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

cup for education

Countdown to Coffee & Tea Festival in PA

Get ready PA!  Coffee & Tea Festival returns to the greater Philadelphia area, but this year the show moves from November to December 2-3—just in time for holiday treats and specials.  The event will return to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, located minutes from Valley Forge National Historical Park.  The event is open to the public and the trade. Goodie bags will be distributed to the first 750 attendees each day.

Information about the 2017 Coffee & Tea Festival Valley Forge is available at the event website:



TEA LOVERS: Be a Part of (Recreated) History

The Boston Tea Party comes alive in December!  Taking place at Boston's Old South Meeting House and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the 244th Boston Tea Party Anniversary & Annual Reenactment offers the public an opportunity to experience one of America's most iconic public protests at one of the largest moving historical reenactments in the U.S.  More than 100 reenactors tell the story of The Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the evening of December 16, 1773 which sparked the American Revolution.

The event begins with a fiery tea tax debate at Old South Meeting House, the historic hall where the colonists gathered 244 years ago. Then, the public joins a procession led by fife & drummers to the waterfront and witnesses the Sons of Liberty destroy actual loose [expired] tea from London's East India Company!  NEW IN 2017: Inviting one and all to send loose tea to be thrown into Boston Harbor as part of this year's reenactment.

Send dried loose leaf tea (NO used tea bags) to: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, ATTN: 'Toss That Tea', 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210. Include name, address, e-mail & phone number. An official certificate of participation will be sent to each partaker sending tea. Deadline to send tea: December 1, 2017.  To learn more visit or call 1-855-(TEA)-1773. 


Coffee Grown by Honduras's José Abelardo Díaz Enamorado Judged "Best of the Best"

After rounds of blind tastings at the United Nations by an international independent jury of top culinary and coffee experts, illycaffè, the global leader in high-quality coffee and a pioneer of large-scale, directly-traded coffee, announced that coffee beans grown by Honduras's José Abelardo Díaz Enamorado were designated "Best of the Best" in the 2017 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. The top-scoring coffee lot was named from among 27 of the world's best lots from the 2016/2017 harvests in nine countries, at a gala last night attended by representatives of each grower and delegates from each nation. Coffee lovers will have a chance to judge -- and enjoy -- for themselves, when illy makes each of nine finalists beans available for purchase as a single origin next year at select illy Caffè locations.

In 1966, Díaz Enamorado and his wife, Daysi Clemencia Reyes, began planting coffee in the village of El Chimizal, with an initial area of 3.5 acres, in the region of Erandique. Alongside Honduras, coffee lots from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua and Rwanda were chosen to compete, following intensive analysis at illy's Quality Lab at its Trieste, Italy headquarters. All nine finalists will comprise the legendary illy blend, known for decades for its unparalleled richness, complexity and consistency.

"It is an honor and a pleasure to recognize Mr. Díaz Enamorado for his achievement, and that of all of our finalists, which is nothing less than producing the highest-quality coffee in the world through sustainable methods,'" said Andrea Illy, chairman of illycaffè.

The Ernesto llly International Coffee Award, named for illy's visionary, second-generation leader, recognizes excellence in raising coffee of the highest quality through sustainable means. The award celebrates his company's hand-in-hand work with farmers to realize its dream of offering the best coffee to the world.

The Award is rooted in a program that illy established nearly three decades ago in Brazil, originally called Premio de Qualidade do Cafè para Espresso, that drove illy's transformation to a company that today purchases nearly 100 percent of its coffee beans directly from producers able to meet its exacting quality standards, at a guaranteed premium over market prices averaging 30 percent. Today, illy stands as one of the world's major purchasers of top-quality Arabica coffee directly from producers, whereby most coffee continues to be purchased on commodity markets, which can guarantee neither consistent quality nor a living wage to the coffee chain's most important stakeholders: its 25 million families of growers.

This year, a panel of culinary and coffee experts from around the world took on the difficult task of choosing this year's "Best of the Best" bean, whose judgments were based on criteria including aromatic richness/complexity, balance/elegance and aroma intensity/strength.

  • Mark Pendergrast (Jury Chair): A best-selling American author, Pendergrast is known throughout the coffee community for his books Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World, and Beyond Fair Trade: How One Small Coffee Company Helped Transform a Hillside Village in Thailand.

  • Caterina Ceraudo: Ceraudo is the chef behind Michelin Star-holder restaurant Dattilo, located on her family's biodynamic farm in Calabria, Italy. She is known as one of Italy's preeminent chefs for her simple yet innovative takes on traditional Calabrian cuisine.

  • Pino Cuttaia: Cuttaia is the celebrated chef at the helm of the Licata, Italy-based restaurant La Madia, which he opened with his wife in 2000. Known for his interpretation of Sicilian cuisine, Cuttaia has received two Michelin Stars.

  • Kerri Goodman: Founder and Publisher of CoffeeTalk magazine, Goodman has more than 20 years of experience in the coffee industry. Beyond her editorial work, Goodman sits on the board of several non-profit coffee organizations.

  • Richard Martin: Martin serves as editorial director of Food Republic, which he launched in 2011 and now reaches millions of food lovers every month. He was a founding editor of the groundbreaking culture magazine Complex.

  • Denise Mazzei: Mazzei is an assistant professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America, and an alum of the school herself. An entrepreneur at heart, Denise owned her own foodservice business for eight years.

  • Josimar Melo: A food and wine journalist for leading Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Melo publishes a widely anticipated annual guide to cuisine in São Paulo, and presides over the Latin America Jury in Brazil for the World's 50 Best Restaurants.

  • Fernando Arturo Osorio Rodriguez: Director of Quality at Colombia's Almacafe S.A. – FNC, and an appointee to the Colombian National Coffee Grower's Federation, Rodriguez is deeply expert in coffee's numerous physical and sensorial properties.

  • Ansha Yassin Suileman: Ethiopia-based Suileman is the managing director for CO QUA trading plc. She is a coffee expert in every aspect, specializing in coffee quality inspection, among numerous other skills.

illy brought representatives of all 27 finalists to New York City for Monday's proceedings at the United Nations, followed by a gala at the New York Public Library to honor the extraordinary achievements of all growers. In addition to "Best of the Best," a "Coffee Lovers Choice" award, sponsored by illy partner United Airlines, determined by blind consumer tastings, was awarded to Juan Carlos Alvarez from Costa Rica. Katie Lee, renowned chef, cookbook author and co-host of Food Network's "The Kitchen," served as the gala's emcee.


Cusa Tea Introduces World's First Premium Organic Instant Tea

Rip…Pour…Sip…Relax…Developed by devoted tea drinker and natural products industry veteran Jim Lamancusa, Cusa Tea is the world’s first premium instant tea that uses only high-quality, premium, USDA Organic certified teas and fruits, using then cold-steep using a revolutionary technology that reduces the waste and chemical preservatives found in most ready to drink teas, Cusa tea enables tea drinkers can enjoy an instant moment of peace anywhere on the planet. Cusa Tea has launched the world’s first premium instant teas and presented a variety flavors at the recent Natural Products Expo East held September 14-16, 2017 in Baltimore, MD.

Inspired by a backpacking trip on which founder Jim Lamancusa, a devoted tea drinker, noticed his friends breaking out instant coffee packets at the campfire, but he had a soggy, heavy and wet tea bag. Returning home and spending months developing his unique tea technology, Cusa Tea was born. This innovative, easy to make instant tea contains only high-quality, premium, USDA Organic certified teas and fruits, primarily from India and China, with no additives, fillers or sugar. In hot water or cold, at a campfire or conference table, instantly dissolvable Cusa Tea pioneers the next evolution of the tea experience. Cusa Tea is now available in 5 tea varietals: Organic English Breakfast, Organic Oolong Tea, Mango Green Tea, Organic Green Tea and Lemon Black Tea.

While many teas tout great flavor, organic sourcing and a conscious supply chain, what really sets Cusa Tea apart is its revolutionary cold-steep technology making all of those attributes and more, instantly enjoyable. Cusa Teas’ packets allow tea drinkers to create a premium cup of tea by simply mixing in hot or cold water, allowing them to enjoy an instantaneous moment of peace anywhere on the planet. No steeping. No waiting. No mess. Just pure, organic tea and instant peace.

Cusa Tea’s innovative technology took some time to master. Hundreds of tests resulted in failure for one reason or another. The tea would either sink to the bottom of the cup, float at the top, not steep well, or didn’t have a premium taste. After nine months of tests and searching for the right partners and process, Jim discovered a cold-steep technology that allows the tea to steep over 8 hours without the use of heat, which can destroy the taste and benefits of tea.  After the cold-steeping is finished, Cusa Tea vacuum dehydrates the liquid to create instantly dissolvable tea crystals. This crystallized tea powder can be instantly re-hydrated when you mix it with hot or cold water. The final product has zero of the heavy metals or pesticide residues that can often be found in other tea products.  Cusa Tea can bring a moment of peace anywhere and at any time!


How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home

Makes 2 drinks

What You Need/Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 to 2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup), or 1/3 to 1/2 cup strong coffee
• 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped into firm peaks

Mixer, whisk, or hand blender, to whip cream
Wooden spoon
Espresso maker or coffee maker

Heat the pumpkin and spices. Heat the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and a generous helping of black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it's hot and smells cooked, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the sugar. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly, thick syrup.
Warm the milk. Whisk in the milk and vanilla and warm gently, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over.
Blend the milk. Carefully process the mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
Mix the drinks. Make the espresso or coffee and divide between 2 mugs. Add the frothed milk and pumpkin mixture. Top with the whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.

Vanilla: Yes, this recipe calls for two tablespoons (not teaspoons) of vanilla. This sounds like a lot, but it does more than anything else to mimic the intense, even artificial, taste of the syrups used in coffee shops. But feel free to start with less and bump it up as needed.
Milk fat: This recipe is most satisfying when made with whole milk, but 2% and skim can be substituted.
Canned pumpkin substitution: You can substitute 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup for the canned pumpkin if you have it on hand.
Sugar substitute: You can use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar if desired. Add to taste.
Pumpkin pie spice substitute: No pumpkin pie spice? No problem — use our recipe to make it out of cinnamon, ginger, and other spices: Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

Recipe Notes:
Make a big batch of pumpkin spice base: If you like, you can make a big batch of the pumpkin spice base, and refrigerate. To make 8 full servings, cook 1/2 cup pumpkin purée with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice base with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.



Brewing the Best Tea

Tea Association of the USA, the recognized independent authority on tea, shared valuable information for making that perfect cup of tea. 

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.

For 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.  For more information about the Tea Association of the USA, click here.