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

cup for education

More Than 8,000 Gathered in Brooklyn for
Coffee and Tea Festival

Attendance records were shattered.  Exhibitors reported record sales.  Attendees left hyper-caffeinated and happy.   “We are thrilled,” said Starfish Junction event manager, Kristyn Dolan. “This year, the show’s 10th anniversary, was our best show yet.  In the last week, I have received such positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees.  Brooklyn really showed us the love.”

Over 8,000 attendees passed through the doors of the Brooklyn Expo Center in the trendy Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.  The varied exhibitors and special guest speakers welcomed coffee and tea lovers from as far away as China and Canada for a fun-filled day.  “We could not have pulled off this event if it wasn’t for an incredible army of volunteers, many of whom have been volunteering with us for five or more years,” added Dolan.

With just a few days rest, Dolan is already busy planning for the 2016 show.  With the help of her staff, support of the sponsors, and the enthusiasm of the exhibitors, another great show is in the works.

Event Sponsors:

Exhibitors and Partners:

Special Guests:

Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster and Co-Owner of Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Tea Schools Cheryl Kingan, Green Coffee Buyer, Café Grumpy
Liam Singer, Head Roaster, Café Grumpy Ami Bhansali, Founder of Chai Diaries
Ben Gordon & Matt Bachmann, Co-Founders, Wandering Bear Coffee Co. Clark Le Compte, Head Roaster, Toby's Estate Coffee
Gail Gastelu, Producer of; Publisher, The Tea House Times Shiho Kanamaru, Founder, Cha Do Raku
Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier, L’Espalier, Boston, MA Joseph Uhl, Founder, Joseph Wesley Black Tea

VIP Goodie Bag Patrons:


Next stop on the Coffee and Tea Festival circuit is the Philadelphia show, being held on November 7-8, 2015.


Bigelow® Tea Introduces New Limted Edition Girl Scout Cookie™ Flavored Teas!

The Bigelow Tea Company pioneered the specialty tea category 70 years ago. The three-generational company takes pride in its heritage and successful growth from a one-product, entrepreneurial venture into America’s leading specialty tea company. Producing 1.7 billion tea bags annually, the Bigelow Tea line includes more than 130 varieties of Flavored, Traditional, Green, Organic, Herbal, Decaffeinated and Iced teas – including its flagship specialty tea flavor, “Constant Comment”®, an all-time American favorite.

Girl Scout Cookies® are high on the list of America’s favorite treats. Now the Bigelow Tea family is pleased to announce two delicious new tea flavors inspired by Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mints® and Caramel & Coconut.  

These delicious teas are made possible by a licensing arrangement with Girl Scouts of the USA® and combine the renowned flavor blending expertise of the Bigelow Tea Company with the time-honored exciting Girl Scout Cookie flavors we all know and love.

Timed to coincide with Bigelow Tea’s 70th Anniversary celebration – and traditional Girl Scout Cookie season, these irresistible tea flavors will be available for a limited time only.

“Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout,” enthuses Cindi Bigelow, the company’s third-generation President & CEO. “As a proud Girl Scout alumna, our two new tea temptations reflect the Bigelow Tea blenders' never-ending quest to delight consumers with up-to-the-minute flavor innovations in a way that’s very special to me. These tea flavors, in addition to being a part of the Bigelow quality tradition, will extend the enjoyment of Girl Scout Cookies into a new category, with an inspired beverage that warms body and soul and brings a smile to your face!”

A zero-calorie indulgence, these new teas are a total taste immersion. Each blend delivers smooth, indulgent taste with a wonderfully rich finish – amazingly, at zero calories each.

Bigelow Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Herbal Tea:  This caffeine free tea delivers the perfectly balanced mint and chocolate flavor of the Girl Scouts’ famous Thin Mints cookies. The flavor profile is as rich and refreshing as the chocolaty mint cookies that have become an all-time American favorite. This herbal formula is deliciously relaxing.
Bigelow Girl Scouts® Caramel & Coconut Black Tea:  This superb black tea blend offers a delectable taste combination of luscious caramel and coconut. Like the Girl Scout Cookie that inspired it, this tea is a delightfully satisfying treat – a little reward to enjoy during a busy day. Its black tea content offers a dash of energy.

Both blends come in boxes of 20 individually wrapped tea bags, presented in foil pouches that ensure flavorful freshness. These are gluten-free, sugar-free and Kosher-certified – making them a welcome treat for people with dietary restrictions. These are produced according to the Bigelow family’s planet-conscious principles of SustainabiliTEA.

Bigelow’s new Girl Scout Cookie-inspired teas can be found on free-standing displays at grocery stores nationwide and at In-store, the MSRP is $3.99 per 20-bag box.


Distant Lands Coffee and its La Minita Green Coffee Trading Division Honored as Supplier of the Year

Distant Lands Coffee and its green coffee trading division, La Minita, were named the 2014 Supplier of the Year by The Second Cup Ltd. during the company’s annual Franchisee Convention last month.

“We’ve had a wonderful relationship with Second Cup for 22 years, and are very grateful to receive this award,” said Russ Kramer, President of La Minita. “We feel that our passion for producing and sourcing the finest coffees in the world is directly in line with Second Cup’s mission to serve the highest quality coffee to all their customers.
The Second Cup Ltd. is a Canadian specialty coffee retailer operating over 345 franchised and company owned cafes across Canada serving more than 1 million customers each week. The company's vision is to be the coffee brand most passionately committed to quality and innovation.

This is the second time that Distant Lands has received Second Cup’s Supplier of the Year award. They previously won the award in 2000. This year, the Second Cup franchisee convention was held in San Diego. It was widely attended by Second Cup franchising partners.

“Distant Lands and La Minita have consistently been one of our top partners and this award was earned by their willingness to go above and beyond in supplying us with exceptional coffee,” said Alix Box, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Second Cup Ltd. “Distant Lands is an incredibly important part of our premium coffee experience, including providing us with coffee from their renowned Hacienda La Minita Plantation, which I had the pleasure of visiting recently. I was able to experience first-hand why it is widely recognized for producing one of the finest coffees in the world.”

Beyond providing the finest specialty coffee from their own farms in Costa Rica, Distant Lands also sources high quality coffees from around the world for Second Cup. Additionally, La Minita plays a very important role in Second Cup’s education program by hosting their annual franchisee expedition to Costa Rica.


Tea Association of the USA Offers Home Brewing Guidelines

For Soothing Hot Tea:
The Four Golden Rules for a delicious cup of hot tea: (1) use a teapot, (2) bring fresh, cold tap water to a full boil (Note: If your water is heavily chlorinated or contains other objectionable odors, filter before boiling for best tasting tea); (3) use one teaspoon or one tea bag per cup; (4) pour boiling water over tea and brew by the clock 3 to 5 minutes and serve!

For the best flavor, preheat the teapot with a little hot water prior to use and cover your teapot with a cozy to retain heat during the brewing process.

Refreshing Iced Tea:
For small quantities, proceed as for hot tea and pour over ice. For large quantities, prepare concentrate as follows:

Bring one quart of cold water to a roiling boil. Remove from heat and add 8-10 teabags per quart of brewed tea as desired. Steep 3-5 minutes and pour over remaining cold water or ice cubes. To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with ice, garnish or sweeten as desired.

Special Guidelines for Green Tea:
When water comes to a boil, remove from the source of heat and allow to sit for ten minutes. Pour this hot water over the Green Tea and allow to brew for approximately one minute and serve. (Note: The brewing times may be shortened or lengthened according to your taste)

Special Guidelines for ‘Big” Oolongs & White Teas:
The best thing to say when dealing with any tea is – the larger and more delicate looking the leaf, the lower the water temperature. Usually, you will want to use between 180-190 degree water for big oolongs and white teas. Black teas need much hotter water for proper extraction. Boiling water will scorch a bold leaf like white tea.

Time is a little different since oolongs will need to steep a bit longer than white tea – oolongs 5-7 minutes, white tea 3-4 minutes. Of course, all of this may be modified according to your own personal taste. These instructions are only to be used as a starting point.

Everyone should adjust time, temperature and amount of tea up and down until they find their perfect pot.


Kauai Coffee® Selected as "Best Hawaii Grown Coffee Brand"

Kauai Coffee® was voted as the “Best Hawaii Grown Coffee Brand” by readers of Hawai’i Magazine in the publication’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards issue.

“We appreciate Hawai’i Magazine readers for their ongoing support of Kauai Coffee,” said Wayne Katayama, President of Kauai Coffee. “With the large number of quality coffee brands here in Hawaii, we are extremely pleased our coffee was favored by consumers again this year.”

“Winning this recognition for the second consecutive year is a tribute to the many hard working and deeply caring people on the Kauai Coffee estate in Kalaheo who plant, harvest, mill, blend and roast quality coffee beans.”

“This is a testament to the businesses that place in the Readers’ Choice Awards, as our readers need to recall the businesses they vote for, no lists, multiple choice or recommendations are provided,” said Dora Culahara, senior account manager of Hawai’i Magazine.

Culahara added that the ranking means Kauai Coffee’s fame extends well beyond the Islands.  Although Hawai’i Magazine distributes throughout the Hawaiian Islands, it is a subscriber-based publication and a vast majority of the en-route readership comes from paid subscribers all over the continental United States and Canada, she said.  

Kauai Coffee is available in traditional ground and whole bean bags, as well as, single serve Filter Cups™ for use in all Keurig K-CUP®* brewers. New single serve varieties introduced this year include Coconut Caramel Crunch and Vanilla Macadamia Nut.


TATRATEA: Tea Cocktails

* TATRATEA won the Gold at San Francisco World Spirit Competition
* 2013 double Gold @ Beverly hills world Spirit Competition
* TATRATEA won the Silver at San Francisco World Spirits Competition
* 2013 Gold @ Craft World Spirit Competition

From Slovakia’s snowcapped High Tatra Mountain Range comes a spirited spin on the most traditional of beverages – tea. TATRATEA Original Tea Liqueurs unite the finest brewed black Assam tea with a number of other hand-picked botanical ingredients in a unique fermentation process. The TATRATEA process begins with the careful selection of premium teas, herbs and other ingredients.

Each flavor of TATRATEA typically blends some 27 ingredients such as black or white tea, gentian, lemon balm, St. John’s wort, cinnamon and clove and others. After a long steeping process, the resulting tea and herbal base is blended with fruit extracts and distillates and allowed to mature further. Finally, the mixture is combined with the region’s justly famous smooth and balanced mountain spring water, along with a refined alcohol and inverted sugar concentrate. The mixture will again mature before a final filtration and bottling.

TATRATEA brings tea to the spirits category, in a product that is as versatile as it is modern. Of course, TATRATEA makes a delicious addition to hot tea in keeping with tradition, but it can also be sipped chilled neat, on the rocks, or in an endless variety of chilled cocktails.  Available in a variety of flavors including peach, citrus, original and range in proof from 22% to 72%.

If you are over 21, you may want to try some of these yummy cocktails, like the oh, soooooo delicious Peach Lemonade (1.5 oz TATRATEA Peach & Lemonade) or the runner up favorite from our “test kitchen,” the citrus mojto (watch video here)

The Citrus Mojito:
2 oz TATRATEA Citrus 32%
6 pieces of lime muddle
spoon of sugar
soda water
1 oz TATRATEA 42% Peach
1/4 simple syrup
2 dash of aromatic bitters
top it off with prosecco

Great for summertime entertaining or year-round enjoyment.  Lots of great recipes and more…