As we close out the last issue of this newsletter for the year, we like to go back and review past issues to discover which stories generated the most interest, were clicked on most often, and generated the most feedback.  Below you will find reprints of our most popular stories of 2020. 

We want to take this time to thank all of our readers, advertisers, and supporters.  While this year has been a crazy one for all of us, we look forward to 2021 and hope for a new year filled with health and happiness for all.  

If you have a product you would like us to consider for review or have some exciting news to share, please contact us.

Be well.  Be Safe.  Be ready for a healthy and prosperous new year for all.

Top 5 Coffee Trends for 2020

Gourmesso, an online retailer for all your coffee needs, has put together their list of what they believe will be the top 5 coffee trends for this year.  Those, like us, who follow the industry news, read the newest reports, and peruse new blogs/articles will most likely agree with the trends outlined by the group at Gourmesso.   Here’s what to watch for in 2020.

1. More Natural Tasting Coffee
In the Western world and in emerging markets, the use of natural ingredients in the production of beverages such as coffee takes on greater importance. This aspect is considered essential for the final consumer, who perceives the product not only as a drink, but as an experience for the senses.

A combination of exotic flavors and diverse textures are associated with high product quality. So not only are coffee retailers choosing a more natural grain, but they are also playing around with flavor combinations that can enhance the user experience.

2. Bio-Friendly Coffee Alternatives 
The increase of environmental conscience in the recent years has awakened the need for coffee retailers to reduce their carbon footprint, thus implementing resources in developing technology that will help them achieve that goal.

Gourmesso is one of those companies.  Clearly an issue important to the Gourmesso team, “we feel proud to see Glorybrew, our Keurig-compatible coffee capsules, have such an amazing response within our audience due to the fact that the capsules are indeed compostable.”  They are also very proud because in our endless research we were able to produce our first compostable Nespresso machine compatible pod, which will be launched at the end of 2019.  Other coffee retailers have begun their journey in trying to develop eco-friendly coffee to the final consumer. “This is a trend we know will only grow more with time,” Gourmesso states.

3. Sustainable and Certified Coffee
By including more organic processes in the production of various varieties of coffee, a better image of the industry and greater confidence among consumers is achieved. Therefore, the requirement of certifications to ensure that it is a natural and socially and environmentally responsible product is becoming increasingly common, especially in countries in North America and Europe. Having them is an added value that influences the purchase decision of the importer and the end customer.

Note:  Gourmesso is Fairtrade certified, which means it has been produced to fair trade standards by fair trade organizations, that strive on respecting coffee producer labor and establishing fair and transparent trading partnerships.

4. Coffee Capsule Machines in More Homes and Office Spaces
With the boom that Nespresso has seen in recent years, purchasing a coffee capsule machine has become a growing trend as well. It began as a very exclusive niche, but now, it has taken the average coffee consumer market by storm, flooding office spaces and more kitchens than the plague.

Not only are these machines stylish but are very convenient for those of us who are always on the go. More and more people are joining this trend and we do not see it going anywhere but up, because the market now has so many affordable options to choose from.

Western Europe and North America are markets where these machines are most common. In fact, online sales of 'pods' in these markets are strong, because consumers can sign up for monthly plans that include capsule replenishment.

5. Coffee Consumption in Youth Grows
The best reflection of this trend can be seen in Asian countries. In China, for example, a market that has shown huge potential in the last 5 years, the main coffee consumers are among the ages between 20 and 30. This generation has been impacted by social media, specially Instagram, their preferred platform.  Among the most popular Instagram hashtags are #CoffeeLovers and #Coffee, and it would not surprise you if you saw at least one coffee cup pic a day, when you scroll through your timeline.

Also, coffee houses that congregate young people are becoming more and more popular, thus backing up this trend’s continuous growth for the upcoming year.

Keep on the lookout for these and the other possibilities for the coffee market around the world. Gourmesso hints that beauty line products which incorporate coffee as their main ingredient is a continuing trend.  “Due to its huge potential to take over a large chunk of the market,” they will continue to follow this one closely as well.  Visit Gourmesso and see all the great products they have to offer.


How to Reuse Tea Bags

You can get extra use out of teabags after your cup of tea. You can reuse the teabag, but after the first cup it will start to lose flavor and strength. But if you think teabags are only used in the drink, read on, there are 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.

Facials can be expensive, but you can make one at home... Give yourself a facial 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.

Start A Fire. You can use your old tea bags to make firestarters for your campfires! Squeeze the water out of your tea bags and allow them to dry thoroughly. Next, dip the dried tea bags in melted wax (like soy candle wax). Arrange the wax-dipped bags on a piece of tin foil or parchment paper. Once the wax has hardened, they’re ready to use! They light quickly, burn brightly, and will help you get a campfire going in no time.

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.

You can use tea to make your hair shiny and smooth! To restore shine to your hair, use a couple of used tea bags to brew a strong tea, then allow the tea to cool completely. Before a shower, pour the tea into your hair until it’s completely saturated. Allow the tea to sit for about 10 minutes, then hop in the shower. Shampoo and condition your hair as normal. Your hair will thank you the tea treatment!

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!


The Power of Honey

For registered dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, incorporating natural ingredients into her everyday diet is an important step for feeling her best. When she's looking to add a flavorful addition to her mealtime favorites, honey reigns supreme, and Michalczyk has partnered with the National Honey Board to share #NaturallyWithHoney mealtime inspiration.

Michalczyk has simplified mealtime with recipe formulas that are easy to follow thought-starters to showcase how a few ingredients, complemented by the simple addition of honey, can create a tasty, balanced dish or drink.

Nutty Hot Honey Bowl takes your regular protein bowl up a few levels with the hot honey nut mixture that adds new flavor to the dish as the honey perfectly complements the spicy notes from the cayenne pepper. As an added crunchy bonus, the hot honey nut mixture will likely leave you with leftovers which can serve as a delicious snack.

Peaches and Honey Cocktail is summertime in a glass and the DIY honey lime syrup plays a key role in the naturally sweetened beverage. Plus, it's easy to make – it's simply honey, warm water and lime juice combined. The best part about her recipes is that they can easily be tweaked based on what's currently available in your fridge and pantry.

"The reality is that wellness is easy to over-complicate, but my philosophy is to keep it simple by focusing on unprocessed ingredients," says Michalczyk. "Honey is a wholesome choice when I'm whipping up something delicious and satisfying because it has so many varietals with unique flavors, making it an easy addition to any brunch, lunch, dinner or snack. And don't forget beverages, including cocktails and mocktails."

Michalczyk also shared her go-to nutrition tips to keep top of mind as we dig into summertime:

1.   Satiate the Sweet Tooth

  • Is your sweet tooth sabotaging you after every meal? Try sipping on a dessert-flavored tea like apple cinnamon or chocolate orange with a spoonful of honey. Honey adds flavor and it's 100% pure. How sweet is that?

2.   Dress to Impress

  • Store bought salad dressings often contain a long list of ingredients. Make your own dressing at home with olive oil, honey, lemon juice, mustard, turmeric, fresh herbs and salt and pepper. The honey serves as an emulsifier that helps to bind and thicken dressings.

3.   Bake with Goodness

  • Wondering how to use less sugar in your favorite baked goods? Consider using honey in things like quick bread, cookies, homemade pancakes and more. Honey gives baked goods a uniquely deliciously flavor and because it's sweeter than sugar, you can use less of it.

For more information about Maggie Michalczyk, her recipes and go-to nutrition tips, visit  For even more inspiration, Michalczyk's two additional recipes can be found on


Dirty Chai: Take a Sip of This Hot New Beverage

Our favorite cuppa never ceases to evolve. Talking of the latest, India’s much-loved beverage, tea, gets a ‘dirty’ twist. #DirtyChai has been trending on social media lately, with tea addicts relishing yet another avatar of their caffeine fix. Joyeeta Chakravorty from The Times of India recently reported on this new trend and offers this information and instructions for making your dirty chai at home.

“I would describe ‘dirty chai’ as a combination of tea and coffee, ensuring a goodness of both. It can work wonders in terms of keeping one relaxed through a hectic day,” says Sandeep Kalra, Executive Chef at a hotel in Bengaluru. This chai is said to bring in the goodness of both worlds in your cup, with a dash of aromatic spices. For Chef Sandeep, the trick is to dry roast and ground the masalas, and store them in an air-tight jar. His mix includes cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon sticks and a few strands of saffron.

BUT HOW HEALTHY IS THIS TEA? Commenting on whether or not ‘dirty chai’ is good for health, health coach and nutritionist Preety Tyagi says, “This new blend is basically masala chai with an espresso shot added to it. Separately, both these varieties contain high amounts of caffeine, and the new concoction makes it double. Mostly consumed to help stay energized, ‘dirty chai’ cannot really be considered a health drink. Having said that, the spice mix added in the tea can help in keeping the stomach clear as well as improve digestion. The cinnamon and cardamom are also good for our oral and gut health. However, I would advise having this tea in small amounts only.”

Chef Sandeep Kalra’s recipe

2 tbsp green cardamom
¾ nutmeg
1 ½ tsp cloves
1 ½ tsp black pepper
6 large cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp saffron
(Dry roast these spices, ground them and store the powder in an air-tight jar. This could last for about a week)

Make your regular milk tea with about 30 gm of ground ginger, around 10 freshly plucked tulsi leaves and a little sugar. Before straining the tea, add half a teaspoon of this masala in the strainer. You get a smoother masala tea. To this, add a 60 ml shot of coffee powder (1/4 tsp + 60 ml water). Alternatively, you can add 30 ml of Italian espresso. Top it up with milk froth. Milk dissolved with a little condensed milk works even better. Enjoy you ‘dirty chai’ in a 300 ml glass mug.
To make ‘dirty chai latte’ at home, brew 8 ounces of strong black tea for 3-5 minutes in boiling water with a tea bag or 1-2 teaspoons of tea leaves. Add 1 or 2 shots of espresso and 1-2 tablespoons of chai masala, heat milk and add it to your taste. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, if desired.


Brewing Tea in Milk

Black tea, one of the most popular ways to drink it is with milk.  But have you ever tried brewing the tea IN the milk?  What would happen if you put the black tea leaves in the milk to brew it, skipping the water completely?  Here’s a look at this method and what you could expect if you were to give it a try.

It is commonplace for many to drink their black tea with milk and many, here and abroad, have adopted the brewed in milk method for drinking black tea, especially for their morning cup. 

One of the benefits of brewing with water, is that it imparts no flavor, offers neutral taste, and is abundantly available.  Tea brewed in milk offers a different flavor and experience, some say creamier and more satisfying than traditional brewed with water method.  While steeping, in water or milk, the goodness of the tea leaves are transferred from the tea leaves to the liquid. 

Brewing tea in milk gives a different flavor and experience.  The one thing you need to be conscious of if you do brew your tea in milk is the flavor. Milk has a much stronger taste than water and its viscosity is also thicker making it harder for you to taste the actual tea. Therefore, you need to use a strong tasting tea, like a black tea or chai.   Chai has the necessary spice and punch of flavor to hold up to the flavor of milk, maybe one of the reasons chai lattes are so very popular.

How To Brew Tea Directly In Milk:
Pour 1 cup of milk into a small pot.
Add 2 heaping teaspoons of loose tea directly to the milk.
Simmer (do not let boil) on a stovetop on low heat for 10 minutes.
Strain and enjoy a delicious cup of smooth and silky tea!
While brewing tea in milk, it will be unlikely that your tea will ever taste bitter due to the fact that the milk helps to mask the tannins.   Give it a try. Enjoy!


Jacket Upcycled from Coffee Grounds

COOR™, the latest brand from Taiwan-based veteran outerwear and skiwear manufacturers, Nelson Au and Elaine Chen, officially launched its Kickstarter campaign for its 3-in-1 outdoor jacket manufactured from SingtexCOOR jacket 1™ coffee yarn technology. Designed to be everlasting, "the last jacket you'll ever need", combines leading performance technology with bio-based fabrics and multifunctional 3-in-1 design. COOR™ is the brainchild of Nelson Au and Elaine Chen, two outerwear manufacturers with over 40 years of experience creating jackets for high-end brands. With a commitment to fashion for good and a vast network of partnerships, COOR incorporates innovative performance technologies and eco-friendly materials while cutting out the middleman.

"Fast fashion and garment waste are significant contributors to the climate crisis. As industry veterans, we asked ourselves what we could produce to make a real difference — and COOR™ was born. We believe we have created a real product of sustainability at an accessible price," said Elaine Chen, Founder and CEO of COOR.  

COOR™ is built from zero-waste fabrics produced using coffee grounds and plastic water bottles for a sustainable planet. Together with sustainable textiles partner Singtex, COOR™ upcycles a morning cup of coffee into fabrics, insulation and protective membranes engineered for performance and comfort.  The high-tech outer jacket offers enhanced breathability, insulation and odour-control. It is water-resistant, wind-proof and anti-UV — making it a versatile jacket for extreme sports, traveling and urban life. Meanwhile, the inner jacket made from STORMFLEECE provides a lightweight single-layer woven fleece that offers exceptional wind-resistance and efficient heat retention.

COOR jacket 2A multifunctional black jacket is a staple for any wardrobe, and COOR™'s slick midnight shade, textured hood, and bright shoulder accents offer timeless style for the city and the slopes. 

Beyond its sleek design, the jacket is fully customizable with smart safety gadgets to meet an outdoor enthusiast's every need. COOR™ features a detachable hydration pouch to ensure wearers can stay hydrated at all times and in all terrains, while also reducing plastic bottle use.

The jacket also incorporates best-in-class safety technology including a built-in whistle, RECCO® rescue technology and an antibacterial face mask made from silver yarn. The easily accessible phone tether eliminates the risk of dropping devices from a ski lift — plus, the 13 ergonomic compartments offer plenty of room for storage on the go.

The COOR™ 3-in-1 jacket is available now on Kickstarter and is priced starting from $299. Early birds benefit from an exclusive launch offers.  For more information, please visit