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WizeWorld Volume 117
Another day, another alarming report on the risks of artificial sweeteners.
Mar 3, 2023
WizeWorld Volume 115
Dr. Sandro Demaio has had enough of Big Soda and encourages you to kick them to the curb, too.
Dec 16, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 106
How could cutting down on plane travel change the world?
Aug 26, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 97
It’s important to get creative to solve problems and spread joy.
Jun 24, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 96
Connection is more powerful and more necessary than ever.
Jun 17, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 95
Get ready for the weekend with a collection of Spicy Sounds.
Jun 10, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 92
Resilience is how we get through the tough times to reach our pinnacle.
May 20, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 89
Explore these stories that will inspire you to raise your baseline.
Apr 29, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 88
We can’t always wait for perfect conditions; sometimes we have to go out and make the best of it.
Apr 22, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 87
With everything going on in the world, sometimes it’s nice to get a bit of good news.
Apr 15, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 86
What’s your baseline when it comes to things like exercise, plastic waste, water usage, and more?
Apr 8, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 85
We’re combining stuff that worries us with why we’re hopeful for the future.
Apr 1, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 83
What’s one small change you can make today for a better world?
Mar 18, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 81
Go out and do something that scares you today—you might just like it.
Mar 4, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 80
It’s not just about fixing what’s broken—it’s about taking it to another level.
Feb 25, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 79
Innovation helps us redefine what’s possible, and imagine a future unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Feb 18, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 78
This week’s theme is disruption. Sometimes you just need to shake things up. Small steps and gradual progress are great ways to make a change over time, but what about when that change needs to happen right now? Whether it’s by infusing activism-inspired art into the streets, or slapping a warning label on the products that are harming our health, we look at the people and industries seeking to make real and immediate change through disruption.
Feb 11, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 77
What's the perfect amount of caffeine for peak performance, and how should art make you feel? Find out in this week's WizeWorld.
Feb 4, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 76
Happy Friday, Wizefam. Welcome to the 76th volume of WizeWorld: a collection of stories and sounds to round out your week, pique your curiosity, and widen your wizdom. This week’s theme is small steps. It can be hard to see the effect of small steps and little changes—whether it’s to your diet, exercise routine, commitment to the environment, and more. But it’s important to remember that every step you make is a step forward, no matter how long it takes to get there. We’ll be looking at: How to safely cut caffeine and minimize withdrawal symptoms An throwback to our interview with skier Ryder Bulfone Spicy Sounds, a collection from Morgs to fire you up A look at bee bricks: a wicked innovation to keep solitary bees safe Read Lifehacker walks you through the gentlest way to reduce caffeine in your daily life. If you’re looking to cut back, here’s how to do it with the fewest side effects possible—including why a little caffeine can still be a good thing, especially during the rockiest part of withdrawal. Wize iced tea is a great option to supplement a little caffeine when you need it without overwhelming your system. Special Feature Squamish-based skier Ryder Bulfone @flowryder talks to us about how he started out with the Whistler Freeride Club, skiing in Austria, and how he plans to break out of the traditional 9 to 5 structure. Listen This week's playlist is Spicy Sounds, curated by Morgs (@morganportia). With some vintage Kanye and Rihanna, as well as the Bad Bitch Anthem itself, it’s time to put in your headphones and add a little heat to your week. Good News Finally, Colossal brings us the story of Green&Blue: a company based out of Cornwall in the UK that makes bee bricks. These unassuming building blocks are drilled with a series of differently-sized holes to offer homes for bees within the urban landscape. Many pollinators have no fixed hive and bee bricks offer them a safe spot to rest while they’re making the world a little more green and beautiful. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Jan 28, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 75
Happy Friday, Wizefam. Welcome to the 75th volume of WizeWorld: a weekly collection of stories and sounds to round out your week, pique your curiosity, and widen your wizdom. This week’s theme is balance. A new year can inspire big changes and sudden shifts. But sometimes it’s good to recognize where balance can help, rather than hinder, your goals. We’ll be looking at: Why cutting out sugar isn’t always healthy An interview with Vancouver-based skateboarder Tanner Tsuji Kaleidoscope, the first playlist from #WizeCollective athlete Madeleine Pollock How to make exercise work for your mental and physical health Read The Conversation reminds us that, when it comes to getting healthy, fruit should still be on the table. The fiber and nutrients found in our favorite plant foods make them much more than just a sweet treat. Special Feature Aspiring pro skater Tanner Tsuji talks to us about getting sober, making healthier choices and his lifelong love of skateboarding. Listen This week's playlist is Kaleidoscope, curated by Wize mountain bike athlete Madeleine Pollock. It's filled with a balance of music that helps her get into the flow — everything from Lorde and The Killers to Taylor Swift, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Hit shuffle and get your sweat on. Good News Read about five amazing groups that combine exercise with mental health to help people improve their wellbeing from the inside out. From a run club that supports people grappling with grief, to surf lessons for youth with mild to severe mental health issues, these organizations are seeking to change the way people view physical activity. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Jan 21, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 74
Welcome to the 74th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at circumvention. How one can functionally replace sugar in baking. Revisit the interview with the Vancouver, drag queen Kendall Gender. Now Playing: Plz Chill. Forest schools in the UK. Read Learn how to reasonably work around sugar, and still maintain your abilities as a baker Special Feature Vancouver drag queen Kendall Gender fame, stardom and performance inspiration. Listen This week's playlist is curated by RiccoRicco. Drift off to the ambient, moody thinking music of the electronic and beat spectrum. Good News Programs in the UK are developing to create learning spaces in forests to deal with the education predicaments caused by lockdowns. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Jan 14, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 73
Welcome to the 73rd volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at avoidance. An examination of what causes sugar crash. Revisit the interview with the Vancouver, BC photographer Brandin Artis. Replay: Easy Now. How living artwork is aiding the preservation of bees. Read Insider takes aim at examining how and why the body succumbs to sugar crashes. Special Feature Vancouver photographer Brandon Artis sits down for an interview about his various inspirations, and career highlights. Listen This week's playlist is a throwback, curated by GMAN. Intended to be played top to bottom. Good News Living artwork in the UK is acting as environmental refurbishment as well as a place for bees to thrive. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Jan 7, 2022
WizeWorld Volume 72
Welcome to the 72nd volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at the benefits of curation. A review caffeine's effect on depression. Revisit the interview with the London, Ontario snowboarder Kody Williams. Replay: CTRL-ALT-Bounce. How controlled playlists can help anxiety Read Psych Central looks at how caffeine contributes to, and effects forms of depression. Special Feature London, Ontario snowboarder Kody Williams sits down for an interview about his inspirations and long road of perseverance. Listen This week's playlist is curated by Yakobe, as a revisitation of end of the year melodies. Good News Quarterlife Magazine takes a look at how curated music playlists can help assuage anxiety. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Dec 31, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 70
Welcome to the 70th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at persistence in trying times. An exposé on sugar reduction and indulgence. An interview with the Vancouver mountain biker CJ Hauptman. Replay: Up North. How intimacy and love may increase during the pandemic. Read A new explainer from Food Navigator explains how humans can deal with cravings and indulgence during the pandemic. Special Feature Vancouver mountain biker CJ Hauptman sits down for an interview about progress and the outdoors. Listen This week's playlist is curated by the legendary Marvel. All selections have been created, produced, and/or feature artists from up North! Good News A feature from ILY Mag takes a look at how intimacy can persist despite the state of the world. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Dec 17, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 69
Welcome to the 69th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at general impact. The impact of cloves on sugar cravings. An interview with the Squamish, mountain biker Kyle Craig. Now Playing: Freezachin. Rewilding efforts in the UK. Read A new study discovers how cloves may be able to stem the body's reliance on sugar. Special Feature Squamish mountain biker Kyle Craig sits down for an interview about where he finds motivation, and how he connects to his idols. Listen This week's playlist is curated by the legendary Freezachin. A playlist straight from the UK. Good News A landowner pact in England could be the beginning of a new influx of wildlife in the countryside. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Dec 10, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 68
Welcome to the 68th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at youth, and recapturing it. The pushback against sugary baby food. An interview with the North Vancouver, mountain biker Moses Milley. Now Playing: Wagmi A landmark process for optical prosthetics. Read UK Health experts are warning against the sugar levels currently being found in baby food. Special Feature North Vancouver mountain biker Moses Milley sits down for an interview about the life of a young athlete, and keeping up with the competition. Listen This week's playlist is curated by the legendary Jayemkayem from Toronto. Good News A man in the UK successfully underwent surgery to receive a 3D-printed eye, marking a massive step forward in optical prosthetics. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Dec 3, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 67
Welcome to the 67th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we’re looking at how our perceptions may change. An explanation of how spices can aid blood pressure. An interview with the North Vancouver, mountain biker Eric Lawrenuk Now Playing: Huncho Hypetrain A recalculation of one's connection to motherhood. Read Healthline explains how the utilization of spices can help lower blood pressure. Special Feature North Vancouver mountain biker Eric Lawrenuk sits down for an interview about the legends he looks up to, and his desire to stay on his path. Listen This week's playlist is curated by @604huncho. It's here to get you ready for the club, featuring BANGERS from Moneybagg Yo, Megan Thee Stallion, 21 Savage and much more Good News One woman's heartwarming tale about how motherhood memoirs helped her come to terms with her feelings about childbearing. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Nov 26, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 63
Welcome to the 63rd volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we're look at the power of metamorphosis. Breaking down the varying effects of what giving up sugar can do to, and for the body. An interview with the Shawnigan Laker mountain biker Sean Collins. Now Playing: Crtl-Alt-Bounce. A break through in sustainability as it pertains to the future of cutlery. Read She Finds delivers a comprehensive breakdown of what happens to the body when one gives up sugar. Learn about the short-term and long-term benefits. Special Feature Shawnigan Lake mountain biker Sean Collins sits down for an interview to talk about his earliest beginnings and earliest victories. Listen This week's playlist is curated by Yakobe. It's built on immaculate vibes and an undercurrent of bass-heavy rhythm to groove to in the cold weather. Best enjoyed with Mango Wize Iced Tea. Good News According to the CBC, Scientists have developed a new process that allows the for the manipulation of wood, through which they can make the material denser and harder than usual. The new material is slated to be a replacement for steel and plastic utensils. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Oct 29, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 59
Welcome to the 59th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we're looking at building support systems for ourselves and others. How sugar impacts our skin health. An interview with the Vancouver skateboarder Marucs Denis. Now Playing: Monster Scotland passes landmark education reform for LGBTQ+ history. Read Femina delivers an in depth look at the ways in which sugar can deeply impact the the health of our skin. Special Feature Vancouver skateboarder, Marcus Denis, sits down for an interview to talk about his persistence, inspirations and support systems. Listen This weeks playlist is curated by Keke, a representative of Cote First Nation. Amplifying Indigenous voices in the wake of Truth and Reconciliation Day. Good News Scotland becomes the first country in the world to require LGBTQ+ history be taught in schools. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Oct 1, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 57
Welcome to the 57th volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. This week we're looking at acknowledging all of our options. Breakdown books that will help you to curb your sugar habits. An interview with the Vancouver Island based hip hop duo Jackson & Carlow (Funkanometry) Now Playing: Hit Parade F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, buying a Met Gala ticket for up and coming Black designers. Read A Sweet Life put together a list of twelve books to help those looking quit sugar. Special Feature Vancouver Island breakdance duo, Jackson & Carlow aka Funkanometry, sit down for an interview to talk about challenging themselves, and connecting with their audience. Listen Wize Collective Artist Set C claps back with this weeks WizeRadio playlist "Hit Parade,” featuring cuts from Seb C himself, MMNR, Boslen and much more Good News F1 driver Lewis Hamilton used is Met Gala ticket for good this week, inviting several independent black designers to sit at his table to further their work in the industry. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Sep 17, 2021
WizeCocktail: Spiked Ginger Lemon Iced Tea
This spiked concoction is a perfect blend for the tastebuds. It's an invigorating twist on honeyed iced tea with delicate hints of vodka and ginger. 1 oz Vodka 1/2 oz Lemon juice 1/4 oz Honey 2 oz Wize Lemon Iced Tea 1oz Ginger ale Shake all together Strain over ice Garnish with Lemon wedge Enjoy Wizely, friends! Order Wize Lemon Iced Tea today
Aug 26, 2021
WizeCocktail: Grapefruit Vodka
This citrusy sprits is full of grapefruit vibrance. It's crafted to perfection with sweet hints of syrup and a dash of vodka for flavour. 1 oz grapefruit vodka 1 oz grapefruit juice 2-3 grapefruit chunks 1/2 oz simple syrup 2 oz Wize Grapefruit Iced Tea Muddle grapefruit and simple syrup Add the rest of the ingredients Shake together and strain over ice Garnish with grapefruit wheel Enjoy Wizely, fam! Order Wize Grapefruit Iced Tea today
Aug 26, 2021
WizeCocktail: Spiked Iced Tea Lemonade
Enjoy this citric refresher. A perfect amalgamation of lemon, and mint, with a sharp melody of vodka for revitalization. 3/4 oz Vodka 1.5 oz Cointreau 1 oz lemon juice 2 oz Wize lemon iced tea 1/2 oz simple 3-4 mint leaves Muddle mint and simple syrup Add rest of ingredients Dump into short rocks glass Garnish with lemon wheel Enjoy Wizely, fam! Order Wize Lemon Iced Tea today
Aug 26, 2021
WizeCocktail: Mango Gin
Partake this sweet-tasting cocktail with a bite of gin. Mixed to perfection with notes of maple, lemon and mango for a perfectly concocted refresher. 1.5 oz gin 1/2 oz Cointreau 1 oz lemon juice 1/4 oz maple syrup 2 oz Wize Mango Iced Tea Shake all together and strain over ice Garnish with frozen mango and/or mint sprig Enjoy Wizely, fam! Order Wize Mango Iced Tea today
Aug 26, 2021
WizeCocktail: The Wize Guy
Enjoy this infusion of sweet sensations. A blended mix of mango, whiskey and rum, with honey to taste and a spritz of lemon juice for a dulcet tasting refreshment. 1.0z Whiskey (Canadian Club) 1oz Rum (Havana) 2oz Wize Mango Iced Tea ½oz Honey 1/2oz Lemon Juice Shake all together Strain over ice (top with Wize if needed) Garnish with lemon wedge Enjoy Wizely, fam! Order Wize Original Iced Tea today
Aug 26, 2021
WizeWorld Volume 32
Welcome to the 32nd volume of WizeWorld, our weekly collection of handpicked stories and sounds to help bolster your sense of wizdom and curiosity. How we can damage ourselves, as well as how damage can be undone. Soda's lasting destruction of our bodies. Interview: Legendary Canadian skateboarder, Spencer Hamilton A 90s infused West coast mix. The first 3D-printed school in Madagascar. Read Eat This takes a deep dive into the lasting and detrimental effects that popular sodas have on the human body. Special Feature Spencer Hamilton, renown Canadian skateboarder sits down for an interview sharing his wisdom and gratification, inspiration and milestones. Listen DJ M-Bangz delivers "Bat Luv Vol. 1" a perfect ode to the musical stylings of West coast hip hop, with Bay Area tendencies inspired by 90s rap. Good News Studio Mortazavi has designed a 3D-printed school made entirely from concrete and locally-sourced materials in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar. The solar-powered institution will introduce multipurpose classrooms that can act as functional science labs, dance studios and regular classrooms as needed. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these hand-picked gems in your inbox every Friday morning.
Mar 26, 2021
Enrique Ferrufino: Wize co-founder and third-generation coffee farmer
“I have been given space to learn and understand how the industry conducts itself, and in that space, I have been given stability. It’s ironic, because the industry itself is as unstable as they come.” Let me introduce you to Enrique Ferrufino, a coffee farmer from Nicaragua. He has a beautiful family, a beautiful farm, and he’s a symbol of prosperity while also being an anomaly. The first thing you realize when speaking to Enrique is how matter-of-fact he is about everything, he speaks like someone conditioned by compromise and resiliency. Resiliency itself is a prerequisite for the coffee game; it takes a lot of hours, acres, money and hope to be productive. It is a surprising realization that the coffee industry could be built on such a shaky infrastructure when we live in a world with a cafe on every corner. In this interview, Enrique flatly informs me that coffee is a broken cycle; it’s like a snake eating its own tail. "It’s ironic, because the industry itself is as unstable as they come.” Making money, let alone finding stability, is far from a guarantee given the steps needed to stay afloat. It’s an arduous process of buying farms, planting the coffee plants, and investing up to four years into the first production. It’s not a process in which one can cut corners, Enrique informs me: “the product is never good when steps are skipped,” he says. “If you’re in this industry, you’re in all the way. Though the demand for coffee grows annually, the pitfalls are plenty, inventory can run short, and pricing is dictated by the market. Whatever it takes to make, you might end up selling for half of that.” “Whatever it takes to make, you might end up selling it for half that” Coffee bags waiting to be exported The way he describes it, you’re surrendering your own sense of stability to the mercy of an unforgiving industry. It seems crazy, but at times, sacrifice and survival are often mistaken as such. It’s important to reiterate that this is the world Enrique inhabits, but for all the volatility he describes to me, I never hear longing in his voice, I hear the voice of a man who is well-resigned into what he does. An expert in a broken system, completely aware of how easy it would be to flee the cycle, but conscious of what’s at stake. There are 100 people that work with Enrique, not including the people who work in the fields, “We provide payment for these people and their families, sometimes we have to stretch the money,” he says. He adds, “I know that sometimes it’d just be easier to run a smaller farm, but that’s my responsibility.” “We provide payment for these people and their families, sometimes we have to stretch the money” One of their long-time workers Marcelino with grand-son It’s when Enrique begins to talk about what he’s doing with Wize™ that I notice his optimism come to the surface: "With Wize, we’re pioneering a new way to make all coffee farms resilient, empowering our community to make a year-round living with something that we already have. Now we have options in the off-season, and we’ve already created 100,000 hours of work for underemployed staff that are looking for income when they need it most. It’s very encouraging to see that consumers are enjoying our new iced teas as well, because it represents the biggest opportunity for our communities to have long-term stability.” Enrique smiles, and adds: “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for farmers like us.” New Wize™ Iced Teas “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for farmers like us.” When I asked Enrique for an abridged explanation of the coffee crisis, he began describing how the cycle devours those who make it run. Cultivating coffee is a twelve month investment, and that coffee is one sold once a year. Typically, the more you produce, the more you’re liable to lose. “There are poorer farmers in the middle of nowhere farming with almost nothing, they don’t have the means to get out of the cycle, it’s hard for them,” he tells me. Even though Enrique is able to stay afloat, his first example is to explain the concerns of those who are struggling to tread water, he is reflexively empathetic. Restoring beauty and stability are second nature to him. Even as he explains the turbulent landscape of the coffee industry, there is a sense of duty and perseverance behind his every word, a commitment to providing reliability and creating opportunity in an industry and a world that needs it more than ever. Enrique's daughter on one of their horses “There are poorer farmers in the middle of nowhere farming with almost nothing... they don’t have the means to get out of the cycle.” It’s here where Enrique’s dedication is on full display. His world has morphed and decayed over decades, and yet, he doesn’t waver. His vision for a better future is never clouded by a sense of loss or a difficult path. Many might digest the tribulations of a cruel industry and a fluctuating community by quitting, but Enrique is always one to try to improve the system before abandoning it. Now with Wize, he has the biggest opportunity of anyone in the coffee industry to rewrite history, and create a new path for his family and fellow farmers around the world.
Feb 18, 2021
New academic study reviews anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of mangiferin
A new review on mangiferin was just published and it's an enlightening and exciting look on the coffee leaf's hero antioxidant. Let's take a look at some of the highlights (entire study is here). Tumors thrive in chronic inflammation due to increasing infiltration of cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines to the tumor microenvironment. Phenolic compounds (antioxidants) are considered natural remedies for inflammation and cancer. Mangiferin possesses numerous pharmacological activities. It has the potential to attenuate inflammation in different organs through the mechanisms of inhibiting pattern recognition receptors, regulating cell signalling pathways, activating autophagy (removal of dysfunctional cells), inhibiting the secretion of inflammatory mediators, and protecting intestinal barrier integrity, which in turn prevents cancer. In addition, mangiferin also possessed potentially beneficial effects on diabetes, liver injury, cardiovascular injury, and other inflammation-related diseases in animal models through its anti-inflammatory effect. The figure above shows the anti-inflammatory molecular mechanisms of mangiferin at different levels, detailing its effects on inflammation in relation to cytokines and autophagy. The anti-inflammatory mechanisms of mangiferin include inhibiting the inflammatory response, activating autophagy, improving glucose, lipid, and energy metabolisms, regulating cell signaling pathways, inhibiting the secretion of inflammatory mediators, and improving metabolic syndrome. The above chart details the relationship between mangiferin and its effects on inflammatory markers, which directly impact tumor growth and cancer risk. Below are some of the related findings: The sensitivity of cancer cells to anticancer drugs was enhanced by mangiferin through suppressing NF-κB pathway. Mangiferin triggered autophagy and exhibited the potential chemotherapeutic capacity for pancreatic cancer. In lunger cancer cells, mangiferin up-regulated tumor suppressor genes. Mangiferin also helps to restore the intestinal barrier function, which may ameliorate intestinal inflammation and slowing tumor growth Mangiferin might attenuate brain damage via inhibiting inflammasome activation and simultaneously suppressing oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines. "Overall, mangiferin, a natural small polyphenol compound, has a wide range of sources and bioactivities, and potentially functions as a novel therapeutic agent for inflammation and cancer treatments, thereby, has promising development and application prospects." There are more studies coming out around the world about mangiferin every month. This is an exciting new avenue for treatment of many ailments, and the team at Wize is keen to see where this goes. Cheers to discovering more about the natural world!
Feb 11, 2021
New study: Mangiferin showing potential for treatment of various psychiatric and degenerative disorders
As the leaders of coffee leaf innovation, we've been tracking all the scientific studies about the compounds in coffee leaves since 2013. We've know for almost a decade that coffee leaves are very healthy for you for many reasons, yet we've been very patient and cautious about making claims because we want to take our time and ensure the findings are sound (like any good scientist would, frankly). We are not ones to embellish things because it will sell product - we'll leave that to the fad brands and diet products of late-night TV commercials.To centralize all of the existing research out there, we just launched our new Research Hub where you can find the different compounds in the coffee leaf with their respective health benefits link to source studies.A unique aspect of the coffee leaf, in regards to health sciences, is that it is one of nature's richest sources of a rare antioxidant called mangiferin. The scientific community has been exploring this elusive compound more vigorously in the last 10 years as it is showing promise to treat a plethora of disorders, diseases, and ailments, as well as boasting general health advantages for everyday use.A new study has shown that mangiferin is devoid of pro-oxidant activity and is thus superior to conventional antioxidants. It prevents the age-specific changes in various enzymes, alleviates cognitive impairment, improves damage in the hippocampus and has neuroprotective effects (protects brain neurons). As you will see in the Research Hub (and a quick Google search), mangiferin is quickly becoming a top research priority in the medical space thanks to its many promising test results for everything from reducing tumour cell size to lowering insulin resistance. Feel to dig into the studies and learn more about your favourite beverage. Cheers to health!
Jan 25, 2021
Get up to 40% off for Boxing Day!
Gear up for a fresh 2021! As we're all feeling the effects of 2020, let's start to think how we can reset in 2021 with new habits and a positive outlook on what's to come. Here are some BIG DEALS for you to get started! Buy 2 cases of iced and tea and get 30% OFF with code "SAVE30" Buy 3+ cases of iced tea and get 40% OFF with code "SAVE40" Get 30% OFF all 50-teabag refills (no code required) Get 30% OFF all Blueberry and Mint blends (no code required)
Dec 26, 2020
Do you know how much sugar you are drinking?
Do you know how much sugar you’re drinking? Our body doesn’t always know what’s best for us. It usually knows what it wants, but the same cannot be said for what it should have. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar intake of 36 grams for men and 26 grams for women, however many drinks contain more than that in just a single serving. Beware of juices, believe it or not Juices will often masquerade behind the guise of “healthiness,” or being packed full of fruits and vegetables, but these beverages rarely live up to the benefits that they claim. “This drink equates to 17 teaspoons of sugar. If you can think of eating 17 teaspoons of sugar, that would be disgusting.” - Walter Willett Bottled iced teas are typically over 40g of sugar In the realm of iced tea, you’ll find brands like Snapple which has 40 grams of sugar per bottle, Pure Leaf which has 42 grams of sugar, or Gold Peak Georgia Peach Tea which has 45 grams of sugar per bottle (find more surprisingly unhealthy drinks here). Over 40 grams of sugar for something that is meant to be “healthy” and “clean” ingredients. Come on folks, let’s get real here! Can you imagine pouring 10 teaspoons of sugar into one tall glass of homemade iced tea? Of course not! But that’s it equates to. 42 grams of sugar in one bottle vs 42 cans of Wize™ iced tea We laid out how much sugar there is in one bottle of iced tea from a leading brand and compared it to Wize™ iced tea, which is just one gram of sugar. The difference is truly remarkable: Harvard’s Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Walter Willett, is scared for the future, and this was in 2009: “One bottle of sugary beverage per day causes a 60% increase in obesity in children” See Harvard’s chart below, or click this link for the full PDF How did we get to this point? How is society so desensitized to high amounts of sugar? It has become not only an issue of epidemic proportions, but it’s also hurting our ability to taste subtle flavours as we bombard our taste buds with astronomical amounts of sugar that would never happen in nature. “If your expectation of sweetness is so high, it’s difficult to appreciate the subtle sweetness of a fresh apple and it can push our whole diet in the wrong direction.” This is what is so scary While there has been a general awakening around sugar consumption, the existing alternative sweeteners aren’t necessarily proven to be the silver-bullet solution as researchers have found that they can still increase insulin resistance, essentially defeating their entire purpose. While the search for a healthy alternative sweetener still continues, maybe we should ask ourselves “do we really think we’ll find some magical answer? or should we simply cut it back and recalibrate our taste buds?” We believe that it’s time to be realistic, before it’s too late. “There has been a 300 calorie daily increase over the last few years, with half of that being caused by sugary beverages.” - Walter Willett, Harvard According to some estimates, about a quarter of children in the United States, and more than 40% of adults, are currently consuming low calorie sweeteners. But, are artificial sweeteners as harmless as people seem to think? Research from a few years ago suggested that artificial sweeteners can still promote diabetes and obesity. And now, a new study adds to the evidence that sweeteners may have undeniable metabolic effects. In fact, the latest study suggests that merely tasting something sweet could alter our metabolism and glucose control. The solution? Cut back sugar and sweeteners to recalibrate our sensitivity It’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s really the only way forward to live a healthy life for generations to come. If you really think that some miracle guilt-free, side-effect-free sweetener is going to just land in our lap and solve the diabetes and obesity crisis, keep dreaming. The human body is trying to tell us that we are not meant to consume high amounts of sweetness in general and we just keep trying to cheat the system. We need to start listening to our body and Wize up to our sugar intake, recalibrate it, and then we’ll see how sweet a real apple is, how satisfying a strawberry can be, and how delicious a real iced tea can taste with just a touch of sweetness. Now that's Wize.
Dec 23, 2020
WizeCocktail: Southern Wizdom
This is a classic, easy cocktail for all the bourbon lovers out there (works with regular Whiskey too!). Inspired by the Southern love for iced tea, here's a simple recipe that delivers high-end flavor. PRO tip! Shake the can of Wize Iced Tea so it develops a creamy froth! 1.5oz bourbon of choice (Bulleit for us) One can of Wize Original Iced Tea (shake before opening so it froths!) Squeeze a slice of lemon and drop it in, stir with spoon Garnish with sprig of mint So easy to try at home! As always, just one gram of sugar and absolutely delicious. World-class taste doesn't have to complicated (or unhealthy). Enjoy Wizely, fam! Order Wize Original Iced Tea today
Nov 27, 2020
Boost immunity with a free box of Ginger Lemon!
Now that it's fall and we're getting into the thick of the season, there's no better time to get your immunity up. Until November 20th, get a free box of Ginger Lemon teabags with the purchase of any two 12-packs of iced tea! Just three simple steps: Add any two 12-packs of iced tea to your cart Add a box of Ginger Lemon 15 teabags to your cart Use the code "FREEGL" at checkout to get the discount. Your cart should look like this in the end: That's it! Now you're ready for the fall and winter season ahead. Got questions? Just message us on Instagram or via email.
Nov 16, 2020
What is mangiferin and why is it good for me?
One of the most versatile and helpful entities your body can encounter is known as Mangiferin. It’s an antioxidant and polyphenol found in many forms of flora, but is most famously known to be found in mangoes. Mangiferin is historically connected to the mango but in 2012, it was discovered to be high concentrations in arabica coffee leaves. Firstly, mangiferin is a bioactive compound, inherently dynamic and therapeutic. It has mildly acidic compounds, demonstrated to exert protective properties against multiple forms of degenerative diseases, such as cancers, obesity, diabetes as well as forms of oxidative stress. All acids aren’t bad, unlike in cartoons apparently. The easiest method to explain and understand all the benefits of mangiferin is to outline the many ways in which mangiferin exerts its properties. Firstly, mangiferin is an anti-inflammatory, helping to regulate the body’s response to pain, inflammation and discomfort. Secondly, mangiferin is an antioxidant meaning that it protects the body’s cells against entities known as ‘free radicals,’ which can contribute to various ailments like heart disease and cancer. Notably, mangiferin plays a significant role in reducing cholesterol and fatty acids, while still serving as an anti-diabetic agent. It also helps the body to regulate metabolism and enhance and strengthen heart tissue. This means that mangiferin has direct ties to heart health, however it’s not just the cardiovascular system to which mangiferin has important duties. Mangiferin has also been found to have neuroprotective benefits that work in opposition to neuropathic pain and neuroinflammation. Mangiferin is preventative in many ways, most impressive however, may be its chemotherapeutic measures. It works against the growth of tumours and tumour cells, taking precautions against carcinogens. It’s immunomodulatory means that it modifies immense system response and functioning, helping to tailor the body’s immune system for whatever it needs at a given moment, proving mangiferin’s dynamic nature as a healing substance. It’s hard to overstate the multidimensional properties and activities of mangiferin. It’s close to a body’s best friend, with numerous properties that simultaneously work in opposition to harmful ailments that can plague the body, while still providing nourishment and vitality. Its benefits are almost too numerous to count, taking aim at protecting and sustaining vital organs. The medical science community still believes the potential of mangiferin to be largely untapped, and as we know it right now, its capabilities are too useful to be overlooked. For more information about mangiferin and other compounds in the coffee leaf, please visit our Coffee Leaf page which features a Research Hub with all listed studies.
Oct 27, 2020
From boiling hot to ice cold: NEW ICED TEA
In order to service a rapidly changing world, one must be ready and willing to adapt. Take for example, the coffee industry, structured on centuries of seasonal harvests that have ultimately left the industry in critical condition. The coffee prices on the global market are too volatile, seasonal work schedules are untenable, crops become abandoned, livelihoods are eviscerated risk and transparency is ignored. Brands become more interested in providing a bitter flavour, than exposing a bitter truth. We’re witnessing a perfect storm of erratic global pricing, climate change and a general seasonality of a 3-month bean harvest that culminates in disregarded disaster. It’s disheartening to know that the 25 million coffee growers worldwide are under extreme pressure even if they produce the second-most traded commodity and third-most consumed beverage on Earth, second only to water. In order to keep pace with the fickle trends of the industry, Wize adapted. We created a sustainable and equitable solution that both creates jobs and income, while mitigating hunger and migration during a 9-month off-season. By upcycling the extra leaves of the coffee plant we’re able to make Coffee Leaf Tea, turning excess resources into award-winning healthy and refreshing tea. Commitment to sustainability goes hand in hand with innovation. Wize Coffee Leaf Tea creates an abundance of work opportunities for those who would otherwise be forgotten. The maximization of our farm’s productivity directly leads to holistic and socioeconomic improvements within the business. It’s not enough to make a good product, we want to improve the framework of the industry, and these are the principles that guide us as we strive to reinvent the world of iced tea. As it stands, the iced tea industry is doing itself a disservice. Product, by and large, fails to find the balance between viability and taste. Assessing sweetness and bitterness takes precedent over sustainability and ethics, culminating in an industry primed and in need of upheaval. Our latest innovation is a ready-to-drink Coffee Leaf Iced Tea with only 1g of cane sugar, 10 calories, and 35mg of caffeine. An avenue into iced tea allows us to pursue our ultimate goal of reaching as many people as possible, while providing sustainable employment for workers, and avoiding seasonal issues through a commitment to ethical standards. Coffee Leaf Tea processing techniques are uniquely untapped in the world of iced tea, thus giving our product an unparalleled, clean and refreshing flavour, while remaining ethically sourced and mindfully distributed. Our iced tea is about impact. Creating a balanced taste is paramount, however, social impact is just as important as sensory significance. Each can of iced tea provides two minutes of employment for coffee farmers. We’ve already passed 75,000 hours, with our ultimate goal to surpass 1,000,000 hours, which winds up generating over 125,000 full working days for those who would otherwise be unemployed during the 9-month off-season. Our combination of unique taste and ethical sourcing creates a product that serves both communities and consumers. We appreciate the community that has been with us since our humble beginnings, and thank them for their support while welcoming all those whom we may reach in our new venture. You can order it now, as of today, right here: drinkwize.com/wizeup
Jun 30, 2020
What's Coffee Leaf Tea? Our FAQ answered
What Is Coffee Leaf Tea? It’s an infusion made from the leaves of arabica coffee plants. These leaves are upcycled and harvested during the off-season, and thus don’t interfere with the coffee bean harvest, meaning that the process doesn’t affect the coffee beans, nor the plant. What Does It Taste Like? It has an incredibly smooth taste and lightly sweet finish. It is rich and refreshing, never bitter, no matter how long you steep it. How Much Caffeine Does It Have? Our iced teas have 35mg of caffeine per 12oz can, and dried teas about 20 mg of caffeine per serving (8oz/250ml cup). Comparable to a light green tea, with better taste, and no side effects like jitters or fatigue, just smooth predictable clarity. For more info, please refer to our Coffee Leaf page. How does the caffeine compare to green and black tea? For comparison, green tea has roughly 30mg of caffeine per 8oz, while black tea has roughly 60mg of caffeine per 8 oz. The average bottle of Nestle Pure Leaf Iced Tea will have 69mg of caffeine in a single bottle. How does the caffeine compare to coffee? For comparison, coffee contains 120mg of caffeine per 8oz, and as much as 230mg of caffeine per 12 oz. What Are The Health Benefits? It delivers Mangiferin Polyphenols, Antioxidants, and Chlorogenic Acids. Mangiferin is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties, as well as its neuroprotective qualities that help lower blood cholesterol levels. It is an additive typically used in Latin America, India and China for centuries. The Chlorogenic Acids are known to boost metabolism, in tandem with Polyphenols and antioxidants, while still producing anti-inflammatory effects. For more info, please refer to our Coffee Leaf page. How Are Your Teas Flavoured?Wize exclusively uses all natural plant-based flavorings and extracts. Where Do You Source It From? We source directly from our co-founder, Enrique Ferrufino, from his farm in the Nicaraguan cloudforest near Matagalpa, making the company vertically integrated “from Earth to cup.” This allows us to ensure a yield of premium product, while maintaining our economic and ethical standards. Is it Fair Trade? We go beyond fair trade on multiple fronts. We are Rainforest Alliance Certified, meeting protected social, economic and environmental standards. We repurpose an underused part of the coffee plant and create sustainable value out of it. With this, we’re able to generate stable, year-round jobs on coffee farms and overcome the seasonality of coffee harvesting for the farmers. We establish a new source of revenue for coffee farmers without adding new inputs. We are committed to a flat buying rate, thereby avoiding potential struggles with variable pricing (like the coffee bean) and ensuring that our producer and his workers earn their fair share. Our farm-direct strategy allows us to work directly with Enrique Ferrufino, the third partner of Wize Monkey, enabling us to maintain communication, transparency and integrity from the ground up. In practice, each party has visibility on their finances and standards, allowing for everyone to focus on creating the best quality Coffee Leaf Tea possible. For more info, please refer to our Impact page. Is It Organic? We implement regenerative agriculture, utilizing the balanced ecological surroundings to guarantee the healthiest product and most sustainable form of farming. Specific trees (like banana, avocado, guava, eucalyptus, empress, and nettle) are planted throughout the coffee lots to provide shelter and protection from pests and diseases. An equal and biodiverse combination of coffee lots and protected rainforest allows us to provide protection for our crops, while maintaining the integrity of our product without the use of pesticides.
Jun 22, 2020
We've evolved to Wize Coffee Leaf
Since 2013, we've been working on creating the world's best Coffee Leaf Tea and empowering coffee farmers to make a year-round living. In the last 6+ years, we've generated over 75,000 work hours for these workers to help make ends meet, feed their families, and get through what is an excruciating and difficult off-season of 9 months in the coffee farms. We wouldn't have done that without you, our esteemed WizeTribe, so give yourself a pat on the back. Now, in 2020, we're preparing for a quantum leap into the future. This was always part of the plan since day 1, and we're now ready for lift off. We can't tell you all the details just yet, but something big is coming, and will be announced on July 7th, our 7th birthday! As for the logo change, we've actually gonna back to our original first ever logo from when we're studying in school, working on Wize as our thesis project. So realistically, we're going back to the core of our real brand. In the meantime, since we have existing packaging with our older Wize Monkey branding, we've decided to keep using it until it runs out, and not waste a bunch of perfectly usable materials for the sake of sustainability. It's still the same high quality, single-origin Coffee Leaf Tea you've always loved, but now it's become limited edition ;) We've also updated our website and subscription service for a better overall experience, with more improvements on the way, too. Keep an eye out for further announcements as we get closer to our birthday this July 7th, 2020. It's going to be a big summer! Thank you WizeTribe for being with us on this journey. We truly appreciate your love, support, and positive energy. Founders of Wize Coffee Leaf Max, Arnaud, Enrique
May 30, 2020
WizeCulture: Quarantine Content Drop #1
Hey Wize Tribe! We put together a database of staff picks and curated suggestions of movies, shows, music, books + more to check out while we're all in social isolation. FEATURING: Movies Shows Music Books Documentaries Websites Artist IG profiles Follow the link below to check out the Google Drive database that we'll be updating over time for your quarantine pleasure.
Mar 21, 2020
The Wize Guide to Caffeine 2020
After all these years of running Wize Monkey, we’ve learned a lot about caffeine and how to best manage the abundant and highly addictive drug that it is. Our intention is not to be alarmist; we’re realists about balancing the instrumental role of caffeine in day-to-day life. With the plethora of drink options available, many people still wonder where different drinks land on the caffeine spectrum. So we decided to put together a helpful guide for you to navigate this highly caffeinated world and the best ways to use it and not abuse it. Brain chemistry is where it all happens When your body becomes tired, your brain releases adenosine molecules that slot into adenosine receptors, which send you a signal in the form of tiredness (yawning or a general waning of energy or alertness). The concept of “listening to your body” couldn’t be more relevant in this case, as your body is telling you to get some rest. But, as humans, we’re notorious for ignoring these bodily messages because we’re busier than ever trying to keep up with a fast-paced society. The biggest misconception about caffeine To override this lack of energy and alertness, most of us rely on caffeine. There’s an everyday tendency to refer to caffeine as “energy itself” or to its ability to create extra energy. However, this caffeine calculus couldn't be further from the truth. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain by emulating adenosine molecules and taking their place in the receptors. Your brain thinks the body isn’t tired, but it is. Basically, caffeine is an imposter and your brain is being tricked into thinking you’re still pepped up and ready to go, when you really need to get proper rest for your own health’s sake. Caffeine is a drug, so let’s treat it like one! The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. People wear coffee addiction like a badge of honour; it’s a way to power through, be tough and productive. The funny part is that they are actually worse off by defaulting to drinking extra coffee as a replacement for conscious, healthy life habits. Over time, this approach comes with diminishing returns and a ton of side effects. So, if we can’t absolutely cut it out, then let’s manage it. Below are the main side effects of being over-caffeinated: Stress on the heart (increased blood pressure) Insomnia Indigestion Headaches Reduced fertility in women Increased anxiety Pro tip: caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours This means that when you drink a large drip coffee at 12pm noon, the 200mg you just ingested decreases to 100mg by 6pm, and then 50mg by midnight. 50mg at midnight! In the middle of the night your blood and brain still have caffeine molecules blocking your adenosine receptors, potentially affecting the quality of your sleep. This is equivalent to drinking a black tea right at midnight and trying to go to bed immediately–just why? Ask yourself the following questions next time you ingest a highly caffeinated drink: do I need to feel energetic in 6 or 12 hours? Or is it really just for the next couple hours? Use that tactic and plan accordingly. The idea is balance Instead of drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day (roughly 500-800mg caffeine), enjoy one cup in the morning if you really can’t live without it, then switch to tea for your remaining daily cups. You can do a Coffee Leaf Tea after lunch to get you a fresh 25mg of caffeine and roll into the rest of the day hydrated and focused, skipping the afternoon crash. By the time you get home for dinner, your caffeine levels will be around 12mg, and by bedtime will be in the low single digits. The adjustment period is about one or two weeks, tops The adjustment is real: for the first few days, but then you’ll notice your ability to sleep gradually improve, your bowel movements become more regular, and some people may notice less heartburn and much less anxiety. Why ride a rollercoaster when you can float on a cloud? Pick your caffeine hits wizely, and you can take control of your habit. Your body and brain will thank you for it. "How much caffeine am I drinking on a daily basis?" We mapped out the amounts of caffeine in common beverages you might consume on the daily. Go through them and add it up; you will be surprised how much you are consuming. You are not a hostage to caffeine, so stop telling yourself that Always remember, the more caffeine you ingest, the more you rely on it (yes, just like a drug). Free yourself from the dreaded "narrative of need" when it comes to coffee and energy drinks. Focus instead on achieving consistent, everyday energy and doing this well.. Less caffeine = more control of your energy levels and more predictable energy. Embrace your body and brain’s natural functions and find your new routine. This is one of the main reasons we created Wize Monkey and innovated Coffee Leaf Tea; it has the perfect amount of caffeine to get you through a few hours nice and focused, and then you can wind down without any side effects. And best of all, it helps coffee farmers make a year-round living. Now that’s Wize, isn’t it? Looking to reset your caffeine sensitivity? The easiest way to reset yourself without going cold turkey is to drink Coffee Leaf Tea. This will avoid the withdrawal symptoms and help you stay hydrated with an easy-to-steep drink. Check out some of our best-sellers and have yourself a cup of liquid wizdom.
Mar 2, 2020
Sunset Chai Latte Cookies (plant-based)
A warm chai tea latte in cookie form? We’ll take a dozen! The brilliant minds at VegNews thought up this delicious creation. Infused with sumptuous chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, and green cardamom—then iced with a velvety chai frosting—these soft, chewy morsels are made extra special with a secret ingredient: Wize Monkey Sunset Chai tea. We already love this rich, antioxidant-packed tea harvested from the leaves of coffee plants, so why not add the tea to our dream holiday cookie? So start your ovens … you’re about to meet your new favourite cookie. WHAT YOU NEED: For the cookies:½ cup coconut oil3 tablespoons Wize Monkey Sunset Chai1 cup brown sugar1 teaspoon cinnamon½ teaspoon ground ginger1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar¼ cup applesauce2 cups flour½ teaspoon baking soda For the frosting:¼ cup canned, full-fat coconut milk 1 tablespoon Wize Monkey Sunset Chai 3 tablespoons vegan butter 2⅓ cups powdered sugarCinnamon for dusting WHAT YOU DO: For the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small pan over low heat, add coconut oil and Wize Monkey Sunset Chai. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and allowing the tea to infuse into coconut oil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain to make sure it yields ½ cup. If necessary, add more coconut oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, applesauce, and chai-infused coconut oil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and fold gently until combined. Scoop 3 tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, gently flatten cookies with spatula, and let cool completely. For the frosting, in a small pan over low heat, add coconut milk and Wize Monkey Sunset Chai. Warm for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until milk darkens in color. Strain into a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together vegan butter, powdered sugar, and chai-infused coconut milk until smooth and creamy. Frost cooled cookies and dust with cinnamon. Makes 16 cookies GET SOME SUNSET CHAI TODAY
Nov 20, 2019
How an upcycled and delicious tea is saving the coffee industry: the story of Coffee Leaf Tea
Please share this article! It is also posted here on Medium.com It was International Coffee Day last week. Cafes around the world were celebrating by selling discounted coffee, showing off ‘instagrammable’ latte art, and glorifying the roasted bean that has been harvested for centuries by hard-working coffee farmers around the world. Yet, the coffee industry is in critical condition and no one is talking about it. The volatility of coffee prices on the global market and the seasonality of harvesting has always left farmers vulnerable, but right now it is worse than ever before. The common question we get about this is “If it’s so bad, why isn’t it on front page news?” We believe it’s because the inconvenient truth of the industry is a bitter pill to swallow, and no coffee brand wants to show people what’s really going on at the farm-level as it doesn’t lend to their brand. They preach fair practices and paying farmers above-market value for their beans, but it doesn’t really matter when the market value is so low that farmers are still losing on every sale regardless of the added premium. Scroll to the end of this article to read about our pilot project that solves this problem, or read through for the full details. Buying power is killing the viability of coffee farming In many cases, coffee farmers are the local leaders and when they leave, the social fabric of their communities essentially dissolves as everyone heads for better pastures and eviscerates what jobs were still available. Many of the major coffee brands (premium ones included) have been recently consolidated through acquisition, and shareholders of these conglomerates apply pressure to get immediate returns, which then translates to coffee buyers forcing farmers to sell at even lower prices for more volume. In the coffee world, buying power and bullying is the name of the game, and it’s mimicking the ‘behemoth conglomerate vs local business’ clash that we’ve all seen happen in North America and abroad. The coffee industry has seen significant consolidation with closely held investment firm JAB Holding Co. spending more than $30 billion buying companies including Peet’s Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain and Caribou Coffee. Nestle SA and Italy’s Lavazza have also jumped on the bandwagon. With increased competition, industry executives say there’s been a focus on cutting costs and buying cheaper beans. Bloomberg.com Migration is the not-so-new normal In 2014, we interviewed Nicaraguan growers about this, but it’s been happening much longer than that. The first price-related coffee crisis happened in the early 2000s when Vietnam over-produced so much coffee that global prices crashed. In Nicaragua, it got so bad that the growers left the farms because even if they produced it, they would sell at a loss. In order for the country to avoid complete insolvency, the Nicaraguan army was employed by the government to pick coffee so they could make at least a small sum off of the exports. Not to mention that there was rampant hunger, medical, and housing issues that caused many children to die due to malnutrition. The country’s economy is so tied to coffee that four banks defaulted in the early 2000s during this first crisis: BCP, InterBank, BanCafe, and BANIC. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if four major banks defaulted in your country? This was not exclusive to Nicaragua either; the crisis affected all Central American producers, their families, and regional economies. Nicaraguans marching from Matagalpa to Managua, the capital city, in demand of medicine, food, and shelter to help them survive the coffee crisis of the early 2000s. They were called “Las TUNAs”, named after the school where they signed an agreement with the government to provide support. This new coffee crisis has become so critical that the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has created a task force to help tackle the pricing issue across the globe. Vera Espindola Rafael, one of their directors and industry experts, discussed this issue in a recently aired webinar. What is immediately remarkable is the fact that farmers are abandoning crops and don’t have year-round income to make ends meet; They are not maintaining their farms as they should. They simply do not have the income to maintain what they have. There are producers leaving their fields, homes, and families to find a better life somewhere else. [In Honduras] 4% don’t know where they are going to go, 20% are going to the capital, 44% are going to the US, and a small portion are moving around the country. It’s a sad reality that, as a sector, we are unable to stop it from happening, we let it continue to happen, and it will still continue in the upcoming harvest season. — Vera Espindola Rafael, SCA Director (see full webinar here) When you compound the volatile global pricing with climate change creating wildly variable yields from year to year, and the general seasonality of a 3-month bean harvest, you have a perfect storm causing growers to abandon their farms and migrate elsewhere. This is reflected very obviously in the migrant caravans heading to the US over the last few years. An article in Quartz titled ‘The surprising way coffee is fueling migration to the US’ highlights this very well (edited for continuity): The international price of coffee hasn’t been this low in over a decade. As a result, thousands of coffee farmers, and sometimes their entire families, are abandoning their land or their employment on coffee farms and heading north. Coffee futures are currently at roughly $1.03 per pound, while the cost of production for a pound of coffee right now is about 85 cents in Guatemala. Other estimates put the cost of production as high as $1.40. Approximately 70% of that cost is labor. What it all boils down to is a price for coffee, after costs, “that cannot support families.” The price was well above $3.30 in 1977; it was hovering around 99 cents at the end of 2018. (Quartz) A recent BBC article highlights the growing crisis. Ritu Prasad interviews Chuck Jones who owns a roastery and cafes in California: The “boom and bust cycles” of coffee pricing unfairly hurt growers like [Chuck’s] cousin, who stand to make money only a few times each decade, especially given the access to cheaper options in the commodity market. “As a buyer, I can easily replace that [coffee],” he adds. “But it hurts because it’s my cousin, and he’s losing his source of income. He’s middle aged and he’s been living off of the farm. “Even though my cousin is a high quality, specialty coffee producer, he’s still going to lose the farm because of the systems in place to prevent him from being able to succeed.” (BBC) If we don’t raise prices at retail, average and premium coffee will disappear It’s disheartening to know that the 25 million coffee growers worldwide are under extreme pressure even if they produce the second-most traded commodity and third-most consumed beverage on Earth (water being first and tea being second). What does this mean for our globalized future? How are staple commodity farmers going to keep supplying our growing population? Will the market price eventually correct itself once all the growers leave and supply becomes short? That may not even happen considering that the only producers likely to survive in this era are the massive industrial-scale farms that are mechanized like in Brazil. Will craft coffee shops start charging $10 per cup like they probably should? Or will they simply start closing because consumers don’t want to pay that much for a proper espresso or drip coffee? As a society, if we do not accept a higher cost per cup of coffee, we will continue to destroy the coffee industry as we know it. This is especially affecting the premium bean producers because they can’t sell enough volume to make ends meet; none of the buyers can pay more since customers don’t want to absorb the cost. The only exception here is Starbucks, as they just announced a $20M increase in payments for Central American growers knowing that the current market price is not sustainable. This is still, however, a temporary band-aid and doesn’t represent a long-term holistic solution to this imbalance. “The desire would be that the market has some correction. That would be the ideal state,” Burns said. “If the coffee crisis on pricing continues, we will look at both what we do on the financial side as well as our continued work with what we do with trees.” - Michelle Burns, SVP of global coffee and tea at Starbucks (Bloomberg) Maybe $10 billion will fix this With so many stakeholders involved, potential solutions need to be scalable so they can apply to each producing country and versatile enough for small and large farms. Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs proposes to create a $10B fund to help prop up farmers and inject cash into the viability of the industry itself. This would help lift the producers above water and start to invest in their future; the only challenge is, who has $10 billion to spare? The solution is actually right in front of us What if I told you that there is a solution that: a) doesn’t require raising $10 billion, b) the growers already have it in their possession, c) it can create year-round income and new skilled jobs, and d) mitigate hunger and migration during the 9-month off-season? My friends and I have made it our lives’ work to accomplish this, and our pilot project with Wize Monkey in Nicaragua is working impeccably well for the growers. The secret? We use the extra leaves of the coffee plant to make Coffee Leaf Tea. The leaves are very rich in healthy compounds, lightly caffeinated (same as green tea), create incredibly smooth refreshing tea, and make use of the excess pruned leaves during the 9-month off-season. To be clear, we are not stripping plants of leaves, that would defeat the entire purpose of making a year-round industry. By applying some simple traditional tea-crafting techniques (wither, roll, oxidize, ferment, dry), coffee leaves turn into a uniquely refreshing drink that never gets bitter, unlike regular tea. Coffee leaves have much less tannins, therefore the steeped drink itself never gets bitter even if you steep them for hours. It’s a very rare quality to have in caffeinated tea, and it’s what makes Coffee Leaf Tea unique. The coffee leaf can be processed thousands of different ways. On top of that, using different sub-varietals of arabica leaves reveal subtle differences in flavor notes, increasing the complexity and diversity of Coffee Leaf Tea and its overall spectrum of tastes. Coffee Leaf Tea has been used in ethnomedicine for centuries and we’re just uncovering it’s true potential Coffee Leaf Tea has been consumed in Ethiopia, the birthplace of arabica coffee, for three to four centuries due to its various health benefits. In 1864, John Shortt wrote about Coffee Leaf Tea being created in Southern India. In 1873, the Chambers’ Journal wrote about Coffee Leaf Tea in Sumatra, how it was their “national drink” and how they “found it invaluable, giving immediate relief to hunger and fatigue, and clearing the brain of its cobwebs.” In 1892, the American Journal of Pharmacy mentions “good crops of coffee leaves could be obtained where it would be risky or even impossible to produce berries.” Coffee Leaf Tea isn’t exactly new, we just figured out the best way to make it with tea processing techniques, rendering a delicious version of what has already been around for the last 300+ years. There is a rare compound named mangiferin that is present in the coffee leaf that has been shown to have several health-endorsing properties such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antiallergic, anticancer, hypocholesterolemic, and immunomodulatory. It has also been isolated and tested in a human trial, which revealed to be helpful in boosting fat oxidation and increasing ketone levels (keto dieters, rejoice). Beyond mangiferin, Coffee Leaf Tea as a whole has been shown to have potential applications for managing inflammation and also having a dual-effect on nitric oxide production. For context, nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in many physiological and pathological processes. It was proclaimed the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992, and the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide’s role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule. Coffee Leaf Tea can solve the coffee industry’s woes and it has some impressive benefits that researchers around the world are still uncovering as we speak. Theory in practice: using the leaves has saved our producer’s farm Not only has it has won industry awards for taste (World Tea Expo, Specialty Food Expo, NEXTY Awards) and created a new revenue stream from a by-product, it’s also creating new skilled jobs for farmers as now they are learning to craft teas and adding value at origin, instead of solely shipping unroasted coffee beans to cafes that add value at the end of the line by roasting in-market. Now, with Wize Monkey, we’re selling Coffee Leaf Tea (CLT) across North America and it has given our co-founder and farm owner Enrique much-needed off-season income. How do we know this? He’s one of the only remaining producers still in operation in Matagalpa, the coffee capital of Nicaragua. Most of the other farmers have all stopped or left the country and joining the migrant caravans to the US. Every year we’ve managed to employ more people: starting with 5 people, to 25, and now over 120 working in the off-season. The majority of these workers are mothers keen to give their children the opportunity to stay in school rather than seek odd jobs early or stay at home to take care of their younger siblings to help support the family. During the coffee off-season, it has become common to have a 7 or 8 year old child be the caretaker of a newborn while the parents go find work. This is the harsh reality that Wize Monkey is starting to reverse. Many of the workers we’ve met and spoken with regret dropping out of school before the age of 12 and have since started going back to school at age 35+ in grade 4 or 5 to make up for lost time. By making the most of the coffee plant, we can maximize the farms productivity and create a holistic solution to improve all socioeconomic factors in the coffee industry worldwide. Enrique, our co-founder, and his wife Guiselle live on the farm in Nicaragua with their two 1-year old twins. They are one of the only coffee producers remaining in operation in the national capital of coffee, Matagalpa. The long-term vision: local producers taking back control and capturing value The traditional tea industry has been around for thousands of years and local tea masters in Asia are revered for their unique crafting methods. We see the same vision for the coffee industry; Enrique has already spearheaded various crafting methods largely inspired by traditional tea techniques. We’ve made CLT batches using the same methods of traditional tea like green, oolong, black teas, and we currently have two batches aging in rum barrels. We can source from different countries, climates (terroirs), and producers can craft with different methods using their own creativity. This creates unlimited variety and complexity in flavors. In our preliminary batches, we found that you can notice the difference in flavor when using different sub-varietals of arabica coffee leaves. Some types make a more floral and delicate flavor profile (great for green tea method), while others are sweeter and rounder (great for oolong or black tea style), and a few of them are quite earthy (perfect for darker and aged teas). We know this innovative model works, and the possibilities are truly endless; the trick is employing it on a scale wide enough to save an entire industry. We envision a future where CLT is the new craft beverage, entering the ranks of quality and complexity similar to traditional tea, kombucha, coffee, and even wine. The product will create the demand that ultimately corrects a market failure that has gotten systematically and repeatedly out of control. Let’s make the most of the coffee plant for the better of the grower and ourselves This is a scenario where everyone wins. As consumers, we can enjoy an award-winning healthy beverage and support coffee growers to make better livelihoods for their children. This is why we decided to pursue this idea; through all the challenges and sleepless nights, we know that it’s working and helping people every day. We encourage you to try Coffee Leaf Tea and make tangible direct impact with every single delicious cup. Cheers, Max Rivest Co-Founder, CEO of Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea
Oct 9, 2019
PSA: We use 100% plant-based teabags
We do not use plastic teabags, and never will. We use 100% corn starch PLA biodegradable bags. They are 100% plant-based. A recent study came out showing that PET plastic and nylon teabags leave micro and nano-plastics in cups of steeped tea. Good thing that we DO NOT use those materials and never have. We use only corn starch bags that are plastic-free and biodegradable. On that note, here are our other green packaging initiatives We are committed to using the most Earth and human-friendly materials and continue to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint as we grow.We have stopped using individual wrappers for our 15-count boxes of teabags and instead pack all 15 inside one reusable bag. The existing single wrappers that are being phased out are recyclable in the soft plastics category and always have been since day 1. Many people think that the paper wrappers used by other brands are compostable or more eco-friendly, but they are mixed with wax and are therefore not compostable nor recyclable. This is why in the beginning, when we had to use single wrappers for our grocery products, we went with single-material plastic wrappers because they are actually recyclable under their respective soft plastics category. Every other type that is foil/paper mix or wax/paper mix are not recyclable, so we've never used those options as they do not have any secondary applications.We have revamped and entirely overhauled our loose leaf formats for less waste and better ease-of-use. We released new tins and refill bags that are reusable for longevity and professional storing and sealing. This creates a better user experience and ensures that we use a little plastic and foil materials as possible. Read the full packaging update details here
Sep 27, 2019
We're getting greener! Major packaging update
Today we make the transition to a more sustainable packaging system that produces less plastic and focuses on reusability. All of the new bags are recyclable under category 7. Here is a breakdown of all the new updates: Our 15-count sachet boxes will no longer have individually wrapped sachets, and instead all 15 sachets will be wrapped in a new high quality reusable bag, which reduces overall plastic use and leaves you with a nice bag to store small items. We have a new 50-count pouch of sachets for those who want more volume of sachets without the boxes and extra packaging. This is especially great for office and food service customers, or power users that want their staple tea in large supply. As per customer requests, we now have mini travel pouches available on the website so you can take a sachet with you for work or travel, and also use it to save a steeped sachet for a second steep later on. This way you get the most out of our unique products. We have brand-new tins that are refillable and reusable for various purposes like pen cups or housing small items or spices of your choice. It has a much better lid that stays secure, and the new design reduces the use of plastic by using much smaller flavour labels to discern different blends. These are also recyclable in your regular cans and containers bin. Our new custom pouches come in 100g and 200g loose leaf options as well as a 50-count sachet format. This way you can simply refill your tins and then use the bags for other storage ideas. They have a matte finish that can be used with dry-erase markers for easy storing and changing of labels, so mark away! They make great bulk containers for things like dried goods and crafting supplies. With all the feedback we’ve received from you, our beloved friends, we’ve been able to make these improvements and work towards reducing waste and the use of plastics. There are more and more green options coming on the market each and every year, and we’re excited to see what will be the next evolution of our packaging to become an even greener brand. As always, we recommend loose leaf for the greenest solution. Thank you all for being on this journey with us! Stay Wize, Max, Arnaud, and Enrique
Aug 13, 2019
WizeCast EP06 Kara Sam, Founder of Bucha Brew
While she was having her first child, she was tired of just drinking water and discovered the wonders of kombucha.
Aug 6, 2019
WizeCast EP05 Pam Rounis, Associate Creative Director at Rethink
Vancouver is becoming harder and harder to survive in as an artist, and that’s the harsh reality that all of us creatives have to face. Pam found that working in the advertising space provided her an avenue to not only gain a paycheque, but also become a better designer and professional as well. She’s found a nice balance between creativity and career priorities, especially with SAD Magazine and her freelance gigs, but it didn’t happen overnight and she put in the time. Find her interview on Spotify, iTunes, or stream it directly below.
Jul 23, 2019
NEW: Coffee Leaf Powder launched!
ORDER HERE That's right folks - now you can get your coffee leaf fix in a powdered form by adding it to smoothies, baked goods and your favourite recipes! Order yours today. It is 100% Coffee Leaf, nothing else added. It provides a nice smooth and sweet taste without being grassy or overly bitter unlike other ground teas. The flavour really comes out when heated, so don't be afraid to play around with it in baking or cooking. This new powder provides a massive antioxidant punch and steady caffeine in an easy-to-scoop format. One teaspoon of the powder will provide 20mg of caffeine, similar to steeping a cup of 2.5g of loose leaf Coffee Leaf Tea (or one teabag). No steeping needed! It is whole coffee leaf that is stone-ground and packed at our crafting facility in Vancouver, then shipped directly to you. Once again, our supply chain is incredibly short and concise to ensure you have the freshest possible product. No other tea company is vertically-integrated like Wize Monkey, so take advantage. Here is a wonderful cookie recipe to try at home. Feel free to add this powder to your other favourite recipes to how it changes the flavour. Try it today and think outside the bean ;) Coffee Leaf Cookies - makes 8 cookies (vegan) Ingredients 14 dates, soaked in warm water 1 1/4 cup oat flour 2 tsp Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 Tbsp tapioca starch (cornstarch works too) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup non-dairy unsweetened mylk 1/4 cup cacao nibs Directions Preheat the oven to 375F Blend the dates, non-dairy mylk, and vanilla until smooth In a bowl, mix the oat flour, Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Powder, baking powder, and tapioca starch Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture Fold in the cacao nibs Divide them into balls and press down gently Bake for 15 minutes Notes Any type of gluten-free flour will work; brown rice, GF blend, etc Add nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, whatever you like! Drizzle with coconut cream, frosting, or melted chocolate
Jul 5, 2019
WizeCast EP03: Karen McAthy, Co-Founder of Blue Heron
Episode 3 features Chef Karen McAthy, a pioneer in plant-based foods. Her particular specialty is creating cultured cheeses, just like regular dairy cheese, but using only plant-based sources like almonds and cashews. She’s been creating these innovative products for 10 years now, and is the co-founder of Blue Heron Cheese. She has faced lots of opposition in her ventures but has come out on top and gained rockstar notoriety in the food industry for her perseverance. Be sure to catch the ending for the Wize words of each episode. Listen on Spotify, SoundCloud, or iTunes. Download the .mp3 here
May 27, 2019
WizeCast EP02: Jolin Ras, Composer & Sound Designer
Welcome to the WizeCast, where we interview founders, leaders, and creative thinkers about their journey and what they've learned along the way. Episode 2 features Jolin Ras, a Vancouver-based composer and sound designer who has been creating audio for Nike, Adidas, Arcteryx, and many other top brands. He continues to reach new heights, but it hasn’t come without years of hard work. Be sure to listen to the end where we highlight the Wize words of each and every episode. Listen on Spotify, SoundCloud, or iTunes. Download the .mp3 here
May 22, 2019
WizeCast EP01: Mauricio Lozano, Faculty Brewing
Welcome to the WizeCast, where we interview founders, leaders, and creative thinkers about their journey and what they've learned along the way. Episode 1 features a great friend of Wize Monkey, the founder of Faculty Brewing Mauricio Lozano. Mauricio is originally from Mexico and has been working tirelessly to establish his incredible brewery in a very tough Vancouver economy. Meet him this Thursday for the Mango Party Cream Ale launch party. Listen on Spotify, SoundCloud, or iTunes
May 13, 2019
Faculty Brewing x Wize Monkey: 800L More!
Back in February, we created an experimental beer, the Mango Party Cream Ale, with our friends at Faculty Brewing Co. What. A. Success. To celebrate the world’s first Coffee Leaf Tea beer, we piloted the brew at a collaboration party where we set a new record at Faculty! We sold out the experimental beer in a record time of 60 minutes! Read more about how our beer was made here. The demand was shown so the supply is back! Our next batch will be 800L of the Mango Party Cream Ale and available on May 16th - our official launch party! Mango Party Cream Ale’s Official Launch Party! RSVP HERE Thursday, May 16th 5pm to 9pm Faculty Brewing @ 1830 Ontario Street, Vancouver Come chat with our founders, sport some merch, and fill your growlers with your friends! Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing to our Facebook event!
May 8, 2019
Faculty x Wize Monkey: Mango Party Cream Ale
We have been brewing up a cool new collaboration with Faculty Brewing! Wize Monkey and the team at Faculty are making the world’s first Coffee Leaf Tea beer: Mango Party Cream Ale. February 8th, we experimented with infusing Wize Monkey’s fan-favourite Mango Party tea into a cream ale. The final results are awesome. Wize Monkey, at its simplest, creates delicious tea by upcycling extra coffee plant leaves sourced from Nicaragua. They apply traditional rolling and oxidizing techniques from the tea industry to the coffee leaf, and the result is a uniquely smooth and lightly caffeinated “Coffee Leaf Tea.” They are constantly experimenting with ways Coffee Leaf Tea can be consumed, from cocktails to cookies to kombucha, and now beer! Let’s talk beer. For this brew, we went with a smooth and drinkable cream ale as our base. Cream ales are stylistically clean, well-attenuated, and refreshing. We went with this style for both the thirst quenching characteristics and to let the delicious mango flavours from the Coffee Leaf tea shine in this brew. As for hops, we brewed with Mandarina Bavaria to tie in a some citrus aromas with the tropical fruit notes from the tea. We add the Wize Monkey Mango Party tea right at whirlpool, much like when you are making a cup of tea at home. We use large mesh bags and let the it steep in the beer to extracted all the delicious mango flavour. We then remove the tea, add yeast, and let the beer ferment! When can I taste it? For this exclusive collaboration, we’re hosting a launch party on Thursday, March 7th at Faculty Brewing in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. Music and drinks start at 5pm going late. We'll also be selling our new apparel and all of our teas on-site as well. Swing by with your friends for a first taste of our Mango Party Cream Ale! Follow our friends at Faculty Brewing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Feb 26, 2019
Mango Party Coconut Chia Pudding
Ingredients 2 bags Wize Monkey mango coffee leaf tea 1 can guar gum free coconut milk Pinch vanilla powder or dash extract 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chia seeds 1/4 cup coconut flakes 1 ripe mango Directions Add content of tea bag, coconut milk and half of the mango to a blender. Blend on high until smoothie. Dice remaining mango into bite size pieces. In a container, combine mango, chia seeds and coconut milk mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes or overnight to allow chia to absorb moisture. Divide into four containers and top with additional mango and coconut flakes. Nutrition Facts per serving:Calories 264, Fat 17g, Carbohydrates 25g, Fibre 12g, Sugar 13g, Protein 6g, Sodium 8mg, Potassium 331mg Packed with mighty nutrition: With bountiful mangiferin, a powerful antioxidant found in both mangos and Coffee Leaf Tea While sipping a cup of tea is great, consuming the whole tea leaf means your getting even more of the health benefits. By enjoying the Coffee Leaf Tea in your breakfast you will reap the mighty metabolism boosting benefits of chlorogenic acids – the same as those found in green coffee bean extract, but without the negative effects of concentrated caffeine. Pick up some Mango Party today and get started! Credit to Choices Holistic Nutritionist Elizabeth Whalley, RHN
Nov 13, 2018
New Release: Sunset Chai
You've been asking us for years to make a chai, and it's finally here! Cozy up to this perfectly balanced blend of premium Coffee Leaf Tea, cinnamon, ginger, green cardamom and clove. We took 6 months to get this blend right, so we guarantee you'll enjoy it!
Oct 1, 2018
UBC Study: Coffee Leaf Tea shows promise for treating inflammation
Wize Monkey has been leading the global charge in discovering what the coffee leaf can do, not only as a complex and delicious culinary ingredient for beverages and food, but also as a source of antioxidants and other powerful health compounds. With the support of the National Research Council, Wize Monkey teamed up with the UBC Faculty of Food Sciences to dig further into the leaf and see what's really inside it that makes Ethiopians and Indonesians claim that it's more nutritious than the coffee bean. The results are now published in Food Chemistry Journal Vol 249, available here for free on Science Direct. Here's a quote from David Kitts, the Associate Dean of the UBC Food Sciences Faculty: “Our research showed that using processing methods commonly used for tea, for coffee leaves, produced unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that we associated with known mixtures of phytochemicals specific to the coffee leaf. Both immune-stimulation and immune-suppression capacities observed.” To give us a general analysis of the study, we contacted Jordan Bruce, a registered holistic nutritionist and blood analyst based right here in Vancouver. She has come on board as a guest blogger to show us what's up with the coffee leaf's unique phytochemical makeup. -- BY JORDAN BRUCE As someone who eats gluten-free, plant-based and mostly free of refined sugar, I am very conscious about what I put in my body. I’m often asked for advice on healing foods and nutrient-dense ingredients. In the last few years I’ve started to recommend coffee leaf tea for those that could benefit from cutting back on caffeine but still love the routine of a hot drink in the morning and an energy boost. What is coffee leaf tea? It’s exactly what it sounds like, made from Arabica coffee plant leaves but substantially lower in caffeine than coffee or black tea. One of the biggest nutritional components of coffee leaf tea is its high levels of mangiferin, an active compound commonly found in mangos. This phytochemical has been studied for cardiovascular benefits, anti-inflammatory compounds and protective aspects for heart disease and cancer. One of the best things about coffee leaf tea is the nitric oxide you’re giving your body. Not familiar with nitric oxide? Let me give you a crash course. Nitrogen and oxygen are gases that make up the majority of our atmosphere that are essential to our survival. These two gases can combine to form an oxide of nitrogen known as nitric oxide. Over the last few decades, nitric oxide has been of interest to scientists because of its discovered role in the cardiovascular and nervous system. To put it very simply, nitric oxide works with an enzyme and the amino acid L-Arginine to complete a number of jobs within our body including relaxing and widening blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Some people feel that it can even enhance their physical performance because of increased oxygen flow to the brain and muscles. Over the last two years consulting with clients, I’ve seen many people struggling with high blood pressure. When plaque is building up in one’s arteries, known as atherosclerosis, the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide is reduced. It’s important to note that some diseases—diabetes and chronic kidney disease for example—cause a reduction in nitric oxide in people resulting in poor circulation, decreased nerve function or increased risk for cardiovascular events. Nitric oxide also helps reduce the formation of blood clots. Nitric oxide also plays a part in fighting the development of diseases and the control of infectious diseases, tumours and autoimmune disorders. This is all fantastic news for those looking for a healthy drink to sip on regularly but it gets better. A study was conducted this year at the University of British Columbia on the benefits of young and mature coffee leaf tea. They also compared the processing methods (which is black tea versus green tea) and steep time. Scientists were trying to determine how these factors affected the impacts on antioxidants, anti-inflammatory activity and total polyphenol content (TPC). The results showed that the longer coffee leaf tea steeped, the greater the potential to reduce inflammation. So keep steeping that coffee leaf tea to fight inflammation! The research paper stated that beverages, such as coffee leaf tea, can potentially alleviate high blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study also shows coffee leaf tea can also aid in protecting us from microbial invasions which supports our immune system. I’m currently a fan of Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Teas and and am loving their iced tea with fresh fruit and sparkling water right now. Want to learn more about diet, inflammation, health, and coffee leaf tea? Connect with me on BrucesRoots.com or on my Instagram. —Jordan Bruce, BA RHN LBA
Jul 17, 2018
New Collab: World's First Coffee Leaf Kombucha
[UPDATED WITH NEW STORE LISTINGS]We all knew that coffee leaves make great tea, so why not try making kombucha with it? The founder of Bucha Brew, Kara Sam, has won awards for her super fresh kombucha that's locally brewed in Vancouver BC. Thanks to her amazing booch, she can barely keep up with the growing demand. Even though she's busy every waking moment with her young family, growing business, and endlessly energetic dog, she still finds time to seek out new innovative products and play around with potential collaborations. Kara and Max (our co-founder) have actually known each other for a few years now since Max attended university with Kara's brother, Steve. Steve connected the two entrepreneurs together and since then they have been sharing discoveries and discussing industry trends. It was only a matter of time until they launched this new project together: the world's first Coffee Leaf Kombucha. After various test batches and a lot of trial and error, Kara and her team settled on this delicious recipe that included whole raw mango chunks added at the end of the brewing, then filtered and bottled. Not only does this kombucha taste clean, crisp, and refreshing, it has a beautiful mango note that can't be replaced by anything other than the real thing. You can order it online here, and it is rolling out to the following locations on a store-by-store basis. If it isn't in your local retailer, tell them to order it and it'll come in. Power to the people! Save On Foods IGA Nesters Safeway Independent health food stores In an effort to update their selection and keep up with changing customer demands, the Vancouver Park Board is bringing in more healthy options for their concession stands and phasing out sugar-filled drinks. Bucha Brew has impressed the Park Board so much so that they've installed kombucha taps at all the beach and park concession stands, so keep an eye out for the signs this summer. Some will also offer growler fills, how rad is that! To celebrate this new partnership, we hosted a launch party at the new Wize Monkey office in Kitsilano. We had Bayside Lounge bring in a full bar with four custom tea and kombucha cocktails, Bucha Brew brought a two-tap kegerator that we get to keep in the office (secretly freaking out right now) and we had our friends from Restore Human provide prizes and also spin beats all night (thank you DJ Six Pax!) Thank you to all who attended and those who tried to make it out but got stuck in traffic, there will be more events like this so stay tuned! For future launches and events, please subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page, follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Apr 30, 2018
New collaboration with DavidsTea
After working on this project for three years, we've officially launched our collaborative blend with DavidsTea. From their website: "Quench your thirst with our tropical hibiscus punch. Spiked with cinnamon, creamy coconut and energizing coffee leaf – a sustainable super-ingredient that helps create off-season jobs – this invigorating blend is bursting with unique flavours. Think fruity and spicy with a pop of natural earthy sweetness from the coffee leaf. Try it on ice and get ready to make some waves." It's now available at all of their locations, as well as online. Our new collab with @davidstea is making serious waves! Just look at those fruit chunks! Mango, banana, coconut, pineapple, plus hibiscus and a touch of cinnamon. Have it hot or on ice, only at #DavidsTea. . . . #CoffeeLeafTea #feedfeed #buzzfeast #buzzfeedfood #balancedeating #intuitiveeating #cleaneating #mindfuleating #vsco #foodgawker #eatrealfood #foodisfuel #fitfoodie #healthyeating #thekitchn #allfoodfits #foodfreedom #nourish #ieatwhatiwant #eeeeeats #teatime #tea #hightea #disrupt #argotea #teavana #davidstea #amazonprime #antioxidants A post shared by Wize Monkey (@wizemonkey) on Apr 25, 2018 at 11:55am PDT We're celebrating Friday with some iced tea! This week has been absolutely crazy since we launched our @davidstea collaboration, so time to wind down and enjoy a nice bevy. Be sure to check it out at #DavidsTea locations and their website. . . . . #CoffeeLeafTea #feedfeed #buzzfeast #buzzfeedfood #balancedeating #intuitiveeating #cleaneating #mindfuleating #vsco #foodgawker #eatrealfood #foodisfuel #fitfoodie #healthyeating #thekitchn #allfoodfits #foodfreedom #nourish #ieatwhatiwant #teatime #tea #hightea #disrupt #argotea #teavana #davidstea #collaboration #antioxidants #mixology A post shared by Wize Monkey (@wizemonkey) on Apr 27, 2018 at 11:55am PDT
Apr 23, 2018
Caffeine: The Good and the Bad
In honour of March being Caffeine Awareness Month, we've compiled some recent insights on caffeine, as well as some tips to keep in mind. What are the Health Effects of Caffeine Consumption? Caffeine is a bit of a two-headed monster. For many, it’s the perfect way to start a morning: sitting in the breakfast nook with a steaming hot cup-a-joe in one hand, favourite book in the other, watching your daughter play around in the yard with your lovable dog. Life’s great! But, as many of you know, caffeine can also be your worst nightmare: lying awake at three in the morning, splitting headache, stomach doing somersaults, heart pulsing faster than a rabid dog. How can this be? What’s the truth here? Is caffeine good or is caffeine bad? I wish there were a quick and easy explanation for you, but reality is never simple – especially when it comes to caffeine. The truth is that it’s both good and bad. It’s important to be aware of just how exactly caffeine can affect your health. THE GOOD Let’s start with the good news. The benefits of caffeine are pretty well known. (After all, why else would over 80% of the population consume it?) It’s a stimulant. It works by activating the central nervous system. And, as such, it can provide mental alertness and concentration, boost your mood, and help postpone fatigue. All good things. On top of that, coffee – which is by far and away the number one source of caffeine consumption – has been the focus of much scholarly research. Here are some of the purported health benefits of coffee: It can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can reduce the risk of mouth and throat cancer. It may help lower our risk of stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia. But – as I mentioned earlier – caffeine isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It has a dark side, too. THE BAD To begin with, caffeine is a drug. Plain and simple. Over time, the body will get used to it and will depend on it as a part of its everyday routine. And when caffeine is not there all of a sudden, you’ll have a bad time. These effects are called withdrawal symptoms. They may include: Upset stomach Headache Dehydration Muscle pain Insomnia Lethargy Anxiety Depression Irritability Etc. You get the point. Nobody wants to be around a coffee addict who hasn’t had coffee. …and nobody wants to be one either. On top of the withdrawal symptoms, there may also be significant long-term health effects as well. THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), excessive long-term consumption of caffeine may lead to a loss of bone density, which in turn may lead an increased risk of osteoporosis. But wait, there’s more: Increased blood sugar levels. Daily consumption of caffeine may increase blood sugar levels, which can be a major problem for those with diabetes. (Source) Irregular heartbeat. Higher amounts of caffeine may result in extreme agitation, tremors, and a rapid heartbeat. (Source) Pregnancy complications. Too much caffeine may result in miscarriage or birth defects. It can also make it more difficult for women to get pregnant in the first place. (Source) Increased blood pressure. Caffeine may cause short, but dramatic increase in blood pressure. (Source) Increase cholesterol levels. There is a compound in coffee called “cafestol” that raises LDL cholesterol levels. (Source) NOW WHAT? Don’t be scared by all of this. There are a number of ways in which you can live a healthy lifestyle and still consume caffeine. The key, as always, is moderation. Here are some tips: In general, it’s recommended that you consume under 400 mg/day of caffeine. That’s about four 8 oz. cups of coffee, which is more than enough for most people. Be aware of other foods that may include caffeine: chocolate bars (5-25 mg), energy drinks (up to 160 mg) and soft drinks (~30 mg) are some examples. Many prescription drugs also include caffeine. If you don’t want to go cold turkey on the caffeine, you should try our new 15 Days of Wizdom pack. It comes with a variety of our five award-winning teas that will help you ease off the caffeine addiction and also keep you focused without any crash of jitters. The caffeine level is around 20mg per cup, making it the perfect substitute to rotate into your routine. Get one today and starting thinking outside the bean.
Feb 27, 2018
Globe and Mail Health: "Antioxidant Boost"
Leslie Beck, Registered Dietician and Director of Food and Nutrition at Medcan, has discovered our Coffee Leaf Tea and felt compelled to write an article about our innovation in the Globe and Mail for Oct 24th's online and print edition. Read it in full here or see highlight's below. ---------------------------------------- In 2012, researchers from France and England tested 23 species of coffee plants for their antioxidant potential. Published in the journal Annals of Botany, the study revealed that coffee leaves contained a very high concentration of chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that's also found in coffee beans. (Tea leaves contain a different type of antioxidant.) Arabica coffee leaves were found to have the highest level of mangiferin, a phytochemical that was first extracted from mangoes. Since then, mangiferin has been extensively studied for its potential to guard against heart disease and cancer. The plant compound has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and cholesterol-lowering properties. These protective compounds end up in your cup of coffee-leaf tea, too. Research from Brazil, published in 2016, found that brewed coffee-leaf tea was an excellent source of mangiferin. Last year, food scientists from the University of British Columbia revealed that coffee leaves produced this way helped balance the body's nitric-oxide production, a chemical that helps keep blood pressure in check. The research, soon to be published in the journal Food Science, also demonstrated that the longer coffee leaf tea was steeped, the greater its anti-inflammatory activity. It's amber in colour, like lightly brewed black tea, and has a refreshing earthy taste, similar to that of green tea, but not as grassy-tasting. Unlike traditional tea, it doesn't taste bitter if you brew it too long. I recommend tasting coffee-leaf tea if you haven't. --------------------------------------------------------- Want an easy way to try it out? Check out our new Discovery Pack and get 20% OFF your next purchase!
Oct 23, 2017
Feature on New Hope Network
Wize Monkey disrupts the coffee and tea categories with a product that qualifies as both At last month's Natural Product's Expo West, we we're interviewed by the leading voice in the natural products industry New Hope Network. Little did we know, they featured us on their front page. Check out the short video interview below.
Apr 24, 2017
Best Mission-Based Product at Expo West
Multi-award winning company Wize Monkey wins the New Hope NEXTY Award for Best Mission-Based Product at World’s Largest Natural Products Expo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 13 2017: Vancouver, B.C.: Local, multi-award winning Coffee Leaf Tea company Wize Monkey has been internationally honored for its company mission to break the global poverty cycle in coffee communities through sustainable harvesting with a New Hope NEXTY Award. Judged on innovation, inspiration and integrity, Wize Monkey received the Best Mission-Based Product Award at the world’s largest natural products exposition Expo West which wrapped up March 12 in Anaheim California. The award marked Wize Monkey’s official debut in the United States, a key market for the future of Coffee Leaf Tea and this burgeoning brand. Recently, Wize Monkey won the Emerging Specialty Food Product of the Year Award at the Specialty Food Expo and Conference held in February. They also won Best International Trade Award at the Small Business BC Awards on February 24, and Product of the Year at the BCFPA Awards in spring 2016. And in 2015, less than one year after the company was founded, they won Best New Product at the 2015 World Tea Expo. “We feel very privileged to receive this distinguished award and are absolutely thrilled to be recognized for our company mission.” Said company co-founder and CEO Max Rivest. "It is such an honour to be here amongst some of the world’s most innovative and inspiring companies in the natural products industry. We dedicate this win to the farmers we work with because they are the true heroes." ---- About Wize Monkey Wize Monkey is the global leader in Coffee Leaf Tea production, research, and innovation. They are committed to revolutionizing the socioeconomics of coffee communities by harvesting the coffee leaf to create year-round jobs and mitigate systemic challenges within the coffee industry. Blossoming from a 2013 grad school project, Wize Monkey has since established itself as the world’s first Coffee Leaf Tea Company. They are vertically integrated from “Earth to Cup” out of Nicaragua and based in B.C. Founded by local Vancouverite Max Rivest, Arnaud Petitvallet who is from France, and Enrique Ferrufino who originates from Nicaragua, Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Teas are available in five flavours and can now be found in more than 130 stores across Canada and has customers in over 35 countries since its official launch in 2015. To view Wize Monkey’s documentary series on the challenges of coffee farming and how the leaf is revolutionizing the industry for the better, visit: https://www.wizemonkey.com/pages/coffee-leaf-quest To learn more about the NEXTY Awards, visit: http://www.expowest.com/ew17/public/Content.aspx?ID=1065076 ------ Download PDF Press Release Download Image WE WON BEST MISSION-BASED PRODUCT AT THE WORLD'S BIGGEST NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO!!! 🏆 🍾🍾 We are absolutely losing our minds right now and so grateful for this honour. Thank you #WizeCommunity for being the wind in our sails! Love you all!! • #CoffeeLeafTea #coffeeleaf #coffeeleaves #directtrade #earthtocup #farmdirect #NextyAwards #expowest #nexty #nexty2017 #naturaloroducts #newhopemedia #socialimpact #socialinnovation #impactinvesting #socialenterprise #foodinnovation #agtech @viawesome @scoutmagazine @dailyhivevancouver @ctvvancouver @cbcvancouver @globalbc @vancouversun @ehfvancouver @sauders3i @feedinggrowth #progessivefood #tea #champions #winners #drinktea #startuplife #pressrelease #innovation #healthylifestyle #disruptivetech #disruption A post shared by Wize Monkey (@wizemonkey) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:50pm PDT New at #expowest: @wizemonkey Coffee Leaf Tea. Booth #M202 #bevstagram #tea #coffeeleaf A post shared by BevNET (@bevnet) on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:21am PST Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea was a standout at Natural Products Expo West. The delicious tea is from the leaves of coffee plants, pruned during the off-season of bean harvesting, helping farmers and workers generate a year-round income. The new company was started by three young men from France 🇫🇷, Nicaragua 🇳🇮 and Canada 🇨🇦 (from left to right). . . . #coffee #tea #naturalproductsexpowest #naturalproducts #wizemonkey @wizemonkey #antioxidants #nicaragua #farming #france #monkeys #natural #expowest #drinks #bevs #coffeeleaftea A post shared by Adair Seldon (@lentil_breakdown) on Mar 12, 2017 at 12:30pm PDT
Mar 13, 2017
Best International Trade at SBBC Awards
Wize Monkey Wins “Best International Trade” at Small Business BC Awards, Looks to Continue Winning Streak at NEXTY Awards in California Next Month FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 24th, 2017 - Vancouver, BC – After a public vote and a panel of judges, Wize Monkey won “Best International Trade” at the Small Business BC Awards. They're honoured to be among the top small businesses in BC, let alone the thousands of them that trade internationally.The founders went up on stage and introduced everyone to Wize Miguel, their official mascot. They dedicated the award to the farmers they work with on their partner Enrique's farm, and all of the stakeholders who have worked so hard to create their multi-award winning product of Coffee Leaf Tea. Hot off winning the “Emerging Specialty Food Product of the Year” award at the Specialty Food Expo and Conference earlier this month, they look to keep their winning streak going into Expo West, the world's largest natural products expo, where they're a finalist for 'Best Mission-Based Product' at the NEXTY Awards. This will be Wize Monkey's official debut in the United States, a key market for the future of Coffee Leaf Tea and this burgeoning brand. "We’re honoured to win an SBBC award and excited to share our multi-award winning innovation with the best retailers in the US next month at Expo. Hopefully we come home with some NEXTY hardware, too!" - Max Rivest, CEO For the official press release PDF and article image, click here. Congrats to this year's #SBBCAwards winners! We're so proud to recognize passionate entrepreneurs in #BC like you 🏆 https://t.co/KaoFcxOy5l pic.twitter.com/h904nDI0nu — SmallBusinessBC (@SmallBusinessBC) February 24, 2017 Love that coffee leaf sidekick! Congrats on winning Best #InternationalTrade Award @WizeMonkey ! You make #Vancouverites proud! #SBBCAwards pic.twitter.com/Pdj6jIG6q7 — Betty T (@BettyPTian) February 24, 2017 .@WizeMonkey accepts Best Int. Trade award with a special sidekick Miguel. #sbbcawards pic.twitter.com/MofC9ETJHL — Neal Cranna (@NealCranna) February 24, 2017 Honoured to have won "Best International Trade" at the #SBBCawards last night. So where's the party tonight?? #Winner #Winning #AwardsParty #SeeYouAtTheGrammys #Smallbusiness #smallbizbc #vancity #coffeeleaftea #thinkoutsidethebean #bewize #livewize #tea #expowest #nextyaward #nexty #naturalproducts @dailyhivevancouver @604now @foodyensation #bcbusiness #socent #socialimpact #socialenterprise #impact #buyethical #buyconscious A post shared by Wize Miguel (@wizemiguel) on Feb 24, 2017 at 11:56am PST
Feb 24, 2017
Product of the Year at Specialty Food Expo
Vancouver-based Coffee Tea Leaf Company Wins Emerging Specialty Food Product of the Year at 2017 Specialty Food Expo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 19, 2017 - Vancouver, BC – 2017 is already looking good for Vancouver-based Wize Monkey who won the coveted award for “Emerging Specialty Food Product of the Year” at the Gluten-Free and Specialty Food Expo and Conference that took place last weekend at the Vancouver Convention Centre. With hundreds of vendors on-site and just over twenty other finalists up for the award, competition was steep. “We’re absolutely ecstatic that West Coast consumers are connecting with our innovative product and mission to deliver a unique, high-end taste experience that also helps solve systemic issues in the coffee industry. This award is so appreciated and we’re excited to start off 2017 on the right foot!” – Wize Monkey co-founder, Max Rivest The Wize Monkey team is hoping to keep this winning streak alive when results are announced for Small Business BC’s “Best International Trade” award – for which they are shortlisted. Rapid growth in distribution within the BC markets have helped Wize Monkey see steady expansion of product offerings and increased availability online and in store with their unique Coffee Leaf Tea now sold in over 130 stores across Canada. With no sign of slowing down and in keeping with their “Earth to Cup” approach to business development and education, co-founders Max Rivest and Arnaud Petitvallet are speaking at TEDxYouth@SWCSS next month and serving their multi-award winning products at TEDxStanleyPark. About Wize Monkey Wize Monkey is the global leader in Coffee Leaf Tea production, research, and innovation. They are committed to revolutionizing the socioeconomics of coffee communities by harvesting the coffee leaf to create year-round jobs and mitigate systemic challenges within the coffee industry. Blossoming from a 2013 grad school project, Wize Monkey has since established itself as the world’s first Coffee Leaf Tea company. They are vertically integrated from “Earth to Cup” out of Nicaragua and based in BC. Founded by local Vancouverite Max Rivest, Arnaud Petitvallet (France) and Enrique Ferrufino (Nicaragua), Wize Monkey CLTeas (available in five flavours) can now be found in more than 130 stores across Canada and has customers in over 35 countries since its official launch in 2015. - 30 – Please view video here. For more information, samples and additional images please contact: Danica Jeffery E: email@example.com | 778.242.7827 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wizemonkey.com | 604.839.7640 DOWNLOAD PDF COPY HERE
Feb 3, 2017
Whole Foods Top 10 2017 Food Trends on Global TV
Grant from Whole Foods outlines all the new 2017 Top Food trends and sure enough we're featured at 5:10 in the video. We had no idea they selected us so we started getting phone calls from friends telling us that we were on TV, pretty cool right? Thank you Grant for giving us the extra shout out!
Feb 2, 2017
Coffee Leaf Quest is LIVE!
Get an inside look at coffee farming's challenges and how Coffee Leaf Tea is creating a new craft industry that's helping to stabilize their economy. We shot everything on the farm where we cultivate and innovate with the coffee leaf. You can find more info about the farm on our Source page. SHORT VERSION(2m30s) FULL VERSION(13min in 3 parts)
Dec 15, 2016
Over 100 stores across Canada
Our iced and dry teas are available across Canada, click the link to see which ones are closest to you! SEE ALL RETAILERS HERE
Dec 3, 2016
Interview in BC Business Magazine
We're featured in BC Business Magazine's November issue, check out the full article online here.
Nov 1, 2016
Earl Grey and Jasmine Now Available
After over a year of waiting for the right recipe and right timing, we've launched our favourite new CLTeas, Earl Grey and Jasmine. These are deliciously smooth teas bring forward the classic flavours of bergamot essence and jasmine flowers, without all the stuffy tea bitterness or "granny's tea-time" associated with it. We probably should have called them Earl Un-Grey and Jumpin' Jasmine... maybe for the next packaging run, we'll see. These new flavours are available in select stores, and always available in our online shop.
Oct 1, 2016