Tea for the Brave from Afghanistan

In a war-stricken society hope often feels distant but a commitment to change has led to the innovation and creation of the tea brand, Tahmina and the launch of the Tea for the Brave campaign.

Tahmina's story began when the founder, while a college student, read in the news that more than 90% of the world's heroin comes out of Afghanistan. That one statistic changed the entire course of her life. A few years later, upon finding that Afghan farmers growing saffron as new alternative to drug cultivation lacked access to international markets, she moved to Afghanistan to start Tahmina. Half of their team still lives on the ground in Afghanistan, with a mission to elevate transformational products from different conflict regions around the world.

Tahmina Photo 1

Tea for the Brave stands for more than just tea. Tahmina (derived from the Persian word tahm, meaning strong or brave) believes that economic development is one of the sustainable agents of change to war-torn societies, and that the people of Afghanistan are writing a new story of hope for their nation.

This campaign is an extension of the brand's values:
● To contribute to the development of the saffron industry in Afghanistan
● To support economic stability in conflict zonesTahmina Tea
● To champion women’s rights and leadership opportunities
● To source clean and organic ingredients with practices of environmental sustainability
● To give back generously by donating 10% of revenue back to nonprofits
● To create innovative designs that highlight the rich culture and heritage of Afghanistan
● To share another narrative about Afghanistan within the global context

The Tahmina founder remains anonymous due to the security sensitivities of her Afghan colleagues and her work as a minority in the region.  “We believe this story of hope will inspire courage in tea drinkers around the globe as we continue to live in uncertain times, to discover that there is bravery inside all of us, no matter where we live in the world.” - Tahmina Founder.

Tahmina believes that saffron is a spice that can truly change the world, bridging the gap between the Western consumer and Afghanistan. Not only does saffron support economic development, but the spice also offers a number of health benefits and is full of antioxidants that are proven to support immunity, mental health, neurogenesis, eye health, reduce blood pressure, help PMS and so much more.

“Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, more expensive than gold by weight. Treasured in culinary and medicinal traditions around the world, saffron is rich in antioxidants and minerals.
Afghan saffron has been rated the best in the world for the past 8 years.  Saffron has been traditionally used to boost immunity, fight depression and anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, aid digestion and many other physical ailments.” - Tahmina Founder

Tahmina Photo 2

Tea for the Brave launched earlier this month.  The new website and updated products bring to light the commitment to bravery and making a difference in conflict zones. When you buy Tahmina, you are supporting Tea for the Brave.

Tea for the Brave is about being a bridge. It connects the saffron farmers and women of Afghanistan with the tea drinkers of America. This tea not only stands for those who have been oppressed by conflict and poverty, but it’s also for those who have been struggling with mental illness and unemployment. Across the world, we may battle different demons but it is the same bravery to overcome that lives inside each and every one of us. Tea for the brave is about having the courage to look past the labels and stereotypes, and find a deeper connection with those in our local and global communities.” - Tahmina Founder.  Find out more here


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  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coffeeyarnjacket/coor


Tea Lovers Rejoice! Chai Instafuel

Just add hot water, stir and sip for a gourmet, plant-based Chai latte.  Laird Superfood, creator of assorted plant-based superfood products, is introducing Chai Instafuel to its product lineup so that tea lovers can enjoy a gourmet, plant-based Chai latte at home or on-the-go. Chai Instafuel is Laird Superfood's newest addition to its popular Instafuel collection that includes Original, Matcha and Unsweetened.


For an added boost of fuel and dairy-free creaminess, the new Chai Instafuel combines Laird Superfood's Original Superfood Creamer with a warm and savory chai tea blend, which includes premium black and rooibos tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove and black pepper. Instafuel

"Chai has grown in popularity around the world and we wanted to create a plant-based version for tea lovers who are looking for a gourmet chai latte experience at home and may want to cut back on caffeine," said Paul Hodge, CEO and co-founder of Laird Superfood. "Like the rest of our Instafuel collection, it's easy to make the perfect cup - whether at home or on the road. Just add hot water, stir and sip."

Laird Superfood Chai Instafuel ingredients:

  • Organic Instant Rooibos Extract – a popular herbal tea in South Africa for generations, it is vibrant in color, has natural sweetness and a slightly nutty flavor for a caffeine-free option, which helps reduce the overall caffeination of Chai Instafuel to just 63 mg per 12 oz cup.
  • Instant Black Tea - To make this tea, the tea leaves are oxidized longer than oolong, green, and white teas. The oxidation process allows the leaves to turn a rich dark brown to black color that the leaves are known for. This process also deepens the flavor, giving it earthy, nutty, and sometimes smoky notes. This bold and flavorful tea is a favorite around the globe.
  • Organic Coconut Sugar - A lower-glycemic alternative to traditional cane sugar, coconut sugar is a palm sugar produced from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm. 
  • Laird Superfood Organic Chai Spice Blend – A flavorful blend of organic spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove and black pepper.
  • Aquamin™ - A calcified red sea algae, a naturally good source of calcium.
  • Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – A source of energy due to the naturally occurring MCTs.
  • Sea Salt – Sea Salt is minimally processed when compared to table salt. It is made from evaporated seawater, as opposed to table salt, which is generally mined from salt deposits.
  • Organic Gum Acacia – Derived from the acacia tree and is tapped from the tree and then dried and ground. 

Laird Superfood's Chai Instafuel is available at lairdsuperfood.com and at select retailers for $11.95-$14.95 for an 8 oz bag. 


Roasters of the Year

Greater Goods Coffee Company and Tony’s Coffee have won Roast magazine’s 17th annual Roaster of the Year competition. The two coffee roasting companies will be featured in the trade publication’s November/December 2020 issue, available online at roastmagazine.com.

Roast awards top honors in two categories: Micro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting fewer than 100,000 pounds of coffee each year; and Macro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting more than 100,000 pounds annually. The award recognizes companies that roast coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity, among other criteria.

2021 Micro Roaster of the Year: Greater Goods Coffee Company

Greater Goods Coffee Company, with a roasting headquarters and three retail locations in the Austin, Texas area, was selected as Roast’s 2021 Micro Roaster of the Year. Founded in 2015, the company has an annual output of 90,900 pounds of roasted coffee and a staff of 24, managed by co-founders Khanh Trang, head of cafe, and Trey Cobb, head of operations. The company earned top honors for its high-quality standards, commitment to education, local community engagement and employee development. 

Here’s an excerpt from the feature article that will be included in Roast’s November/December issue:

“If they demonstrate to us a desire to learn and they’re willing to put in the effort,” says Cobb, “we’ll give them every resource we have available to us to help them grow in that area. In some cases, it might be a need that we have, an immediate place for them, or it might be something where they’re going to continue to grow and move outside our company, but we enjoy being able to be that resource for people to continue to grow. It makes the coffee community better overall.”

Learn more at greatergoodsroasting.com.


2021 Macro Roaster of the Year: Tony’s Coffee

Tony’s Coffee, headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, took the top prize for 2021 Macro Roaster of the Year, with an output of 1.1 million pounds of roasted coffee per year. Founded in 1971, Tony’s Coffee has been a family-owned business since the mid-1980s and under the leadership of CEO Todd Elliot since 2000. The company earned top honors for its vibrant company culture, community involvement and commitment to ethical sourcing practices and social responsibility.

From the November/December issue of Roast, here is an excerpt about Tony’s sustainability goals:

“Tony’s has a long history of working toward greater sustainability with our producer partners, and also our own practices and the operation of our roastery,” says Director of Sales and Marketing David Yake. While the company had been considering working toward carbon neutrality for some time, Yake adds, the management team was inspired to pursue it in earnest after visiting the world’s first carbon neutral coffee cooperative, Coopedota in Costa Rica, earlier this year.

Learn more at tonyscoffee.com.


Roast is a bi-monthly technical trade journal dedicated to the success and growth of the specialty coffee industry. Roast addresses the art, science and business of coffee roasters by covering the issues most important to them, with quality editorial content focused on the technical aspects of coffee. For more information, visit roastmagazine.com.


ONECUP: One Amazing Tool

Don’t know about you, but we’ve been using this time at home during quarantine to move beyond the quick press-and-go coffee pods and have used this time to perfect our techniques for brewing coffee and try some new ones.  We welcome our new favorite, ONECUP from Finum, known world-wide for their line of award-winning and patented accessories for tea, coffee and spices.

Onecup Photo

We received this ONECUP set to take for a test-drive and were very excited to try something new.  Well, we were amazed at just how easy it was to use, how little space it occupied in our cabinet, and how perfectly it brewed a cup of coffee.  Of course, it’s a given that you must start any method with good high-quality coffee.  So armed with some freshly ground quality beans, we started out on the brewing experiment.

ONECUP coffee filters are made from compostable naturfine® paper, which consists of 100% natural fibers and is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.  We followed the instructions and placed the filter on the outside of the filter mount, added coffee, poured our hot water, and brewed for 3 minutes.

Onecup Photos

The result was a delicous cup of coffee, brewed to perfection.  It was easy to make and cleanup was a breeze.  The folks at Finum share this information about their ONECUP product:


The infusion of the coffee allows a gentle extraction of the flavour carriers. Enjoy the full body and the fine nuances of your favourite coffee with the ONECUP infusion.

MORE FUNOnecup Package

The quick and easy preparation is a pleasure for everyone – not just for baristas. And ONECUP allows you to include additional flavor to your coffee infusion, such as cane sugar from Colombia, chilli from Mexico or chicory from France.


Choosing the right coffee from your preferred roaster with the ideal grind remains up to you. You are in control.


The extensive packaging of capsules results in a material and carbon footprint which is almost 5 times higher than for the packaging of filter coffee. The ONECUP coffee filters are small; they are made from compostable naturfine®️paper. Both the filters and the boxes are FSC®️ certified. Just add the small amount of coffee that will be consumed in all likelihood: i.e. 10g per cup (200ml).


Electrical appliances consume energy and need to be cleaned afterwards. Skip that by using the ONECUP coffee filters everywhere you go.


Capsules and instant coffee go through far more packaging procedures than ground coffee. This also has an impact on costs. With ONECUP coffee filters you save on price, not on quality.
For more info, visit:  www.onecupfilter.com


Healthy Teas, the 4 Dietitians Love Most and Why

Betty Gold, a writer at Real Simple magazine, recently shared the results of a tea-talk with registered dietician and bestselling cookbook author Frances Largeman-Roth. 

Tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the world (the only one that ranks higher is water), and we know why. It’s exceedingly soothing, deliciously addictive, and packs incredible health benefits. Tea comes in endless forms and flavors, too: matcha’s made for those who love green with caffeine, infused iced tea is the perfect sip for sweltering summer days, knock back a kombucha for probiotics, and when you can’t quell your bout of insomnia, there’s chamomile. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of tea types—there are over 20,000 teas that exist in the world, and more enter the market daily.

Flavor is, of course, a personal preference. But when it comes to choosing a tea you know is going to be good for you, we look to the pros. Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color, provides us with the four types of teas she recommends to her clients—and sips herself.

Vahdam Tea Tales

Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, but it can taste very bitter. This blend from Vahdam is wonderful because it combines turmeric with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper, which helps boost the absorption of curcumin (aka the active ingredient in turmeric). "And I love that the tea bags are individually packaged, so they’re perfect for travel," Largeman-Roth says. Plus, the brand gives 1 percent of its revenue back to educate the tea growers’ children. 




Teapigs Licorice and Mint Tea

"I love the flavor of licorice root, and these little biodegradable 'tea temples' from Teapigs are filled with a perfect combo of licorice root and mint," says Largeman-Roth. The tea is delicious and a wonderful sugar-free pick-me-up mid-afternoon




Teavana Youthberry

"When I want just a bit of caffeine in the early afternoon, I reach for this blend of white tea, hibiscus, rose petals, orange, and mango from Teavana. It’s a pretty pink tea that definitely lifts my spirits!"




Traditional Medicinals Gas Relief

"Whether it’s due to travel or a big meal, we can all experience painful gas," Largeman-Roth says. This tea combines calming chamomile with peppermint (great for your belly), caraway, coriander, and lemon balm. "They are all carminatives, which means they help get rid of gas. Start sipping as soon as you experience discomfort and you’ll be feeling better soon."





Real Simple is packed with good-to-know information and inspiring ideas.  Whether in print or online, this is a great source for people who are looking to make life easier.  www.RealSImple.com