coffee and tea march 2007
coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival
- Better Than Sex Tea -
Big Hit at Coffee & Tea Festival NYC

One might say the Metropolitan Pavilion, home to the second annual Coffee & Tea Festival NYC, was really buzzing on April 28th & 29th. Was it because the festival attendees were hyped-up on caffeine from sampling too many different coffees and teas? Or was it because of the Better Than Sex tea samples being poured by Tay Tea? Or both?

Attendees enjoyed sampling many different coffees and teas from around the globe, for sure. They loved the informative lectures on coffee cupping, matcha, creating the perfect espresso, and afternoon tea etiquette.They loved meeting the author of Tasting Club, Dina Cheney and the author of The Teahouse Fire, Ellis Avery. They also l-o-v-e-d  Better Than Sex tea.While walking around the festival you couldn’t help but hear people whisper “have you tried that better than sex tea?”

tay teaWhat is "better than sex" tea? It is a Rooibos blend with organic farm-grown peppermint, marigold petals, and bits of Belgian dark chocolate. Delightful as a dessert tea, this tea is 100% caffeine free and packed with 50 times more anti-oxidants than Green Tea! It was created by artisanal tea blender Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea. “Better Than Sex was the most requested sample at my booth. I ran out the first day and had to restock quickly,” said Ordoubadi. Totally satisfying and uniquely delicious, the taste of this tea is almost mystical, some might say magical. Nini takes the time to get the blending just right to create a wonderful and satisfying sensation in every cup.

TAY, the oldest word for tea in Chinese, is a company that specializes in creating an exclusive line of hand-blended artisanal teas. Founded by tea blender Nini Ordoubadi in 2003, this New York-based company only uses ingredients tay teathat are 100% natural, organic or wild-crafted. Many of the herbs and botanicals that are used to blend the teas are grown on Nini’s organic farm in upstate New York. “My tea blends are complex and layered. Some have as many as fourteen elements" said Ordoubadi. TAY’s signature teas enhance any lifestyle and invite one to embark on the timeless ritual of drinking tea.

Check out the beautiful collection of teas at While there you’ll find another best-seller, Persian Rose (Nini’s signature tea, her first blend, and her personal favorite.)

This tea is an absolute must for anyone in love with black tea and roses. A nostalgic blend of ceylon bergamot-scented tea blended with organic rosepetals and rosebuds, green cardamom and borage. It is a perfect afternoon tea. (

Tay Tea and Nini Ordoubadi will be featured in the August issue of "Everyday with Rachel Ray." Watch for it. It hits newsstands mid-July.

- A Cupping Of Coffee -

Grassy. Muddy. Spicy. These are not words commonly used by average coffee lovers to describe their morning coffee, but they are extremely important terms when used by trained professionals in a coffee cupping.

coffee cuppingIn order to fully understand the minor differences between coffee growing regions from around the world, it is important to taste the coffee side-by-side. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), “cupping is a method of systematically evaluating the aroma and taste of coffee beans. It is often used by growers, buyers and roasters to assess the quality of a particular coffee sample.” The process requires the cuppers to adhere to an exacting set of brewing standards and a formal step-by-step evaluation. 

Similar to wine tasting, cupping allows the participant to evaluate and compare different coffees and their characteristics. According to industry professionals, a trained cupper generally looks at six characteristics:

  • Fragrance -- the smell of beans after grinding
  • Aroma -- the smell of ground-up beans after being steeped in water
  • Taste -- the flavor of the coffee
  • Nose -- the vapors released by the coffee in the mouth
  • Aftertaste -- the vapors and flavors that remain after swallowing
  • Body -- the feel of the coffee in the mouth

jalima coffeeRarely seen in public, attendees at the 2nd annual Coffee & Tea Festival NYC had an experience that they will never forget. A few lucky audience members were selected to participate in a coffee cupping led by Marcela Zuchovicki from Jalima Coffee and Patrick Spillman from Fresh Direct.  During this cupping, the participants received instruction on how to evaluate several different coffees from around the world, including:  Columbia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Yemen, and Indonesia.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out The Basics of Cupping by Ted Lingle or Cupping 101 on DVD. Both are available at

- Pourtensious Lighting -
Celebrating the Art of Eric Sternfels

pourtensious lightingSimple gravity animates a twist of electrical wire and chain to become a pouring liquid in the viewer's mind. With both precision and whimsy, artist/architect Eric Sternfels skillfully creates a unique yet functional art piece out of vintage components.  “I create these pieces not just to amuse those who see them, but to steer focus onto the handsome form and design of the everyday vessels of bygone days,” said Sternfels.

Orphaned cups and kettles, percolators and plates are joined into harmonious tableaus of American domesticity. The results are curiously both classic and funky. The lighting is at home in both traditional and contemporary spaces.

Sternfels' work springs from a sense that inanimate objects possess their own soul and history. When speaking about the pieces he collects for his work, the artist believes the energy of those that designed pourtensious lightingor made them, of those that have used and enjoyed them, and of those that now take the time to see them again in new light all collaborate to give us pleasure and satisfaction.

Perhaps this philosophy was born when, as a young boy, Eric was given the household chore of dusting the bookshelves and china cabinets. After swiping a dust cloth around the objects, his mother explained that each thing must be picked up and dusted as well. And to emphasize the care with which these special items needed to be handled, she methodically told him the history of each cup, saucer, candlestick and bookend. Whether about where or how the objects were made, or who had given or purchased these objects, Eric had a new appreciation for what had previously been "the Untouchables" in the family living room.

pourtensious lightingMr. Sternfels received a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. While there refined his design skills and developed his historical perspective on patterns and styles. In Eric's view, the making of Architecture--like his collages and light sculptures--requires the skillful blending of carefully selected components into compositions that delight and satisfy us.  He currently resides in Philadelphia where he lives in an historic mill worker’s home (ca. 1840) and works in a renovated textile mill (ca. 1880) with dozens of professional and amateur artists and craftsmen.

In addition to the creative lighting designs, Eric is also about to launch a line of coffee and tea themed note cards.  You can view his work at his online gallery: Eric’s talent is amazing and his artwork is truly “tea lightful”.

Wonder where the company name came from? Mr. Sternfels entitled his lighting business "Pourtensious" to describe the essential inspiration that makes his sculptures so unique: The pouring illusion of the electrical wire literally hangs together with the tension of the supporting chain.  Furthermore, Eric couldn't resist the pun derived from the word portentous, one of whose dictionary meanings is "amazing; prodigious". When visiting his website, you'll note the artist delight in identifying all his fixtures with punny names such as "Steeping Beauty" or "Ceylon Chainy, Jr."

- Something's Brewing -
...But It Is Not Coffee Or Tea

On May 19, 2007 the biggest names in the craft beer industry will gather for a tasting event at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY to celebrate American Craft Beer Week. According to the Brewers Association, “American Craft Beer Week (May 14-20, 2007) is designated as a time for all legal-drinking-age Americans to explore and celebrate the flavorful beverages produced by our small, traditional and independent brewers.”

spring craft beer festivalLike specialty coffee and tea producers, craft brewers are innovative, independent, and passionate about their product. Craft brewers mix historic styles with unique twists to develop brand new styles—producing flavorful beers that combine classic European recipes with bold American innovation.

More than 50 craft beer industry leaders, including many local favorites, will be on hand for the Spring Craft Beer Festival on May 19th, among them:  Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, Southampton, Stone, Dogfish Head, Crop Circle, John Harvard’s Brew House, Kelso of Brooklyn, and Sam Adams.
“America’s small brewers are part of a movement, a shift in consciousness, and the trading up of what beer people drink,” stated Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association for America’s small brewers. “American Craft Beer Week will highlight craft brewers and the beer drinkers that support this grassroots effort.”

spring craft beer festival

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the event website at:
- Book Buzz -
Afternoon Tea:
Tips, Terms and Traditions
Written by Ellen Easton

Red Wagon Press announces the newest book by Ellen Easton

ellen eastonPinkies up?  Gloves on or off?  What is the proper way to eat a scone?

In this user friendly compendium for both the novice and experienced tea drinker alike, you’ll find: how to’s, etiquette, FAQs about afternoon tea, serving styles, tea and silver, tea time checklist and so much more.

Published by Red Wagon Press. 5 x 7 gift size, 72 pages, paperback. To order: $20.00 postpaid, continental US. Include your name, address, and phone number with your check made payable to Red Wagon Press (US dollars only).  Send your order to:  Red Wagon Press 45 East 89th Street, Suite 20A, New York, NY  10128-1256.

- Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC -
April 12-13, 2008

coffee and tea festival

Don't miss the 3rd Annual Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC in 2008! Call for exhibitor information:

A special thank you goes out to all of the exhibitors, sponsors, and partners of the Coffee & Tea Festival 2007!

jalima coffee tavalon
fresh cup real coffee corp
sympatea freeplay foundation
mighty leaf teas monin syrups and sauces
adagio teas celestial seasonings
coffee cow amai tea and bake shop
ceylon treasures bellagio sipping chocolate
la marzocco moon doggie coffee
harrisons granja honey
taylors of harrogate tay tea
sheer bliss t bag designs
planet canit karen eland
dina cheney ellis avery
caffe acapella red-bee
saras tea caddie ellen easton
tea gallery sofo tea
chi tea jaya teas
nellys alfajores best friends cocoa
mint brook meadow teas chip n dipped
fretzels georgia's french bake shop
dogfish head craft brewed ales mary chocolates
coffee bean bears pourtensious lighting
captain teao just different specialty teas
keiko green tea globetrends
glee gum power pops
genesis soap shoppe
cd101 the new york times