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

cup for education

Coffee & Tea Festival Celebrates 10 Years

The 10th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival celebrates in Brooklyn this year—another sold out show is expected.

The event will take place March 21-22, 2015 at the Brooklyn Expo Center in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.  The new, state-of-the-art expo center will be a welcomed new home for the 2015 festival.  “Over 7,000 attendees will be bustling around to learn about and sample products from more than 80 different companies.  This will definitely be our best show yet,” said Kristyn Dolan, event manager at Starfish Junction, producers of the event. 

Local, national, and international coffee and tea companies will be serving up tastings to lucky ticketholders, plus free and fee-based seminars, including delectable pairings, will be offered.

This year’s free seminars include:
The Discovery of Tea—Presented by Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster and Co-Owner of Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Tea Schools

Relationship Development in Coffee—Presented by Cheryl Kingan, Green Coffee Buyer, & Liam Singer, Head Roaster, of Café Grumpy

Tea Blending 101—Presented by: Ami Bhansali, Founder of Chai Diaries

The Finesse of China's Wulongs and Blacks—Presented by Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster and Co-Owner of Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Tea Schools

Cold Brew Coffee, Revealed—Presented by Ben Gordon & Matt Bachmann, Co-Founders of Wandering Bear Coffee Co.

Fee-Based seminars (extra fee/advance registration required):
 CLICK HERE to find out more and to purchase your tickets.

  • Hands-on Home Brewing—Presented by Clark Le Compte, Head Roaster of Toby's Estate Coffee

  • Tea Course Fast Track (4 hours) Presented by Gail Gastelu, Producer of

  • Oxidation Effects of Green Tea—Presented by Shiho Kanamaru, Founder of Cha Do Raku

  • Tea & Cheese—Presented by Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier at L’Espalier in Boston, MA

  • Beautiful, Bold, Black Tea—Presented by Joseph Uhl, Founder of Joseph Wesley Black Tea


  • VIP Session ($35): 10:00AM - 5:00PM—special ticket required.  Additional 1 ½ hour preview, goodie bag. 

  • General Session ($25):  Saturday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM; Sunday: 11:30AM - 5:00PM


CLICK HERE to see current list of participants and exhibitors

Event sponsors include:

For more info and for tickets, visit:


The Mariners’ Museum is Brewing an Exhibition for Coffee Lovers

The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA is hosting a traveling exhibition about the world’s most popular beverage. Coffee: The World in Your Cup opened last weekend, February 21, 2015, and will run through September7, 2015.

Coffee: The World in Your Cup explores how one of the most widely traded commodities affects cultures, economies and habitats around the world. Visitors will learn about people who produce and harvest coffee and the efforts to ensure they earn a fair wage. They will also explore the botany of coffee, the effects of caffeine on human health, and the art and science of producing the perfect cup.

“Coffee has always been, and remains, a commodity traded primarily by sea,” Museum Curator Marc Nucup said. “We have a chance to take a traveling show that is relevant to the maritime world and add items from the Museum’s collection to enhance the maritime theme.” Some of these items include replicas of several late 18th century documents showing coffee as a cargo and a coffee service that was owned by Commodore Isaac Hull, commander of the USS Constitution.

 Interactive elements of the exhibition feature a coffee aroma display, a 125 pound “try to lift” coffee sack, as well as special events with coffee tastings and coffee art workshops. The Museum Shop will be selling two special blends of coffee roasted for the Museum by The Rogue Elephant in Hampton, VA. The two blends are Deep Brew Sea and The Mariners’ Blend.

The second Saturday of the month, from March – August, guests are invited to the Museum for tastings from local roasters and coffee-art projects for both adults and children. On select Thursdays, February-April, the Museum will host The Coffee Bar, an after-hours social event. These events will include hands-on coffee activities, access to the exhibition, light refreshments and signature coffee drinks.

This exhibition has been organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle. Major sponsorship has been provided by The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Starbucks Coffee Company, and the University of Washington.

Coffee: The World in our Cup is open from February 21 through September 7, 2015.  For hours and information, visit, call (757) 596-2222 or write to The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

For more information, visit


Bigelow Tea Celebrates 70 Years, Looks to Increase International Market

Bigelow Tea, America’s largest family-owned tea company, is celebrating its 70th anniversary, tracing its humble beginnings in a New York City townhouse, where Ruth Campbell Bigelow developed the iconic “Constant Comment”® tea, to a worldwide market of 1.7 billion tea bags annually.

“Our little tea company has enjoyed an illustrious past, introducing many ‘firsts’ to the tea industry and to the American consumer,” said third-generation CEO Cindi Bigelow. “These include Constant Comment, one of the country’s first zestfully flavored specialty teas, the Whiffing Jar that lured customers with the enticing aroma of tea, orange rind and sweet spice, and our signature, individually foil-wrapped tea bags that guarantee a fresh and flavorful tea experience.”

Ms. Bigelow often finds herself trying to balance an appreciation of 70 years of history and a family business culture that values “quality first” with the need to drive it forward. “From the high quality ingredients we source, to the special foil wrap we use to protect the finished tea, it is all about quality first for our customers,” says Ms. Bigelow.

Already the U.S. market leader of specialty teas with 24% market share, $150 million in sales and more than 130 varieties, strategic plans have been implemented to extend its “quality first” mission by increasing Bigelow Tea’s global presence in targeted countries where international tea consumers have already discovered the brand through placement on cruise ships and airlines.

“To maintain our family vision, we are thrilled to be directing our international expansion in an effort to reach new customers every day,” Ms. Bigelow says.  The privately held company employs 350 people in Connecticut, Idaho and Kentucky, and at its Charleston Tea Plantation, America’s 120-acre working tea plantation in South Carolina.  “While it’s fun to reflect on the past 70 years’ achievements, we look forward to realizing our vision for the future” she said. “There are many exciting new flavors on the horizon. This year we will be introducing a line of organic bottled iced teas with fresh brewed taste and polyphenols – made from real tea.”

To coincide with the 70th anniversary, Bigelow launched its Mobile Tea Bar, connecting with consumers and retailers across the country. The customized 1977 Airstream will offer freshly brewed samples of teas and share the Bigelow story through a mobile and interactive experience.


Crimson Cup Coffee Introduces Cocoa Nib Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Columbus coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is proud to announce the launch of its new Cocoa Nib Nitro cold brew, which melds the flavors of coffee, cocoa and vanilla beans into a slightly sweet and deliciously frothy drink on tap. Coffee lovers can sip the new brew for a limited time exclusively at Crimson Cup Coffee House, 4541 North High Street in Clintonville.

“Cocoa Nib Nitro is our latest – and perhaps greatest – nitrogen-infused cold brew,” said Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert. “Anyone who enjoyed our Dry Hopped Nitro or Holiday Hopped Nitro cold brews will want to give it a try.”

To create Cocoa Nib Nitro, Coffee Specialist Brandon Bir started by cold brewing the roaster’s exclusive Jorge’s Pick coffee from Guatemala. The beans for this blend are selected by Q Grader Jorge De Leon Ovalle and purchased from farmers through Crimson Cup’s Friend2Farmer direct trade program. Lightly roasted, the coffee displays floral, lemon, cane sugar and cocoa tasting notes.

After cold brewing, the coffee is diluted with a small amount of water to give it a smoother body and a bit less caffeine. Bir then infuses the cold brew with raw cocoa nibs from Peru, vanilla beans and a house-made cocoa extract. He finishes off the brew with a small amount of milk sugar to give it a silky and heavy body.

“When poured from a nitrogen tap, Cocoa Nib Nitro has a smooth body with a bright front,” Bir said. “The chocolate comes out in the middle, with the long-lasting warmth of vanilla in the finish.”
Columbus coffee lovers can experience Cocoa Nib Nitro beginning Thursday, February 26, through the end of March, while supplies last, at Crimson Cup Coffee House, 4541 North High Street in Clintonville.   For more information, visit


Honest® Tea to Launch New Organic, Zero Calorie Beverages This March

Honest Tea is expanding its zero calorie beverage offerings in 2015, unveiling three new varieties: two unsweetened, caffeine-free herbal iced teas and a zero calorie organic soda. All will be for sale in natural food stores and the natural food aisles of mainstream grocers starting March 2015.  In addition to the new product launches, the company is following through on its commitment to convert all varieties of its Honest Fizz line to organic certification, a goal since the zero calorie sodas were first introduced in early 2013. 

The new products are:

  • Cinnamon Sunrise Herbal Tea: A blend of organic Vietnamese cinnamon and Fair Trade Certified red rooibos from South Africa, brewed together for a smooth, unsweetened zero calorie drink. Available in 16 fl. oz. glass bottles.

  • Ginger Oasis Herbal Tea: Organic Indian ginger, green rooibos, and Egyptian lemon grass are brewed for a fragrantly spicy and unsweetened zero calorie zing. Available in 16 fl. oz. glass bottles.

  • Honest Fizz organic Golden Ginger Ale: Organic ginger and other flavors are sweetened with a combination of organic stevia & erythritol and carbonated for bubbly refreshment. Available in 12 fl. oz. cans.

“We’ve been tinkering with unsweetened drinks long enough to know how challenging it can be to create a satisfying taste.  These herbal teas feel more complete than any zero calorie drink we’ve ever created, and the Honest Fizz Golden Ginger Ale has already become an office favorite,” said co-founder and TeaEO Seth Goldman. 

The innovation of Honest Tea’s new zero calorie drinks contributes to the broader beverage industry’s goal of reducing the amount of calories in the American diet.  Under Goldman’s leadership and involvement as an American Beverage Association (ABA) board member, Honest Tea is supporting ABA’s commitment to cut beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent by 2025

When the Honest Fizz line debuted in 2013 only one flavor, Root Beer, included organic stevia and erythritol. However, the plan had always been to eventually transition the entire line over to organic ingredients. 

“When we launched Honest Fizz three years ago we made a long-term commitment to convert the line over to organic certification.  We’ve been working with our ingredient and packaging suppliers to make our entire Fizz line affordable, organic and delicious,” Goldman stated.  “It’s another step in our ongoing journey to democratize organics.”


Tea Box Express Announces Socially Responsible Theme for March Box

Tea Box Express, LLC, a subscription box company that puts a fun twist on the tea drinking experience, announces the "Make a Difference Box" for the month of March. The box includes ethically sourced products from companies who make sustainability and social responsibility part of their mission.

The featured tea is an innovative blend by Tea of the People, a company dedicated to bringing positive change to people and the planet. Tea of the People was founded with the higher purpose of doing good and donates a portion of its profits to game-changing entrepreneurs and non-profits every month.

The March box also showcases chocolate from Sweetriot, a business that is committed to fair trade with farmers in Latin America and supports non-profits that celebrate culture and diversity. The box includes Fair Trade Certified sugar and complimentary accessories too.

"We are thrilled to feature these exciting products from socially responsible companies. Our goal with the March box is to deliver a tea party while supporting businesses that make the world a better place," says founder Andrea Reese. Tea Box Express is available online at and offers both recurring plans and one-time gift purchases. It ships anywhere in the U.S. Sign up by March 5th to receive the "Make a Difference Box."  Boxes cost approx. $25 per month.


By Eric dos Reis

With coffee shops appearing on nearly every corner of New York City, this new lower west end addition is taking a fresh approach while giving back and helping children in need. COFFEED, along with The New York Foundling, have partnered to open a new coffee shop in New York City’s Chelsea district. The coffee shop which is located adjacent to the Foundling building, opened its doors on February 26Th. Lucky us, we were able to take a sneak peek before the doors opened to the public.

The New York Foundling is an organization that helps children and families succeed. Since 1869, The New York Foundling has advocated and educated children, giving them first hand employment training, and opportunities to further their future success. In order to support The New York Foundling in their mission, COFFEED will be employing teens enrolled with the Foundling. This firsthand experience will grant the young employees invaluable work training and get them accustomed to working with others in a structured, professional work environment.

Besides allowing these teens the opportunity to see what the working world is like, COFFEED will also be donating 10% of all of its beverage earnings and 5% of its food earnings to help support the Foundling’s other families in need.  Chef Corey Cova will be working with the new COFFEED partnership, creating the delicious foods for patrons to enjoy alongside their rich, bold, coffee creations. Offerings such as The Big Bird and Paradise prove that the creativity is flowing from this innovative kitchen.

From the pour over wall, to the bags of wonderful smelling locally sourced and single origin coffee beans, it is clear to tell that COFFEED coffee shop is as much about the coffee as it is about the community it has embraced. If there was any question, one sip confirmed it. Eager to try some of the samplings this coffee shop had to offer, I stepped up and ordered an iced Americano. Served in a basic mason jar glass, my coffee smelled and tasted anything but ordinary. Bold but balanced, I was definitely impressed.

From the décor, to the food, to the comforting smell of perfectly brewed coffee, this is a must for any coffee drinker to add to their list. With every sip, you can feel good knowing you are helping a great cause, while still enjoying some great coffee. Check out both the Foundling and COFFEED at:


Last Call For Tickets!  Less Than 1 Month Away!