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Lion Coffee rolling out antioxidant-rich blend

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Lion Coffee will soon introduce a new line called Pure Choices that it touts as having "more than double the daily USDA-recommended antioxidants," according to a publicist’s e-mail.

Lion parent Hawaii Coffee Co. has developed the new line, using KonaRed coffee fruit from Kauai-based Sandwich Isles Trading Co. Inc., which does business as KonaRed.

Search for keyword "antioxidant" in beverage industry publications and most results will reference acai, goji berry, pomegranate and other fruit sources, but coffee comes from fruit, too. Coffee beans actually come from coffee berries, which are also referred to as coffee cherries.

Beverage Industry magazine managing editor Jennifer Zegler reported that "in addition to its natural caffeine, coffee beverages are also sought after for their antioxidant benefits."

Tea, made with leaves, also has antioxidant properties, the publication reported.

Lion says the antioxidant-rich blend is a first in the industry, and predicts the line will create a huge stir in the gourmet coffee industry. Not yet on store shelves, the Pure Choices line will be introduced with advertising that breaks Aug. 9.

HAWAII SOARS IN T+L

Kauai is the No. 2 island in the world according to Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2010 World’s Best reader survey, released yesterday.

The Garden Island rose to the lofty perch from a No. 4 ranking for the last two years, smoking Maui. The Valley Isle is No. 8 this year; it was No. 6 last year and third in 2008.

The Big Island rounds out the Top 10 islands at No. 10, a slip from No. 9 last year. It did not make the list in 2008. Oahu and Molokai trailed, and Lanai was not included among the top five Hawaiian islands, but would presumably rank next.

Hawaii resorts get their own category, and the magazine lists the top 25 in Hawaii, but among those the top three made the Top 100 in the world.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai supplanted Halekulani in the No. 1 spot for Hawaii and is No. 62 in the world for 2010. As the top Hawaii resort and with the top hotel spa in Hawaii, it is on the cover of the August issue, which includes all the results and hits newsstands July 23.

Halekulani, now No. 2 in Hawaii, is 73rd on the overall list, and Hawaii’s third-ranked Kahala Hotel & Resort is at No. 95 globally, tied as it is with Uruguay’s Four Seasons Resort Carmelo.

Hawaiian Airlines was ranked the No. 5 domestic airline, up from No. 7 last year. Virgin America is No. 1, though it should be noted that Hawaiian ranked in the top five even though it does not have routes all across America, as do others.

Top winners in each category will be feted at a luncheon July 21 at the new Trump SoHo New York. A gala celebrating the 15th annual World’s Best Awards will be the first party staged at the Andaz 5th Avenue, which just opened to guests on July 5.

Separately, Travel + Leisure is also accepting votes for its annual America’s Favorite City poll, and those votes can be cast online.

Honolulu historically does well in areas one might expect; however, in the category of friendliness of our people, the aloha spirit has been defeated by Southern hospitality. Our weather has also taken a back seat to San Diego.

Note that the survey breaks out results according to whether a respondent is a resident or a visitor.

On the Net:

» www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest
» www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2010

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at erika@staradvertiser.com.

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