JUNE 2019

 

Catch Some ZZZs with These Bedtime Teas

Stress. Work. Kids. Deadlines. Bills. You name it, there are many factors that could prevent us from getting a great night’s sleep. One of the most elemental natural sleep remedies is a cup of herbal tea sipped before bed. Packed with powerful sleep-promoting natural herbs like lavender and chamomile, a cup of sleep tea at night could be just the answer you’ve been longing for to prepare you for a restful night. Sip your way to a great night’s sleep with these great bedtime teas.

  • Harney & Sons Yellow & Blue
    A floral rapture of taste, color and texture. It combines chamomile, lavender and cornflowers in a tisane that is beautiful to look at, and delicious to drink. The calming properties of this caffeine free blend makes it the go-to for many seeking serenity and restfulness.  www.harney.com
  • Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Valerian Tea
    This organic, naturally caffeine-free herbal team from Traditional Medicinals has a mild, earthy, slightly bittersweet minty taste. The main ingredient in this sleep tea is powerful valerian root — a relaxing herb that can be used to help combat occasional sleeplessness.  www.traditionalmedicinals.com
  • Pukka Herbs Organic Night Time Herbal Tea 
    This dreamy and comforting blend of organic oat flower, lavender, and lime flower from Pukka Herbs is naturally caffeine-free and has a soothing, earthy taste with just a touch of citrus. We love cozying up with a mug of this sleep tea and our favorite book on chilly nights.  www.pukkaherbs.com
  • Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Tea 
    An even more powerful iteration of the brand's beloved Sleepytime Tea, this Sleepytime Extra Tea is made with valerian, chamomile, tilia flowers, spearmint, West Indian lemongrass, and orange blossom to promote relaxation and restful slumber.  www.celestialseasonings.com
  • Bigelow Benefits Sleep Chamomile & Lavender Herbal Tea 
    With its calming, floral, full-bodied lavender flavor, this herbal sleep tea from Bigelow has an enticing aroma and delicious flavor. The main ingredients in this caffeine-free tea are chamomile, wild orange leaves, passionflower, lavender, red poppy flowers, natural lavender, and rose flavors.   www.bigelowtea.com
  • Yogi Bedtime Tea
    This delicious herbal tea from Yogi is made with a soothing and spicy-sweet blend of passionflower, chamomile, licorice, cardamom, and cinnamon for a warm and comforting flavor that's perfect when sipped right before bedtime.  www.yogiproducts.com

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The Coffee House Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times

Written by immigrant, coffeehouse owner and nonprofit leader Sarina Prabasi, The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times chronicles her family’s journey from Addis Ababa to New York City, where they start and grow a thriving coffee business. After the 2016 election, they are suddenly unsure about their new home. Part coming-to-America story, part lyrical memoir, and another part activist’s call to action, Greenwriter’s Press describes The Coffeehouse Resistance as ‘timely, funny and poignant.” & Tea Newsletter team tried them and found them to be helpful in focusing and picking-up our mood but since we don’t take regular chewable tables, taste was something we needed to get used to.

Written in short, extremely readable vignettes, the book starts with Prabasi’s globe-trotting childhood, and weaves between Addis Ababa and New York. As their business finds roots in their local community in Upper Manhattan, Prabasi tries to reclaim the history of coffeehouses as places where people come together, where ideas are debated and where neighbors organize their communities. Ultimately this is a hopeful book and powerful call to action to reclaim the America Dream.
Prabasi draws on the hard-won wisdom of a mother, entrepreneur, and global executive to deliver a compelling account of the deep and nuanced experiences that make up the American Dream.

**A portion of the proceeds from all book sales will go to the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR).  The Coffeehouse Resistance retails for $19.95 at local bookstores or on Amazon, Indie Bound, Books-A-Million or Barnes & Noble.

WATCH VIDEO:  The Coffeehouse Resistance Book Trailer

Sarina Prabasi is the cofounder of Buunni Coffee in New York City, author of The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times (Green Writers Press, April 2019) and CEO of WaterAid America. She was born in the Netherlands, raised in India, China and Nepal, and spent formative years in the United States and Ethiopia. Following a career leading initiatives in global health, education, water and sanitation, Sarina moved with her husband, Elias, from Addis Ababa to New York City, where they started Buunni Coffee together. Today, Buunni is a thriving business and a hub for community conversation and action. Find her on Facebook @SarinaPrabasiAuthor and on Twitter @SPrabasi. Sarina has appeared on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, CBS News and Cheddar TV and more. Buunni Coffee has been featured in the Guardian, Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine among others.

Visiting NYC?  Visit Buuni Coffee located at 213 Pinehurst Avenue (at 187th Street).  Order Buuni Coffee online or find out more about this Ethiopian coffee destination, visit:  www.buunnicoffee.com

 

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Tea Trends & New Data Important News from the Tea Council of the U.S.A.

What's a hot summer day without a tall glass of freshly brewed, icy-cold tea? On any given day, more than one half of the American population drinks tea, with 75 – 80% opting for iced over hot.   Approximatelyfour in five consumers sip on the world's most widely consumed beverage next to water, with Millennials being the most likely to reach for a "cuppa." And for 24 million Americans, drinking a cup of their favorite brew is just as good as a Netflix and Chill session.

Tea is as Good as it Gets. According to a survey commissioned by the Tea Council of the USA, 24 million Americans think that drinking a cup of their favorite brew is as good as sex. In a surprising twist, more men than women (13% vs. 8%) and more Millennials than older generations (16% vs. 7%) feel this way.

No Sunday Scaries Here. Counting down the days until your Summer Friday? The survey also showed that nearly one-quarter (22%) of Americans could not survive Monday morning without their daily fuel – tea. Fewer say this about pressing the snooze button on their alarm (17%), reading their favorite blog (14%) or using their Outlook calendar (12%).

More Than a Just a Sip. In 2018, Americans consumed more than 84 billion servings of tea. But Millennial tea lovers get more than a tasty beverage when reaching for a brew. Consuming black, green, white, oolong or dark teas, which originate from the Camellia sinensis plant, has been linked to countless seasonal health benefits.

  • Drinking green tea polyphenols has been linked to increased skin protection from UV rays and improved elasticity. In a 12-week trial, where women were randomized to drinking extracted green tea polyphenols, they saw improvements in skin elasticity, roughness and scaling thought to be a result of increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin.1
  • Early research in animal models suggests that both black tea and green tea polyphenols may impact the gut microbiome to promote weight loss. Research on mice also suggests that when given a green or black tea polyphenol supplement, after being fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet, weight loss was triggered due to changes in the gut microbiome.2 Researchers concluded that tea polyphenols had an impact on the gut microbiome to increase weight loss.
  • Research using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis demonstrated that tea drinkers have slowed progression of calcification and fewer cardiovascular events.3 Specifically, black tea consumption has been linked to decreased risk for a heart attack and improved cardiovascular health.4,5
  • "As the popularity of tea surges, we've learned that tea is much more than just a healthy, refreshing beverage. Millennials truly have an emotional connection with tea," says Peter Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA.


    Stay Refreshed with the Tea Council of the USA's Guide to Brewing the Perfect Batch of Iced Tea
    For large quantities, prepare as follows:

    • Bring one quart of cold water to a rolling boil.
    • Remove from heat and add 8-10 teabags per quart of brewed tea, as desired
    • Steep 3-5 minutes and pour over ice cubes or into additional cold water.
    • To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with ice, garnish or sweeten as desired.

     

    About the Tea Council of the USA:
    The Tea Council of the USA is a non-profit association that was formed in 1950 as a partnership between tea packers, importers and allied industries within the United States, and the major tea producing countries. It functions as the promotional arm of the tea industry with a primary goal of increasing overall awareness of tea by providing information about its many positive attributes. One of the Council's primary objectives is the dissemination of key scientific findings about tea to the public. The Tea Council does this in several ways including: funding scientific meetings to bring tea researchers from around the world together to share key information and identify next steps for future research projects; and working with health organizations and international scientists to disseminate information about potential positive health effects of tea consumption on a public level.

    About the Survey:
    The Tea Council of the USA Survey was conducted by Kelton Global online between April 14th and April 23rd, 2015 among 1,012 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over with a +/-3.1 percent margin of error. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over.


    1 Heinrich U, Moore CE, De Spirt S, Tronnier H, Stahl W. Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women. J Nutr 2011; 141:1202-8.
    2 Henning SM, Yang J, Hsu, M, Lee RP, Grojean EM, Ly A, Tseng CH, Heber D, Li Z. Decaffeinated green and black tea polyphenols decrease weight gain and alter microbiome populations and function in diet-induced obese mice. Eur J Nutr 2018; 57(8):2759-69.
    3 Miller PE, Zhao D, Frazier-Wood AC, Michos ED, Averill M, Sandfort V, Burke GL, et al. Associations of coffee, tea and caffeine intake with coronary artery calcification and cardiovascular events. Am J Med. 2017;130 (2): 188-97.
    4 Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Buring JE, Hennekens CH.  Coffee and tea intake and the risk of myocardial infarction.  Am J Epidemiol. 1999;149:162-7.
    5 Geleijnse JM, Launer LJ, Hofman A, Pols HAP, Witteman JCM.  Tea flavonoids may protect against atherosclerosis: the Rotterdam Study.  Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:2170-4.

 

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Move Over Pancakes…Runamok Maple Debuts Coffee Infused Maple Syrup

OMG! Breakfast just went to a whole new level. But don’t stop there, it’s perfect for desserts, cocktails, flavoring for iced coffee, and more. Runamok Maple, makers of all-natural, organic maple syrup produced from maple trees located along the northwest slopes of Vermont’s Mount Mansfield, just introduced its latest creation—Coffee Infused Maple Syrup. The brand-new Coffee Infused Maple Syrup is an incredible addition to its unique collection of pure, infused, smoked, and barrel-aged maple syrups. Using organic coffee beans from Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co., Runamok Maple’s Coffee Infused Maple Syrup is the perfect pairing of two bold flavors. The combination of the caramel sweetness of maple syrup, and coffee’s nuanced chocolate and almond taste creates an entirely new essence of flavors. The syrup makes a delicious topper for waffles or vanilla ice cream, as well as the ultimate coffee or cocktail mixer. We loved it when we soaked chopped walnuts in the syrup overnight and poured it over vanilla frozen yogurt. The sweet caramel-maple-coffee flavor made our tastebuds sing! So yummy. The possibilities are endless.

With the introduction of its Coffee Infused Maple Syrup, Runamok Maple is continuing to redefine the maple industry, as well as demonstrate how to incorporate this natural sweetener into baking, cooking, and everyday enjoyment. Founders Eric and Laura Sorkin, who left their jobs in Washington D.C. 20 years ago to pursue a career in agriculture, pride themselves on offering consumers a certified organic line of maple syrup that features only the purest, most natural ingredients and one-of-a-kind flavor profiles that are unlike anything else on the market.

“We’re always searching for new flavor combinations to enhance our natural maple syrup,” said Eric and Laura Sorkin, co-founders of Runamok Maple. “Infused varieties like Jasmine Tea and Makrut Lime Leaf have become fan favorites, but we are expecting an incredible response to Coffee Infused. The syrup offers a familiar flavor that we all know and love, but with an unexpected aroma that truly makes it stand out among our collection of 14 maple syrups.”

In addition to the Coffee Infused Maple Syrup, priced at $16.95 for a 250 mL bottle, the brand’s collection boasts 13 unique and unexpected varieties of maple syrup: Sugarmaker’s Cut, Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Whiskey Barrel-Aged, Rum Barrel-Aged, Smoked with Pecan Wood, Makrut Lime-Leaf Infused, Ginger Root Infused, Smoked Chili Pepper Infused, Hibiscus Flower Infused, Elderberry Infused, Cinnamon + Vanilla Infused, Jasmine Tea Infused, and Cardamom Infused.

For additional information about Runamok Maple, its collection of organic maple syrups, and online ordering, please visit www.runamokmaple.com.  Runamok Maple’s assortment of maple syrups is also available on store shelves at a variety of food shops throughout the U.S. and at amazon.com

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Consumer Reports Teaches You How to Pick a Healthy Cold Brew Coffee

Not that long ago, cold brew coffee was a novel drink, available only at some independent coffee bars. But now you’ll find it served at mainstream coffee chains, as well as in bottles, cans, and cartons in supermarkets and convenience stores.

These ready-to-drink cold brews are popular, with sales increasing 137 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to market research firm Mintel. One reason: They're convenient, especially for cold brew coffee, which can be time-consuming to make yourself. Another reason: Some are positioned as healthy.

"Ready-to-drink coffee is one of the more innovative categories in the beverage industry, and one way we're seeing differentiation is though health claims," says Caleb Bryant, senior beverage analyst at Mintel. "There's protein coffee and one being positioned as a post-workout beverage with electrolytes, for example."

Mintel data shows that people who drink bottled or canned coffee have a strong interest in products with attributes related to health and wellness, such as antioxidants, brain health, protein, or probiotics. Ready-to-drink coffee also benefits from coffee's overall healthy reputation—studies have shown that it may reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk, and increase longevity—and the perception that it's lower in sugars than soft drinks, Bryant says.

But when Consumer Reports’ nutritionists evaluated ready-to-drink cold brews, comparing their nutrition and claims, they found that these drinks aren’t always a smart choice for your health.

“You might be surprised not only by the amount of sugars in some of these drinks, but also by the sodium and other additives they contain,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a Consumer Reports nutritionist.

What Is Cold Brew, Anyway?
As most seasoned coffee fans and baristas will tell you, cold brew coffee isn’t just iced coffee. Its brewing process, and hence flavor, is a lot different from that of hot coffee. Conventional joe is typically brewed by pouring hot water over coffee grounds and letting it flow through a filter into a pot or a mug. Brewing takes just a few minutes. Iced coffee is traditionally made by chilling brewed coffee, often by pouring over ice.

Cold brew, on the other hand, normally involves steeping ground beans in room temperature or cool water, for hours. It’s often served chilled or over ice.

The resulting flavor of cold brew—as with hot coffee—depends on many factors, including the quality of the beans, the purity of the water, and how long it steeps. But compared to conventional coffee, cold brew tends to be less bitter and acidic, with a more nutty, chocolatey, and sweet flavor.

CR nutritionists looked at more than 40 ready-to-drink cold brews from seven brands—including La Colombe, Peet’s, and Starbucks—comparing the manufacturers' nutritional information and reviewing the package claims. Most of the products were single-serve; we didn’t include cold brew “concentrates,” which are meant to be diluted with milk or water before drinking.

Our experts’ advice? “If you’re looking for a healthier ready-to-drink brew, you really should pay attention to labels,” says Keating. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

You May Get a Jolt of Caffeine
Cold brew typically has a higher caffeine count than hot coffee, says Keating. This is because you generally need more coffee grounds per ounce of water to make cold brew than you do for conventional hot coffee.

“That, paired with the longer brew time, means a more concentrated cup,” says Keating.

Regular brewed coffee has about 12 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce; Starbucks’ Featured Dark Roast has about 16 mg. The caffeine counts of the cold brew products we reviewed ranged from 6 mg per fluid ounce in Califia Farms Cafe Latte Cold Brew with Almond Milk to 25 mg per fluid ounce in Rise Brewing Co.’s Original Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee. An 11-ounce bottle of Rise would give you close to 275 mg of caffeine. That’s more than the 200 mg some health groups, such as March of Dimes, suggest as a daily limit for pregnant women; and a little more than half the 400 mg per day max the U.S. government dietary guidelines recommend for others.

Some companies, such as Rise, list the amount of caffeine per serving on the bottle, but not all do so. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose the amount of caffeine on packaging.

In most cases, however, we were able to get caffeine counts not listed by visiting the manufacturer’s website or by calling its consumer line.

It’s Not Soda, But It Can Still Be Sugary
One of the major perks of coffee is that it has negligible calories when you drink it black. But when you add milk and sugar, the calorie count can climb. A 12-ounce serving of SToK Protein Cold Brew Coffee Espresso Creamed, for example, has 180 calories and 19 grams of sugars. About six of those grams come from the milk and cream, but that leaves 13 grams—around 3 teaspoons—of added sugars.

For comparison, a 12-ounce can of cola has about 37 grams of added sugars. Still, when you consider that the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) per day for women and 36 grams (about 9 teaspoons) for men, the cold brew is packing a lot of the sweet stuff.

Some manufacturers label their brews as “lightly sweetened,” or "pinch of sugar," but such terms aren't regulated by the FDA, says Keating. "And the amount of added sugars per individual can or bottle can vary quite a bit."  For example, La Colombe Pure Black & White Cold Pressed Coffee, with “pinch of sugar” on the label, has just about a teaspoon of added sugars (5 grams) in a 9-ounce can. But SToK’s Not Too Sweet Black Cold Brew Coffee has about 4 teaspoons (16 grams) of added sugars in a 13.7-ounce bottle.

"Such wide differences are yet another reason to look beyond the claims on the front of a product and check the nutrition information and ingredients," Keating says.

The FDA will require manufacturers to list added sugars on Nutrition Facts Labels starting in 2020, but some companies already do so. If you don't see an added sugars line, read the ingredients list for sources of sugar. If the product isn't made with milk, cream, or half and half, which contain natural sugars, or fruit juice, but does list some type of sugar, you can assume that much of the sugars in the drink are added. And remember that sugar goes by many names. Cane sugar was the most common type of sugar listed in the products we looked at, but some of them were sweetened with caramel, honey, or tapioca syrup—which all count towards your added sugars intake.

Added Salt—and Other Surprises
More than half of the products we looked at contained salt or another source of sodium, such as baking soda or sodium phosphate, and 11 of them had between 200 and 320 mg of sodium per serving. That’s the same amount as in about 30 to 48 potato chips.

“We also found that many cold brews had added ingredients you might not expect to find in coffee, such as gums and chicory root fiber,” says Keating. "The more ingredients like these that a product has, the more processed it is, and it is better for your health to minimize processed foods in your diet."  

Plant Milk Doesn’t Always Make It Healthy
Cold brews made with plant milks are just as likely to contain sugars and sodium as their dairy counterparts.

For example, Peet’s Cold Brew Almond Milk has 19 g of sugars and 160 mg of sodium in a 10½-ounce bottle.

"The label doesn't break out the type of sugars, but you can tell they are primarily all added by looking at the ingredients in the ingredients list," says Keating. "None of them contain significant amounts of natural sugars."  And nearly all of the Califia Farms drinks made with nut milks that we looked at have added sodium. Califia Farms Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Mocha, for instance, has 230 mg of sodium (and 17 grams of added sugars) in 10½ ounces.

Healthier Cold Brews
Below are the products our experts say are worth a try (they appear in alphabetical order). But if you can’t find one of these, look for unsweetened black on the label.

“Even if you don’t like black coffee, try a black cold brew,” Keating suggests. “Its lower acidity and bitterness may make it more appealing. If you still think you need some sweetener, add it yourself starting with less than what you would use in a cup of hot coffee.” Unsweetened products with plant or dairy milk are OK too.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit member organization that works side by side with consumers for truth, transparency, and fairness in the marketplace. We use our rigorous research, consumer insights, journalism, and policy expertise to inform purchase decisions, improve the products and services that businesses deliver, and drive regulatory and fair competitive practices.  This report was written and compiled by Julia Calderone.  www.consumerreports.org

 

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7 Non-Dairy Creamers Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Love

Whether you follow a vegan diet, have a lactose intolerance, or simply prefer to eat dairy-free, finding a non-dairy creamer for your coffee might seem like a bit of a challenge. Luckily, there are actually plenty of store-bought dairy-free creamer options out there that are totally delicious. Here are some top-rated non-dairy creamers to stock up on for your morning cup o' joe thanks to bestproducts.com.

 

Califia Farms Almondmilk Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
Made with almond milk, coconut cream, and a touch of sea salt, this unsweetened non-dairy creamer from Califia Farms is only 10 calories per serving. Reviewers compare the thick and rich consistency of this creamer to their favorite traditional dairy creamers and love adding this to their lattes and cold-brew coffee.

Nutpods Unsweetened Dairy Free Coffee Creamer
Made from almonds and coconuts, these unsweetened non-dairy creamers from nutpods come in three tasty flavors: Original, Hazelnut, and French Vanilla. In addition to a smooth, rich creamer for your coffee or tea, nutpods is also a great dairy-free alternative for savory baked dishes like mac n' cheese or breakfast quiche or sweet desserts like chocolate lava cake.
Coconut Cloud Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Creamer
If you're looking for a non-dairy creamer to pop into your bag on the fly, it doesn't get more convenient than these dried coconut milk creamer sticks from Coconut Cloud. We love that these non-dairy creamers are also made with coconut-derived MCT oil, a superfood, plant-based fatty acid known to help support increased energy.
Good Karma Vanilla Flaxmilk Non-Dairy Creamer
Dairy-free, gluten-free, and packed with 10 grams of plant-based protein per serving (derived from flaxseed), this lightly sweetened vanilla flax milk from Good Karma makes a great creamer alternative. Whether you enjoy it over cereal, in a smoothie, or in your morning coffee, this flax milk is a solid dairy-free cream alternative.
Califia Farms Better Half Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer
If you're on the hunt for a satisfying vegan equivalent to a traditional dairy half-and-half, Califia Farms' Better Half is a perfect plant-based option. Made from coconut cream and almond milk, this unsweetened non-dairy creamer has a deliciously thick and silky texture and a naturally sweet, nutty taste. Add a few teaspoons to your morning latte for a plant-powered lift.
Laird Superfood Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
This coconut-based superfood non-dairy creamer from Laird's is made with a blend of coconut milk powder, extra-virgin coconut oil, organic red palm oil, and a mineral-rich calcified sea algae called Aquamin. Founded by a big wave surfer and fitness guru, this non-dairy creamer is meant to provide a boost of sustained energy to your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Silk Vanilla Dairy-Free Soy Creamer
This non-dairy creamer from Silk is soy-based and flavored with natural vanilla for a creamy alternative to milk-based creamers. With only 3 grams of sugar per serving, this dairy-free creamer is sweet enough to act as both sweetener and creamer.  

 

You can find many of these at your local grocery store or you can place an order at amazon.com.

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