Coffee & Tea Festival Returns to Philly Area, Dec. 14-15

Get ready PA!  The tasting event you love a LATTE is back!  The 7th  Annual Coffee and Tea Festival returns to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA on Saturday, December 14, 2019 and Sunday, December 15, 2019 for what promises to be the best fest yet. More than 3,000 caffeine-starved attendees are expected to pack the Expo Center to sample coffees and teas from around the world.  Always a popular attraction during the pre-holiday season, tickets are selling fast and can be purchased at the event website  The first 500 ticketholders through the door each day receive a Coffee and Tea Festival tote filled with goodies to take home and enjoy.  Parking is free.

Join more than 50 exhibitors from around the country as they pour tastings of their finest coffees and teas, and introduce some of their new and award-winning products.  This celebration of coffee and tea also offers two days of seminars from well-known industry professionals and pioneers on topics as varied as:  what is purple tea, the science behind brewing coffee with a siphon, and an introduction to tea tasting.

The festival also includes select exhibitors that create deliciously dunkable and complimentary specialty foods that can be enjoyed with coffee, with tea, or on their own.  Many attendees visit the show with their holiday gift shopping list in hand. 


Tickets ($20 per day—but for you it’s $10 with promo code CTNEWS77) include admission to the event, access to special programs, and unlimited tastings from exhibitors.  The first 500 ticketholders to arrive each day receive a complimentary tote which includes an assortment of samples to enjoy at home. The festival is open from 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday, December 14th, and from 10:00am-4:00pm on Sunday, December 15th. 

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is located at 100 Station Avenue, (Halls D & E), Oaks, PA 19456.  The event is produced by Starfish Junction Productions, and supported by the following:  Fresh Cup Magazine, The Tea House Times, and the Coffee and Tea Newsletter.  For tickets and more information please visit:

Photos by:  Michael Steiner


8 Coffee Infused Snacks for Anyone on Your List

Holiday shopping is upon us so we’ve put together a list of snacks perfect for every coffee lover. So, here's our take on the best caffeinated sweet treats of the season--great for stocking stuffers and thank you gifts--for the coffee lover in your life! From the allergen-free to the protein-packed, we’ve got you covered!

1. Italian Espresso Superfood Granola, Münki Food Company

Launched this summer, Münki Food Company’s Italian Espresso Superfood Granola is vegan, dairy free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, non-GMO, refined sugar free, and has about 30 grams of plant protein per bag and 16 grams of whole grains per serving. Plus, purchasing a bag of granola feeds your belly, evolves your tastebuds, and supports Brother Wolf Animal Rescue (a portion of proceeds from every bag is donated to the organization).

Gretchen Brown, the Münki chef, explained her inspiration for the granola, “I wanted fun flavours that would sneak extra daily fruit and vegetables into our diet. A lot of the granolas on the market are loaded with sugars, so my goal was to make a naturally sweetened granola that tastes great – without all of the refined sweet stuff… trust me, one taste and you’ll be hooked!”

Münki also sells Espresso Yourself Mocha Walnuts that are also vegan friendly, dairy free, gluten-free, peanut free and, of course, delicious. The chefs dunk cinnamon coated walnuts in artisan-roasted fair trade and organic coffee from Dynamite Roasting Company and mix them with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and dehydrated cranberries – what more could you ask for!

Both the Superfood Granola and the Nuts are perfect snacking options to eat straight from the bag. However, they make for delightful toppings on yogurt, and taste delicious in a frozen mocha smoothie or added to pancakes on a sleepy Saturday. You can also try using the granola in a more unique form like processing some to add as part of the base in a pie crust.

Ready to buy these “Dynamite” Coffee infused snacks? Coffee & Tea Newsletter readers can save 10% off their entire order when purchasing directly from Münki Foods – just enter COFFEE&TEA10 in the discount code of your shopping cart.

2. Coffee Waffle, Untapped

Untapped puts a delectable, caffeinated spin on a stroopwafel replacing the Dutch classic caramel filling with pure maple syrup and real coffee between two wafer, waffled cookies for their Coffee Waffle. The syrup and coffee combo with a waffle texture in your mouth tricks your mind into thinking you just had a complete breakfast with one bite. Let the waffle sit on the top of a freshly brewed cup of coffee for some warming from the steam, and you will even feel the appropriate temperature!

For added flavor, and a greater sugar-caffeine rush, you can add some coffee infused Vermont maple syrup to the top of your waffle or right in your coffee with Untapped’s Coffee UnTapped Syrup sticks. Each stick has approximately 27mg of caffeine derived from real coffee plus all the amino acids, electrolytes and minerals naturally from the maple syrup. Enjoying a syrup stick, like one would a honey stick, is a great energy boost if you’re suffering from a case of the Mondays.

If you purchase directly from Untapped, they have a variety of purchasing options for both the Coffee Waffle and Coffee UnTapped syrup sticks. A pack of four waffles or a pack of five sticks are both $9.95 - perfect for your "under $10” grab bag gift.

3. Mocha Bites®, Safely Delicious®

Safely Delicious® is a company started out of necessity by a mother who wanted to provide her children, with food allergies, snacks that were both safe and delicious. All of the company’s products are free of the top 11 food allergens (gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nuts, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, sesame, mustard, sulfites) and made in a licensed commercial facility dedicated to containing none of these food allergens. Further, Safely Delicious® products are vegan, cholesterol free, low in sodium, an excellent source of iron and have no artificial colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

If you have someone on your list with food allergies but loves coffee, give the Safely Delicious® Mocha Bites® a try! They are sweet and crunchy containing a kick of French Roast coffee blended with smooth semi-sweet chocolate and tossed over crunchy toasted rice cereal bites. The snack is reminiscent of the childhood favorite “muddy buddy” recipe but with an adult twist from the addition of 100% Arabica coffee.

Available in 1oz and 3oz sizes for $2.49 and $5.79 respectively, Safely Delicious® allergy friendly Mocha Bites® are a perfect snack for the adult who doesn’t want to grow-up, satisfying both a sweet tooth and a caffeine fix.

4. Espresso Jolt Pretzel Mix, Red Rocker Candy

Red Rocker Candy is a candy manufacturer specializing in gourmet pretzel mixes that are hand made in Central Virginia, just outside Charlottesville. Their pretzel mixes are unique in that they slowly coat and flavor pretzel nuggets so that every bite is a burst of flavor. Then, they add complementary items to enhance the flavored pretzels.

In the Espresso Jolt Pretzel Mix mix, Red Rocker combines coffee coated pretzel nuggets, Koppers milk chocolate covered espresso beans, mini salted caramel cups, and dark chocolate chunks to create the most heavenly snack. It truly is an “afternoon cup of coffee” in a pretzel mix.

You can purchase Red Rocker Candy’s Espresso Jolt Pretzel Mix in a three-pack of 9oz cans for $24.00, a 27oz can for $22.00, or a case of 12 9oz cans for $91. If you have a few people on your list, go big and get the 12 pack… one can for each person, the rest for you (it’s okay to gift yourself – no has to know).

5. Café Latte, ICONIC Protein

ICONIC Protein has made a name for itself for its protein packed drinks and powder containing truly grass-fed protein – their cows feed on pasture over 95% of the year and have plenty of room to roam. Each serving of ICONIC boasts 20 grams of complete protein from the grass-fed cows’ milk to fill you up without slowing you down. Furthermore, their shakes provide an on-the-go option that is tasty but low-calorie. All of their flavors have just 3g of sugar.

ICONIC is also non-GMO Project Verified, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, hormone-free, pesticide-free, kosher and contains no artificial sweeteners or ingredients. Plus, ICONIC protein is a great source of prebiotic fiber which aids in digestion. Unlike other protein shakes, ICONIC provides a complete amino acid profile, BCAA’s for easy digestibility and a healthy dose of electrolytes. The company’s milk protein is made from a natural blend of 80% casein (slow absorbing) and 20% whey (fast absorbing), which provides optimal muscle recovery and keeps you fuller longer.

The ICONIC Café Latte is special in that it has added Vitamin B-12 and also contains 180mg of caffeine (the equivalent of two cups of coffee) from ethically-sourced Columbian coffee beans. It’s a protein drink that stops morning hunger, midday slug, and the 4pm crash. If you have an athlete or a gym buff on your list, who is looking to get their morning cup with their protein, buy a pack of 12 ICONIC Café Lattes for $32.00. There’s free shipping and returns with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

6. Double Chocolate Mocha Seed Bar, 88 Acres

All of 88 Acres products are made with a base of seeds because of their superior nutrition and, consequently, all of the protein in the bar is from the seeds. They never use artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or protein isolates. Even more, all of the company’s products are made in a Boston bakery dedicated to being free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame.

The newest flavor, Double Chocolate Mocha, is made of organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds and organic flax seeds combined with organic dark chocolate and coffee extract to achieve its namesake. Each Double Chocolate Mocha bar, at 45g, contains 3g of fiber and 6g of protein. For those who love the taste of coffee but can’t have the caffeine, the use of coffee extract, which is derived from a blend of Italian and Brazilian coffee beans, greatly reduces the amount of caffeine contained within each bar. There is only 1.5mg of caffeine so you can have the taste of coffee without the jitters – perfect for a friend who subscribes to decaf.

At $21.50 for a box of nine bars, this is a perfect gift for a co-worker. You know, the one that’s always looking for a snack. 88 Acres seed bars are non-GMO Project verified, certified gluten-free, certified vegan, kosher, and nut free.

7. Coffee Maple Cacao, LivBar

All LivBars are plant based, USDA certified organic and free from gluten, soy, dairy, corn, nuts, and GMOs. Plus, every bar is packaged in a home compostable wrapper so you’re treating your body to a healthy snack and can be environmentally-friendly too. The bars are crunchy and chewy because they are baked (one of the only baked bars on the market); and the ingredients are all real foods – designed by a nutritionist who couldn’t find a bar that she could recommend to clients.

The Coffee Maple Cacao bar is vegetarian and contains 10mg of caffeine from coffee locally-sourced from a company in Portland, Oregon. It’s made from all-organic pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, dates, and hemp seeds to name a few ingredients; and sweetened with honey, cacao powder, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and maple extract. It’s quick, tasty and highly recommended for the person on your list with an active lifestyle – hikers, bikers, runners, etc.

You can purchase LivBar’s Coffee Maple Cacao bars in a pack of 12 directly on their website for $33.00 with free shipping.



The 7 Best Matcha Powders on Amazon

Matcha has been trend for quite a while, many singing its praises for contributing to overall good health and well-being.  Whether you’ve been mad for matcha for months or don’t know where to start, here’s a valuable guide as reported by Cheyenne Buckingham, a lifestyle writer at MSN.  Buckingham recently collected and reported on the 7 best matcha brands out there with guidance from Anna Kavaliunas, holistic coach and co-author of Matcha, A Lifestyle Guide.  What follows is her story packed with valuable info and guidance to selecting the best from Amazon.

How is matcha different from green tea?  The main difference: Matcha is a tea that comes in the form of a powder, rather than leaves in a tea bag. This means that both the flavor and nutritional benefits are more prominent in matcha.

"Most tea leaves, like the ones you find in everyday tea bags, are steeped in water to extract their flavor and benefits. Matcha, however, is the whole tea leaf ground into a powder and consumed. So when you drink matcha, you are literally drinking a plant," says Kavaliuna.  Matcha comes from Tencha leaf, which means that it's shade-grown. This gives the powder its inherent bright color and assortment of unique nutrients.  "The ground powder is not water-soluble, so the particles won't dissolve when added to water or milk," she explains. "Instead, the powder is suspended in [the] liquid."  This is why matcha works so well in lattes, smoothies, and shakes; its thicker viscosity gives a creamy beverage.

Is matcha healthier than green tea?  Matcha certainly offers more antioxidants.  "Matcha contains more than four times the antioxidant levels found in goji berries and dark chocolate. These antioxidants have been shown to protect against cancer, ward off cardiovascular disease, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, detoxify the blood, alkalize the body, and stabilize blood sugars," says Kavaliunas.  There is a particular catechin polyphenol called EGCG that matcha contains a whopping 140 times more of than its typical green tea counterpart does.

What kinds of matcha can you buy?  There are two grades of matcha you can purchase: ceremonial and culinary. If you want to make a drink using matcha, you'll want to use ceremonial, and if you're baking matcha into something such as bread you'll want to opt for the culinary grade.  "The higher quality the tea, the sweeter and smoother it is. Your matcha should be a vibrant green color, and it should taste good," Kavaliunas says about ceremonial grade matcha powder.  Now if the matcha powder is dull in color or smells like burnt grass, she recommends you include it into something sweet such as a gluten-free coconut cake, for example, to mask the bitter flavor.  "Unfortunately, there is no regulation surrounding the use of the word matcha or ceremonial, so make sure you are buying from a trusted source," she advises.

Now, here are the 7 best matcha powders you can purchase on Amazon:

1. Chalait
Chalait is one of Kavaliunas' favorite matcha brands. On Amazon, you can purchase the Chalait's everyday ceremonial grade matcha, which is sourced directly from its place of origin in Uji, Japan. The flavor is described as mellow, with subtle hints of bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs. Enjoy this antioxidant-rich drink at any time of the day!  $29.95 at Amazon  Buy Now

2. Ippodo Matcha: Ummon-no-mukashi
Kavaliunas loves Ippodo matcha, and this particular 40-gram jar of Ummon-no-mukashi is the second-highest grade of matcha under the brand. Described as full-bodied and rich, this vibrant emerald green matcha is a great choice.  $53.39 at Amazon  Buy Now

3. MatchaBar
Rich in L-theanine, this ceremonial grade green tea powder is sourced from Kagoshima, Japan. This matcha is energizing, with each serving containing about 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is not far off from what a typical cup of coffee contains at 95 milligrams.  $19.97 at Amazon  Buy Now

4. Jade Leaf
Not familiar with Jade Leaf matcha powder? It's one of our trusted registered dietitians' favorites.  "It's USDA certified organic, contains no other additives, and is third-party tested for heavy metals and other potential contaminants," says Cynthia Sass, RD, CSSD, LA-based performance nutritionist.  $9.95 at Amazon.  Buy Now

5. Breakaway Matcha
You could make a warm matcha latte, but Breakaway Matcha is best enjoyed chilled. The stoneground leaves are sourced from Kyoto, Japan. This matcha is also one of Kavaliunas' favorites. Want to know what else you can do with matcha? Here are the best Ideas for Cooking and Baking with Matcha Green Tea.  $29.00 at Amazon. Buy Now

6. Matcha Organics
This ceremonial grade, USDA organic matcha is produced in Yame, Japan, and blends well in lattes, shakes, smoothies, and even in baking mixes. Um, matcha cookies anyone?  $26.00 at Amazon.  Buy Now

7. uVernal Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
If you're on a budget but you're looking to reap the benefits of a quality matcha brand, this is your best bet.  $14.99 at Amazon. Buy Now


PJ's Coffee Announces Third Annual Veteran Franchise License Giveaway

PJ's Coffee, a New Orleans-based coffeehouse that demonstrates a "southern hospitality" experience, the freshest products, and better beans with superior roasting technique, has announced its third annual Veteran Franchise License Giveaway, which will award one deserving military veteran a free PJ's Coffee franchise license.

The popular coffeeshop is looking for military veterans to join the ever-growing $100 billion a year global coffee industry. PJ's Coffee seeks hardworking, passionate applicants who align with its core values of delivering best-in-class coffee with the highest regards to service and hospitality.

New Orleans-Based Coffeehouse Chain to Award Franchise License to Deserving Veteran

If interested, veterans should visit to enter their contact information and receive a franchise brochure. Once received, they will need to submit a one-minute video explaining how military service has prepared them to be a PJ's Coffee owner. The application is now open and will run through January 31. The winner will be announced in February 2020.

"With many of our previous veteran franchisees, we've seen a seamless transition from military life to entrepreneurship, so we started this initiative to attract like-minded individuals to our concept, and as a way of saying 'thank you for your service,'" said Ryan Stansbury, PJ's Coffee Vice President of Franchise Development. "Last year's winner, Bobby Mounts, has military experience and time spent as a police officer, which displayed his incredible dedication to serving our nation and his community. He is passionate and has a work ethic that can't be matched. We hope this annual giveaway will empower other veterans to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit."

Mounts' location is slated to open in Ruston, LA in early 2020. He was chosen because of his diverse military and professional background and infectious can-do attitude. Mounts served in the Marine Corps from 2002 to 2008 as an infantry rifleman, eventually becoming a Sergeant. During his service, he was deployed in Iraq in 2004. After serving, Mounts became a police officer in Monroe, and has been serving his community for the last thirteen years.

"I am incredibly fortunate to have been awarded this opportunity and I am committed to paying it forward to other men and women who serve our communities and country," said Mounts. "Policeman, fireman, and military personnel are all truly inspiring individuals who devote their lives to serving others and I look forward to welcoming them in my doors, and moreover, urge them to take advantage of this exciting and lifechanging experience."

The PJ's Coffee brand is passionate about giving back to the veteran community in any way it can. The company is an International Franchise Association VetFran member, proudly offering qualified veterans a 20 percent discount on the initial franchise fee.

A prospective franchisee can expect a total investment range between $178,900 - $373,000 for non-traditional franchise units, and $190,900 - $566,000 for traditional units. The operating model and menu is adaptable to any environment with different options including kiosks and free-standing locations with a drive-thru, ranging from a few hundred square feet up to 2200 square feet. PJ's Coffee offers a proven franchise structure with strategic corporate support.

PJ's Coffee serves a wide variety of iced, frozen, hot, cold brew, and nitro-infused coffees using only the top one percent of Arabica beans, as well as organic tea and fresh breakfast pastries. The brand's famous iced coffees are brewed daily using a special cold-drip process that protects the flavor and strength of the beans, while producing a coffee that is two thirds less acidic – a process pioneered by PJ's Coffee founder, Phyllis Jordan.

For more information about PJ's Coffee franchise opportunities, and to request your free franchise information booklet, please visit


Rethink Holiday Teatime with Festive Tea-Infused Cocktails & Mocktails

Stash Tea Company is bringing a different and exciting approach to your holiday cocktail cups this winter. The perfect excuse to invite everyone over for holiday teatime, Stash Tea is sharing bold, tea-infused cocktails to impress even the pickiest of party guests.

Regardless of what you’re celebrating this year, these recipes are sure to be a hit. From a Maple Apple Cider hot toddy to a Chai Spice tea with honey and spiced rum, Stash is giving you four originally curated drink recipes that will spice up your holiday menu…literally!

Spiked Winter Chai: Indulge in this comforting winter warmer that hits all the flavor boxes! It’s spicy, creamy and delicious. Stash Tea’s Ginger Fire Chai is turned up a notch with a shot of spiced rum, a splash of hazelnut liqueur and some frothy steamed milk for a cozy cocktail that is sure to warm you to your toes! If you prefer not to have the extra kick of heat, try it with the Stash Tea Chai Spice blend. See the full recipe here.

Orange Spice Brandy Alexander: A staple for those festive winter nights, made with Stash Tea’s zesty Orange Spice tea. This simple, yet decadent recipe fulfills both your chocolate cravings and your tea cravings! Perfect as a dessert or a cocktail. This recipe was exclusively developed for Stash Tea by Kayleigh Kosmas!  See the full recipe here.

Maple Cider Hot Toddy: Traditionally made with hot water, lemon, honey and spices mixed with some very necessary liquor, the hot toddy is a staple drink that’s made for chilly, rainy days. This twist on a classic, made with Stash Maple Apple Cider tea, adds an extra layer of flavor that your guests won’t see coming. This recipe was exclusively developed for Stash Tea by Kayleigh Kosmas!  See the full recipe here.

Citrus Hibiscus Sangria (Mocktail): This seasonal mocktail sangria recipe uses blood oranges, apples and lemons for the perfect full-bodied flavor. Stash Tea’s Wild Raspberry Hibiscus blend is the perfect accompaniment with fresh raspberries and mint to garnish the refreshing yet comforting winter beverage. This drink is a perfect make-ahead to allow for easier party prepping! This recipe is brought to you by Candice Young, creator of “From the Roots Blog.” See the full recipe here.


Manatee Coffee Partnership with Save the Manatee Club Reaches Milestone

Manatee Coffee is known for its gourmet coffee blends, with its most popular being Caribbean Delight. For more than a decade, they have partnered with Save the Manatee Club to help fund their ultimate mission of protecting manatees and their habitats for future generations. With November being national Manatee Awareness month as well as the month of giving, Manatee Coffee hopes their contribution will be used in efforts to increase awareness and education that ultimately reduces manatee injuries that arise as a result of human activity.

Manatee Coffee has long partnered with Save the Manatee Club to give back to manatee protection and habitat conservation efforts. They recently announced a milestone of $25,000 donated to support manatees.  “We love manatees and because of our customers, we are able to work with trusted partners like Save the Manatee Club to help sustain their environment for future generations,” said Nick Thompson, Director of Marketing at Manatee Gourmet Coffee.

Tonya Higgins, Save the Manatee Club’s Director of Development and Operations, has been very appreciative of Manatee Coffee’s contribution to the cause over the years. “Manatee Coffee is very generous in their support of Save the Manatee Club. Not only in their monetary contributions, but they have also donated so much great coffee to help keep our whole team alert and fully-caffeinated.”

Manatee Gourmet Coffee, LLC, is a family-owned coffee company that takes great pride in sourcing, blending, and roasting 100% Arabica coffee beans that produce a very satisfying rich body of complex flavors. Consumers can find Manatee Gourmet Coffee online and at select Costco retailers throughout the state of Florida.

They harvest green coffee beans from higher elevations in Brazil, Sumatra, and Colombia. And a carefully designed and skillfully executed roasting process ensures the roast has the most flavorful potential with the lowest amount of acid. The flavor profile of every shipment is also tested to make sure it meets their high standards. They offer several flavors, including hazelnut, cinnamon sticky bun, and chocolate raspberry. For the coffee purist, they offer the more traditional espresso blend and Colombian Supremo—selling for $11.99 for a 12 oz. bag (beans or ground). They also offer single-serve pods and decaf varieties. If there are any manatee lovers on your holiday gift list—they also sell cute swag in addition to the coffee.  

To learn more, visit