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

cup for education

Coffee & Tea Festival to Create Big Buzz in Philly

Starfish Junction Productions, producer of Coffee & Tea Festival:  NYC, is getting ready to pump caffeine into the veins of Philadelphia area residents at the 1st Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: Philly.  This international extravaganza is being held on Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd and 3rd, 2013 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.  Producers are planning for more than fifty local, national, and international exhibitors.  

The Coffee & Tea Festival: Philly is modeled after the successful Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC, which was featured on the Food Network’s hit show Unwrapped and has been running annually since 2006.  “The Coffee & Tea Festival is a celebration of everything related to coffee and tea,” said Kristyn Noren, event manager at Starfish Junction.  “It is quite a unique show in that it is open to the public and the trade.  We’ve had a sold out show the last few years in New York City so we’re expanding the show into another great east coast city where the coffee and tea culture is strong and growing,” she added.  The lineup of exhibitors, including national and local key players, is sure to delight all attendees.  Like the New York City show, the Philly show hopes to become the area’s premier tasting event. “Helping exhibitors turn attendees into customers is what we do best,” boasted Noren.

The event will include both free and fee-based programming sessions each day.  “There is something for everyone, both coffee addicts and tea lovers, at all levels,” added Noren who is hard at work finalizing the event programming.  Some of the most popular programming sessions in New York covered topics as varied as Home Roasting, Green Tea 101, Cooking with Coffee and Tea, Starting a Coffee & Tea Business, The Health Aspects of Tea & Coffee, Pairing Tea and Honey, Coffee and Chocolate, and Creating Coffee and Tea Infused Cocktails.  Programming details will be announced shortly and posted on the event website. 

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. 

Tickets, which include tastings from the international lineup of coffee and tea exhibitors as well as attendance at select programming sessions, can be purchased at the event website for $20 each.   Goodie bags will be distributed to the first 1,000 attendees each day.



Blue Buddha: Functional Beverage Blends

So why exactly does a 21st century New England mom decide to encapsulate 5,000 years of ancient wisdom in a bottle? As a yoga teacher, integrative therapist and student of Ayurveda, Kris Whelan saw how the stress of modern life and poor nutrition led to a body and mind out of balance. Blending herbs with tea to help support mind and body with essences of fruits and flowers for a delicious taste became Kris’ passion.  She knew she was onto something when her kids asked for more.

While traveling in 2001, Kris Whelan found a painting of a blue Buddha and was so moved by it, she put it in her yoga studio. It filled her space with a sense of peace and calm.

Eight years passed. While attending a lecture by Robert Thurman, Columbia Professor of Buddhist Studies and student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,  Kris learned of Blue Buddha as a figure known as the "Medicine Buddha"or “Herb-Heavy Buddha”, using plants and herbs to create drinkable elixers to help keep people in a healthy balance, healing not only the body but the mind and spirit as well.

Newly inspired, she turned to Blue Buddha to find the best blends of herbs, instilling 5000 years of wisdom in every bottle of Blue Buddha Herbal Tea.  Blue Buddha beverages are natural, ready-to-drink teas packed with functional herbs providing health-conscious consumers with a better choice.  Each variety is crafted with proprietary blends that function to support the mind and body, including adaptogenic ingredients. The brand is based upon a philosophy that combines 5,000 years of wisdom in a bottle drawing upon Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese, Tibetan and native American herbal practices with key benefits, according to the company, supported by clinical studies.


Hibiscus Raspberry / Energy Without Caffeine
A delightful caffeine-free green tea with overtones of hibiscus, raspberry, citrus and a unique blend of flavorful Ayurvedic and Eastern functional herbs for a sophisticated taste experience to revitalize your energy without caffeine.

Blueberry Green Tea / Good For Your Skin
Naturally restore your skin’s glow with every sip! Smooth caffeine-free green tea with the added mild sweetness of berries and a taste of lemon, then blended with Ayurvedic herbs for a sophisticated and thirst quenching, flavor experience.

Caffeine-free Rooibos Tea with chamomile lavender / Calm with Focus
Regain your inner peace with our delightful caffeine-free chamomile and lavender to a rare combination of functional Ayurvedic herbs for a relaxing, flavorful experience.

Elderberry Lemon / Support for Immunity
Green tea infused with flavorful functioning herbs with overtones of lemon, elder flower, rose hips and lavender for a sophisticated taste experience to counter the negative effects of stress.

Currently available at specialty shops and chain stores including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Raleys, the teas are Earth Kosher, Fair Trade Certified,™ come in recyclable glass bottles with paper labels, are only about 35 calories per bottle (lightly sweetened with organic stevia and organic Fair Trade Certified can sugar).  You can find out more at


Etsy Favorite: Silver Teapot & Cup of Green Tea Pendant

If you don’t know about Etsy, you are really missing something great.  Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Through a very easy-to-navigate website, the folks at Etsy connect consumers with talented artisans who create all kinds of wonderful handmade goods.

Etsy provides artists with the technology they need to showcase their creations and make a living, offering consumers the opportunity to admire and purchase some truly unique, one-of-a-kind treasures.

We came across this must-have pendant by a Hawaiian designer who operates her Etsy page under the name Lychee Kiss. 

If you love to drink green tea, here's a whimsical silver kettle pouring green tea into a white cup and saucer with a green leaf design.   This necklace is of high quality and durability, capable of constant everyday wear. The small cable chain is made of an anti-tarnish sterling silver plating over brass, which is thin and delicate, yet very strong. The teapot is a 3-D antique silver over brass charm. The teacup/saucer are made of ceramic. The poured sparkling green tea drops are all Swarovski crystal beads in green. All components are silver plated.

Measurement: Chain is 18" (shown on images that was cut into 18"), pendant including the loop is 1.5" inches. *recommend to wear long chain because this tea pendant is very large and bulk.It sells for $30 (plus shipping) and like many of the handmade treasures at Etsy, it is available is very limited quantities.  Click here to visit the Etsy page to find out more about ordering this item.  Check out the thousands of wonderful offerings at


Brewing Basics Workshops

After the successful launch of coffee classes in NYC and Durham last month, Counter Culture Coffee will offer its Brewing Basics education workshop in Asheville, Atlanta, Boston, Durham and NYC this month (see below for dates and addresses).

The lab is part of Counter Culture's Counter Intelligence program, created to educate both the industry and consumers on everything from the origins and history of coffee to best techniques for brewing and more. The NYC workshop will be taught by Erin McCarthy, a member of Counter Culture's NYC team who brewed "the world's best cup of coffee" last month, earning the title of World Brewers Cup Champion in Melbourne, Australia.

Interested participants may sign up here for the lab, which will be held from 10am to 12pm at the following Training Center locations:

- Asheville, NC (June 29th and July 20th) - 77 Broadway Street

- Atlanta, GA (July 20th) - King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta Street NW, Suite m210

- Boston, MA (July 20th) - 374 Somerville Avenue

- Durham, NC (July 20th) - 4911 South Alston Avenue

- New York, NY (July 20th) - 37 W. 26th Street, Suite 400

- Philadelphia, PA (July 20th) - 2149 Unit B Catharine Street

In this two-hour workshop ($75), participants will explore the essential methods for brewing great coffee at home, including developing a coffee-brewing recipe, identifying the appropriate grind size, and establishing the importance of brewing time. Guided coffee tastings will reinforce key brewing principles, and instructors will demonstrate techniques and best practices for pourover brewing. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to take home a $15 web store voucher, a Counter Culture ceramic pour

Counter Culture Coffee is the much-loved coffee roaster dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting and delicious coffees in the world. The company's vision is to pursue coffee perfection by creating partnerships dedicated to environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability throughout the coffee chain, improving the natural environment and operating efficiently to minimize environmental impact. Counter Culture has eight training centers.


Hula Girl Kona Coffee In Outer Space

What young boy doesn’t dream of being an astronaut?  Well there are three young men at Rice University who don’t want to be astronauts, but are intent on creating a great cup of coffee for the space program.  

Nauts both astro- and cosmo- complain about the current coffee system's viscosity and mouth feel. Without the skilled hand of a well-trained barista, the International Space Station’s coffee offerings were, well, “sluggish.”  Like at home, you would want something that's balanced and delicious. If space is the final frontier, having a drinkable brew must surely be one of mankind's top research priorities….

Three innovative college students named Robert Johnson, Benjamin Young and Colin Shaw (Class of 2016) from Rice University (Houston, TX) are determined to change the galactic balance in the name of good taste. With the help of Hula Girl Coffee, NASA and the Texas Space Grant Consortium, these three young entrepreneurs have developed a whole new way to inject hot water, sugar, and cream in Hula Girl Freeze Dried instant coffee pouches. Watch this incredible video:

Space Coffee Gets an Upgrade

According to a recent story in their hometown paper, NASA has told them that it might have other uses, like any time a precise amount of liquid has to be dispensed without the help of gravity,for example with IVs. You can buy a box of twelve Hula Girl Coffee freeze dried sachets for $8 plus shipping,if you want coffee that is “out of this world."


Click here to request info about the 2013 Philly show. -->

Click here to see photos of the SOLD OUT 2013 NYC show!

<-- Click here to request info about the 2014 NYC show.