Coffee and Tea Newsletter: january 2011
coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival

cup for education

NYC Coffee & Tea Festival 2011
Open To The Public & Trade

As seen on the Food Network’s hit show Unwrapped and selected as one of the 10 Best New York Events April 2009, by, “the Coffee And Tea Festival is a celebration of everything related to coffee and tea,” said Joe Chierchie, Event Producer. “This year’s show is shaping up to be the best we’ve had thus far. Exhibitors and attendees are going to be thrilled,” he added.

Open to the public and the trade, New York City is gearing up for another great show for 2011, the 6th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival NYC is being held on Saturday and Sunday, February 19th and 20th at 7 W (7 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001).

The event offers two days of fun and interactive classes/lectures/demos from well-known industry pros and pioneers. Programming highlights include topics as varied as coffee cupping & tasting, afternoon tea etiquette, making tea cocktails, and incorporating coffee into your favorite recipes. Click here to see scheduled programs.

Click here to see list of exhibitors and partners.

The event will help raise funds and awareness for Cup for Education, a non-profit group that provides help to the poor rural coffee communities of Central and Latin America.

New for 2011!

The Ultimate Barista Challenge® is an action packed competition where baristi compete in a dueling stage of identical espresso stations hoping to be crowned the Ultimate Barista. “A little bit Iron Chef and a little bit American Idol, it is fun and captivating for the baristi and audience members alike,” said Sherri Johns, creator of the Ultimate Barista Challenge international competition. “We are absolutely thrilled to be featured at the Coffee and Tea Festival of New York. The coffee community there is buzzing. I am so impressed with local roasters and baristi. We should see a great challenge,” added Johns. Click here for Ultimate Barista Challenge schedule of events.

SATURDAY EVENING: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Sponsored by The Tea Gallery & The Mandarin’s Tea Room
(Only 100 tickets available to the general public)

Led by Hong Kong tea masters, Michael Wong of The Tea Gallery and Tim Hsu of The Mandarin’s Tea Room, this special event starts with a brief presentation on tea—it’s origin, legends and modern appreciation followed by a tea-tasting reception. While tea is the most popular beverage after water, few understand the connoisseurship of tea that is enjoyed throughout Asia. This special event will explore tea throughout history; from medicine to currency and art. Participants will get a chance to sample traditionally crafted teas from China prepared by in GongFu Cha style.

Hong Kong expat, Michael Wong opened The Tea Gallery with his wife, Winnie Lee in 2001 to share their love of high quality Chinese tea and culture. First introduced to tea at family gatherings in the dimsum houses of Hong Kong, Michael wondered about the different varietals and what connected them all. His curiosity sent him on life long search for Chinese tea masters. At the time, Hong Kong was a haven for mainland Chinese fleeing Communism and became an epicenter for representatives of different regional tea cultures. Taking advantage of this tea diversity, Michael studied under several teachers, including a Chao Zhou Gong Fu Cha master.

His family's Asian antiques business also dovetailed nicely with his tea studies as he focused his knowledge in antique tea wares and yixing teapots. His wife does most of the collecting these days, allowing Michael to focus on tea. Thanks to the couple's combined efforts, The Tea Gallery houses an antiques collection that can be traced back to some of China's earliest dynasties and many rare tea varietals. Today The Tea Gallery shares a tearoom in Manhattan with The Mandarin's Tearoom which is run by his long time friend and peer, Timothy Hsu. Along with Winnie and their associate Dae, he teaches classes in Chinese tea and conducts tastings. The tearoom also plays host to many tea events and visiting tea masters. Tickets are $40 and include admission to the Coffee And Tea Festival on Saturday. Tickets are available for purchase at

Level I: Foundation Series
Foundations of Tea: Level One

Foundations of Tea: Level One will provide attendees with a strong understanding of the 5 basic tea types and the two traditional styles of orthodox tea production used to create them. Topics also include the essential components of teas, where and how teas are grown, the stages of processing and what differentiates the different types and classifications of tea. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste representative samples of each of the 5 tea types, discuss tea steeping methods and examine the basic characteristics of different teas.

Level II: Foundation
Series Foundations of Tea: Level Two

Building on the essential groundwork presented in Level One, Foundations of Tea: Level Two will examine CTC tea production and manufacture, as well as blending, flavoring and scenting, and introduction to sensory evaluation of teas. Also included is an introduction to the principles of grading and naming teas by country of origin. This seminar will allow attendees to examine and taste 5-6 pairs of teas as they are guided through the basics of a comparison cupping of the 5 tea types.

coffee and tea festivalA General Admission $20 all-day-pass includes Festival programming and sampling. Goodie bags, sponsored by ING Direct Café, will be distributed to the first 1500 attendees each day. Tickets to the VIP Tea Event are $40 and include admission to the festival. Only a limited number of tickets for the VIP tasting are available. Tickets and information:


Tea Party Basics for a Crowd
Excerpted from A TEA PARTY PLANNER
By Ellen Easton ©2004 -2011 All Rights Reserved

AFTERNOON TEA or LOW TEA, The name given to the British meal taken mid-afternoon, consists of three courses-assorted crustless finger sandwiches, mini baguettes and some artisan breads being the exception, and savories, scones with Devonshire {clotted} cream and preserves and assorted finger sweets and petit fours accompanied by tea. It is not uncommon for a trifle, pudding or dessert to be added as a fourth course. The 7th Duchess of Bedford is reputed to have given birth to afternoon tea, early in the 19th century, when she decided to take tea to stave off the pangs of hunger she suffered between lunch and dinner. A traditional afternoon tea is served between 3 PM and 5 PM at a low table.

Afternoon Tea food placement for a three-tier curate stand:
Top Tier = Scones
Middle Tier = Savories and Tea sandwiches
Bottom Tier = Sweets

HIGH TEA: A high tea is served in the late afternoon or early evening {5 PM to 7 PM} taking the place of dinner. Served at a “high” table with seated place settings. The foods are heartier and consist of salads, one or two hot dishes, pot pies, cold chicken, sliced meats, cakes, fruit tarts, custards and fresh fruits. The tea may be served hot or iced. The addition of any supper dish would be appropriate. Please note, a high tea is NOT interchangeable with an afternoon tea.

Having a tea party for a crowd should be fun and as easy as tea for two. Following a few simple rules and guidelines will enable you to prepare most of your foods in advance. The menu you plan when serving a large group, either in a banquet, buffet or sit down setting, will solely depend on how much help will be assisting you at your party.

Do not be intimated to invite or organize a large group for if you do not have enough tea cups in your own tea service, do as the they did in Colonial times, ask each guest to bring their own tea cup to the party. FYI- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin were devoted tea drinkers, as were Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. If having a larger group at a venue that does not provide tea service, inquire about tea equipage rentals from a party planning company.

Lemon slices verse lemon wedges? Both are correct for teatime service. I prefer lemon slices for a larger group due to the fact they are prettier to present and easier to serve. The proper service of a lemon slice vs. a lemon wedge: A lemon slice can float in the teacup. Traditionally, the lemon slice would also contain a clove in the center of the lemon slice. The floating lemon slice continues to enhance the flavor of the tea. If one is serving a wedge of lemon, traditionally the wedge is covered in gauze or tied in a cheesecloth. This is to avoid the seeds and juice from squirting when squeezed. If one does not have a lemon press or squeezer, it is proper to use your fingers to gently squeeze the juice of the wedge into your teacup and then place the used wedge on either the side of you tea saucer or any service plate provided on the table.

How is tea brewed in large quantities? The simplest way to brew tea for a crowd is to heat your water in a large, open pan on top of the stove. Add the appropriate amount of tea for the water used: one tea bag per cup or one tea spoon of loose leaf tea per cup, plus one for the pot.

A T- sac or tea infuser bag may be used to hold all of the loose-leaf tea when brewing. Cover and steep. Decant the brewed tea through a fine mesh strainer into the preheated teapot(s) of your choice and serve.

While not as desirable, if you wish to prepare the teas in advance, you may do so by storing the decanted tea in airtight jars in your refrigerator. Reheat the decanted tea before serving. Note the tea may appear cloudy and lose some flavor when reheated. Do not forget to hot your teapot. Again, remember it is important to balance your tea menu. No two dishes or breads should be a like. Invite the differences between sweet, sour, salty, crisp and smooth. Use cookie cutters and scissors to cut your sandwiches, savories and sweets into decorative shapes.

A per person menu should consist of: 4 to 6 sandwiches / savories; 2 small scones {Optional - additional seasonal bread fingers, cheese sticks, 1 of each}; 4 to 6 mini sweets; 4 cups of tea; 8 sugar cubes*, note only the first cube needs to be decorated; Lemon and lime slices, honey, milk, clotted or Devonshire cream, curds, preserves. Crystallized ginger, candied orange and/or lime rinds.

Tea Types: store tea away from light in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. All tea, white, green, oolong and black, comes from the same plant the Camellia Sinensis - the tea trade's international botanical name for the tea plant. Yes, one can have herbal tea, provided that there is tea blended with the herb. If there is no tea in the blend, one is having an infusion. An infusion is anything steeped in hot water to extract flavor.

Black Teas - Fully oxidized / fully fermented. Withering, rolling, full oxidation and drying. Sugar or honey enhances the flavor of black tea. Milk may be served with black tea if desired.

Oolong Teas - Partially oxidized / partially fermented. Withering, partial oxidation and drying Sugar enhances the flavor of oolong tea. Milk is not served or recommended.

Green Teas - No oxidation / unfermented. Steamed, rolled and dried. Milk is never served with green tea.

White Teas. Very rare and plucked from the tip of the tea plant. Exclusive to China.

Infusions For Tea. Rooibos, Honeybush, Yerba -Mate, Barks, Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Roots, Spices, Chrysanthemum, Gardenia, Jasmine, Lotus, Orange Blossom, Rose, Rose Hips, Almond, Apple, Black Current, Blueberry, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme are only a small sample of the thousands of varieties available. When using the infusion method DO NOT boil the ingredients. Place the ingredients into a preheated porcelain teapot, pour in boiling water and replace the teapot lid. Allow to steep two to ten minutes according to taste. Use bottled, spring or distilled water for the best results. Store infusions away from light in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Suggested flavor enhancers for teas and infusions: Cinnamon, ginger, honey, milk, mint, sugar, vanilla or vanilla sticks.

Afternoon Tea Menu
By Ellen Easton©All Rights Reserved

Mini Asparagus Quiche

Homemade Egg Salad with Dijon Mustard and Watercress
on Pumpernickel, Triangle

Diced or Thinly Sliced Smoked Salmon, Cucumber & Caper on White Bread Pinwheel

Diced Walnut, Raisin & Dill Chicken Salad, with Mesclun
on 7 Grain Bread, finger


Raisin Scone and Seasonal Scone of Choice
Devonshire or Double Clotted Cream & Raspberry Preserves

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry
Mini Pastel Petit Four or Mini Cupcake
Mini Shortbread or Tea Cup Sugar Cookie

Pot of Decanted Loose Leaf Tea
Pitcher of Iced Tea

How To Brew Perfect Tea
By Ellen Easton ©2004-2010 All Rights Reserved

For Hot Tea: Preheat a teapot or hot the pot by rinsing it out with hot water. By insulating the teapot, it keeps the tea hot during the brewing process. Bring the fresh cold water to a full rolling boil. Remove from the heat quickly as to not allow the oxygen to escape from the water. Water that has been reheated gives tea a flat taste. Only boiling water can extract the full flavor and benefit from the leaves. Use one teaspoonful of tea or one tea bag per cup {about 5 or 6 ounces} of water. Pour boiling water over the tea. Steep for 3, 5, 7 or 10 minutes or the recommended brewing time as per the instructions of your blend. Do not judge the strength of your tea by its color. It takes time for the leaves to unfold and release their flavor. If you prefer your tea stronger, do not steep longer as it will only turn the tea bitter; simply add more leaves before brewing. If you prefer your tea less strong, add hot water after the brewing period. Tea must be brewed to the full time to extract the complex flavors from the leaves. As to not burn the leaves on delicate white and green teas allow the water to cool before pouring over the leaves. Always decant/strain the tea before serving to prevent the leaves from stewing in the pot.

For Iced Tea: Follow the same rules as for hot tea, but use 50% more tea to allow for melting ice cubes. Tea may be frozen in ice cube trays and used for iced tea. . Tea cubes, when made from the same blend of tea, help to keep the tea from diluting. Allow the tea to cool. Pour over ice into a tall glass. Garnish as desired.

General Guidelines for Water Temperature

Remember good tea begins with good water.

The temperature of the water does not have to be exact to brew a good cup of tea. Do not use boiling water for green or white teas, as the leaves will burn, creating a bitter taste. An easy way to estimate the water temperature is to bring the water to a boil, allow the water to cool down before pouring over the leaves. Wait approximately 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring over the leaves. To visualize the heated water temperatures suitable for white and green teas, the water will have small "crab eye" bubbles on the surface edges, oolong teas will have "fish eye" bubbles across the entire surface and the black teas, herbals and infusions will have "old man's water” a full, rolling boil.

It is always best to brew the first pot according to the instructions given for each individual blend. Thereafter, you can adjust according to your personal taste.

Ellen Easton's PLAIN SCONES

1/2 pound cold butter, unsalted, diced
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1-1/2 cup of half and half
1 Tablespoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

(Ingredients for the batter of alternate scones: A- golden raisins- are softer when baked, B- ground ginger and butterscotch morsel bits, C-chocolate chip bits or flavored extracts, coconut flakes, fruits, herbs, savories and spices to taste.)

1/2 cup of half and half for brushing the scone top
Ground cinnamon and granulated sugar to dust the scone top

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, with a spatula or spoon, combine dry ingredients: mix together the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Raisin, Butterscotch-Ginger, Chocolate Chips or any additional flavor of your choice-add to the dry ingredients and mix. Add diced butter, mix until mixture is flaky and butter is the size of a pea. Add half and half to flaky mixture and blend until dough forms. DO NOT over mix the dough. On a well-floured surface flatten the dough to one inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or cut into small squares with a knife, which you may also be cut in half to make triangles. Brush scone tops with half and half. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Scones should be served warm. Yield: 24 scones.

ELLEN EASTON, etiquette & afternoon tea authority and author of AFTERNOON TEA...TIPS, TERMS and TRADITIONS; A TEA PARTY PLANNER and TEA TRAVELS™ FOR THE HOLIDAYS (RED WAGON PRESS), is a consultant to leading hotels, tearooms and the hospitality industry, including The Waldorf-Astoria, The PLAZA and LADY MENDL’s, as well as a speaker and designer of related products to the hotel, food service, retail, and special event industries.

AFTERNOON TEA...TIPS, TERMS and TRADITIONS By Ellen Easton. 5x7, paperback , 72 pages of how to’s, history, etiquette and FAQ about afternoon tea, serving styles and more.

TEA TRAVELS™ FOR THE HOLIDAYS By Ellen Easton provides concise information on how to create the perfect afternoon tea for the autumn and winter holidays. A complete holiday menu includes 25 easy to prepare recipes; theme teas, decorating & gift ideas; invitation template & secret sources. 5” x 7”, 64 pages, 21 color photos, paperback.

{Each book fits into an A-7 envelope for easy mailing. A gr eat gift or party favor items.}

Available at $20.00 each, post paid. Continental US Only. Final sale.

Wholesale and group rate accounts are welcome. 212- 722-7981. Prices on request.

Please make check or M.O payable to: RED WAGON PRESS and send to:

RED WAGON PRESS, 45 East 89th Street, Suite 20A, NYC, NY 10128-1256

TEA TRAVELS™, Wishing You Happy TEA TRAVELS!™, Manner Do Matter™ and Good $ense For $uccess™ are the trade marked property of Ellen Easton/RED WAGON PRESS.



Click here to request exhibitor information.

coffee and tea festival