At the core of the HERO Beverage Company's mission is the belief that when everyone comes together to unite behind a common purpose, amazing things can happen.
From the coffee fields to the frontline workers, and everyone in between, every purchase helps to keep everyone operational. With every purchase made they directly support those out on the front lines, no matter what the threat may be. The company is committed to giving back 10% of profits via monetary and product donations and proudly broadcasts their slogan “You Buy, We Give”.
There different coffee blends created to pay tribute to a variety of heroes—from nurses to soldiers, from those who protect to those who teach. The HERO Beverage team personally delivers HERO coffee to schools, hospitals, military bases, fire stations, police departments and organizations across the United States. For those areas they can't physically visit they mail care packages. “As we grow, so will our ability to give back,” said Founder & CEO Michael de Geus, a former Secret Service Agent.
HERO Beverage Co. has launched Legend Blend coffee, in a collaboration with the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation, that honors the late Chris Kyle and the non-profit organization founded by his wife, Taya Kyle, to fulfill Chris' visions to help support military and first responder families.
A tribute to the late Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, Legend Blend coffee combines a flavor profile that represents many things he loved in his life before it was tragically taken. This very special blend of Central American, South American, and Indonesian coffee was created to honor the life and legacy of a legend named Chris Kyle who was a true American HERO and the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. With subtle notes of chocolate and tobacco this blend is bittersweet yet smooth, just how Chris liked his coffee!
"We are honored to partner with the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation and help support what Taya and her organization are doing," said de Geus. "The natural synergy between our brand and Taya's organization can be seen in our shared values and desire to help those around us remain operational. With this joint effort we will be able to collectively help provide men, women, and children of military and first responder families the support they need to keep themselves operational, whether emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or physically."
"A partnership like this feels right," said Taya Kyle, Founder and Executive Director of the Chris & Taya Kyle Foundation. "Working with Hero Beverage Co. has been a great experience. Putting Chris's image on a coffee blend designed to specifically give back to people who serve, is a perfect match. Chris often said, 'It's our duty to serve those who serve us.' This blend represents not only his love of coffee, but his desire to find every opportunity to give back as both a civilian and Navy SEAL. This partnership is a great way to honor Chris's legacy by continuing to support those who serve."
Legend Blend coffee can be found online at www.drinkhero.com or at participating retail partner locations across the U.S and is available in whole bean, ground, and single serve pods. A portion of proceeds are donated back to the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation.
Don't toss those unused tea bags! Believe it or not, they're capable of far more than you realize. Green tea eye masks, anyone?
If your favorite tea bag is eager to venture out of the mug and explore some new territory—or you're just never going to use that box of age-old rooibos—look no further. Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, a writer for Real Simple magazine reports that a simple bag of tea can do much more than, well, brew a warm beverage. And because tea comes in so many flavors and styles, the options are pretty much endless for this versatile pantry staple. Whether you're eager to amp up your home baking or indulge in a DIY spa day, try these tricks to help get the most out of your tea collection.
Infuse Simple Syrups
Amp up your baked goods or at-home cocktails with tea-infused simple syrups. To make, steep tea as usual in a cup of water. Remove tea bag and melt in equal parts sugar. The syrup can then be stirred into iced coffee, tea, cocktails, or used in or on top of baked goods.
Instead of splurging on a fancy bottle of flavored booze, make your own! Simply let a bag of tea seep in a small jar of your preferred spirit for 15 minutes—that’s it—and you’ll taste its complex, concentrated flavors. If you want more flavor, use more tea (rather than tacking on more time, which can lead to bitterness).
Make Tea Eggs
Add earthy, herbal flavor to boiled eggs by soaking them overnight in tea. Classic Chinese tea eggs use black tea as well as aromatics to infused the already cooked eggs with a tasty exterior. To make, boil eggs in water as desired, then crack the shells or completely peel, and soak the eggs for 12 hours in a steeped black tea (or another flavor) to your liking.
Relax With Green Tea Bag Masks
Need a quick anti-inflammatory eye boost? Soak two unflavored green tea bags in warm water and rest on your closed lids. The caffeine in green tea will help de-puff the gentle skin around your eyes and the antioxidants will refresh your skin.
Use Herbal Tea in the Bathtub
After all, herbal tea is just a combination of aromatic dried herbs, fresh flowers, spices, and other ingredients that both smell and taste amazing. Add two herbal tea bags to a warm bubble bath to soak in the herbaceous-ness.
Paint with Tea
Feeling artsy? Before you splurge for a new art kit, consider using what you have at home: Tea. Fill small bowls with boiling water, and infuse various flavors of tea in the water for several minutes. Vary seeping times for darker and lighter colors, and get to work on your canvas. Watercolor brushes work best with this technique, but you can get creative with sponges, potato stamps, or whatever tools best suit your creative mood.
Make Cold Brew Tea to Go
Instead of splurging on a bottle of iced tea when you’re out, prepare for the day ahead by making your own iced tea. Take a reusable water bottle, fill it up with water, and add a teabag. Seal the top so the string is easily accessible. Leave in the fridge overnight, remove the teabag on your way out, and you have a cold, delicious tea drink for free.
Compost Used Tea Leaves
Whether you have a compost bin at home or a community compost drop off, don’t forget to include your spent tea leaves. While some tea bags are compostable as is (check the label), others will need to be cut open and added to the organics pile to help create plant fertilizer.
Makes 2 drinks
What You Need/Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 to 2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup), or 1/3 to 1/2 cup strong coffee
• 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped into firm peaks
Mixer, whisk, or hand blender, to whip cream
Espresso maker or coffee maker
Heat the pumpkin and spices. Heat the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and a generous helping of black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it's hot and smells cooked, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the sugar. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly, thick syrup.
Warm the milk. Whisk in the milk and vanilla and warm gently, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over.
Blend the milk. Carefully process the mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
Mix the drinks. Make the espresso or coffee and divide between 2 mugs. Add the frothed milk and pumpkin mixture. Top with the whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.
Vanilla: Yes, this recipe calls for two tablespoons (not teaspoons) of vanilla. This sounds like a lot, but it does more than anything else to mimic the intense, even artificial, taste of the syrups used in coffee shops. But feel free to start with less and bump it up as needed.
Milk fat: This recipe is most satisfying when made with whole milk, but 2% and skim can be substituted.
Canned pumpkin substitution: You can substitute 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup for the canned pumpkin if you have it on hand.
Sugar substitute: You can use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar if desired. Add to taste.
Pumpkin pie spice substitute: No pumpkin pie spice? No problem — use our recipe to make it out of cinnamon, ginger, and other spices: Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Make a big batch of pumpkin spice base: If you like, you can make a big batch of the pumpkin spice base, and refrigerate. To make 8 full servings, cook 1/2 cup pumpkin purée with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup vanilla extract. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired. To serve, blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice base with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.
Super Coffee, the number three bottled coffee brand in the US behind Starbucks and Dunkin' best known for its good-for-you enhanced coffee products with zero added sugar, announced today that Gabby Thomas, the two-time Olympic medalist, and student-athlete, was appointed Super Coffee's Health and Wellness Advocate, joining the brand's esteemed list of innovators, athletic superstars, and celebrities to accelerate their mission to remove sugar from the American diet and help shape a more positive nation.
In the spirit of this new partnership, Thomas will join the brand's fight against sugar and shine light on the negative impacts sugar has on consumers' health and well-being. The brand kicked off the relationship at Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA - paying homage to Thomas' childhood home and time spent at Harvard University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in neurobiology and global health; with banners, "America Sprints on Super Coffee".
"Years ago I started drinking Super Coffee before training sessions, so when the opportunity presented itself to be a part of the brand in a bigger way, I ran to it, pun intended", said Gabby Thomas. "I felt an instant connection to the DeCicco brothers' story of wanting to create a good for you coffee drink with zero added sugar because the options they were left to turn to also before 5 am practices were filled with sugar. As an athlete with a background in public health, helping guide Super Coffee's fight against sugar in the right direction is an honor."
With health, wellness, and positivity at the brand's core, Thomas will join Super Coffee by traveling across the country to educate the next generation of consumers about the dangerous health effects of sugar and how sugar consumption is one of the main causes of obesity and chronic diseases. The average American drinks nearly four cups of coffee a day with approximately two teaspoons of sugar in each cup. Now more than ever - consumers are needing more positive energy, with many stressors and desires in their everyday lives and Super Coffee's mission is to be a sugar-free solution that Americans feel great about. To date, over four million pounds of sugar have been removed from the American diet, with Super Coffee being sold in over 56,000 retailers nationwide.
"Gabby Thomas is a living embodiment of our brand," said Jimmy DeCicco, CEO of Super Coffee. "At Super Coffee, we embrace a 'yes, and' attitude: yes it is coffee, AND protein, AND healthy fats, etc. Yes, Gabby is a Harvard grad/epidemiologist, AND a public health advocate, AND an Olympic medalist, AND she's just getting started."
Super Coffee exists to help people create positive change by making enhanced coffee products that are good for you, fortified with vitamins, antioxidants and most importantly bolster healthy energy and indulgence without the sugar. Super Coffee offers 30 SKUs that are naturally sweetened with monk fruit, contain MCT-Oil, and L-Theanine for easing stress - plus, they are the fastest-growing brand in the food and beverage space. Gabby's public health advocacy role will allow for frequent Q&As, give back opportunities where she trains in Austin, Texas and Super Coffee's headquarters is, personal blog posts on drinksupercoffee.com, and speaking engagements surrounding what it means to work hard with a focus on public health disparities and how collectively we can shape Americans diet for the better.
From rare leaves and unique desserts to themed afternoon teas and one-of-a-kind teahouses, there's a little something for everyone…and here’s the list from USA TODAY 10Best and writer Amber Gibson.
Oolong Cafe at China Live | San Francisco, California
A Ming dynasty-inspired mural depicting Bay Area landmarks is the backdrop to a refined tea experience at Oolong Cafe in China Live. George Chen and Cindy Wong-Chen personally source the best green, oolong, black and pu-erh teas directly from farmers in China and Taiwan.
There are more than a dozen varieties available along with tea-infused mocktails. Pair Oriental Beauty oolong or caffeine-free eight treasure tea with black tea tiramisu and matcha tea cookies, then take home a box of Kao NuXu matcha and pineapple cakes.
Cha-An Teahouse | New York, New York
Settle onto a tatami seat amidst Japanese paper lamps at Cha-An Teahouse in the East Village of New York to enjoy a wide collection of Japanese green teas. Varieties include Uji matcha, Chiran sencha, genmaicha and hojicha, along with international teas like Tieguanyin oolong and Darjeeling black tea.
Several of the popular desserts here are tea-flavored too, such as the hojicha anmitsu, matcha chiffon cake and Darjeeling shaved ice. Next door, Cha-An Bonbon has treats like skewered green tea and Earl Grey-chocolate dango mochi, and hojicha lattes sprinkled with rose petals.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston | Massachusetts
The tea program at Mandarin Oriental, Boston changes seasonally. For February through early April, you'll find a chocolate and tea pairing in the Lobby Lounge. Sweet and savory bites include finger sandwiches and small pastries, which can be dipped in the accompanying chocolate fountain. It's the ultimate afternoon tea indulgence.
The St. Regis San Francisco | California
Caroline Astor – mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV – loved entertaining her close friends for afternoon tea at St. Regis New York during the Gilded Age.
Today, all St. Regis properties offer afternoon tea, but The St. Regis San Francisco does a particularly remarkable job, serving a selection of teas from delicate Anji white tea and citrus rooibos to signature St. Regis blend oolong in the lobby lounge alongside an exquisite tower of small bites.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse | Boulder, Colorado
This intricate Persian teahouse was a gift from Boulder's sister city, Dushanbe in Tajikistan, as a symbol of global friendship in 1987. Today, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse serves more than 100 different teas alongside a global food menu, but they're best known for their award-winning chai tea.
During summer months, request a table on the patio, enveloped by the scent of dozens of different varieties of sweet roses.
Miro Tea | Seattle, Washington
This cozy community teahouse has been a favorite in Seattle's historic Ballard neighborhood for more than a dozen years. Miro Tea offers more than 150 loose leaf teas and tisanes to enjoy in the cafe or to take home, with a large selection of single-origin unblended teas.
Sample several daily offerings while you peruse the signature drink menu. Ceremonial matcha is whisked perfectly for purists and students love the All Nighter – an iced drink with whisked matcha, raw sugar syrup, milk and espresso.
Tea Cellar at Park Hyatt Washington DC
Choose from more than 30 single-estate teas from remote regions of China, Japan, Sri Lanka and the Himalayas at the TeaCellar at Park Hyatt Washington DC. The rarest and most expensive aged pu-erh teas come from Anhui, China.
There's a 1949 vintage private reserve cave-aged pu-erh, along with a 1985 Emperor's Masterpiece that costs $300 per pot. Less than seven kilos of this tea were produced for worldwide consumption and it was hand-carried out of China after five years of negotiation.
Smith Teamaker | Portland, Oregon
You've likely seen Smith Tea in many hotels and restaurants, but true fans can visit one of their two tasting rooms in Portland, Oregon, including the century-old blacksmith shop where Steven Smith created the brand in 2009.
Enjoy a flight of tea, nitro chai on tap or seasonal hot and cold mixed drinks like the hot buttered latte or hoji-chata this winter. On Fridays, you can tour the factory and Smith Tea often hosts workshops and classes in the art of blending, tasting 101 or in mixing tea cocktails.
Lady M | Various locations
Lady M, a Japanese pastry shop with locations in New York, California, Boston and Chicago, is best known for their delicate mille crêpes and green tea confections. The 20-layered green tea mille crêpe is their bestseller, but there is also green tea mousse cake, green tea and dark chocolate checkered sponge cake and éclairs filled with herbaceous green tea custard (exclusive to the Bryant Park shop).
They were pioneers in the fusion of French pastry and Japanese confection in the United States and now have several shops in Asia, too – Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Double your dose of tea by pairing sweets with sencha green tea, mint verbena, English breakfast or a green tea latte.
Tea's Me | Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis' most popular loose leaf tea bar and café is also owned by four-time Olympic gold medalist, Tamika Catchings. Catchings played on the WNBA Indiana Fever team and is one of the most well-respected women’s pro basketball players in the country.
She bought Tea's Me once she retired from playing because she went there all the time while on the team. "I am a green tea fanatic," Catchings says. Tropical Cyclone, a green tea blended with mango and passion fruit is one of her favorites. "This tea is my go-to on any day to brighten my spirit."
Chiya Chai | Chicago, Illinois
Chiya Chai, an urban chai cafe in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, offers one of the most expansive chai programs in the world with over 150 different menu combinations. Owners Swadesh and Saujanya Shrestha grew up in the foothills of the Western Nepal Himalayas and their father was one of the first exporters of Nepalese tea to the United States.The cafe atmosphere captures the magic and culture of teahouses in the Indian subcontinent with menu highlights including traditional ginger cardamom and black cardamom chai, as well as American twists like dark chocolate spearmint and caramel sea salt.
Steeped Coffee, a Certified B Corp, was honored as the 2021 NEXTY Awards Winner for 'Best New Product'. Announced at the annual Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia, Steeped was recognized as the 'Best New Tea or Coffee' signaling a changing of the guard in the single-serve coffee space. Steeped has also partnered with over 300+ top roasters across the country to deliver the only fully compostable and freshly brewed coffee method available with no equipment required.
Brewed similar to tea, these ethically sourced certified compostable Steeped Packs serve up convenient specialty coffee. Steeped Coffee is quickly becoming the premier standard in single-serve coffee. The Expo East NEXTY Awards this year had over 700 category entries, where highlighted brands are recognized as the pinnacle of excellence in the natural products industry.
“We are honored to accept the NEXTY Award for Best New Tea or Coffee. Steeped doesn’t take its Barista Approved standards lightly, working closely with industry experts to validate every aspect of the Steeped Brewing Method, from freshness and quality to shelf life,” said Josh Wilbur, Founder and CEO, Steeped Coffee. “We are proud to make quality coffee accessible to more people with our revolutionary, simple brewing method that helps reduce our lasting impact on the planet — convenience meets quality and sustainability.”
The NEXTY Awards recognize the most progressive, innovative, inspiring, and trustworthy brands in the natural products industry. Finalists are chosen based on the NEXTY criteria centered around innovation, inspiration, integrity, and impact. The Natural Products Expo East is the industry’s largest event on the east coast, featuring more than 1,500 brands showcasing the latest innovations shaping the future of organic and natural food and beverage.
Featured in this issue: