Coffee and Tea Newsletter
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coffee and tea festival

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Win a Trip to Brazil
Peet’s Coffee Celebrates the Launch of New Single-Origin
Monte Alegre Coffee

Coffee lovers can enter to win a trip to a remarkable Brazilian coffee estate to celebrate Peet’s Coffee introduction of Monte Alegre, the first single-origin coffee in its recently launched medium-roast line of coffees. Led by Peet's Coffee Buyer Doug Welsh, winners of this all-expense-paid trip will explore family-owned Fazenda Monte Alegre, one of Peet’s favorite Brazilian coffee estates, for a unique and special behind-the-scenes experience.

The contest takes place January 9 to March 30, 2012. To enter the contest, Peet’s Coffee fans must correctly answer multiple choice questions related to the Monte Alegre estate, Peet’s and coffee on or on http://www.facebook/peets. In early April 2012, Peet’s will announce the three grand-prize winners of the Brazil Monte Alegre estate trip with Peet’s. Each winner and one guest will enjoy three days at the estate, followed by coffee-related tours in São Paulo, Brazil. Round-trip airfare, accommodations and ground transportation are included. The trip will take place in early July 2012.

In addition to the three grand-prize winners, 10 weekly winners will be chosen to win a Peet’s tasting journal to aid in their coffee journey or a Peet’s-branded coffee tumbler.

The Monte Alegre estate, or fazenda, is considered a model farm with highly respected and certified business, social and environmental policies. The farm is set in the Sul de Minas region of Brazil, an area renowned for the quality of its coffee and mineral water springs. The area’s climate and well-defined seasons provide ideal conditions for producing top-quality coffee.

Fazenda Monte Alegre is certified by Utz, an independent worldwide certification program that ensures coffee production meets strict environmental, social and economic criteria. ‘Utz,’ which means ‘good’ in Mayan, is also reflected in the plantation’s programs for its employees and their families. The estate provides a health clinic, daily lunch, monthly food basket filled with staples required for a balanced diet, good wages, football fields and more. Nearly all of the workers have been with the plantation for at least six years, and all of their children are enrolled in the local school. “This is one of the best run, socially and environmentally aware estates we have ever seen,” said Doug.

Limited Edition Monte Alegre is available only from January through March 2012 in grocery stores nationwide and at This single-origin coffee has a nutty aroma and flavor, flecked with vanilla notes for a remarkably pure and smooth coffee. Peet’s roasted this special coffee in small-batch, medium-roast style to deliver it at the peak of freshness. All Peet’s coffees are roasted in Peet’s LEED® Gold certified roasting facility—the nation’s first—in Alameda, CA and delivered daily nationwide, fresh from the roaster.

Limited Edition Monte Alegre is available in 12-ounce packages at grocery stores nationwide. Both whole bean and ground is available in the West and only ground is available on the East. Suggested retail price is $11.99 per 12-ounces. It’s the third medium-roast coffee for Peet’s, joining 2011 releases of Café Domingo and Café Solano.

For more information about Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc., visit


Four New Teas Hit the Market This Month
Choose Choice!

Choice Organic Teas, the first exclusively organic tea crafter in the United States and the first in the country to introduce Fair Trade Certified™ teas, is adding four new varieties to its Original line of teas as part of its “go beyond” campaign. Starting this month, customers can purchase Premium Korean Green, Decaffeinated Green, Masala Chai, and Rooibos Chai. The four new teas reinforce Choice Organic Teas’ commitment to offer high quality teas from around the world while honoring their traditions.

-Premium Korean Green (Green Tea) – This lush tea hails from Jeju Island, South Korea’s “Island of the Gods.” From fertile volcanic soil to subtropical forests, this pristine isle offers rich tea-growing terroir. The leaves are steamed, rolled and dried in the Sencha tradition, for a fresh and savory cup.

-Decaffeinated Green (Decaf Green Tea) – Delight in the best of both worlds with a cup that’s both decaffeinated and flavorful. This crisp green tea grown in the mountains of India is gently decaffeinated using carbon dioxide, the only certified organic method. Enjoy the true essence of this refreshing and wholesome tea day or night.

-Masala Chai (Black Tea) – Spice things up with this bold classic, featuring malty Assam tea from India’s Brahmaputra River Valley. Choice Organic Teas blends rich, robust black tea with masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a spirited cup that warms your body and soul. It blends perfectly with milk and sweetener for an authentic chai.

-Rooibos Chai (Herbal Tea) – Thrill your senses with this naturally caffeine-free twist on traditional chai. Choice Organic Teas blends rich South African rooibos with the finest masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a cup that’s warming, robust and subtly sweet. It’s a luscious treat that pairs wonderfully with milk and sweetener.

“After careful consideration and research, we determined we needed to add these four varieties to round out our product line,” said Anne-Marie Phillips, Head of Sales and Marketing for Choice Organic Teas. “Made with pure ingredients, these perfectly balanced teas are sourced from some of the most beautiful places on earth. We invite our customers to go beyond their horizons and discover the world one cup at a time. We feel confident our customers will fall in love with these flavorful new teas.”

The four new teas are available starting this month through Choice Organic Teas’ website (, and will be available at independent natural food stores starting in February. The suggested retail price for the teas is $4.69 for a 16-count box. The teas are organic, Non-GMO Verified, kosher, and gluten-free, and three of the four are Fair Trade Certified. Visit for more information.


Starbucks to Begin Selling Beer and Wine

Responding to customer feedback for more options to relax in its stores in the evenings, Starbucks Coffee Company last week announced plans to bring wine, beer and premium food offerings to a handful of locations in Atlanta and Southern California by the end of this year. These stores, along with several others recently announced for the Chicago area, will be the first extensions of the evening day-part concept outside of the Pacific Northwest.

“Building an evening day-part is a natural progression for us as we are always looking for ways to evolve and enhance the Starbucks Experience based on what our customers are telling us,” said Clarice Turner, senior vice president, U.S. Operations. “We’re pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re excited to see how the idea translates to other markets.”

Since first introducing the evening day-part concept at its Olive Way location in Seattle in October 2010, Starbucks has seen success creating a new occasion for customers later in the day through an expanded food and beverage menu. Five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Oregon currently serve wine, beer and premium food. Late last year, Starbucks announced plans to bring the concept to five to seven locations in the Chicago area by the end of 2012. Atlanta and Southern California will each see four to six stores, also by the end of the year.

As part of an enhanced menu, these stores will serve new premium food (including savory snacks, small plates, and hot flatbreads) as well as wine and beer. The wine and beer list will be hand-selected to reflect local customer tastes and preferences, and will be refined over time. In addition to providing a product assortment not traditionally found at Starbucks, these stores will incorporate flexible seating to accommodate individuals and small groups as well as larger parties that want to host community meetings or other events such as book clubs.

“As our customers transition from work to home, many are looking for a warm and inviting place to unwind and connect with the people they care about,” said Turner. “At select stores where it is relevant for the neighborhood, we are focused on creating an atmosphere where our customers can relax with a friend, a small bite to eat and a cup of coffee or glass of wine.”

At this time, the evening day-part concept is only focused on Atlanta, the Chicago area, Southern California, and the Pacific Northwest.


Numi Organic Tea Wins Awards
For Tea and Sustainability

Innovation can be born in unlikely places. Consider Numi Organic Tea. In 1999, two Iraqi American siblings were vacationing at the Grand Canyon when they decided to create a tea company that prized the well-being of the planet and its people above all other considerations. Today, Numi Organic Tea, based in Oakland, California, is the leading brand importer of Fair Trade certified teas in the United States. It is recognized for its care of the environment, determination to use only real ingredients, and drive to produce the world’s best-tasting teas and teasans.

All Numi Teas are premium, organic, full leaf teas made with 100% real ingredients. Perfumes and flavorings are never used; Numi is dedicated to providing exceptional, pure-tasting teas. In fact, their new decaf teas are made using the superior chemical-free, CO2 process to retain more flavor and health properties. The tea company Ahmed and Reem Rahim crafted in 1999 has become known for its outstanding business practices as well as its superlative products. While the founders are proud of the awards and accolades that have come their way, they are prouder still of their devoted following and the growth of their fledgling business. In the past two years, the company has received awards and the adulation of the tea-drinking community.

2010-2011 Awards:

• 2011 Numi is named leading brand importer of Fair Trade Certified teas and teasans in the United States

• Best Ready-to-Drink Flavored Black Tea at the 2011 World Tea Expo: Numi’s Earl Grey Puerh Iced Tea

• 2011 WRAP (Waste Reduction Award Program) Award

• 2010 Acterra Award for Business Environmental Awards – Acterra Award for Sustainability, Small Company

• 2010 Responsible Packaging Award– Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association (FTSLA)


Sustainable Coffees Recognized for Quality at the Rainforest Alliance Cupping

Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms in Peru and Kenya earned top scores at the Rainforest Alliance’s December Cupping for Quality, held at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Lab in Long Beach, California. The Rainforest Alliance’s biannual cupping events recognize farmers for their hard work in producing high quality sustainable coffee.

A total of 45 coffee samples from eight origins were submitted, including the debut of coffees from the Karatu and Kilimanjaro regions of Tanzania. The highest score -- 87.9 points -- went to Tunki, a two acre farm located in the Puno region of Peru. Over 95 percent of the samples scored above 80, the threshold for the designation of ‘specialty coffee’ -- a clear indication that sustainable farming practices can contribute to the production of high-quality coffee.

“It’s only natural that Rainforest Alliance Certified farms would produce more and better quality coffee,” said Maya Albanese, event hostess and coordinator of the Sustainable Agriculture Division at the Rainforest Alliance. “When you improve workers’ conditions and livelihoods, farms become more productive. When you reduce waste, energy consumption, and agrochemical usage, you increase soil quality and biodiversity, thereby facilitating the production of a better crop.”

Top Ten Scoring Coffees:

Tunki Peru 87.92
Deep River, Kwanyoka Estate Kenya 86.06
Ururi Peru 85.25
Mihando Kenya 85.19
Madan Coffee Plantation Papua New Guinea 84.56
Githaka Kenya 84.50
Kihuri Estate Kenya 84.41
Machure Estate Kenya 84.33
Muthaite Kenya 84.31
Parry Estate, Kona Gold Coffee Plantation USA (Hawaii) 84.25

Highest Scoring Farms By Country:

Brazil 83.55 Fazenda Baú I- Grupo Mogyana de Certificação RAS - Stockler
  83.52 Fazenda São João Grande e Dona Neném
  83.23 Fazenda São Lourenço / Comercial Mineira S/A
USA - Hawaii 84.25 Parry Estate, Kona Gold Coffee Plantation
  84.13 Parry Estate, Kona Gold Coffee Plantation
Indonesia 81.97 PT. Menacom-Pante Raya
  81.92 Asmoro
  80.78 Pedamaran Plantation, PT. Toarco Jaya
India 83.83 Aljasri
  83.78 Margolly Estate
  83.05 Karadibetta Estate
Kenya 86.06 Deep River, Kwanyoka Estate
  85.19 Mihando
  84.50 Githaka
Peru 87.92 Tunki
  85.25 Ururi
  83.03 AAchamal
Papua New Guinea 84.56 Madan Coffee Plantation
  81.14 Madan Coffee Plantation
Tanzania 84.17 Ngila Estate Ltd
  83.86 Ngila Estate Ltd 1
  82.56 Machare Estate

To see the full results from the December 2011 Cupping for Quality, please visit:

A panel of 17 expert cuppers, representing coffee importers, roasters, and retailers large and small in North America, evaluated the profile of the coffees according to aspects such as aroma, acidity, uniformity, and balance.

The samples were roasted and cupped by Rocky Rhodes of International Coffee Consulting, Ted Vautrinot of Kean Roasters, and Andrew Phillips of Rose Park Roasters.

The cupper team included:

  • Shawn Hamilton, Lead Cupper & VP of Plant Operations, Java City
  • Jeffrey Chean, Groundwork Coffee
  • Trish Rothgeb, Wrecking Ball Coffee
  • Darrin Daniel, Allegro Coffee Company
  • Adam Kline, Atlantic Specialty Coffee / ECOM
  • Michael C. Boyd, Boyd’s Coffee Company
  • Alexandra Katona, Coffee Quality Institute
  • Kika Miramontes, InterAmerican Coffee
  • Ian Kluse, Olam Americas
  • Patrick Russell, Second Cup
  • Fernando Seminario, Sustainable Harvest
  • Dane Loraas, Sustainable Harvest
  • Stephen Leach, Maranatha Import Export Pty Ltd.
  • David Sager, Maranatha Import Export Pty Ltd.

Cupper Steve Leach stated that Rainforest Alliance certification is a “win-win for all partners in the supply chain. The producers get a better price, there’s less risk of quality problems at the exporter/importer level and the roaster is better assured of receiving the quality contracted for. Being involved in a sustainable program helps ensure that we will have continued access to the product our customers expect.”

The Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality takes place twice a year to accommodate various coffee harvest cycles around the world. On March 28-30, 2012, a new set of certified coffees from regions including Central and South America will be evaluated during the Spring Cupping event.

To learn more about Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee and how certification benefits coffee farming communities, please visit