Posted in Kafevend Blog

It occurred to me recently that tea and coffee often have quite a polarizing effect- people will typically like either one or the other, and can get a bit ratty should you dare to belittle their favourite brew. The same effect happens elsewhere: cats and dogs, Labour and Conservative, pro skub and anti skub; I could go on, but I'd rather get to my point. Whilst I unfortunately haven't been able to create a cat/dog hybrid, someone else has created a drink that combines both tea and coffee- perfect for those who enjoy both options, or for those more laid back folks who wonder why people are getting so worked up about it in the first place.

Yuanyang, otherwise known by a variety of other names that are all variations on a theme, is the fabled tea and coffee drink which I've been referring to. The term yuanyang has been around for longer than the drink, and refers to a pair of Mandarin Ducks often seen together on the water. The male and female bear strikingly dissimilar appearances, and so yuanyang has a colloquial use meaning “unlikely pair”- no doubt the thought on most folk's minds when they consider a mix of coffee and tea.

Unable to escape from one form of conflict or another, people are undecided as to the origin of yuanyang, or if it was discovered independently in the western world, with some claiming that the Dutch had conceived the drink. Whether you believe it was the Dutch or Chinese however, I must admit that both seem a little more likely than Peter Andre's claim that he invented “CoffTea” during an interview in 2004.

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