Answers to common questions about our innovative gourmet blends.
Where are Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers Made? What makes them unique?
I’m inspired by Natural Living, Ayurvedic and Holistic Living Principles and my focus is on finding ways to include beneficial antioxidant rich spices more frequently into our daily habits. They are made in the USA, packed & labeled by hand A truly artisan brand.The products are my own original concept borne initially from the simple desire to make green tea specifically more flavorful and enjoyable to support my personal goals of incorporating this antioxidant rich beverage into my daily diet. The vision began with a little idea for easy to shake in “Tasty Tea Enhancers” that would be good for me and great tasting when added to tea. That idea eventually evolved and became Catalyst Tea Enhancers after almost three years of sharing the products, various blends and ideas with consumers in various market events and tests. The products are now called Gourmet Enhancers instead of Tea Enhancers as they are terrific in so much more than a cup of tea and are used by consumers to enhance the flavors of everything from tea, coffee, yogurt, fruits, foods and more and bring a good for you gourmet infusion to almost every recipe to which we’ve add our blends.I am Indian and also grew up drinking very rich, flavorful, traditional “Chai” (the word Chai has so many meanings, but most Indian households have their own family recipe of sorts starting with hand ground or whole spices cooked on the stove along with milk, sweetener and tea). So, as I looked to find ways to make green tea flavorful without the addition of milk or sugar, I turned back to my heritage and curry cabinet and began experimenting with various spices after researching ayurvedic medicine, alternative healing and other studies on the benefits of spices, including their high anti-oxidant properties. My unique Enchanting Chai in green or oolong tea replaces my traditional cup of tea and suits my cravings for Chai latte style drinks as well in a more healthful way. I then developed the other specific blends with individual healing intentions based on at first my own personal health goals and love of flavor, flavor, flavor! The bonus is that the spices I include in my core blends have amazing aromatic traits as well. Everyone raves at how great they smell and taste and if you’ve ever met me at an a event you know that I have my medium size set always on hand to flavor my day where ever I go and now so do many of my consumers.The products and recipes are not imported from or made in another country. The all natural ingredients are sourced from various global and local vendors depending on who offers what I view as the highest quality and fragrant spices. I’ve conducted many rounds of recipe testing (and lots of tossing out of ingredients that didn’t meet my standards) during the initial year and half of recipe development and refinement before deciding on final recipe formulations and sources for the initial 9 core spices in my blends. In fall 2011 we’ll be expanding our line to many new categories outside of the tea segment to continue to infuse healing beneficial spices in creative ways into your daily diet through new retail and ready to eat lines, many of which incorporate the original Gourmet Enhancers as “ingredients”.
Do you use preservatives?
No. We don’t add any preservatives to our Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers or any of our new gourmet lines such as our Creative Global Blends & Curries, Gourmet Finishing Sugars or Bites of Bliss. The blends are packed and sealed for freshness and because we use high quality spices in our blends, you can expect the products to remain fragrant and tasty for up to 24 months after opening a bottle. But, I suspect you will run out much sooner. Because we use no preservatives, the spices will not “dissolve” but will “infuse” into the tea, coffee, dessert or other ways that you use them. We recommend consuming the spices but you may strain the Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers out of the “tea” or beverage if you prefer.
Is there any sugar in Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers?
No sugar is added to our original Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers line. I specifically excluded any sweetners or sugars as my goal in creating Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers was to make my healthy Green Tea more tasteful and still retain the maximum health benefits as I was drinking the tea. I certainly do add sweetner or honey or even granulated sugar once in a while when I want to indulge a little as I drink my tea, but I designed my blends to be aromatic and flavorful enough that even I (with my sweet tooth) can drink several cups of healthy, good for me tea, without sweetening the tea. I encourage you to try to drink a cup or two a day without sugar when you can and add sugar when you feel like it. They taste great either way. We launched a line of specialty Catalyst Gourmet Finishing Sugars in 2010 that contain beautiful turbindado sugar and our core Gourmet Enhancers for decorating, baking and flavorful rimming options that are infused with our unique blends.
Where did the artwork on the labels originate?
Details matter to me and I wanted the product packaging to reflect the beauty of the blends. All the artwork on the packaging is an original piece of art that I painted on canvas first then digitized for use as my label design. Each label was an original art on canvas and hand painted (fun trivia) from 4am one morning in October of 2007 till 11am that same morning and taken to the printers to be turned into digital artwork and labels for my first test round of live focus groups at a consumer event in DC to see if my kitchen table top idea had market potential. The first test event went so well that I headed back to the drawing board to work for another year on product development and additional tests in various markets.The core vision and story behind the “Lotus of Life” emblem is about transforming our lives and our spirit. More to come on the meaning of this visual that I painted and created for the packaging as I launch the brand. My goal in painting original artwork and then digitizing it was to inspire and beautify daily experiences and enable you to keep them on the table or countertop as a reminder to use the Catalyst Gourmet Enhancer line in your daily routine for little moments of bliss! The artwork will soon be available in accessories, bath collections, a stationary line and more.
How are Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers created?
They are hand-crafted, hand-blended and created from ground fresh whole spices in my own special “top secret” recipes that I created and developed using originally 10 core “super spices” as I like to call them that have been found by Ayurvedic and health professionals to have potential healing or health benefits but I chose them also because they help make my blends great tasting. They are made here in the USA.
Is there any caffeine in Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers?
No. There are no spices which have caffeine content that are used in my Catalyst Gourmet Enhancer blends. And no tea in the blends either. You can decide to drink whatever type of tea or coffee or food you would like and add the Catalyst Gourmet Enancers for added flavor as you like. Some consumers enjoy starting their day with infusing the Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers is just hot water as another way to enjoy the aroma and flavor of the blends. I like to infuse hot water for example with our Fennel Fusion Gourmet Enhancer and have it hot in the morning and then chill it for a natural fragrant “flavored” water throughout the day. No calories. Just antioxidant rich goodness.
Is there any gluten in your blends? Other allergy related ingredients?
We use only whole or ground spices and while some of our high quality, imported spices might be produced in a facility where there may have been wheat and breads being stored or made at some point our spices do not contain any gluten and are gluten-free. If you have severe allergies, please consult with a physician before using our Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers and review the ingredient list in detail on the products page before purchasing or sampling one of our blends as we do not recommend consuming any of our products if you have known or potential allergies to any of our spices used in our blends. We use no nut based products in any of our blends.Side note as a mom: My son, who is allergy free, is 6 and has been drinking beverages and enjoying the Catalyst Gourmet Enhancers for almost five years on everything from fruits, pancakes, ice cream, in his yogurt, in smoothies, waters, herbal tea and more and I feel good as a mom knowing he is getting high antioxidant rich spices into his diet while enjoying the foods he already loves. I also enjoy having him experience global flavors to expand his taste buds. But some individuals may have rare or known allergies to specific spices and should consult with physician before using our products.