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92 y


- Summer Coolers -
Celebrating National Iced Tea Month

It was a scorching hot summer day at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and festival attendees were uninterested in the hot tea that Richard Blechynden was serving. Attempting to salvage the day, he poured his brewed tea over ice, and the quintessential English tradition of “taking tea” was forever changed. Crediting the “invention” of iced tea to Richard Blechynden is the subject of great debate, but all might agree that his efforts helped to popularize this most refreshing and delicious elixir.

It's cool, refreshing, good for you, and so popular that an entire month has been set aside to celebrate…summer is here and so is National Iced Tea Month. “June’s National Iced Tea Month is a good time to drink up the many benefits of tea," says Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA. “It’s tasty, refreshing, has zero calories and is chock full of health benefits, so it’s a terrific beverage choice. With a multitude of research suggesting that the substances in tea may help the body maintain healthy cells and tissues, contribute to heart health and keep your weight in check, why would anyone choose to drink anything else?”

According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed well over 55 billion servings of tea (over 2.50 billion gallons) in 2007 with approximately 85% of the tea consumed as iced.

In the southern US they make sweet tea, in Thailand it is called cha yen, and in Austria the refreshing drink is called “ice” tea, rather than “iced” tea. No matter what you call it, iced tea is a satisfying and refreshing beverage enjoyed the world over.

When you home brew your iced tea you can customize it to your particular preference—some like it sweet, others unsweetened, some prefer fruit infusions like blood oranges or summer peaches, others prefer just a simple lemon wedge or sprig of mint as a garnish. If you don’t homebrew, RTD (ready to drink) teas are a convenient and delicious way to enjoy iced tea. A trip to the convenience store or local supermarket will reveal dozens of brands—each offering something to appeal to the varying tastes of today’s iced tea drinking consumer. Over the last ten years, the RTD Tea market has grown nearly ten fold. In recently released data, the Tea Association of the USA conservatively estimates 2007 sales of RTD teas at $2.80 billion.

Iced tea fun facts:

  • The oldest known recipe for sweet ice tea was published in 1879 in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia, by Marion Cabell Tyree. This recipe calls for green tea. In fact, most sweet tea consumed during this time period was green tea. However, during World War II, the major sources of green tea were cut off from the United States, leaving consumers with tea almost exclusively from British-controlled India.
  • Today, if you ask for an “Arnold Palmer” you will be served a mix of iced tea and lemonade. It is named after its creator, golf legend, Arnold Palmer.
  • “Texas tea” in the Beverly Hillbilly’s theme song refers to oil--nothing to do with tea at all.
  • In 2003 Georgia state representative John Noel tried to pass a house bill making it mandatory for all restaurants to serve sweet tea. Mr. Noel insists it was an April Fools' Day joke but admits he wouldn’t mind if it became law.
  • The famous “long island iced tea” drink doesn’t contain any tea.

It has been more than 100 years since Blechynden’s cool idea and iced tea remains one of the America’s most beloved beverages.

- Community Coffee Turns 90! -
The Genuine Flavor of Louisiana

Community Coffee Company (Baton Rouge, LA) is steeped in tradition as rich as their coffee. As the largest family-owned retail coffee brand in the U.S., it is a company that grew from a small country store in Baton Rouge where founder Henry Norman "Cap" Saurage brewed his popular coffee.

The coffee became so popular that he named it "Community" in honor of his loyal friends and customers. Cap eventually turned his attention away from the grocery store and devoted all of his time and energy to making great coffee.

Over the years, Community Coffee Company would take countless steps to ensure the quality of its product. In 1955, the company began importing green coffee beans directly from coffee plantations in Brazil. In 1970, a new plant was built on the Mississippi River in Port Allen, Louisiana. In 1980, Community introduced the nation's first vacuum-sealed coffee package. The first CC's Community Coffee House opened on the corner of Jefferson and Magazine Street in New Orleans in 1995. Dozens more opened during the 10 years that followed.

Today, Community Coffee Company is 90 years old. It is so much a part of people's lives and spans so many generations that it has been dubbed the State Coffee of Louisiana™. “I'm proud to say that our mission – to share our passion for great coffee with our customers – has not changed in the 90 years since my great grandfather founded Community Coffee Company," said Matthew Saurage, President of Community Coffee Company.

Without flash and fanfare, Community Coffee Company quietly and generously serves their community. They have two established donation programs that allow them to give back. The Community Cash for Schools™ program started over 20 years ago and local schools have earned over $4,000,000--translating into new textbooks, new computers, new playground equipment, and more. Support Our Troops is a coffee matching program for orders being sent to men and women in the armed forces. “The Military Match program is our way of demonstrating support for those serving overseas, and who are away from home, family and friends during this time," said Saurage. Order four bags of coffee and they’ll send and additional four bags free.

Sensational Summer Sippers—Mochasippis!

These wonderful premium coffee drinks, available in three great varieties, deliver a refreshing sensation and cool satisfaction on a hot summer day. Vanilla, mocha, or coffee…each provides 9.5 fl. oz. of delight. Mochasippis are available for purchase at local grocers and convenient stores in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. They are also available at CC’s Community Coffee Houses. Mochasippis sell for around $1.69-$1.99 each or you can purchase a 4-pack for $5.99.

For more information about Community Coffee products or to make a donation to one of their great giveback programs, visit Photos courtesy of Community Coffee Company.


- Jade Tea Ring -

What is it? A treat for the eye and the palate, jade ring tea is a beautiful handmade artisan tea. Jade green tea leaves are wrapped around a rod shaping them into rings which, when brewed, unravel into a full slender leaf. The tea yields a delicate yet robust jasmine flavor. This tea is also known as nu er huan – little girl rings.

How is it made? The rings are made by rolling the rich jade green leaves around rods. Once the rings are formed, the tea is then separated into mesh trays and placed in a heated drier. In between each tray of tea rings, a mesh tray of freshly picked jasmine flowers is placed. The drier gently blows warm air through the tea and the blossoms, allowing the tea to gently absorb the scent of the flowers. In the morning the trays are removed, and the process repeated for up to 6 nights. The rings are then re-fired to remove any moisture absorbed from the blossoms.

How to brew?

  • Start with your favorite spring or filtered water. Heat the water to between 160 F and 180 F.
  • Use a teaspoon (3g) for a 6oz serving. Please note, for denser teas this is about 1 teaspoon; for larger-leaf teas this could be up to 2 tablespoons.
  • Steep for 1-3 minutes. Experiment with steeping times, amount of tea and water temperature to personalize your tea experience. Rely on taste, not color. Lengthen subsequent steeping times for additional infusions.
Where to purchase? This tea can be purchased at specialty teashops and online sellers including .75 oz. tin for $7.95 or 4 oz. bag for $26.00.

-Recycled Coffee Bags -
Saving the Planet With Style

Peter Grimm Headwear is one of the fastest growing headwear companies in the country. Maybe you’ve seen the impressive designs adorn the heads of celebrities like Eva Longoria or Bono.

Now, Peter Grimm Headwear has gone eco-friendly with the launch of the new Green Grimm line featuring four Drifters (Cowboy Hats) and two Fedoras. The hats are created using coffee bean bags from the local coffee brew masters.


- Free Book Giveaway -
5 Lucky Readers Will Receive
A Free Autographed Copy!

Passion For Tea
Its History, Its Future, Its Health Benefits
By Beverly Rorem

Beverly Rorem’s Passion For Tea provides wisdom by the cupful. If we all make a high quality tea an everyday luxury as Beverly recommends, we are sure to grow healthier and happier and more at ease in this world and this life we share.
–John Harney, Master Tea Blender & Founder, Harney & Sons Fine Teas

Tea “is no longer just a beverage enjoyed by little old ladies.” It is with this sentiment that Ms. Rorem opens her new book, Passion For Tea. In twelve accessible and easy-to-read chapters, the author delivers a brief beginner’s guide to tea. The first three chapters are devoted to explaining the different types of teas and providing instruction about brewing the perfect cup of tea. The remaining chapters briefly touch on the world’s tea-drinking cultures while gently addressing their contribution to the historical significance of tea. The book concludes with a brief chapter on the health benefits of tea. A good source for those looking for a beginner’s guide to tea.

About the Author:
Beverly Rorem
is a student of tea, having enjoyed it in more than twenty different countries and still learning. Born in Illinois, she lived in San Francisco for twenty years, then moved to Oklahoma City where she is a freelance writer, creative writing teacher, essayist, and slowest-writing novelist in the world.

Published by AuthorHouse. May 4, 2008. Paperback; 104 pages; 8 1⁄2 x 11. ISBN 978-1434362940. Available in bookstores August 2008. For more information visit To order go to


- Who Killed the Darling Duke -
of Darjeeling?

Whodunit Fun For Tea Lovers

Maxine's Mystery Tea Party creations provide everything you need to host a murder mystery party for your family and friends. In this tea party game everyone has a role to play, a unique identity, and a script—but only one of the participants is guilty!

Designed to accommodate 8 guests, a humorous script, with costume suggestions, is sent along with the invitation to each guest (it is not necessary to memorize the script). Fancy Frou Frou, Devon Shire, and Earlene Grey are joined with Lady Tipton, CEO of the Tipton Tea Co., Rose T. Cups, Paris Hall, and Lacy Frills. Each tells of their relationship with the dastardly Duke and their motive for doing him in. But of course, each one pleads their innocence. At the end of the party, a vote is taken to determine who had the most convincing motive. They then receive their "just rewards", a gift from the hostess.

The program comes complete with hostess instructions, invitations, place cards and nametags. The place cards are numbered, so each knows when to tell their story. Here’s a new, fun, interactive party that your guests will love. $24.50 (plus shipping and handling.)

- 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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