Virtual Events: At Home Tastings Tea and Wellness

Let’s face it, the pandemic and its restrictions have had a huge impact on all of our lives in so many ways.  While we continue to comply with stay-at-home recommendations from the health authorities, we’re all probably a little bored, maybe we’re a little bit lonely, and we’ve probably exhausted our watch list on our favorite streaming service and have spent countless hours looking for the next series to binge. Virtual events offer education and entertainment, yes, but they offer so much more—safety, a great value, product sampling, expert instruction, and social interaction with like-minded enthusiasts. Virtual events offer expert guidance, samples delivered to your home, and an interactive experience.  Here's our pick for an upcoming virtual event you’re sure to love!

TEA & WELLNESS—April 18, 2021—In this 90-minute virtual Tea & Wellness event, you’ll be led through a guided, tutored-tasting of four teas/tisanes while you learn about their amazing health benefits.  A tea tasting kit, including the four teas/tisanes to be brewed together as part of this seminar, is included and shipped to your home. Serves 4.

The concept of tea drinking is ancient, yet new ideas and blends for tea consumption are constantly evolving. In this educational virtual seminar, Ludmilla Wikkeling-Scott, founder and owner of Drink Our Hi-G tea company provides instruction and inspiration for using tea and traditional herbs and spices for your health, healing, and overall happiness.

The popular Drink Our Hi-G brand (the Hi-G stands for Hibiscus and Ginger) is widely associated with health and wellness, relaxation, and having fun, all while nurturing individuals and communities through tea. Their carefully handcrafted teas include some of your favorite herbs, flowers, fruits, roots and spices—bringing you a unique experience unlike those traditionally seen in western tea tasting events.

Tea and Wellness

In this virtual Tea & Wellness event, you’ll be led through a guided, tutored-tasting of four teas/tisanes while you learn about their amazing health benefits for calming, relaxing, supporting detox, promoting better sleep, aiding in digestion and weight loss, improving skin and hair, boosting brain power and more. This seminar provides practical, accessible, and easy-to-understand information that can be incorporated into one’s daily life and routine.
Take time and focus on self-care starting with some creative tea blends that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine for your overall health and wellness.

CLICK HERE to register or for more info.


Outshine® Launches Simply Indulgent BarsOutshine Bars

Outshine®, a brand known for its refreshingly delicious, wholesome frozen fruit bars, is proud to announce the launch of its Simply Indulgent bars - a new line of dairy-based frozen snacks. Made with fresh milk to give a burst of creamy flavor in every bite, Simply Indulgent bars contain five grams of protein per bar, 25% less sugar than regular frozen dairy bars, and a simpler ingredient label making it an indulgence that consumers can feel good about.

The new line will Outshine Coffeebe available in four varieties including Strawberry and Mango, made with real fruit, and the brand's first non-fruit flavors in the portfolio – Chocolate and Coffee – for a perfect pick-me-up. In fact, Simply Indulgent Coffee bars provide a little boost with 20mg of caffeine, about ¼ the amount in a cup of coffee, in every bar. All flavors of Outshine Simply Indulgent bars are made with no GMO ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors*, rBST** or gluten.

"The Outshine brand strives to help our consumers shine brighter from the inside out with our refreshingly real frozen fruit bars. Our new collection of Simply Indulgent bars are a good source of protein made with the goodness of real milk, providing the indulgence of a dairy-based frozen snack with the simple ingredients and delicious taste expected from Outshine," said Joanna Komvopoulos, Outshine Brand Manager. "We are excited to expand our fruit-based portfolio with the release of two brand-new flavors, Chocolate and Coffee, for those looking for even more indulgent, yet better-for-you options without compromise."

The 6-count, single-flavor boxes are rolling out now and will be available in retailers nationwide by April 2021. Price varies per retailer and product. (SRP): $4.69. To learn more visit www.outshinesnacks.com.

*added colors from natural sources

**milk and cream from cows not treated with growth hormone rBST


Teatime in Ireland

It goes without saying, Ireland is Margaret Johnson’s favorite place in the world. Her passion for the country and its cuisine jumps from the pages of her latest collection of recipes, TeatimeTeatime In Ireland in Ireland (Ambassador International; December 2019; $19.99, paperback).

It’s Johnson’s twelfth cookbook overall and eleventh focusing on Irish cuisine. Irish tea is far more than just a hot drink to go with a scone and jam; it’s an important custom that serves as a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and pleasure. Afternoon tea is also one of the most popular forms of special occasion entertainment (bridal showers, baby showers, ladies’ luncheons). Teatime in Ireland features as an entertaining guide and as the perfect gift for those who are interested in history of Ireland and Irish heritage. The book captures Ireland’s culinary beauty of this cultural way of life, and it includes more than 50 recipes.

“People drink coffee on the go; you take a moment for tea.” Teatime in Ireland pays tribute to the delightful ritual of “taking tea,” both formal and informal, and invites you on a tasting tour of Ireland where tea-drinking serves as a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and pleasure. From her first visit in 1984, Margaret Johnson has forged an indelible bond with Ireland and Irish food, and she shares her continued passion in her latest cookbook devoted to the special relationship Irish people have with tea.

You’ll learn a bit of Irish tea history; be amazed that not even the Easter Rising could keep the ladies of Dublin from their tea and cakes; and discover a treasure trove of recipes for hosting your own special occasion afternoon tea.

From homesMargaret Johnsonpun recipes like Egg and Tomato Sandwiches and Buttermilk Scones to more ambitious sweets such as Battenberg Cake and Millionaire’s Shortbread, Teatime in Ireland provides a delicious culinary and cultural experience. From country castles and Kerry kitchens to casual tearooms and Dublin drawing rooms, this colorful collection offers more than seventy recipes that will take you seamlessly from a morning cuppa to an afternoon tea party. Bain taitneamh as do bhéile . . . Bon appétit!

About the Author: Margaret M. Johnson is author of eleven cookbooks—Favorite Flavors of Ireland; Christmas Flavors of Ireland; Flavors of Ireland; The Irish Pub Cookbook; Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools; The Irish Spirit; The New Irish Table; The Irish Heritage Cookbook; Tea & Crumpets; Cooking With Irish Spirits; and Ireland: Grand Places, Glorious Food. As a food and travel writer she has contributed to publications in both the U.S. and Ireland including Intermezzo Magazine; SIP, For the Love of Drink Magazine: Cooking Light; Cara, the inflight magazine of Aer Lingus; Dublin’s Food & Wine Magazine; the Irish Echo newspaper; and to online sites such as thewildgeese.com, and irishabroad.com. She frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events, and when she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.  www.irishcook.com


21 Surprising Coffee Facts That Will Perk Up Your Afternoon

You pour it without thinking (or more likely to help you start thinking) but there's a fascinating backstory behind your morning cup of coffee. Here's what goes into each cup of brewed beans — err, seeds. We just loved these quick takeaways compiled by two knowledgeable staff writers from Good Housekeeping magazine, Amanda Hawkins and Caroline Picard. Thanks ladies! Enjoy their list, hope you find it as fun and fascinating as we did.

Coffee Fruit

1. The drink dates back to 800 A.D.
Legend has it that 9th-century goat herders noticed the effect caffeine had on their goats, who appeared to "dance" after eating the fruit of the Coffea plant. A local monk then made a drink with the produce and found that it kept him awake at night, thus the original cup of coffee was born.

2. Coffee beans are technically seeds.
They're the pits of the cherry-like berries found on the flowering shrubs, but we call them "beans" because of the resemblance to legumes.

3. And you can eat coffee cherries as a food.
Early on, people mixed coffee berries with fat to create an energy-rich snack ball, according to PBS. They would also ferment the pulp to make a wine-like drink (yum!?).

4. There are two main types: Arabica and Robusta.

Growers predominantly plant the Arabica species. Although less popular, Robusta tastes slightly more bitter and contains more caffeine.

5. Brazil grows the most coffee in the world.
Today, Brazil produces about third of the world's supply, according to the International Coffee Organization, about twice as much as the second place holder, Vietnam.

6. Only two U.S. states produce coffee.
Kona coffee is the United States' gift to the coffee world. Because coffee traditionally grows best in climates along the equator, Hawaii's weather is optimal for harvesting beans. California also recently got into the coffee game with dozens of farms now churning out pricey premium bags.

7. Espresso means "pressed out" in Italian.
This refers to the way espresso is made — forcing boiling water through pressed coffee grounds. And although espresso has more caffeine per volume than coffee, it would take three shots to equal the amount in a regular cup of joe.

Coffee Cup8. The world's most expensive coffee can cost more than $600 a pound.
One of the most coveted varieties comes from the feces of an Asian palm civet. The cat-like creature eats fruit including coffee cherries, but is unable to digest the beans. The excreted seeds produce a smooth, less acidic brew called kopi luwak, but the means of production has drawn criticism from animal welfare activists.

 9. Multiple people have tried to ban coffee.
Back in 1511, leaders in Mecca believed it stimulated radical thinking and outlawed the drink. Some 16th-century Italian clergymen also tried to ban coffee because they believed it to be "satanic." However, Pope Clement VII loved coffee so much that he lifted the ban and had coffee baptized in 1600. Even as recently as the 18th century, the Swedish government made both coffee and coffee paraphernalia (including cups and dishes) illegal for its supposed ties to rebellious sentiment.

10. You can overdose on coffee.
Don't worry, you would need to drink about 30 cups in a very short period time to get close to a lethal dose of caffeine, Vox reports.

Woman Drinking Coffee11. Finland is home to the biggest coffee lovers.
The average adult Finn goes through 27.5 pounds of coffee each year, according to the International Coffee Organization. Compare that to a measly 11 pounds per American.

12. Coffee drinkers tend to live longer.
Research has linking moderate consumption (about three to four cups per day) with a longer life span, plus a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

13. The largest cup of coffee ever filled a 9-foot tall cup.
The 3,487-gallon serving earned a Guiness World Record in 2012.

14. The Boston Tea Party helped popularize coffee in America.
In the lead up to the Revolutionary War, it became patriotic to sip java in lieu tea, of PBS reveals. The Civil War also made the drink more pervasive because it helped energize tired troops.

15. Decaf does not mean caffeine-free.
An eight-ounce brewed cup of decaf coffee actually contains two to 12 milligrams of caffeine, the Mayo Clinic states. In comparison, a regular cup of coffee supplies between 95 to 200 milligrams, while one can of cola has aout 23 to 35 milligrams of caffeine.

16. The word "coffee" comes from the Arabic word for "wine."
Qahwah later became kahveh in Turkish, and then koffie in Dutch, which is where we get the English word coffee.

17. Starbucks opens an average of two stores per day.
You can now order grande lattés at more than 29,000 locations around the globe, 47 years after the first store launched in Seattle.

18. One cup of black coffee only has one calorie.
Adding sweeteners, cream, and other mix-ins can quickly jack up the total. A venti Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 88 grams of sugar and 600 calories — more than a McDonald's Big Mac!

19. Teddy Roosevelt reportedly coined Maxwell House's slogan.
Our nation's 26th president loved coffee so much that one of his son's described his custom cup as "more in the nature of a bathtub," according to Smithsonian.com. On a 1907 visit to Andrew Jackson's former estate, the commander in chief supposedly dubbed a cup of Maxwell House joe "good to the last drop," a catchphrase still used today.

20. You can order coffee 25,000 different ways at Dunkin'.
The recently renamed doughnut chain did the math on its customizable java drinks. It sells 2 billion cups globally per year, enough for customers to pick each option 80,000 times.

21. The grounds can beautify your skin.
Save your leftover beans for a DIY scrub. "Coffee grounds are physical exfoliators that can lift off dead skin cells, making skin feel smooth and look brighter," says Good Housekeeping Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. "And caffeine is thought to improve blood circulation in skin, but there isn't yet sufficient clinical data on its use in topical products."


More Matcha on the Menu

In February 2020, Dunkin' introduced authentic Matcha Lattes as the perfect coffee alternative to help guests refresh and reset any time of day. One year later, Dunkin' is featuring more Matcha on the menu with two exciting ways to enjoy this beautifully bright and energizing fan favorite, with the Blueberry Matcha Latte and the new Matcha Topped Donut. Both are available at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide beginning this month.

Dunkin Donuts MatchaThe Blueberry Matcha Latte offers a fresh taste experience by combining Dunkin's sweetened Matcha green tea powder blend with blueberry flavor and guests' choice of milk, including non-dairy alternatives like oatmilk and almondmilk. Available hot, iced, or frozen, the pairing of blueberry flavor and Matcha creates a delightfully delicious and reinvigorating handcrafted beverage. From February 24 through March 23, DD Perks® members can earn points toward a free beverage reward twice as fast with the extra perk of 2X points (10 points per dollar rather than five) on any Matcha Latte purchase.

The new Matcha Topped Donut features Dunkin's signature Glazed Donut topped with Matcha powder for an enticing green tea flavor balanced with craveable sweetness. The distinct flavor and eye-catching, vibrant green color are perfect for adventurous guests seeking a unique twist on a classic treat.Dunkin Logo

Dunkin's Matcha Lattes and Matcha Topped Donuts feature a high-quality Matcha green tea powder blend, produced in the Nishio region of Aichi prefecture, Japan, where the finest Matcha has been grown for more than 800 years. As compared to traditional green tea, where the tea leaves are steeped or brewed, Matcha is made by stone grinding young green tea leaf buds into a fine powder.

According to Jill Nelson, Vice President, Marketing & Culinary at Dunkin', "Expanding our line of specialty drinks with Matcha Lattes last year created a whole new way to stay energized and refreshed at Dunkin'. This year, we're featuring one of our most popular drink combinations alongside our new Matcha Topped Donut to give guests even more options for enjoying this bright and delicious flavor in a uniquely Dunkin' way."

Also, beginning February 24, Dunkin' coffee and tea drinkers will have a sweet new choice to customize their favorite beverages with Stevia In The Raw® packets. The stevia-based zero-calorie sweetener will join four other sweetener options at participating Dunkin' locations nationwide.

To learn more about Dunkin', visit www.dunkindonuts.com.


7-Eleven Launches Program to Help Families in Need

7-11 Feeding America LogoAfter a year that impacted the world like no other, 7-Eleven, Inc. is hungry to help and is asking customers to join in. Through the end of April, the iconic convenience retailer is kicking off a multi-faceted campaign to help provide meals to families facing hunger through its relationship with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country.

So how can customers drink up, eat up and round up to help others? The retailer is implementing major programs to reach its goal of helping to provide 20 million meals – Feeding America Fridays drink promotion and Round up for Rewards, where customers can donate change and earn chances to win exclusive, once in a lifetime prizes**.

"One year ago, we made an unwavering commitment as an essential business to provide food and critical supplies to customers during an unprecedented pandemic. Unfortunately, nearly one year later, hunger continues to rise in America," said 7-Eleven Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Jarratt. "As our stores continue to support communities in which they operate, we are inviting customers to help us give back on an even greater scale. By simply buying a large drink on Feeding America Fridays or rounding up the nearest dollar for a chance to win awesome prizes, customers can help us reach our goal of putting at least 20 million meals on the tables of families in need. That's 20 million times we can pay it forward together."

7-11 Graphic

Feeding America Fridays*
For every large Big Gulp® fountain drink, Slurpee® drink or cup of coffee purchased at participating stores each Friday through April 27, 7-Eleven will help provide a meal to the Feeding America network of food banks.

Round up for Rewards**
Customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, and the difference in change will be donated to local Feeding America member food banks. All the raised funds will help the community in which the respective store operates.

But this isn't your average round-up campaign, 7-Eleven decided to go big. Customers who round up and scan the 7Rewards® barcode in the 7-Eleven app during checkout will be entered for a chance to win one of the weekly prizes. Customers placing an order through the retailer's 7NOW® delivery app can also opt-in to round up their change at checkout to be entered into the sweeps.
Extreme experiential prizes include:

  • A trip for four to Iceland to see the Northern Lights. Extra entries when rounded up transactions include the purchase of Skyra® Icelandic Spring Water.
  • Create an original Snapple flavor with flavor scientists and get a case of your custom flavor delivered to your home. Extra entries when rounded up transactions include the purchase of Snapple beverages.
  • Two tickets to the 2022 NCAA Final Four. Extra entries when rounded up transactions include the purchase of Oreo products or any flavor of Nabisco Big Bags.
  • A camping trip of a lifetime with a 4-week RV rental, 4 National Parks Pass, $10,000, camping gear and $1,500 7-Eleven gift card for gas and snacks. Extra entries when rounded up tran7-11 Feeding America Logosactions include the purchase of any Nestle Regional Spring Water brand.
  • A virtual coffee date with football legend, Emmitt Smith. Extra entries when rounded up transactions include the purchase of 7-Eleven coffee and/or International Delight pint creamer.
  • Choose your own once in a lifetime adventure with a $2,500 gift card to Cloud 9 Living. Extra entries when rounded up transactions include the purchase of a Kit Kat bar.

7-11 Cups"One in six people could face hunger in America due to the ongoing economic fallout from the pandemic. Feeding America is grateful for 7-Eleven's ongoing commitment to helping communities across the U.S.," said Feeding America Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Lauren Biedron. "During this time of increased need, 7-Eleven's support will help our neighbors who may not know where they will find their next meal."

7-Eleven has been working with Feeding America for 21 years, supporting its nationwide network of 200 food banks, which provide meals to more than 40 million people each year through national and local donations, volunteer efforts, and more. In 2020, the retailer reimagined its annual birthday promotion, 7-Eleven Day, and gave a birthday present of 1 million meals to Feeding America to celebrate and donated $1.2 million in 7-Select Go!Smart™ Organic Cold-Pressed Juices. This month, 7-Eleven will donate approximately 2 million units of hand sanitizer to Feeding America member food banks.

7-Eleven customers can earn 7Rewards points on almost every purchase in-store at participating locations to redeem free stuff. To sign up and earn points, customers can download the 7-Eleven app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit 7Rewards.com. For a contactless checkout experience, customers at participating stores can pay using 7-Eleven Wallet found in the 7-Eleven app.*** To use, load funds into a 7Rewards account with cash at the register, or in-app with a credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay or a prepaid 7-Eleven gift card, and simply scan the 7Rewards barcode upon checkout. The 7NOW delivery app is available to download from Google Play, the App Store or visit 7NOW.com. 7NOW delivery is available 24/7 in approximately 1,300 cities. Real-time tracking lets customers know when to expect their 7NOW app orders.

* 7-Eleven, Inc. will help provide 1 meal to Feeding America® for every large coffee, Slurpee® and Big Gulp® purchased at participating 7-Eleven locations each Friday from 2/26/21 through 4/24/21 (max. 275,000 meals per Friday and 2.5 million meals during promotion) to benefit member food banks. 1 bev purchased helps provide 1 meal; $1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of member food banks. See 7-Eleven.com for more information.

** NO PURCHASE OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN; PURCHASE OR DONATION WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING. Begins 2/24/21 at 12:00:01 am CT & ends 4/27/21 at 4:00:00 am CT. Open to legal U.S. residents of the 50 United States or D.C. who are at least 13 years of age. At participating 7E locations, by rounding up your purchase to the nearest dollar at check-out and taking the other steps identified in the Official Rules you can automatically receive entries into the sweepstakes. Odds of winning will vary by # of eligible entries. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: 7-Eleven, Inc. For full promotion rules, details on all methods of entry (including free mail-in entry), prize details, and restrictions, see Official Rules at https://bit.ly/7E-P2. All rounded up funds raised at register will support local Feeding America member food banks.

*** 7-Eleven Wallet is available at participating locations. To find out if Wallet is accepted at a 7-Eleven near you, tap on the map icon on the top right corner of your 7-Eleven app home screen and filter for "7-Eleven Wallet" stores.