Posted in Kafevend Blog

Mixology is a term that many will have heard of by now, though not necessarily delved into. For those of you actively scratching your heads and wondering just exactly what we're on about, mixology is basically the art of mixing drinks. With that piece of knowledge in mind it's easy to extrapolate; a mixologist is someone who mixes drinks. In times gone by this individual would have been known as a bartender who could turn their hand to mixing a good cocktail.

So far so good, but what does this have to do with tea and coffee? Well, tea and coffee mixology have been with us a good few years now. In fact coffee mixology is distinctly old hat when you come to think of it. Irish coffee has been on restaurant menus, alongside offerings such as Russian coffee and Caribbean coffee for decades. Nevertheless, the game has been stepped up more recently, resulting in more complex combinations. The best barista mixologist hybrids take account of the coffee bean's distinctive profile when designing a recipe so as to show it off to best effect. In other words, it's a world away from making a mug of instant and topping it off with some of that Baileys you've had hanging around since Christmas. Life never seems to get any simpler does it?

So yes, we're fully aware that coffee and alcohol can work well together; those coffee mixologists are onto an old gem, but tea mixologists? Does tea really have a strong enough presence to be able to withstand the ministrations of the mixologist? First of all we'll take a look at 'Harry Brompton's London Iced Tea'. The father and son run company has put its energy into developing a single high quality product, namely an alcoholic iced tea. After years of experimentation the tea was launched just over a year ago. It's a hand made combination of sustainably grown fine Kenyan tea, craft-distilled grain spirit and citrus fruits. In addition to being stocked by a growing number of restaurants and hotels, some bars even use it as part of more complex tea cocktails. It's also hit the shelves of Waitrose and larger Sainsburys stores, a sure demonstration of its success.

Tea mixology isn't limited to alcoholic ingredients though. The Brighton based 'Bluebird Tea Company' are leading the way in tea mixology here in the UK. Noticing that tea culture had become the next big thing in the USA, where tea infused cocktails have become a feature on the menus of serious restaurants, the pair felt that Britain, with its strong historical attachment to tea, shouldn't be left out. Using an astonishing array of fruits, flowers, herbs, caramels and chocolate, politics graduates Krisi and Mike have already won recognition for their inventive combinations; 'Nearly Nirvana', a typically eclectic mix, contains white and green teas, spearmint, jasmine and orange blossoms. Their experiments have so far resulted in some 50 or so blends which they sell online and take with them to festivals in order to spread the word, and more importantly, the flavour!

So next time you get bored of your common and garden tea, remember these companies, or have a go at your own mixture. You never know, you could have the next big thing in tea mixology right there in your larder!

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