesses to learn about tea, connect with others in the industry, and to seriously consider a very strong, substantial business investment into the future of tea. They said that time and again, their online searches led to my company and that we are among the very few who are current and consistent. Finally, recognition and verbalized thanks for all of our hard work! But this only means that we can be called upon to do more, provide more, extend everyone’s voice more.  These two new outreach programs are only a small part of a campaign I have planned to amplify the voice of tea and I am thankful for the incredible support of everyone who has agreed to assist me.”

The Tea House Times publication is available in print or online 6x per year. Additional tea news feeds and the latest TEA SCOOP may be found at their website and RSS feeds have been made available for streamlined replication elsewhere. To learn more about The Tea House Times publication, education, Tea Bureau resources news and speakers bureau, or to find a tea room or tea consultant or to learn more about promoting your tea business, please visit


Dunkin' Donuts Introduces Coffee Squares in Norfolk, VA

Dunkin' Donuts, America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, is now offering guests in Norfolk a delicious new treat. Dunkin' Donuts recently introduced Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Squares, now available for a limited time at participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants throughout the Norfolk area while supplies last.

Smooth and creamy like chocolate, Dunkin' Donuts' Coffee Squares are made with real Dunkin' Donuts' coffee and cocoa butter. Prepared with quality ingredients, they make for the perfect treat for coffee fans, chocolate fanatics, or dessert lovers, while offering guests a new way to enjoy the rich, bold and smooth taste of Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. The suggested retail price for Coffee Squares is $3.49 for a box of six individually wrapped squares – perfect for sharing with a friend or loved one.

"We are excited to offer our guests a distinctive product that brings together the smooth, creamy feel of chocolate and real Dunkin' coffee, during a time of the year known for sweet treats," said Stan Frankenthaler, Dunkin' Brands' Executive Chef and Vice President of Product Innovation. "Dunkin' Coffee Squares pair perfectly with your favorite hot or iced beverage, and are sure keep guests running in the Norfolk area."

According to The NPD Group / CREST®, Dunkin' Donuts serves the most hot traditional and iced coffee in America, selling more than one billion cups of hot and iced coffee every year. Dunkin' Donuts uses 100% Arabica coffee beans, and the company's coffee specifications are recognized by the industry as a superior grade of coffee. Dunkin' Donuts has earned the No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for eight years running.

To learn more about Dunkin' Donuts, visit


Zest Tea Company Wakes Up America With New Line of Teas

Philadelphia resident and young entrepreneur James Fayal is looking to make his mark with an energizing new product.  Fayal’s Zest Tea Company has developed a line of high quality teas that have as much caffeine as coffee without the unwanted side effects.

Fayal came up with the idea for Zest Tea while working as a financial analyst. He preferred tea to coffee, but couldn’t find a traditional tea with enough caffeine to keep him alert throughout the day. That’s when he started developing blends himself. After months of trial and error, Fayal created a series of blends that have as much caffeine as a normal cup of coffee—about three times as much caffeine as regular black teas.

Fayal explained he “wanted to increase the energizing caffeine punch, but not at the expense of quality, that’s why we start all of our blends with premium base teas.”
“We were able to hike the caffeine impact of loose-leaf and bagged teas through a carefully plotted blending of teas, oils and other natural ingredients,” said Fayal. This proprietary blending process allows the product to deliver a strong wake-up kick while maintaining tea’s healthy dose of tannins and antioxidants. Zest Tea also helps drinkers avoid the ‘jolt and crash’ impact of coffee by sustaining the alertness over a six to eight hour period.

Last July, Fayal raised nearly $10,000 through a crowdfunding competition co-sponsored by American Express and Venture For America, of which he is a fellow.   Shortly after the competition, Fayal and the Zest team had its blends ready to go, shipping tins to all of its pre-order customers. “The initial feedback has been outstanding—people have applauded the blends for being delicious as well as energizing,” said Fayal.

Zest has even been tested in the exhausting conditions of offshore sailing. The skipper of the yacht backed up Zest’s energizing claims, stating Zest Tea was “better than coffee” for maintaining alertness over the week long journey.    Zest Tea currently comes in both black tea—Apple Cinnamon, Earl Gray and Blue Lady – and green tea— Pomegranate Mojito. More blends are in the works.

The next step for Zest Tea is getting its products into coffee/tea houses and later onto the shelves of grocery and retail stores.  All Zest Tea products are available on the website:


Best New Product Awards 2014: Food & Beverage Products

Better Homes and Gardens magazine teamed up with BrandSpark International to find out what you think are the best new food & beverage products of 2014.

Best New Single-Serve Coffee Pod:  Green Mountain Coffee Antioxidant Blend

A classic blend of light and dark roasts that’s as familiar and comfortable as your favorite sweater on a fall afternoon. The aroma of sweetbrown sugar and warm, toasted nuts invites your first sip. The smooth, well-rounded body has a buttery richness and offers a welcoming balance for your day.   “This is a great morning coffee that can be enjoyed all day long. It’s a friendly, easy-going cup that’s appreciated by coffee lovers of all types.” --Lindsey Bolger, Senior Director of Coffee.   Your coffee can be both deeply satisfying and a good source of antioxidant vitamins C and E. Enjoy! Wellness Benefits:  10% Daily Value of Antioxidant Vitamins C and E per 8 fl. oz serving.

Best New Beverage Flavoring:   Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Low Fat Chocolate

Enhance the coffee flavor you love with the all-natural dairy creamer, which adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of flavor for a perfect cup every time. This low  fat version was a winner  among consumers  participating in the research study.

Over 80,000 consumers participated in an independent research study conducted by BrandSpark International and Better Homes and Gardens. These consumers selected the 34 most appealing and innovative new food & beverage products of 2014.


Certified Tea Blending Opportunity

Beautiful, majestic New York City sets the backdrop for an intensive hands-on, experiential 2-day Certified Tea Blending Course™ at The Omni Berkshire Place Hotel, April 9 - 10, 2014.  The course will be co-hosted by Master Tea Blender Tracy Stern and Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll, executive director of the American Tea Masters Association.  It will be followed by 4-weeks of intensive home study involving various blending formulations and periodic online sessions for support.  The course will focus on the hidden secrets and mysteries of tea blending and professional techniques for developing both traditional blends and signature formulas.

With blended teas the first choice among many tea drinkers today, registrants will be trained in blending various types and grades of tea with other teas and with ingredients like herbs, dried fruit, flowers, flower petals, and spices, including herbal and Ayurvedic formulations.  They will learn to create professional blends, based on traditional formulas and current market demand, achieving results based on the technical criteria acquired during the course. 

The course is ideally suited for tea business owners and managers, restauranteurs, someliers, chefs, caterers, tea aficionados, industry suppliers, and others who wish to incorporate tea blending skills into their daily lives or current profession.

The American Tea Masters Association is an internationally recognized, membership-based organization founded to provide experiential mastery level training, education, and professional certification to individuals desiring to become tea masters and tea blenders. The association is respected as meeting superior educational standards by offering its Tea Mastery Certification Course™ for achieving the prestigious Certified Tea Master™ designation and its Certified Tea Blending Course™ for achieving the title of Certified Tea Blender™.

Tuition for the course is $2,450.  Seating is limited.  To register for the course with a $250 tuition-deposit, go to Tuition Deposit. For additional information, contact Chas Kroll, ATMA Executive Director, at (913) 660-8628 or