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

cup for education

Coffee & Tea Festival Returns to Brooklyn: Another Sold-Out Show Expected

The 12th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival New York will be returning to the Brooklyn Expo Center on March 18th and 19th. The festival is open to the public and trade.  It will include over 75 exhibitors and an impressive line-up of special programs.  Over 8,000 people attended the 2016 show and the 2017 show is trending to be a sell out as well. 

SPECIAL OFFER:  SAVE $10 on general admission tickets! Use online promo code: CTNEWS

Previously featured on the Food Network’s hit show Unwrapped, the Coffee & Tea Festival is excited to bring together some of the most well-respected men and women in the industry for an educational and entertaining weekend.  This year’s all-star line-up includes:

Bruce Richardson, co-owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and the man MSN calls “a leading tea expert involved in tea’s American renaissance for over 20 years” will be talking about the Five Teas that Brewed a Revolution.

Mikael Mäkinen, Head of Sales at Four Sigmatic, will blow your mind as he leads a talk on Mushroom Coffee and how the mushrooms are grown, picked, dried and made into extract powder which is then combined with coffee to provide you a superfood for your morning cup!

Learn How to Appraise Chinese Tea from Zhen Lu, Owner of ZhenTea.  This skill-building seminar will focus on the elements of Chinese tea appraisal, helping people further enjoy and appreciate their teas from a deeper understanding of the major aspects of appraising tea.
Rise and shine with Jarrett McGovern, Co-Founder of RISE Brewing he shares the history of cold brew and the amazing benefits of infusing cold brew with nitrogen in his seminar Nitro Cold Brew.
Agnieszka Rapacz, President of TeaGschwendner helps us understand Matcha—the history, cultivation, grades of matcha, it’s ever-trending growth in the market and its ceremonial preparation.
David Kastle, Vice President of Swiss Water Decaf, presents Coffee Decaffeination: How It’s Done!  Here’s a unique opportunity for all coffee enthusiasts—a tutored tasting and review the various methods of coffee decaffeination.
For adults only… Tea for Cocktails: The Art of Blending Tea & Spirits seminar will be lead by Jennie Ripps, Founder & CEO, and Maria Littlefield, Partner & President, of Owl’s Brew.  Attendees will enjoy their story of blending tea specifically for use in cocktails to complement liquor, beer and even wine.

Special Seminars/Tutored Tastings (require advance registration and small materials fee).  Click on the class topic below for detailed information.  Classes fill up quickly, so register early.  Topics include:

Taiwanese Oolong Cupping
Presented by: Sammy Levine, Founder of Everlasting Teas

The Leaf & The Grain: An In-Depth Tasting of Scotch and Tea
Presented by: Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster of Camellia Sinensis

Chemex Brew Method Master Class
Presented by: Thea Heilbron, Events Director at Café Grumpy

Wuyi Rock Oolongs: A Comparative Tasting
Presented by: Rie Tulali, General Manager and Tea Taster of Tealet


Back by Popular Demand: 

Tea Course Fast Track
Presented By:
 Gail Gastelu, Producer of
Duration:  4 Hours

Profit from TEA – Learn about tea this year! In four hours, your business will learn how to incorporate tea into its food and beverage offerings. This seminar provides all of the knowledge you need to get started right away.

Tea Course Fast Track includes:

Tea 101- Learn about Camellia sinensis (tea!) What is it? Where is it grown? How is it harvested? How do you get it (loose or bagged)?

Tea Experience - Taste and compare white, green, oolong, and black teas to understand differences. Learn proper brewing techniques and how to serve.

Tea Uses & Health Benefits - Learn how to incorporate tea into your business.

Tea Success - Learn how to successfully market tea and tea events to draw new customers.

Tea Trends - Learn what is trending in the tea industry and how to stay on top.

Tea Resources - Learn how to find suppliers, additional education, associations, and more.

BONUSES: All attendees receive a flash drive with additional reading, eBooks, resources, and special offers worth more than the class fee. Taste and compare teas and leave with your own tea cupping set. Tea Course Fast Track ticketholders receive access to the Coffee & Tea Festival with their ticket purchase that day. This course is ideal for members of the trade or interested individuals looking to add tea to their business; high knowledge level.

Tea Course is produced by The Tea House Times (a bi-monthly publication connecting businesses and consumers since 2003). The online program is considered continuing education as running a successful business necessitates continual learning, reading, watching the news, and connecting with others in the industry. Members/students are worldwide and many have been successfully continuing their education from the comfort of their own computers since 2008. Over 200 topics, tea market reports, tea trends, tea news, 24/7 access, and weekly updates ensure continuing education.

About Gail Gastelu:
Gail Gastelu is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of Tea Course and Tea Course Fast Track, co-owner of Tea Etiquette Certified and frequent presenter at tea and/or coffee shows nationwide. Connecting businesses and consumers since 2003, her passion and drive is to help tea businesses grow by providing many services beneficial to the tea industry. The publication, news, education, hosted blogs, special features, and resources may be found by visiting website. Gail recently created the nationwide #DrinkTea Campaign with the Tea Council of the USA. Gail currently serves on the Tea Association of the USA's Specialty Tea Institute Advisory Board and over the years has been an officer or advisory board member to several associations, trade shows, and organizations.


More than 75 exhibitors are ready to meet and greet festival attendees and offer tastings of their newest, most sought-after products. 

For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit


Tetley Super Teas Voted #1 Beverage Product of the Year

Congratulations to Tetley USA, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, as its line of Super Teas has been named the 2017 Product of the Year in the Beverage category.  The brand accepted the award during Product of the Year Awards night at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.  The Tetley Super Teas line includes items infused with vitamins like vitamin C, B6 and B7 to help promote a balanced lifestyle.  Tetley Super Tea varieties with vitamins provide drinkers with 20 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Product of the Year USA, the largest consumer-voted award for product innovation, was conducted by TNS, a global leader in consumer research.  Winning products were selected through the votes of over 40,000 consumers.

"We are extremely honored to be recognized by Product of the Year USA," states Marc Birnbaum, Marketing Executive for Tetley USA.  "Our master tea blenders have differentiated the Super Teas line by responding to consumer demand for products that help support health and well-being. It's gratifying to be awarded for our commitment to delivering products that provide unique value and taste."

Tetley's Super Teas are available in six varieties to help super power everyday tea drinking:

  • Green Tea - Immunity: Smooth green tea cleverly combined with lemon, vitamin C and honey that supports the normal function of the immune system

  • Herbal Tea - Immunity: A lovely peach and orange infusion expertly blended with vitamin C that helps support your immune system

  • Green Tea - Metabolism: Tropical green tea tastefully fused with mixed mango, pineapple and vitamin B6 that helps support normal energy yielding metabolism

  • Herbal Tea - Metabolism: A delicious blueberry and raspberry infusion skillfully combined with vitamin B6 that helps support normal energy yielding metabolism

  • Herbal Tea - Glow: A delightful pineapple and citrus refreshing tea gently infused with vitamin B7 to help maintain normal skin and hair growth

  • Black Tea - Focus: Smooth black tea expertly blended with sweet vanilla and a boost of added caffeine equivalent to the contents of one cup of coffee that helps increase alertness and concentration

The line of Tetley Super Teas contains natural flavors, and 20 staple and tag-free tea bags per box at a suggested MSRP of $2.99-$3.99. Tetley Super Teas are available for purchase nationwide at select major retailers, as well as online at

For more information about the new line of Tetley Super Teas, visit


Illy Caffé Offers Limited Edition Micro Lot Coffees

illycaffè, the family-owned coffee company from Trieste, Italy, committed to offering the highest quality, most ethically sourced coffee to the world, announces it is selling limited edition 250 gram cans of coffee from the winners of the first annual Ernesto Illy International Growers Award competition that took place this past November 2016.  In total, the limited edition cans are available from nine distinct coffee producers across nine countries of origin – a showcase of the illy blend known for its balanced and smooth taste.

The nine limited edition coffees are sold in North America in sets of three 250 gram cans, packaged in a red illy gift box at a cost of $54.  Available at

The Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award recognizes the coffee producers' commitment to illy's quality and sustainability standards.  The nine coffee producers are from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India and Nicaragua with coffee crops representing the 2015/2016 coffee harvest.  Producers from each region were selected by the illy quality laboratory in Trieste, selections were judged by an independent panel, who chose the best of the best coffee.

The limited edition offer highlights the dedication of families, throughout the world, who work side by side with illy to pursue the dream of offering the best coffee to the world.  For over eight decades, illy has created a virtuous circle of sustainability based on economic, social and environmental pillars. 

"By offering the highest quality coffee to coffee lovers around the world, illy generates economic value for the producing countries," said Andrea Illy, chairman of illycaffè s.p.a. "This circle is renewed every year, increasing the product's value through quality, differentiation and sustainability."


THE TEA EXPERIENCE: Home Brewing for the Best

Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc., is the recognized independent authority on tea, acting as the official voice for its members on issues related to the tea industry.  It also supplies these brewing guidelines for home brewing.


The Four Golden Rules for a delicious cup of hot tea: (1) use a teapot, (2) bring fresh, cold tap water to a full boil (Note: If your water is heavily chlorinated or contains other objectionable odors, filter before boiling for best tasting tea); (3) use one teaspoon or one tea bag per cup; (4) pour boiling water over tea and brew by the clock 3 to 5 minutes and serve!

For the best flavor, preheat the teapot with a little hot water prior to use and cover your teapot with a cozy to retain heat during the brewing process.


For small quantities, proceed as for hot tea and pour over ice. For large quantities, prepare concentrate as follows:

Bring one quart of cold water to a roiling boil. Remove from heat and add 8-10 teabags per quart of brewed tea as desired. Steep 3-5 minutes and pour over remaining cold water or ice cubes. To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with ice, garnish or sweeten as desired.

When water comes to a boil, remove from the source of heat and allow to sit for ten minutes. Pour this hot water over the Green Tea and allow to brew for approximately one minute and serve. (Note: The brewing times may be shortened or lengthened according to your taste)

The best thing to say when dealing with any tea is – the larger and more delicate looking the leaf, the lower the water temperature. Usually, you will want to use between 180-190 degree water for big oolongs and white teas. Black teas need much hotter water for proper extraction. Boiling water will scorch a bold leaf like white tea.

Time is a little different since oolongs will need to steep a bit longer than white tea – oolongs 5-7 minutes, white tea 3-4 minutes. Of course, all of this may be modified according to your own personal taste. These instructions are only to be used as a starting point.

Everyone should adjust time, temperature and amount of tea up and down until they find their perfect pot.


Twinings Introduces New Earl Grey Teas

Two of our staffers were given a great opportuniTEA last month as they were able to attend the special “Art of Earl Grey” evening in New York City, hosted by Stephen Twining.  There they were able to try the new additions to the well-established Earl Grey line of Twinings Tea.  Enjoyed some tea infused cocktails and took home a beautiful hand-painted tea pot created on-site.

Middle photo: Stephen  Twining and Kristyn Dolan, Coffee and Tea Festival event producer. Photos by Kristyn Dolan.

Twinings classic Earl Grey tea was first blended by Richard Twining in 1831, when Prime Minister Charles Grey asked him to replicate a tea he once received by a Chinese Mandarin. The Prime Minister gave his royal approval, which resulted in the creation of the first Earl Grey blend. To this day Twinings Earl Grey boxes are signed by descendants of Mr. Charles Grey.

The Twinings story began in 1706, when Thomas Twining opened the House of Twinings in the old Tom’s Coffee House in London.  More than 300 years later, the vision of one man – to sell only the finest teas, herbs and infusions available – remains. Twinings still sells tea from Thomas' original shop, but now tea drinkers in more than 115 countries around the world can enjoy 200 varieties of Twinings tea, making Twinings the leader in the growing bergamot-flavored tea segment.

Jasmine Earl Grey

• An exclusive blend in the market.
• Mixed with an intoxicating scent and a slightly sweet taste.
• To savor the full flavor of this tea, bring water to boil, and pour over the tea as soon as it reaches boiling. Over-boiling will cause oxygen to be reduced, making the tea taste “flat”.
• Brew for 3 minutes or to desired taste.
• MSRP: 20ct. Box - $2.99

Lavender Earl Grey

• Has a floral and fresh aroma with a soothing taste.
• This blend is best for those who want to relax and unwind, especially after a long day.
• To savor the full flavor of this tea, bring water to boil, and pour over the tea as soon as it reaches boiling. Over-boiling will cause oxygen to be reduced, making the tea taste “flat”.
• Brew for 2-4 minutes or to desired taste.
• MSRP: 20ct. Box - $2.99

Extra Bold Earl Grey

• An intensified Earl Grey blend.
• Has a rich and vibrant taste.
• Enhanced with natural citrus flavors.
• Made to uplift and rejuvenate
• To savor the full flavor of this tea, bring water to boil, and pour over the tea as soon as it reaches boiling. Over-boiling will cause oxygen to be reduced, making the tea taste “flat”.
• Brew for 3 minutes or to desired taste.
• MSRP: 20ct. Box - $2.99