Coffee and Tea Newsletter: January 2009
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- Presidential Essentials -

Coffee And Tea Blends Celebrate America’s New President

Drink for Change (Obama Blend) from Pearl Fine Teas is an organic African red bush rooibos based tea with honeybush, pineapple, papaya, ginger, rose petals and cornflowers. It’s smooth, fresh and lacks bitterness. Environmentally friendly, unexpected, and a little left of center. Contributes to your overall well being and health(care). A 3 oz. package sells for $15.50 at 10% of each sale will go to the Washington Humane Society.


Like most in Hawaii, Kona coffee farmers Joe and Deepa Tiare Alban closely followed Barack Obama's path to the White House. Once the election was over, the couple mulled the best way to celebrate the occasion and inspiration was not long coming—create the "Barack O Blend."

"Like everyone else, my husband and I were excited and we wanted to create something for our native born son of Hawaii," said Alban, founder of Kona Joe Coffee and a native of Hawaii. The Barack O Blend combines Hawaiian, Indonesian, and Kenya coffees to deliver a rich, smooth cup of joe.

"The presidential blend honors Hawaii and Kenya, two of the great coffee growing regions in the world," Alban said. "It also is a way to honor Barack Obama's personal story, which goes from Hawaii to Indonesia and back again, and now reaches all the way to the White House. It's a way to recognize his place in history."

To keep things patriotic, war veterans helped pack the Barack O Blend. "It was important to make this a very special product," Alban said. "My father and my husband's father are war veterans, and I've always had great respect and admiration for all our military personnel. I'm really pleased to include some war veterans in the creation of the Barack O Blend." The veterans are part of the New Directions program, which offers a range of services for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Kona Joe Coffee is owned and operated by Deepa Tiare Alban along with her husband Joe Alban. They have been growing award-winning coffee beans for more than a decade on their 20-acre plantation on the southwestern slopes of Mount Hualalai, 1,000 feet above Kealakekua Bay.

The special Barack O Blend can be purchased (7oz. bag for $12.95) at or by calling 808-896-8888.


Linda Villano, owner of SerendipiTea, and Pearl Dexter, publisher of Tea A Magazine recently collaborated to create a new, artisanal, presidential tea called OBAMA 44—Inaugural Blend. “The idea was to capture a bit of the literal and a bit of the essence of the ‘Man Obama’”, explained Villano. “So, Kenyan black tea (a nod to his paternal side) provides the foundation and quiet strength of the cup; for a big dose of All American patriotism we have apples and cinnamon reminiscent of apple pie, and finally mango to honor President Obama’s maternal side (especially his beloved late grandmother in Hawaii) in the mix,” she added.

OBAMA 44—Inaugural Blend is exclusive to and $10.00 for a 4 oz. box (which makes approximately 50 cups).

-Most Caffeinated City in America: TAMPA-
HealthSaver Survey Results

The second annual HealthSaver Caffeinated Cities Survey, commissioned by HealthSaver, a national emerging health care discount service, found that the most caffeinated city in the country is Tampa, followed by Seattle, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The least caffeinated cities are Riverside/San Bernardino, followed closely by Atlanta, San Diego, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Dallas.

The survey considered numerous caffeine sources, including coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate, pain relievers and caffeine pills. Considering caffeinated coffee consumption alone, it was no surprise that Seattle took the top spot nationwide for the second consecutive year.

The HealthSaver 2008 Caffeinated Cities Survey, released earlier this month, was conducted to determine the caffeine consumption habits and attitudes of consumers across the U.S., and to learn more about cultural views and health benefits of this morning pick-me-up, afternoon alert booster and late-night indulgence. “With the advent of rich, high-end coffees, soaring popularity of energy drinks and national fascination with green tea, our HealthSaver Caffeinated Cities Survey has brewed up some very interesting trends, findings and results,” said Brad Eggleston, vice president of HealthSaver. “This groundbreaking research is an important tool to help educate about the health benefits of moderate caffeine consumption in the United States.”

The health benefits of caffeine are plentiful and well documented in numerous studies in recent years. Coffee and tea, in particular, have emerged as good health food sources that can lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver, as well as lift your mood; treat headaches and even lower risk of cavities. Caffeine also enhances athleticism, endurance and performance, according to health care experts. “Even though at one time coffee was considered harmful to your health, at this point there is no compelling research to indicate that, in fact, is true,” said Dr. Peter R. Martin, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and the Director of the Institute of Coffee Studies, Vanderbilt School of Medicine. “Newer studies actually prove coffee in moderation is good for one’s health".

Take The Caffeine Quiz:

1. Most Cola Consumption (Regular Coke, Regular Pepsi, Mountain Dew):

A. Houston

B. Tampa

C. Dallas

2. Most Tea Consumption (Green tea, iced tea, black tea):

A. Boston

B. New York

C. Philadelphia

3. Most Chocolate Consumption (Candy, ice cream, cake, cookies):

A. Chicago

B. Seattle

C. Phoenix

4. Most Energy Drink Consumption (Red Bull, Monster etc.):

A. New York

B. San Francisco

C. Atlanta

5. City Most Likely To Say Caffeine Is Good For You:

A. San Diego

B. Miami

C. New York

6. City Most Addicted To Caffeine:

A. Seattle

B. Philadelphia

C. St. Louis

7. Men or Women? Which group said coffee would be the harder to give up?

A. Men

B. Women




-Foreseen Caffeine-
Are you really drinking decaf?

Ever wonder if that decaf coffee you ordered after dinner the other night was really decaf? Silver Lake Research Corporation eliminates the guessing game with D+Caf™ Test Strips, the first-ever on-the-spot caffeine test.

A finalist in the Most Innovative New Product category at the 2008 Natural Products Expo East, D+Caf Test Strips allow consumers to simply and instantly determine whether their decaf beverages are truly decaffeinated.

“There are many reasons a consumer might choose to go decaf, from sleep disorders to unwanted anxiety to cardiovascular problems and diabetes, and for many of these people, decaf is not optional, it’s a necessity,” says Tom Round, Vice President, business development for Silver Lake Research Corporation. “We’re pleased to be the first to offer consumers peace of mind with an easy-to-use test that can quickly verify that the decaf coffee or tea they order is really decaf.”

According to Round, Silver Lake Research conducted a study analyzing 100 decaf coffee samples ordered between 3-9 p.m. at specialty coffee houses and mid- and high-priced restaurants. “We found that up to 25 percent of the decaf coffee ordered had high caffeine levels,” says Round. Previous studies by others have produced similar—or even more alarming results, he adds.


How D+Caf™ Test Strips Work

D+caf™ Test Strips use the same technology as home pregnancy tests for a quick and accurate measurement of caffeine levels in coffee or tea. For this test, a beverage is considered decaffeinated when the caffeine level is below 20 mg caffeine per six-ounce serving, and according to the company, D+Caf Test Strips will identify non-decaffeinated beverages with greater than 98 percent accuracy.

A consumer needs just half a teaspoon of a beverage to perform the test (the test sample should not be consumed). A test strip is dipped into the sample for five seconds and removed; results are available in 30-60 seconds. A simple visual comparison of resulting lines signal decaf or not decaf.

Each convenient and portable package contains 20 single-use strips and sells for $9.95. The strips can be used on hot or cold beverages and testing should be conducted before adding milk, sugar, or other additives. For more information about Silver Lake Research and the D+Café Test Strips visit

-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 month, 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! Browniepops™ are currently available in packs of (6) assorted flavors or (6) single-theme Seasonal Flavors. A 6-pack is $24.00.

-A New Look At Coffee:
From Farm To Cup-
Landmark Exhibit Premieres in Seattle

Those who live in the Pacific Northwest have a reputation for voracious coffee consumption. But every cup of coffee we buy and drink connects us with a web of hidden stories around the world. In this global age, a new exhibit at Seattle's Burke Museum explores the important question: What is the true story behind one of the world's most widely traded commodities?

Coffee: The World in Your Cup, a new touring exhibit organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, will premiere on January 24, 2009. The exhibit provides a broad overview of the powerful influence of coffee on environments, human cultures, and economies worldwide.

"Coffee connects us all," says Burke exhibit coordinator Ruth Pelz. "Most consumers don't think about the people and places that bring coffee from the field to the roast to the cup, but this exhibit offers visitors a chance to be more socially and environmentally aware of what they drink. Coffee really has the power to remind us of our place in the world."

Highlights of Coffee: The World in Your Cup include:

• Color photographs of farms from South America to Africa to the Pacific Islands that tell the global story of coffee cultivation and trade

• Live coffee plants

• In-gallery "Café" setting for weekend coffee tastings and demonstrations

• Four short videos featuring different aspects of the coffee industry, including the local coffee scene

• Wall-to-wall display of coffee bags from dozens of Northwest coffee roasters

Looking to become a responsible sipper? Coffee: The World in Your Cup explores the environmental and social impacts of the coffee industry and recommends ways for consumers to make socially and environmentally responsible coffee purchases at the grocery store or in a coffee shop. Concerned about how coffee affects human health? Learn about the impacts of caffeine, the world's most commonly used drug, on your body. Curious about how coffee became so popular? Discover its early controversial reputation as a "revolutionary drink," and consider the culture that surrounds coffee in the twenty-first century.

Coffee: The World in Your Cup was organized by the Burke Museum in collaboration with a panel of advisors from the University of Washington, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Seattle University, Seattle Audubon, and the Specialty Coffee Industry. The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Starbucks Coffee Company, and the University of Washington have provided major support for the exhibition, with additional support from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The Burke Museum is on the University of Washington campus at the corner of 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.


Answers to quiz: 1. A. Houston 2. B. New York 3. B. Seattle 4. C. Atlanta 5. C. New York 6. A. Seattle 7. Men (47%); Women (39%)
Answers based on the 2008 HealthSaver Caffeinated Cities Survey, commissioned by HealthSaver. See last page of newsletter for answers. For more information about the survey, visit

- Save The Date for 2009! -
4th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: April 18-19, 2009

coffee and tea festivalMark your calendars and join us next year,
April 18-19, 2009 for the 4th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC!

For exhibitor information & booth reservations, contact

2009 Exhibitor Info Now Available


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