From its beginnings as a staple in ancient Chinese mythology, medicine, and agriculture, to its rich history as a ceremonial symbol of prosperity and respect, green tea is a fascinating beverage category that continues to evolve. Loaded with powerful antioxidants, essential nutrients, and anti-inflammatory polyphenols, green tea now has a prominent place in Western wellness, and it's praised for its many potent health benefits.
Although both green and black tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the difference in color is the result of very different processing techniques and oxidation. Unlike black tea leaves, which are allowed to oxidize and ferment over time after being picked (but before drying), raw green tea leaves are harvested, withered, and then immediately heated through either steaming or roasting, a process that helps halt oxidation, so the leaves retain their natural green color.
Typically lower in caffeine than black tea, green tea has a fresh, more delicate flavor - and is, of course, verdant green in color. Although growing methods, timing of the leaves' harvest, and processing methods create many different varieties and styles of green tea, most green teas we drink here in the United States are still sourced from Asia.
Whether you're a green tea devotee or a newcomer, there are countless brands and varieties on the market - so many, in fact, that choosing the perfect blend can be a bit of a challenge. To help guide you toward freshly steeped bliss, we've rounded up the most highly rated, sustainably sourced, and best-tasting green tea varieties to help you reach your happy place. Source: Yahoo.com
1. Pukka Organic Clean Green Tea
2. The People's Green Tea from The Republic of Tea
3. Yogi Pure Green Tea
4. Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green Full Leaf Green Tea
5. Harney & Sons Citron Green Tea
6. Steven Smith Teamaker No. 96 Jasmine Silver Tip Green Tea
7. Rishi Jade Cloud Organic Green Tea
8. Tazo Green Tea China Green Tips
9. Traditional Medicinals Organic Green Tea Ginger
10. STASH Tea Premium Green Loose Leaf Tea
After rounds of blind tastings by an international independent jury of top culinary and coffee experts, illycaffè, the global leader in high-quality, sustainably grown coffee, announced that coffee beans grown by Rwanda's Ngororero Coffee Washing Station, represented by Ms. Philotée Muzika, were designated "Best of the Best" in the third annual 2018 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award (EIICA). The award winner was chosen from among the world's top lots from the 2017/2018 harvests in nine countries, whose growers attended a gala at the Rainbow Room last night. A separate "Coffee Lover's Choice" award, presented by United Airlines, was also conferred to Ms. Muzika on behalf of Ngororero Coffee Washing Station.
Alongside Rwanda, coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Nicaragua were chosen to compete as finalists, following intensive analysis at illy's Quality Lab at its Trieste, Italy headquarters. All nine finalists, spanning four continents, are ingredients in the legendary illy blend, celebrated for decades for its unparalleled richness, complexity and consistency.
"It is an honor and a pleasure to recognize Ngororero Coffee Washing Station and Ms. Muzika for their achievement, and that of all of our finalists, who are focused on producing the highest-quality coffee through sustainable methods," said Andrea Illy, Chairman of illycaffè. "This week celebrates an even greater theme, and that is the enormous dedication, pride and talent of the world's 25 million coffee-growing families, who fill our cups, and replenish our souls, every day."
Prior to the award gala, emceed by Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped, Chopped Junior and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, a panel of tasting, culinary and coffee experts from around the world took on the task of choosing this year's "Best of the Best" bean, based on criteria including aromatic richness/complexity, balance/elegance and aroma intensity/strength. The jury was comprised of:
The "Coffee Lover's Choice" award, presented by illycaffè CEO Massimiliano Pogliani on behalf of illy partner United Airlines, was determined by a demanding jury of its own: over 1,500 discerning visitors to flagship illy cafè locations in Kuala Lumpur, London, Milan, Paris and San Francisco, and at special events in Athens and New York City, all of whom tasted coffee prepared from the same beans as for the expert jury.
"It all starts with the unique illy blend, developed consistently year after year, that gives us deep knowledge of the coffee origins combined with our direct trade model that works closely with coffee growers to produce the highest quality Arabica beans," said Pogliani. "Next year, we plan to continue expanding our Authors' Notes program, an exclusive experience for illy fans that centers around tasting and purchasing the nine finalist coffee lots from the 2018 awards at our illy cafè shops."
Twenty-seven grower representatives from the nine finalist countries, many visiting New York City for the first time, also participated in a coffee-specific seminar hosted by Chairman Illy and representatives from the ICO and UNIDO at the United Nations that covered topics including growing practices, business management and climate change. www.illy.com
SerendipiTea wins three awards in the 2018 Global Tea Championship™ Spring Hot Loose Leaf competition. All three winners are certified Organic and certified Kosher hand-blended, proprietary recipes made on-site at SerendipiTea’s New York facility.
The Global Tea Championship™ is an independent competition judged by tea professionals to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available globally. The judging panel consisted of professional cuppers who assessed each submission through blind organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf; liquor color; aroma; flavor; mouth-feel; and overall harmony. The ratings of each characteristic were then used to calculate an overall numerical value on a 100-point scale, and winners were determined by rank.
SerendipiTea awards are as follows:
REMEMBER ROSEMARY won SILVER in the Blended Green Tea Category.
The refreshing, pine-like aroma of rosemary is blended with brisk, crisp China green tea & a touch of sun-kissed citrus. This blend is chock-full of healthy goodness. Remember Rosemary is a certified organic and certified kosher green tea based blend with rosemary, lemon myrtle and orange peel.
WHITE GINGERED APRICOT won SILVER in the Flavored White Tea Category.
Here's the perfect blend when you want to spice things up a bit—mildly toasty white peony paired with a fuzzy medley of fragrant fruit and just a touch of heat. White Gingered Apricot is a certified organic and certified kosher white tea based blend with apricot and ginger.
MANDELA MASALA won BRONZE in the Blended Rooibos Category.
Mandela Masala is a certified organic and certified kosher caffeine-free, rooibos based masala chai blend.Warm, spicy and caffeine-free, this blend makes a fabulous Chai—prepare as you would traditional Chai....you might not taste any difference! Ingredients include: Black Pepper (Organic), Cardamom (Organic), Cinnamon (Organic), Clove (Organic), Ginger (Organic), Honeybush (Organic), Rooibos (Organic). Also making you feel good on the inside, SerendipiTea donates 20% of all proceeds of Mandela Masala sales to WaterAid America.
“We are also very proud to import and feature several selections of tea from the stellar Lumbini Tea Garden which was awarded Gold in the Ceylon Open and Silver in the Ceylon Low Grown categories in this competition,” said Linda Villano, owner of SerendipiTea.
SerendipiTea, an artisanal NY-based operation established in 1995, is known for its wide assortment of Specialty Tea and Tisane, including an extensive variety of certified organic, certified kosher, single estate, traditional and creatively blended options. All blending and packing is done on site, by hand at their NY facility.
SerendipiTea is served nationally at the finest restaurants, cafes and tea houses and can be found in select Specialty Food stores throughout the country.
For a more information and a complete list of winners visit: worldteanews.com.
New York based premium coffee brand, Wandering Bear, announces earlier this month its plans to expand beyond the east coast in a nationwide retail agreement with Target and regional rollout with Kroger's Fred Meyer banner. The national expansion coincides with the launch of another new flavor for the brand, Vanilla with a Splash of Coconut Milk.
Wandering Bear Coffee has quickly made a name for itself as a pioneer in the fast-growing cold brew category. Starting with a very popular multi-serve cold brew "coffee on tap" box available exclusively online and to offices, the brand caught the attention of investors earlier this year and closed on an $8M Series A financing round to propel the expansion of its direct and retail channels into new markets.
Vanilla with a Splash of Coconut Milk is the third flavor in Wandering Bear's line of 11 oz. resealable TetraPak bottles, joining the flavors, Mocha with a Splash of Coconut Milk and the original Straight Black. Each product in the line is dairy-free, sugar-free, USDA organic certified, and 20 calories or less, making them Paleo-friendly and Whole30 compliant. "Read the label out loud," encourages co-founder Matt Bachmann. "There's nothing in there that you would not want to put in your coffee." Each bottle retails for $3.99.
All three flavors will launch throughout more than 1,200 Target stores nationally and will be sold from the coveted grab-and-go beverage refrigerators located in the Target Cafés at the front of each store. This milestone marks the company's largest rollout to date and follows a successful pilot in Target's northeast region stores."Because of the national reach of our direct business, we get multiple inbound requests each day asking where Wandering Bear can be found in stores," said co-founder Ben Gordon. "Finally we can answer that question without asking where they live!" Bachmann built on that sentiment, adding that this opportunity offered continued "validation for the brand and for the new 11oz product line as we build national distribution heading into 2019." Subscribe for home delivery and find info at www.wanderingbearcoffee.com.
Cascara, a Spanish word meaning “husk”, is a term used to describe the dried skin of the coffee bean. Previously discarded, cascara is filled with antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients that turn this “waste” product into a superfood. Cascara is taking the healthy beverage and craft coffee world by a storm because of the numerous positive characteristics this ingredient has. Recently, Peloton has decided to expand its product range and bring a cascara tea to the market.
Cascara tea provides a great source of antioxidants derived from chlorogenic acid that is known to lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and act as an anti-inflammatory. Juicy and sweet, the skin is packed with antioxidants, 38mg of caffeine, immunity-boosting polyphenols and other Phyto-ingredients that benefit brain health.
Peloton’s Super Fruit Tea is certified USDA Organic with only 60 calories each serving. Every single bottle contains just four powerful ingredients – organic coffee fruit, organic cane sugar, purified water and natural flavors. Peloton will launch 4 distinctive flavors – Lightly Sweetened Original, Cranberry-Lime, Apple-pomegranate, and Peach-Ginger. Cascara provides an alternative to traditional tea and traditional coffee – a brand new healthy alternative drink that’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients.
It is Peloton’s mission to make the most impact for everyone involved by directly sourcing and utilizing coffee cherry from organic coffee farms in Central and South America. By using both the bean and the husk of the coffee cherry, Peloton minimizes waste that leads to sustainable coffee farming and additional streams of income for local farmers and farming communities.
Peloton Cold Brew is the creation of two brothers who first started making cold brew in their parent’s kitchen. Adam, a professional photographer, got tired of standard energy drinks and began experimenting with something healthier and tastier. This is how he perfected his first cold brew – a product that quickly saw significant market interest.
In addition to their Cascara tea line, Peloton is the maker of three distinctive cold brews – Peloton Original, Mighty Maple and Peloton Mocha. Just like the cascara tea varieties, these products consist of simple but powerful ingredients like fine coffee, pure maple syrup, and pure Dutch cocoa.
The Peloton brand is committed to sustainability and addressing global environmental issues. For every bottle of Peloton cold brew sold, a percentage of proceeds goes towards Charity: Water – a non-profit organization aiming to bring clean and safe drinking water to developing countries.www.drinkpeloton.com
After working tirelessly for 13 years to turn his tiny tea company into a household name, David Smith, co-founder of Sweet Leaf Tea, embarked on the sailing adventure of a lifetime. Discovering the benefits of refreshing cold-brewed coffee during warm nights navigating rough waters, the idea for High Brew Coffee® was born.
Founded in 2014, High Brew is an all-natural 100 percent Arabica blend ready-to-drink cold brew coffee made from Direct Trade coffee beans. Brewed with zero heat, High Brew Coffee® offers premium low-calorie cold-brews in smooth, delicious flavors such as Double Espresso, Mexican Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mocha, Black & Bold and Creamy Cappuccino + Protein, as well as a line of Sparkling Cold Brews in flavors like Classic Black, Vintage Vanilla and Midnight Mocha.
High Brew Coffee, the Austin-based natural beverage company created “for those who do,” announces the brand’s first 11-ounce line of Triple Shot cold brew cans, providing three times the natural caffeine as a regular cup of coffee. The extra boost of energy “for those who do…more” is rolling out into the convenience channel in early 2019, addressing the need for a larger format, natural caffeine can in this retail channel. The new Triple Shot line is available in four flavors: Espresso, Vanilla, Black, and Chocolate + Protein.
With 60 percent of energy drink consumers turning to coffee as an alternative, according to the 2017 U.S. Mintel Coffee Report, High Brew’s Triple Shot line is positioned to continue to propel the already fast-growing brand into light speed. Every sip provides bold, natural energy with less sugar, made from 100 percent Direct Trade Arabica beans from Colombia, all with fewer than 200 calories. Staying true to the premium method of cold brewing over time, not heat, these Triple Shot cans give coffee drinkers clean, long-lasting vitality.
“Ten to twelve ounce packages are contributing disproportionately to category growth within both the cold brew subcategory and the greater ready-to-drink coffee category, so we knew we had the opportunity to up the size from our current eight ounce can,” says High Brew Founder & CEO David Smith. “Triple Shot is our largest, most caffeine-packed cold brew offering, and we cannot wait to see all the action-packed things our customers accomplish when they fuel their body with this new product.”High Brew’s 11-ounce Triple Shot cans will be sold exclusively through the convenience channel for $2.99. For more information about High Brew Coffee, please visit http://www.highbrewcoffee.com/
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