Grilling – With Your Favorite Teas!


Summer is for grilling and we love being able to use tea in both savory and sweet grilled foods.  You will need about ½ cup of tea leaves for smoking.  For marinades and rubs, use more or less depending on how much of that flavor you want to impart.

  1. Add your favorite ground tea to your dry spice rubs or add it steeped into wet marinades.
  2. Try grilling cut fruit (peaches, for example) brushed with brewed tea to enhance the flavor.
  3. Add the element of tea smoke to your grill by scattering wet tea leaves over the coals, then cook your meal covered to get all the flavors.
  4. Prepare a foiled packed with uncooked rice (to give it some weight), tea leaves and spices.  Add orange and/or lemon zest, cinnamon, star anise and pepper.

Let us know here or on Facebook if you have a good tea marinade or smoker recipe!  We want to see it!

As always, Enjoy Better Tea!

George Clooney Brings Coffee to Sudan … Again

The actor George Clooney, a brand ambassador for Nespresso, announced a new initiative to revitalize the coffee
industry in South Sudan. Clooney has been passionately involved in helping theGeorge Clooney Image Sudanese region for many years, even convincing Nespresso bosses to fund roads and infrastructure needed to help farmers export goods by 2015. At the press conference, Clooney noted that nearly all the money he receives from his
Nespresso contract goes towards funding his Sudan satellite project. The satellite is positioned at the border of North and South Sudan to keep an eye on the Sudanese dictator charged with war crimes at The Hague. Clooney went on to say that he didn’t know that South Sudan used to grow a lot of coffee, and that
there are some great Arabica plants there.

Vive la French Coffee!

The summer air was soft and warm
The feeling right, the Paris nightParisian Cafe
Did its best to please us
And strolling down the Elysée
We had a drink in each café
And you – You talked of politics, philosophy and I
Smiled like Mona Lisa
We had our chance 
It was a fine and true romance…

~The opening lines of ABBA’s “Our Last Summer”

This song, supposedly about a band member’s summer romance, may idealize love in Paris, but it also creates an image of streets lined with outdoor cafes.  People leisurely sitting and enjoying a coffee – a Café au lait (coffee with steamed milk) or Café Noisette (nwah-zett), which is espresso with a dash of cream in it.  (It refers to the French word for hazelnut because of the rich, dark color of the coffee.)

We can’t talk about a great French coffee without talking a little about the Parisian coffee culture.  The French enjoy coffee morning, noon and night.  If you have been to a French café, then you know you must begin by saying “Bonjour” – always say hello!  When  you order your coffee (“Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plait”), dark, strong coffee will arrive in a tiny cup, perhaps with a few sugar cubes placed on the saucer;  sometimes you may get a carafe of hot coffee and a pitcher of steamed milk.   If it’s a hot summer day, order a café glacé (iced coffee) or a café faux (decaf).

carte noire_logo

Carte Noire started as a company in 1978 by founder Rene Monnier, who had already been roasting, blending and selling coffee for more than a decade before that.  His family is a coffee dynasty, beginning with a coffee that is still today a staple in French homes – it is the coffee that grandmother makes (and we have it too:  Grand Mere!).  Rene built Carte Noire, which means “black card”, as a sophisticated and elegant brand using black and gold packaging and marketing the brand as “a coffee named desire”.  We have it in ground, whole beans, instant and pods.  We have a limited amount of Carte Noire Velours, which is back, but only for a short time.  (Unfortunately, our supplier is having problems obtaining it, so we may not have it again for a while.  Order now while we have it or you will miss out.)

We also have a new roast from Carte Noire:  Millicano Instant SticksCarte Noire Millicano Image

The 100% Arabica coffee is one of our best instant coffees.  This instant is made in a new way:  Beans are finely ground and combined with freeze-dried instant coffee.  This super-premium instant coffee has a rich and silky taste.  This is an exciting development for instant coffee!   Packaged in individual sticks, you can take them anywhere, anytime to enjoy a better cup of instant coffee.  We have 25 sticks in a package for $5.99.  You have to try this instant coffee!

Brand History: Kimbo

Kimbo_Naples Seaside ImageCommonly, Naples, Italy is considered the world capital of coffee. Kimbo has its roots in Naples, where a small roasting plant was set up for selling roasted coffee to coffee bars and coffee shops during the 1950’s. A decade or so later, the coffee market was flooded with new packaging systems that allowed the coffee to be sold in tins. The founders of Kimbo understood the importance of being able to sell coffee well-preserved to a wider audience. The founders created the brand name – Café do Brasil – supplying homes and shops with their quality coffee. Gaining expertise in the field, the company grew rapidly and today they are one of the leading roasters in Europe, capturing new market worldwide.

With the brand name Caffe Kimbo, the company has held second place since 1994 on the Italian retail market for packaged coffee. Kimbo attributes much of its success to the quality of their products. Kimbo has always focused on keeping the coffee quality consistently high through a rigorous selection of the coffee beans and their meticulous processing to produce a great-tasting coffee.

We have a great selection of Kimbo coffees, from capsules and coffee pods, to ground coffee to whole bean. We also have a gift set collection that comes with Kimbo Aroma Gold, Kimbo Napoletano and an espresso cup and saucer.

Kimbo_Gold AromaOne of the most popular Kimbo coffees is Kimbo Gold Medal, which is a perfect blend of coffee, roasted to deliver a combination of rich aroma and full-bodied taste. Now, we have it in new colorful packaging with the updated name Kimbo Aroma Gold.  Ground Aroma Gold works great as an everyday coffee made in a drip brewer, moka maker or an espresso machines. We still have a small selection of Kimbo Gold Medal in can, as it was known.  Still the same great coffee under both names!

Coffee: Not Just for Drinking Anymore!

We have written about various uses for coffee and coffee grounds before – for instance, it is a
deodorizer used in clothing, most recently in men’s dress socks. Coffee-bean
chaff (a by-product of roasting) was used to power a modified Ford pickup thatritiprinter3_image
hit a top speed of 65 mph in testing trials in the UK earlier this year. Some
people even use coffee grounds to “de-flea” their pets.

But the coolest innovation we just discovered is the RITI Printer, which uses damp grounds as printer ink! The used grounds go in the ink case, followed by a piece of paper inserted into the small-sized printer.  Move the case back and forth while printing and voila, a document gets printed! We have to wonder, though, does it smell like coffee?

Segafredo Zanetti France Produces Best Barista

Segafredo_imageLast month at the World Barista Championship in Melbourne, Australia, Luca Casadei, a trainer for Segafredo France, competed and won the Champion Barista cup of France in February 2013. After competing in Australia, Luca was named one of the 12 world’s best baristas. Luca and his team were able to share their expertise in cappuccino with creative latte art while training the local Aussies on great coffee preparation. Great coffee, great trainers, best barista. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

Rise of the (Coffee) Machines

Do you recall the first coffee maker you ever used as an adult? Making coffee in your own home seemed grown up, a rite of passage somehow.  Now with coffee machines, especially single-serve coffee makers, brewing at home has become an universal activity that everyone has a ticket to ride.

Coffee drinking in the US has evolved from being an acquired taste, to something to experience and enjoy. It is now being appreciated, cultivated and elevated to an art.Traditional drip coffee makers were extremely popular at home in the 1990s; then along came the French Press which made just a few cups. With a coffee shop on every corner, consumers came to appreciate and even desire special roasts and flavors of coffee. So when the single-cup brewers were introduced in 2001, consumers could finally get that coffee shop flavor – 1 cup made especially for you – in their own home! Today, in fact, the home coffee machine is often a single-cup brewer.Philips_Senseo

Douwe Egberts and Phillips are partially responsible for the single-serve coffee machine revolution. (They followed on the heels of Nespresso, which used a capsule system for making single cups of coffee.) Through the collaboration of an Senseo podsinternational coffee roaster and a global manufacturer, the product known as the Senseo Coffee machine was born. Using Senseo coffee pods, the machine delivered fresh, delicious coffee quickly and easily one cup at a time. The machine and pods debuted in 2001; within 4 years, ten million machines and four billion pods had been sold worldwide. That number doubled 4 years later. In 2013, Senseo pods and makers are still being sold in record numbers because the coffee produced is very good: flavorful and aromatic.

We have a large variety of Senseo pods available at The pods we have are made for the European market, so the coffee has a slightly different taste profile than coffee pods made specifically for the U.S. European coffee, which has a mild flavor and a richer texture as well as aroma. We have Senseo Classic Roasts: Medium, Dark and Decaffeinated – great for any time. We have Senseo Regions coffee pods: Brazil and Columbia Pods, each showcasing the unique qualities of the climate and soil of the regions. Senseo Image

If you prefer to make 2 cups or 1 large mug of coffee at a time, try Senseo Double Pods series: Easy Weekend, Morning Americano or All Day coffee pods. These pods are larger, so you can easily make more in your Senseo machine.

For cappuccino lovers, we offer Senseo Cappuccino and Choco coffee pods. Please note, for these pods you have to use double pod holder but it will make small cup of drink. Finally, the Lungo series, our favorite, includes Tradizionale (balanced), Intenseo (stronger flavor and aroma) and Forte (with an extra kick).

But wait, there’s more….

We have other brands of coffee in pods that can be used in Senseo machines. Check out our selection of Dallmayr and Carte Noire coffee pods. The discount above works with them too!

We have another type of coffee pod designed for espresso makers. The coffee in these pods is specifically selected, roasted and packaged for espresso machines, so the pods are somewhat smaller. Also, the coffee is pressed tightly in the pod. We have
several brands of these pods/capsules including Hausbrandt Espresso Pods, Segafredo, Kimbo and Caffe Vergnano Espresso Pods in several different roasts and package sizes.