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coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival

cup for education

Boyd's Coffee Introduces Rwanda Kopakama,
A Limited-Edition Coffee From Africa

Boyd’s Coffee is introducing a limited-time-only coffee from Africa, Rwanda KOPAKAMA, a 100-percent high-quality Bourbon varietal grown by women who run one of Rwanda’s prime coffee-growing cooperatives. Overcoming market challenges to acquire this coffee, Boyd’s Coffee buyer and fourth-generation Boyd family member Michael Boyd developed a successful partnership with Twin, an organization dedicated to assisting African women with bettering their lives through coffee growing and land ownership. The new coffee will be available only for foodservice accounts. 

“Africa produces many of the best coffees in the world,” said Boyd. “We were very fortunate to purchase this special lot of Rwandan coffee.” The KOPAKAMA Women’s Coffee Programme began in 2009, and Twin has provided opportunities for women to join its cooperatives, learn about the coffee market, receive technical training and have more say in spending the proceeds from coffee sales. The Rwanda KOPAKAMA coffee was purchased from the cooperatives that form the KOPAKAMA co-op, which includes coffee from the women who own and work the Ejo Heza co-op located on the shores of Lake Kivu. The women named the land “Ejo Heza,” meaning “a better tomorrow.” Eight percent (20 cents per pound) of the purchase price goes to the co-op for direct farm improvements.

“We’ve always been passionate about supporting organizations that give back to the local community, such as coffee that carries the Rainforest Alliance certified seal,” said Boyd. With the Rwanda KOPAKAMA coffee, we are helping coffee farmers still dealing with the ongoing impact of the Rwandan genocide and giving them a brighter future.”

The Rwanda KOPAKAMA coffee has a honeyed sweetness with complex notes of caramelized tropical fruit. The limited-edition roast is available while supplies last in ground portion packs. www.boyds.com

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WikiHow to Reuse Tea Bags

You can get extra use out of teabags after your cup of tea - but only if you are willing to do so. You can reuse the teabag, but after the first cup it will start to lose it's flavor and strength. But if you think teabags are only used in the drink, there's plenty of other uses for them!

  • Use teabags on your puffy eyes. Warm or cold teabags can help refresh your eyes whether they're achy, tired or puffy.

  • Reduce plantar warts. Plantar warts can be treated with teabags because of the tannin in the tea. On the affected area, place a warm wet teabag for 10-20 minutes, and then leave it to dry naturally. If you repeat this for a couple of days, hopefully the wart will go.

  • Give yourself a facial. Facials can be expensive, but you can make one at home... using tea. Place a brewed tea bag into a bowl of hot water. Then position your head over the bowl, and then put a towel over your head to keep the steam in. It will leave your face glowing and radiant!

  • Soothe burns and nicks from razors by applying a wet teabag to the skin.

  • If you have sunburn, a bruise, stings or bites, or a cold sore you can put a damp tea bag onto the area and it will help to soothe the skin.

  • If you have a big, dirty, greasy dish that seems impossible to clean, leave it overnight with hot water and a few brewed teabags. They will help break down the grease.

  • Clean dark leather shoes by wiping a wet, brewed teabag onto the surface of the shoe.

  • Control odors around the house with teabags. Put some used teabags in a bowl and place inside a smelly fridge. Leave overnight, remove the teabags and be left with the much nicer smell of tea!

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5 Health Benefits of Coffee
ConsumerReports.org

The headlines about the health benefits of coffee seem to change as quickly as the time it takes to drink a cup. Is coffee good for you? Here's what the folks at Consumer Reports want you to know:

1. It may help you live longer.

True, coffee drinkers are more likely than nondrinkers to smoke, eat red meat, skimp on exercise, and have other life-shortening habits, according to a 2012 study in the New England Journal of Medicine. But when researchers took those factors into account, they found that people ages 50 to 71 who drank at least one cup of coffee per day lowered their risk of dying from diabetes, heart disease, or other health problems when followed for more than a decade. That may be due to beneficial compounds such as antioxidants—which might ward off disease—and not caffeine. Decaf drinkers had the same results.

2. It may perk you up.

Coffee is not just a pick-me-up; it also has been linked to a lower risk of depression. In a study led by the Harvard School of Public Health that tracked 50,000 women for 10 years, those who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 20 percent less likely to develop depression than nondrinkers.
Another study found that adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated cof­fee were about half as likely to attempt suicide as decaf drinkers or abstainers. The researchers speculated that long-term coffee drinking may boost the production of “feel good” hormones such as dopamine.

3. It contains many good-for-you chemicals.

For most Americans who drink coffee, it provides more antioxidants than any other food, according to Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton. But it’s also a top source of acrylamide, a chemical whose link to can­cer is being investigated.

4. It may cut your risk for type 2 diabetes.

A recent Harvard-led study of more than 120,000 men and women found that those who increased the amount of caffeinated coffee they drank per day by more than one 8-ounce cup, on average, were 11 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those whose coffee habits stayed the same. And those who decreased their daily intake by at least a cup per day, on average, were 17 percent more likely to develop the disease.
But nix the doughnut with your morning cup; excess sugar might cancel out any benefit you might get from a balanced blood sugar level. And watch how much sugar and cream you add to your java—overdo it and you have a calorie- and fat-packed beverage.

5. Most people don't have to worry about the caffeine.

Data suggest that most healthy adults can safely consume, daily, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine—the amount in around two to four cups of brewed coffee. (Exact amounts vary a lot, though.) Pregnant women should keep it to less than 200 milligrams; kids, no more than 45 to 85 milligrams. More than that can cause side effects including insomnia, irritability, and restlessness. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, heart, and muscles.

Consumer Reports also recommends that if you have an anxiety disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, or heart disease, or if you take certain medications, watch your consumption or opt for decaf. And if you have acid reflux, you might want to skip coffee altogether because the acidity could exacerbate it.   www.ConsumerReports.org

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How to Make Chai Tea

Chai (pronounced as a single syllable and rhymes with 'pie') is the word for tea in many parts of the world. It is a centuries-old beverage which has played an important role in many cultures.

To make the best chai, whenever possible, start with whole spices and grind them yourself.  This also saves money because you’ll have a bunch of chai spice mixture to make tons of chai whenever you want.

Ingredients:

8 cardamom seeds
8 cloves
4 black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups whole milk
4 bags black tea (such as Darjeeling)
8 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste
Directions:

  1. Place the cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in spice grinder (or use a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet).

  2. Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.

  3. Strain into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste.

Makes 4 cups; preparation 5 minutes; cooking 20 minutes.

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The Coffee Filter: History & Household Uses

It was more than 100 years ago, in the summer of 1908, that a German housewife named Melitta Bentz created the first paper coffee filter. She wanted to remove the bitter taste she associated with boiling loose grounds and find an alternative to the popular method of using linen to brew coffee. She thought that if she could pour boiling water over the grounds, but filter them out, the bitterness would be reduced.

The story tells of her ingenuity as she punctured holes in the bottom of a brass pot, lined it with blotting paper taken from the school books of her two sons, and thus created, in principle, the first coffee filter. The Imperial Patent Office in Berlin issued a patent to protect the invention as a utility model, and after some fine-tuning, in 1912 her now famous family started producing paper filters, and later, filter bags.

Now, more than a century later, the idea born from the vision of Melitta Bentz has morphed into a product still in use today. The company, Melitta, is now run by her grandchildren and markets coffee, filters, and machines branded with her name.

5 Great Alternative Uses for Coffee Filters:

  1. Strain wine from a bottle containing a broken cork—Put a filter over a carafe or decanter and pour the wine through the filter. The filter will trap any pieces of cork that were floating in the bottle.
  2. Chip-free fine china—Use coffee filters placed between the plates and cups when you stack your good china dishes to protect them from chips and scratches.
  3. Prevent soil from draining from flowerpots—For planting or repotting, put a coffee filter at the bottom over the drainage hole, then, add the soil. This will prevent the soil from spilling from the bottom of the pot, but permits proper water drainage.
  4. Keep your kids clean when eating ice pops—Simply slide the wooden stick of a child’s favorite ice pop through a coffee filter and you’ll have happy and sticky-free kids!
  5. Clean windows and glass—Use coffee filters as an emergency substitute for paper towels. They leave no lint or residue and can fit on your hand like a mitt.

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BOOKS WE LOVE!
Taking Tea: Favorite Recipes from Notable Tearooms
By Lorna Ables Reeves, Tea Time Magazine

A collection of 18 must-visit places for afternoon tea in the United States—from luxury hotels to independently owned tearooms—will delight those who plan to include a stop or two for a soothing cup of tea and delicious fare in their travels. In addition to brief accounts that will acquaint readers with each venue, there are recipes for scones, savories, and sweets from these first-class tearooms, along with recommended tea pairings. This 136-page book is illustrated with beautiful color photography and includes a tea-steeping guide.
Hardcover, $16.43 at amazon.com

TeaTime is a source book for all who love tea and who want to enrich life with the serenity of teatime. The magazine proclaims the pleasures of tea as a gourmet beverage, and offers informative articles that range from food features to tearoom profiles. TeaTime goes beyond the history and science of the beverage and celebrates the art and passion that make drinking tea a memorable occasion. TeaTime is designed for tea lovers. The magazine praises the delights of having tea and honors the life philosophy of serenity and beauty that is enhanced by tea events. Tea has never been more popular than today, and TeaTime is a lovely “manual” that helps us recognize and embrace the pleasures and spirit of tea.  For your special subscription offer of $18/yr, click here.

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