Great Tea Doing Great Things

Choice Organic Teas had a very exciting 2015! We refreshed our Gourmet Teas, introduced four new teas to our Wellness* line, and attended many trade shows and industry events where we connected with partners and consumers alike. After reflecting on what 2015 brought Choice Organic Teas, we were excited to see how much we were able to give back to our community and partners in Seattle and beyond last year.

Food Banks:

One of the most direct ways we can help those in need in our community is by donating tea to local food banks. In 2015 we were able to donate roughly 100 cases (600 boxes!) of tea to Food Lifeline. We also hosted a month long food drive during December and donated 140 pounds of food to Puget Sound Labor Agency’s food bank. Our total contribution of tea and food drive items to local food banks in 2015 was $3,232.40!

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Choice Organic Teas drops off Holiday Food Drive donations to Puget Sound Labor Agency.

Non-Profit Organizations:

WaterAid
In honor of World Water Day (March 22nd),  we partnered with WaterAid, a non-profit dedicated to helping some of the poorest countries in the world gain access to clean water. With help from our customers, we donated 20 cents for every box of tea purchased on our website throughout the month of March. Our staff members also contributed to the #Blue4Water social media campaign throughout the month. After the devastating earthquake in Nepal, we partnered with WaterAid again to support their relief efforts. With both events combined we were able to raise $1,130 for WaterAid.

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Choice Organic Teas participating in WaterAids #Blue4Water campaign.

The Max Foundation
For the first time, we had the honor of partnering with the Chai for Cancer campaign coordinated by the Max Foundation, a global health non-profit organization that believes that all people living with cancer have the right to access the best treatment and support. We donated a total of 60 boxes of our Masala Chai along with cups and other materials for addas (events) across the country that resulted in over $30,000 in funds raised.

“The Max Foundation’s collaboration with Choice Organic Teas was a true highlight for us throughout 2015.  The company generously donated tea for our Chai for Cancer initiative benefiting people facing cancer in India, as well as gifting us tea to include in our end of year fundraising campaign.  In addition to raising funds, their gift of tea truly raised spirits across the country.  Drinking tea together brought people closer for a cause.  And, of course, everyone loves their products!  It has been a win-win partnership based on our shared values that we look forward to continuing in the New Year.”
-Erin Schwartz, VP of Strategic Partnerships & Global Advocacy at The Max Foundation

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Viji Venkatesh, Head of The Max Foundation India team and Region Head for South Asia, speaks in front of Chai for Cancer fundraising event during the summer of 2015.

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We partnered with PCC Farmland Trust again this year and donated over $2,500 to support the preservation of threatened farmland in the Northwest.


Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund
For every box of Wellness Teas* sold, we donate a portion of the proceeds to the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund helping to promote the future of natural medicine.

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Some of our popular Wellness Teas*, each box sold contributes a portion of the sales to the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund.

Fair Trade USAFair Trade Certified Logo-CMYK
For every kilo of tea purchased from Fair Trade Certified™ gardens, Choice Organic Teas makes payments directly to funds managed by the workers at the tea garden. These accounts are empowering workers to improve their own lives and benefit the community.

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A Fair Trade Certified™ tea garden.

Other Community and Fundraising Events:

Each year we get many invitations from organizations, schools and events requesting tea donations for auction, beverage service, and other needs. We are pleased to contribute to fundraising efforts and events in support of issues that align with our company values. Last year we were able to donate over $5,000 worth of tea to roughly 50 different organizations across the country. That is a lot of tea!

Looking back on what 2015 offered, it is heartening that our company is able to give back and support many worthwhile causes. And looking forward, we can only hope to do better in 2016. If supporting any of these causes is important to you, remember that each time you purchase Choice Organic Teas, your dollar goes beyond the delicious cup of tea you’re enjoying.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Reasons to Drink Tea in 2016

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January is National Hot Tea Month, and what better way to start the New Year off right than with a rejuvenating cup of hot tea?

Here are our Top 5 Reasons to Drink Tea in 2016:

1. Tea helps soothe symptoms during winter cold season.Breathing Space_72dpi
According to the CDC, adult Americans combat an average of 2-3 colds per year. Supporting your immune system with a Wellness Tea* like  Breathing Space* or Throat Cozy* can help maintain healthy airways or soothe your throat.*

 

2. Avoid the afternoon energy slump.
Breakfast Blend 72dpiMillions of Americans experience the dreaded “3:00 slump” and reach for sugary beverages like soda or energy drinks, or big mugs of coffee, to combat their dip in energy. We recommend choosing a natural way to energize with a tea like Energy Boost*, a crisp, lively green tea blend that supports healthy energy levels and vitality.* Or, try Breakfast Blend from our Gourmet Line, for a robust black tea to enliven your afternoon.
3. Detox all year long with tea.
Beauty Detox_72dpiSure, detox diets are popular in January, when New Year’s resolutions are new and shiny, but what about a regular detox regime throughout the year? Simply Detox* and Beauty Detox* are specially formulated with herbs to aid liver function and promote clear skin, cleansing your body from the inside out.*
4. Consider your heart health.
Hibiscus Heart_72dpiWith Heart Month just around the corner in February, our new Hibiscus Heart Wellness Tea* helps support cardiovascular health with hibiscus flowers and hawthorn berry.*

 

 

5. Eating Clean? Be sure to drink clean too.

  • Choose Certified Organic. Even teas billed as “natural” can contain pesticides. Look for the USDA Organic logo on the package to ensure you are drinking the real thing.
  • Avoid GMOs in your food…and in your beverages. Look for the OrgGFGMONon-GMO Project Verified logo on the packaging to ensure there are no artificially manipulated ingredients in your tea, coffee or other beverages.
  • If you are watching your gluten intake, pay attention to sneaky ways gluten can enter your diet. Be sure to look for tea products with the GF logo indicating Gluten-Free certification.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Delight in Our New & Improved Gourmet Teas!

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We’re thrilled to announce exciting changes with our Gourmet Teas, inspired by Seattle’s rich landscape and vibrant culinary scene. A delicious twist on tradition blends timeless teas with a dash of whimsy, yielding an unexpected and sophisticated cup.

If you’re already a fan of the line, you’ll love the changes we’ve made.

The new and improved teas now feature contemporary watercolor artwork that focuses on ingredients along with updated certifications for USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, and Gluten-Free. Boxes now contain 16 tea bags.

All 12 teas remain the same great blends that you love with refreshed names to reflect key ingredients and flavor profile.

The new and improved Gourmet Teas are available now! Shop the line here.

Meet the new line-up below!

Blackberry Hibiscus 72dpiBlackberry Hibiscus formerly Northwest Blackberry
Steep a vivacious, fruity tisane that welcomes festivity. With its tangy character and sweet aroma, this ruby-hued blend is the life of the party. The taste of blackberry mixes with citrusy lemongrass as hearty hibiscus petals tango with tart rosehips. A sprinkling of spearmint melds with a dash of sweet licorice root. This unforgettable infusion tastes like an herbal ode to sangria and plays well with ice.

Breakfast Blend 72dpiBreakfast Blend formerly Celtic Breakfast
Rise and shine, ready for whatever the day may hold over a robust cup of tea. Bold Assam and smooth Ceylon black tea leaves blend together for a hearty brew that will invigorate you with its wide-eyed flavor and centering aroma. Savor this timeless classic, served straight up and steaming hot. Add a splash of milk or a squeeze of lemon. Poured over ice is mighty   fine too.

Chai Spice 72dpiChai Spice formerly Chai Spice Black
Journey to a spice market as you drink this enticing black tea. Assertive Assam black tea leaves team up with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and a dash of black pepper for a lively, yet balanced blend with a clean finish. Serve it as they do in India with your favorite milk and sweetener to soften the warming seasonings and create a creamy customized cup of tea you will crave hot or iced.

Chamomile Mint 72dpiChamomile Mint formerly Chamomile Spearmint
Long sought out to usher in calm and contemplation, chamomile’s sunny blossoms and aromatic fragrance continue to offer contentment in a cup. Spearmint leaves mingle with chamomile flowers while a squeeze of Italian bergamot imparts a slight citrusy note in this relaxing herbal infusion. Cozy up to a steamy cup or serve this honey-hued elixir over ice for an uplifting glass of refreshment.

Dragon Well 72dpiDragon Well formerly Dragon Well Green
An ancient tale and love of the leaf meet in a cup of classic green tea. Chinese folklore describes water from a well nourishing a tea so exquisite it became the tribute to emperors and is now offered to you. Pan-fired green tea leaves impart buttery notes for a palate-pleasing brew that is subtly toasty and will fill you with serenity. Serve it hot or over ice for a contemplative cooler.

Earl Grey Lavender 72dpiEarl Grey Lavender formerly Earl Grey with Lavender
Take the road less traveled when you sip a cup of this classic tea redefined. Full-bodied and smooth, Indian and Sri Lankan black teas blend with a squeeze of citrus as Italian bergamot scents the tea leaves. English lavender blossoms gently infuse their fragrance and flavor into this elegant tea that enthralls at the start of the day and well into afternoon tea. Try iced for a refined refreshment.

Jasmine Green 72dpiJasmine Green formerly Jasmine Green Tea
This tranquil green tea evokes evening strolls where the sky is strewn with stars, the air scented by flowers, and anything is possible. Jasmine blossoms perfume green tea leaves with their intoxicating flavor and fragrance before the petals are removed. The aromatic bouquet of floral notes makes this green tea a classic. Serve hot or over ice for an enchanting experience.

Licorice Mint 72dpiLicorice Mint formerly Liquorice Peppermint
Indulge your senses with a luxurious tisane. The pop of bright peppermint is softened by naturally sweet licorice root to provide an alluring finish to this aromatic herbal infusion. This full-bodied blend is smooth, silky, and compelling. Serve hot for a luscious, pleasing drink or over ice for an invigorating departure from everyday iced tea.

Mango Black 72dpiMango Black formerly Mango Ceylon with Vanilla
Set your course for paradise with this tempting black tea paired with a touch of tropical fruit. Smooth Ceylon and bold Indian black teas mingle with notes of mango evoking the aroma and flavor of fresh cut fruit. A hint of Sumatran vanilla imparts a subtle sweetness to this luscious tea that also satisfies when served over ice.

Mint Green 72dpiMint Green formerly Moroccan Mint Green Tea
From a Marrakesh market to a backyard herb garden, we blend old world tradition with Pacific Northwest flavor. Our interpretation of this Moroccan classic combines full-bodied green tea with mellow lemongrass while Washington-grown peppermint and cooling spearmint brighten the cup. This lightly caffeinated, half mint, half green tea blend also refreshes when served iced.

Peach Green 72dpiPeach Green formerly Green Tea with Essence of Peach
Reminiscent of the lazy days and sultry nights of summer, this blend entices with its heady fragrance and smooth fruit-kissed flavor. Freshly steamed green tea blends with the essence of ripe peaches, citrusy lemongrass, and tart rosehips in a delicately sweet, revitalizing infusion. Steep a cup to drink hot or pour it over ice to linger on the porch just a bit longer.

Vanilla Rooibos 72dpiVanilla Rooibos formerly Rooibos (Red Bush Tea) + Vanilla
Satisfy your cravings with a wholesome treat any time of day or night. Native to South Africa, the leaves of the red bush, known as rooibos (pronounced roy-boss), brew into an earthy, rich, mahogany-hued herbal infusion. A kiss of Sumatran vanilla draws out the sweet honey notes in rooibos for a cup that satisfies when served hot or over ice.

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Recipe: Chai Tea Cupcakes

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In need of the perfect indulgent treat to hunker down with this holiday season? Look no further than these delightful Chai Tea Cupcakes! The warming spice of chai puts us in the mood for cold weather, holidays, and staying inside.

Cupcake batter:
– 2 & 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
– 1 & 1/4 Cups Sugar
– 2 & 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
– 1 tsp Cinnamon
– 1 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
– 3 Eggs
– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
– 2/3 Cup Milk
– 4 Chai Tea Bags (Our Masala Chai and Chai Spice work great!)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
– 8 oz Cream Cheese
– 1/2 cup Softened Unsalted Butter
– 1 & 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
– 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Warm the milk (stove top or microwave works) but be sure not to boil. Remove milk from heat and place your chai tea bags in the milk to steep for at least 15 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl beat the butter for 30 seconds and then slowly add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Add vanilla extract then add the eggs. Add flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time alternating with about 1/3 cup of the tea infused milk. Mix these ingredients until just combined.
Evenly distribute batter into muffin cups. Place pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Put a toothpick in the middle of a cupcake to test, they are done when the toothpick comes out clean.
Set aside cupcakes to cool.

Whip the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add cinnamon, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until combined and raise the speed of your mixer to medium to reach your desired consistency of frosting. Refrigerate frosting while your cupcakes are cooling for easier spreading or piping.

Spread or pipe frosting onto your cupcakes and enjoy!

Cupcake recipe adapted from: https://snapguide.com/guides/make-chai-tea-infused-cupcakes-with-frosting/
Frosting recipe adapted from: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/09/pumpkin-cake-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/

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Yoga+Tea = The Perfect Pair

Are you an aspiring yogi? Maybe you’re looking for new ways to enhance your practice? We’ve got a great guide to pairing some of your favorite poses with delicious Choice Organic Teas to make the most of your yoga session.

yogawellness4Mountain Pose – this is often the first standing pose in many yoga practices, and brings the yogi to a calming place, feet firmly planted, eyes closed, palms touching. Bancha Hojicha, a toasted green tea with earthy notes that are refreshing and renewing, is an ideal tea for grounding and centering the mind and body as one begins his or her practice.

Sun Salutation – a very active flow or vinyasa pose that blends standing in mountain pose, forward bend, downward facing dog, and upward facing dog in one smooth flow. A stimulating tea such as Energy Boost from the Wellness Teas* line pairs well with sun salutations.masalachaiyogaHalf Moon Pose – an extension of the triangle pose, the half moon pose adds a little more “heat” to the practice, requiring balance and strength. A spicy tea like Masala Chai pairs well with this pose.

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The Tree Pose, perfect with a cup of Chamomile tea.

Tree Pose – also a balancing, grounding pose in a standing position. Chamomile for calming or Genmaicha for nourishing would pair well with this pose.

Cat/Cow Pose – an active pose from table position (on hands and knees) alternating arching and rounding the back just like a cat or a cow. Classic Earl Grey with just a touch of caffeine is perfect for relishing this pose.

Pranayama – Uddiyana Bandha, is a method done on the pause after the exhalation where the lower abdomen and diaphragm are then drawn upwards. Uddiyana Bandha is cleansing for the organs, a massage and an exercise for the diaphragm, and a bonus for the digestive and nervous systems. Enjoy this cleansing breath with Simply Detox from the Wellness Teas* line with its purifying qualities.

And last, the most restful of poses…
Child’s Pose – this is a great mid-practice pose as a rest between strenuous poses or a brief pause between sets of poses. Lemon Lavender Mint enhances well-being and has just enough soothing energy but enough zing to move back into the practice.

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Recipe: Blackberry Sencha Green Tea Popsicles

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Organic and delicious!

Most of the country is still being scorched by hot summer weather. We hope to help you cool down with these deliciously simple three ingredient popsicles! Blackberries grow wild and abundantly in the Seattle area where we are based, making these tasty berries easy and fun (and cheap!) to find during the summer and the perfect fruit for this icy treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Popsicle molds or small cups

– popsicle sticks

– Blender

Ingredients:

– 3 teaspoons of Choice Organic Teas Sencha loose leaf green tea (or three tea bags of our Premium Japanese Green)

– 2 cups of water

– 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)

– ¾ cup honey

Makes around 10 large popsicles depending on your molds.

A steaming cup of green tea, blackberries, and honey are all you need!

What to do:

1. Steep 3 teaspoons of Sencha Loose Leaf Green Tea (or three tea bags of Premium Japanese Green) in 2 cups of 180 degree water for 4 minutes. Strain out the loose tea (or remove tea bags).

2. Cool the tea and use a blender to blend tea, blackberries, and honey until liquefied. Optional: Use a strainer to separate the blackberry seeds from the liquid before pouring into the molds.

3. Pour into your popsicle molds or cups, place popsicle sticks in the molds.

Tip: If you’re using cups as popsicle molds, you may want to wait for them to become more solid before adding the popsicle sticks to ensure the sticks freeze upright.

4. Place popsicles in the freezer to freeze until they are solid and easily removed from the molds, and enjoy!

TIp: To ease the popsicles out of a plastic mold, briefly run tepid water over the molds and they should come right out.

Will you try to make these yourself? We’d love to know how they turned out! Share photos of your Blackberry Sencha Green Tea popsicles by tagging us on Instagram @choiceorganicteas, Twitter @choiceorganict, or on Facebook. Happy popsicle making!

Recipe inspired by: http://vanessabaked.com/raspberry-green-tea-popsicles/

Announcing Four New Wellness Teas!

2015WellnessTeas We’re excited to announce the arrival of four new teas joining our Wellness Teas* collection! As with our original eight Wellness Teas*, these four new flavorful, functional blends were formulated for everyday health in partnership with Bastyr University, the largest accredited natural health university in the U.S. In addition to being certified organic, the four new blends are also Non-GMO Project Verified. Meet our new teas! Beauty Detox* Encourage natural detoxification from the inside out with this fragrant blend.* Aromatic jasmine green tea supports skin health and is accompanied by burdock root, which aids liver function and promotes clear skin.* With calming chamomile, this cup is a delicious addition to any skincare regimen.* Expecting Baby* Promote a happy, healthy pregnancy with this calming cup.* Soothing and aromatic, this tea features raspberry leaf, which supports the female reproductive system and prepares the uterus for baby.* Nourishing nettle, uplifting peppermint, and rose petals round out this gentle cup.* Hibiscus Heart* Promote the health of your cardiovascular system with this full-bodied, tangy blend.* Hibiscus has traditionally been used to support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels that are already within a normal range.* Hawthorn berry strengthens the heart and is a leading cardiac health herb in western herbalism.* Raise a rich, delicious cup to your heart’s health.* Body Stress Relief* This cooling and rejuvenating blend features ashwagandha, a long-trusted Ayurvedic herb that promotes balanced hormones and a healthy immune system.* Comforting meadowsweet and turmeric, powerful elderberry, and soothing dandelion leaf and plantain complement this rich, satisfying cup.* Shop these new teas and the entire Wellness Line* here. A portion of every purchase supports the Bastyr University Student Scholarship Fund, helping advance the research and practice of natural medicine.

The new family of 12 Wellness Teas*

The entire Wellness Teas* line!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.