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

cup for education

TOMS®, TOMS Roasting Co., Welcomed by Three Avocados to the Coffee for Clean Water Movement

TOMS®, well known for their One for One® model of giving a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair purchased, recently announced a new One for One® model: TOMS Roasting Co. This new One for One® coffee will provide clean water for one person for one week for each bag of coffee purchased.

Three Avocados is a non-profit coffee company that has been providing clean water for each bag of coffee of its Uganda Bugisu purchased since 2010, reaching over 20,000 people with clean drinking water. “I was thrilled to hear that a company like TOMS® had joined the coffee for clean water movement. In the end, it helps bring clean water to more of the roughly 768 million people in need”, says Koenig.

Featured Seasonal Roasts
Each region produces a signature flavor profile, but they all have one thing in common: a proud, longstanding tradition of great coffee. The beans are roasted locally in the U.S.A. – a custom, fine-tailored process to illuminate the defining characteristics of each region's harvest.  These and other coffees sell online for $12.99 for a 12oz. bag.

“Over our four years, we have found that $10 can provide clean water for one person for life, so for us, every four bags can accomplish that. I’m thrilled to see more attention brought to concept of coffee providing clean drinking water,” Koenig stated.

Three Avocados has funded 16 clean water projects through International Lifeline Fund, and is excited to announce a project through Compassion International in 2014. “Compassion International has a great program, Water of Life, which they are just getting started in Uganda. We’re thrilled to provide funding to help them reach over 1,000 people with their life-saving water filtration units,” says Koenig.
In 2013, Three Avocados launched a new coffee product from Nicaragua, as well. Koenig states, “Net proceeds from our Nicaraguan product will help educate children in Nicaragua. With clean water being very accessible in Nicaragua, education is the next step to providing a positive future for Nicaraguan children.”

Three Avocados is a non-profit coffee company, with 100% of their net proceeds providing clean water in Uganda and education in Nicaragua. To learn more, or purchase online, visit Blog:


NYC Readies for Sold Out Coffee And Tea Festival

The 9th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival New York City will be returning to the 69th Regiment Armory this weekend, March 22nd and 23rd to another sold-out crowd.  “This year we have another sold out show,” said Kristyn Dolan, event manager at Starfish Junction, producers of the event.  “Over 7,000 attendees will be bustling about to learn about and sample products from more 80 different companies.  This will definitely be our best show yet and will raise the bar as we plan for next year’s 10th anniversary show,” added Dolan.

Local, national, and international coffee and tea companies will be serving up tastings to lucky ticketholders, plus free seminars and fee-based special events, including delectable pairings, cupping technique instruction, and creating tea-infused cocktails, will be offered.

All the tickets for the NYC event have been pre-sold.  There will not be any tickets for sale at the door.  The show returns to the Philadelphia area this fall, November 8-9.  Tickets for this event will be on sale soon.


Red Rose Tea Names to Prevention's Annual List of
100 Cleanest Packaged Foods

Prevention has named Red Rose Tea’s Organic India Single Estate Blend Green Tea to its list of the 2014 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards. The award was given to the best, healthiest and cleanest boxed and bagged foods on the market that passed strict dietary and sustainability standards, according to Prevention. Red Rose Organic India Single Estate Blend Green Tea is one of three organic blends from Red Rose that are both Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic Certified.
“Red Rose Tea is very proud to be named to Prevention’s list of the Cleanest Packaged Foods in 2014,” said Debo Mukherjee, chief executive officer of Redco Foods Inc., manufacturer of Red Rose Tea. “For 120 years we’ve been committed to providing products that are developed in socially-responsible ways and that taste great. Our Organic India Single Estate Blend Green Tea has a unique blend of handpicked leaves from the Fair Trade Korakundah estate in Southern India that produces a distinct and delicately tasting green tea that appeals to both avid and casual tea drinkers.”

To be considered for Prevention’s annual 100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards, products had to meet the following criteria: GMO (genetically modified organisms)-free, have no more than 10 grams of added sugar, contain no more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving (400 milligrams for a meal), are BPA (Bisphenol A)-free if canned and, if fish, meet seafood sustainability requirements set by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The judging panel, composed of magazine editors and food experts, then taste-tested the products that met the criteria and picked the most nutritious and delicious choices. The full list can be found in the March 2014 print and iPad issues of Prevention as well as online at

The Korakundah estate, where Red Rose Organic India Single Estate Blend Green Tea leaves are grown, is one of the first producer members of Fair Trade in India, under Transfair. As part of its Fair Trade standards, employees and members of the surrounding communities are provided with hospital care, free of charge for employees, and a local school, in addition to many other programs. To learn more about the Korakundah estate and its efforts visit

Red Rose Organic India Single Estate Blend Green Tea retails for approximately $4.99 for a 20-count box. It is available in select grocery stores in the U.S., as well as online at


Kopi Luwak put to the Test in the US

Earlier this month, the Global Coffee Report issued an interesting story about the ever-controversial Kopi Luwak coffee.   So interesting, we had to share.

The famed Kopi Luwak has been put to the test against other conventionally processed coffees from the same region in a blind cupping session in the US and has been found wanting.  Seven cuppers – all experienced coffee professionals, with one certified Q-grader among them – sampled five Sumatran coffees, with two varieties of Kopi Luwak among them, as well as one control coffee in a session that was run in rough accordance with the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s cupping protocol.

The Kopi Luwak samples – made from coffee beans that have been partially digested by the Asian palm civet and as a result command prices of up to US $600 per pound – ranked first and fourth out of the six samples.

However, each of the five genuine coffees achieved scores within seven points of each other, with the top-ranking Sumatra Kopi Luwak Gayo only outranking the second-placed Sumatra Dolok Sanggul by 0.6 points.  Interestingly, none of the coffees cupped at the session, which was run by Jack Groot at JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland, Michigan, scored an average of 80 or more, which is the baseline score for specialty coffees.

The challenge was set by Groot, who had earlier stated that “Anyone who thinks that US $600 a pound coffee is US $586 better tasting than my excellent Sumatra Mandheling is either stupid, lying or both.”
After the challenge, Groot had this to say: “How do I follow up my bold and brash statements? Well, I believe I am proved right. The two Kopis scored at or lower than two other very good Sumatra coffees from the same region. It was a statistical dead heat.”

The final average scores from the session were:
Sumatra Kopi Luwak Gayo Aceh (civet digestion): 78.2
Sumatra Dolok Sanggul (wet hulled): 77.6
Sumatra Wahana Estate (dry processed): 75.4
Sumatra Kopi Luwak Lintong North Sumatra (civet digestion): 72.1
Sumatra Silimakuta (wet hulled): 71.5


Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) To Hold
nnual Meeting and Seminars 4/28

The Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) has announced its Annual Meeting and Seminars set to take place on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Trenton, New Jersey.  The organization meets quarterly to host a business meeting with networking opportunities and education and an extended annual meeting with more than one seminar topic.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. and will feature two speakers, refreshments, an afternoon tea luncheon, and business meeting for members. The MATBA Board of Officers biennial elections will also take place.

Presenters include Susanna Reppert Brill, owner of The Rosemary House and Linda Villano, co-founder/owner of NY-based tea importer, SerendipiTea.  Ms. Brill will present “Flavors and Uses of Herbal Teas,” a sensory program.  Ms. Villano will present a hands-on “Tea Blending Workshop” where each member will have an opportunity to create at least two of their own blended teas or tisanes.

MATBA was founded in 2005 and is currently welcoming both in region and out-of-region tea business members. All members may reserve and pay for their spot to attend the annual meeting at and must do so by April 1.

The MATBA Board arranges quarterly business meetings and offers education and networking, membership drives/meet-ups, and support to member businesses and their expertise.  These efforts facilitate the Association’s mission to advance the knowledge of tea.  Members of the MATBA Board include Kirsten Kristensen (Tea 4 U), President; Marcella Farina (The Tea and Hat Lady), Vice President; Kathleen Rogers (Set to a Tea), Treasurer; Darlene Meyers-Perry (The Tea Enthusiast’s Scrapbook), Secretary; and Gail Gastelu (The Tea House Times), Chief Information Officer, Press Liaison, and Advertising/Promotions Committee Chair.


Milano Coffee Takes Three Gold Medals at International Institute of Coffee Tasters Competition

When the refined palates of 26 international coffee judges gathered in Tokyo, Japan to determine the world’s best coffees in the fifth annual International Coffee Tasting Competition, three of Milano’s offerings were awarded the highest honors, making it the only Canadian coffee company to receive such recognition. 

“Last year we were over the moon with one gold medal, this year three is just incredible,” exclaimed the ever-passionate Brian Turko, Milano’s master roaster and espresso craftsman, who owns Milano Coffee with his wife, Linda.  “Over two decades at Milano we strive to pay homage to the Italian coffee tradition ofwith our own 21st Century, west coast innovations.  These awards are valuable recognition that we are on the right track.”

Now, Vancouverites can get a of taste gold at Milano Coffee’s Gastown and West 8th locations.  Experience the Gold Medal Espresso Tasting Trio, a flight of any three gold medal winning espressos ($6.50 for three 2oz cups).  Choose from La Futura, a luscious, aromatic and intricately complex blend of 10 premium Arabica varietals; Lucky 13, an extremely technical mix of 13 coffee bean varietals expertly blended to create a dynamic and delicious espresso fusion; Nuovo, a marriage of eight premium rain forest, small farm and shade grown varietals creating one to die for espresso blend; or Miscela Royal, a super-premium marriage of several extraordinarily rare varietals to consummate an espresso above all others. 

In a clear point of distinction over other coffee shops and roasters in Greater Vancouver, at any given time, guests can sample eight different espresso blends at Milano Coffee lounges on West 8th, and on Powell Street in Gastown.  For more information and café locations visit


TAZO® Launches Three Organic Teas Exclusively
Available at Whole Foods

This just in…TAZO® recently launched three organic teas exclusively available at Whole Foods – Organic Earl Grey Noir, Organic Earl Grey Blanc and Organic Sultry Strawberry. Each aromatic tea is artfully blended with the finest natural ingredients to give these classic black teas a flavorful twist. 
Enjoying a cup of TAZO® tea is like capturing a botanical garden in a cup. TAZO® blends their teas from among over 200 teas, spices and botanicals to create flavorful teas.
Discover these three exclusive Whole Foods flavors:

NEW! TAZO® Organic Earl Grey Blanc 
Vanilla notes in this black tea soften Earl Grey’s heady bergamot disposition.
NEW! TAZO® Organic Earl Grey Noir
A bold take on our aromatic blend of black tea and bergamot.
NEW! TAZO® Organic Sultry Strawberry
Subtle essence of strawberry suspended in black tea.

The complete line-up of TAZO Organic Teas includes Organic Chai, Organic Peachy Green, Organic Baked Cinnamon Apple, Organic Darjeeling, Organic Chun Mee Green, Organic Vanilla Rooibos Parfait, Organic Bramblewine, Organic Peach Cobbler, and Organic Spicy Ginger.  Each box containing 20 teabags sells for around $5.49.