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The Best Summer Activi-Teas

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After what seemed like an endless winter, we cannot get enough of this summer sun! From mountains to ocean and golf course to tennis court, there are a million and one ways to enjoy the beautiful weather. But even in the midst of all the fun, it’s important to keep cool and hydrated—because dehydration is a damper on the sunny spirit.

To make the most of your summer time, we recommend the following activi-teas, which are sure to keep you happy and hydrated this season.

Hiking: As altitude increases, air temperature drops. Taking a day hike in the mountains is a great way to cool off naturally. To make the most of the refreshing atmosphere, aim to start your hike in the early morning. Temperatures typically peak after 12:00 pm, so a good rule of thumb is to begin the trail by at least 8:00 am.

Tea Pairing: Peach White Tea is a great hiking companion. Its slender, lightweight packaging means that it won’t add much bulk to your pack. And that real peach taste will add just a touch of extra sweetness to your alpine adventure.

Beach Trip: What’s more summery than a trip to the beach? Perhaps you choose to relax in the sand with book in hand, or maybe you prefer to be in the salty sea. Either way, this is the place of ultimate sun worship for land dwellers and water lovers alike.

Tea Pairing: Hot sands requiring a cooling aid—Honest Ade, to be exact. Try the tropical mix of Orange Mango Honest Ade to get you in the beachy mood. Additional compliments include a towel, sunglasses, and your best friends.

Family Picnic: You don’t have to travel far to enjoy summer to its fullest. A picnic is a fun and local outdoor activity for people of all ages. Whether eating, playing games, or just conversing, you’ll be to appreciate great company and the great outdoors all at once.

Tea Pairing: Honest Kids Berry Berry Lemonade is an excellent option for the entire family. For an icy treat, place the Honest Kids pouches in the freezer, and in a few hours you will have portable picnic popsicles!

Outdoor Movie: More of a night owl? During the summer months, many cities offer outdoor movies, which is a fun way to get outside after the heat has subsided. Check your local area to see what options are available for date nights and family features alike.

Tea Pairing: Nothing pairs better with a movie than a classic Root Beer Fizz. Be sure to bring a blanket, some movie munchies, and a Fizz-packed cooler to maximize your film-viewing experience!

The Life of a Summer Road Warrior

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RD Warriors Word Doc

What do you think of when you hear the word “college internship?” Perhaps thoughts of fixing the copy machine or delivering the office coffee order come to mind.  Often internships don’t turn out to be as exciting as you hoped.  That couldn’t be further from the truth at Honest Tea.  We thought we’d take the opportunity to give you a behind-the-scenes “peek” at what it takes to be a summer itern (affectionately known as “road warriors”) at Honest Tea. 

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We’re passionate about organic beverages, and we look for that same passion in our students.  Each summer we select 30 college students studying Marketing or Sales from across the country to travel to Honest Tea HQ.  For one week they receive intensive training from our Marketing Tea-m about our Mission, study our beverages, practice a little yoga and even enjoy a tea tasting with our TeaEO.  Oh yeah, and we have a lot of fun too.  After less than one week, they have been steeped in the Honest Tea Mission and excited to spread the word. 

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So why are they called road warriors? Glad you asked.  Our interns spend the most amount of time out in the field during the summer—from waking up at 5:30am to load in for a 5k running event to an evening tastemaker dinner featuring Pomegranate Blue, our Road Warriors act as our eyes and ears to what’s happening across the country, and where we should go next.  There’s hardly a dull moment—but business should be fun, right?  Especially when you’re serving organic refreshment. 

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Road warriors also have first-hand opportunities for sales experience—from learning how to set up a shelf display at a Whole Foods Market or pouring samples during lunch traffic at a Publix, they learn what it takes to interact not only with customers, but how retailers operate, what goes into a store’s sales strategy and the relationships they build.  You could say there’s a quiet sense of pride in all of us when we visit a store and find our beverages on the shelf…this is always followed by some small upkeep to make sure the shelf or display looks its absolute best.  It’s just part of our culture.  

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So if you happen to run across an Honest Tea Road Warrior this summer at the grocery store or a music festival near you, don’t hesitate to say hello.  We’d love to tell you a bit more about our Mission and pour you our favorite iced tea.  To stay up to date with where we’re headed this summer, click here: www.facebook.com/events.  If you’re interested in joining the Honest Tea Mission in summer 2015, send your resume and cover letter to: summerintern@honesttea.com

Recipe: Strawberry Basil Lemonade Mixer

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Strawberry Basil Lemonade

It’s turning out to be a sweltering summer.  As the temperature cranks up, we’re finding ways to cool down.  In these times, there is one classic refresher that stands above the rest: lemonade!  No need to hide indoors when you have a winning combination of organic lemonade and a frosty glass of ice.  Add some sweet strawberry and earthy basil and you have a dynamic thirst quencher that can beat the heat. 

Simple yet impressive, this Strawberry Basil Lemonade will suit any summer occasion—day or night.  It’s rosy color and exotic flavor are sure to make it a party favorite!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade Mixer

1 Honest Original Lemonade (4 cups)

15 fresh strawberries, washed and tops removed

20 fresh basil leaves

¼ cup Bourbon *optional

Pour 3 cups of Original Lemonade into a large pitcher.  In a blender, combine strawberries, basil leaves, and 1 cup of Original Lemonade. Blend on high until mixture forms a smooth puree.  Add strawberry-basil puree to the pitcher and stir to combine. Serve over ice for ultimate heat-fighting power.

Honest Kids at Cinemark Theatres!

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Organic foods are becoming more widely available—at grocery stores, delis, and now at your favorite movie theatre!  Honest Tea and Cinemark Theatres have teamed up to offer Honest Kids Appley Ever After and Super Fruit Punch at all Cinemark Theatre concession counters nationwide.  So now there’s no need to sneak Honest Kids pouches into the movies to keep your kids refreshed (which of course you don’t do…).  When the rain is pouring down or those 90+ degree days seem like they’ll never break, head to your local Cinemark Theatre to catch the latest movie and grab an Honest Kids pouch while you’re there—it’s organic refreshment that will keep you and your family cool all summer long!

Join the #icedteamonth Twitter Party!

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Don’t you love June? The beginning of summer finally arrives–ushered in by longer days, picnics outdoors, and plenty of opportunities to fire up the grill. But that’s not all to love, did you know June is also National Iced Tea Month? In celebration of the unofficial best month of the year, join us June 24th for an #icedteamonth Party on Twitter! We’ll be talking perfect summer recipe pairings: from picnic lunches, to grilling to dessert! At the end of the hour you’ll not only be an iced tea expert but walk away with a few new recipes and ideas to explore this summer. We’re excited to be joined by a few of our friends: Applegate, King Arthur Flour, Earthbound Farms, and Annie’s Homegrown, providing their own pairing #protips and delicious giveaways throughout the hour, you won’t want to miss–see you on Twitter!

Who: You, Honest Tea, Applegate, King Arthur Flour, Annie’s Homegrown, Earthbound Farm.

When: Tuesday, June 24th 2014 1pm-2pm EST

Where: the Twittersphere—simply follow the hashtag #icedteamonth to join in!

A Clear Vision of Fair Trade Impact

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The lush tea gardens where we source our freshly brewed tea leaves are a sight to behold. And the men and women who pluck and process each leaf by hand have a keen eye for quality. But if their vision starts to deteriorate over time, a relatively simple solution—eyeglasses—isn’t always within reach.   In addition, sight-impaired villagers can also miss out on economic opportunities that require literacy or attention to detail.

As a company that seeks to have an honest and direct relationship to our ingredients, we strive to build the same connections with our supplier communities.  That’s why we purchase our tea (and some of our sugar) according to fair trade standards. Our fair trade “premiums” support better wages, better working conditions, and help our suppliers invest in their own economic self-sufficiency.

Yet even with fair trade standards in place, a community in a poor region can lack access to quality health services, including eye care. Optometry services are often prohibitively expensive and located hours away from the countryside.

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So Honest Tea and Fair Trade USA joined forces with VisionSpring to launch a special initiative for the 1,300 workers at The Tonganagaon Tea Estate in Assam India.  VisionSpring, is a nonprofit that specializes in bringing affordable glasses and eye care, and supporting entrepreneurs in impoverished countries. While VisionSpring has worked extensively in India, they were eager to launch their first project in Assam, a state in the northeastern part of the country besieged by rising poverty levels and violent political conflict.

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VisionSpring and a regional eye care partner sent a small team in a mobile unit to the estate, dodging clashes between Naxalite insurgents and the Indian Army along the way. Over the course of fifteen days, the specialists screened a total of 5,127 people from villages surrounding the estate. Of that number, 2,400 needed glasses. They were able to select a pair that suited their prescription and tastes on the spot, paid for by Honest Tea. Common eye infections were treated with medicine, while cataract cases were referred to the closest hospital for treatment.

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We were able to leverage the power of mobile technology to measure the impact directly with recipients. Another non-profit partner, Good World Solutions – operating locally on a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – deployed their Labor Link mobile survey platform to poll workers anonymously through their phones. Half of the respondents had never had an eye exam and for almost three-quarters of those who received glasses, it was their first pair. When asked how useful the glasses have been in their daily lives, 95% found them either “very” or “somewhat” useful, and roughly three quarters reported improved productivity at work and at home.

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“Honest Tea has always relied on a network of partners to help us carry out our mission as a company, said Jenny Burns, Honest Tea’s Director of Mission.  “Sometimes we work with other businesses, sometimes with non-profits, and occasionally with government agencies. But we don’t often get the chance to combine the efforts of all three to create meaningful impact for partner communities in need.”

As we evaluate the impact of this experiment, we will ask ourselves if it is worth continuing this type of model; based on the early results, the answer looks crystal clear.

What’s America Saying About Iced Tea?

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Since June is National Iced Tea Month, we set out on a mission to find out what Americans across all 50 states are saying about their iced tea.  With a little help from some Twitter-data-savvy friends at Sysomos Inc., we looked at every single tweet about iced tea in the United States this year—that’s 117,441 tweets!  Curious what people are saying? From favorite meal pairings to top social cities, to the sweetest state, check out the buzz below:

 

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