October is Fair Trade Month!
This is my second year to be involved and to coordinate a Fair Trade Weekend for the store, where we do various demos on coffee, chocolate, sugar, and tea, while trying to raise general awareness in the area about the existence and benefits of Fair Trade Certified goods. This year I am also planning an event for one of our other stores to coincide with ours, and while so far it seems to be mostly a learning experience on how to do it better next year, all in all I am pleased with our progress. This year there is more vendor involvement and lots of new items we didn't have last year. Let's take a look.
They are my favorite bottled tea company, dedicated to offering bottled tea without all the sugar and calories, and they have the distinction of offering the first Fair Trade Certified bottled tea, Peach Oolong using tea from Makaibari.
Pomegranate Red Tea with Goji Berries: I liked this one. A lot. Though I'm not often a fan of flavored teas, this one was enjoyable. Moderately sweetened, it could have had less or no sugar and been fine, but it was not overpowering, and I could actually taste the Goji berries.
Just Black Tea/Just Green Tea: The just black tea was kind of average. Props to Honest Tea for offering unsweetened, bottled tea, but this ones is not very exciting. However, I am completely fascinated with the Just Green Tea. I want to know how they made it taste like that. Did they simply boil some tea leaves for a fort night and bottle what was left, or what. This stuff was inexcusably vile. It went beyond bad green tea, which I've come to expect from RTD teas, and into a whole new level of suckiness.
Sorry, Seth and Barry.
Chai mixes don't compare to the real thing, but as chai mixes go, these are rather nice. Not quite the best mix I've tried, but a solid second best. Of the four we carry, I think I like the Honey Vanilla the best. I have not tried it hot yet, only cold.
A line of iced tea mixes, each tin contains five silk tea pillows. Sounds cozy.
Goji Berry Pomegranate: Goji berries have been big this year; I've seen them in a variety of products, including a barbecue sauce. Unfortunately you can't taste the goji berry in this, which may be because there is only one berry per tea pillow, or because the only thing you can taste is the large amount of lemongrass they added to it. I have a small appetite for lemongrass, so I wouldn't say this tea was a waste, but it was a disappointment.
Blueberry Acai: This one was much better. A rooibos blend not quite as good but similar to Rishi's blueberry rooibos. Pleasantly fruity and tart and a more balanced blend.
That sums up most of the new teas. If you were wondering, the Ben and Jerry's Fair Trade Certified Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was also delicious. I'm sure I'll talk about Fair Trade some more this month, but in the mean time, if I didn't leave enough links the last time I talked about Fair Trade, check out this video, Fair Trade: The Story.