You never saw it coming. Like Peyton Manning and Denver, coffee and tea aren’t an obvious match. Coffee gets satirized on shows like Portlandia with the whole gourmet latte, swirly pictures of the Mona Lisa thing. Tea, well that’s what yoga instructors, British people and Gandhi drink. It’s time to put their differences aside and hold hands, because the two have met and created an array of heavily caffeinated and tasty beverages between them. Don’t judge, this is love.
- Jumpy Monkey and Coffee Pu’erh
Pioneering the modern tea scene, the folks behind David’s Tea aren’t afraid to take a chance. This is where two of their blends come in, Jumpy Monkey and Coffee Pu’erh. The former combines whole Peaberry coffee beans with roasted yerba mate, cocoa nibs, cloves, almonds and oat straw to create an earthy, highly caffeinated brew. With the Coffee Pu’erh you get the richness of the dark, fermented Pu’erh leaves and a flavor similar to a strong mocha from the coffee, plus bits of cacao nibs in the blend. A heavenly combination from above, and by that I mean north, in Canada. Who knew?
- White Coffee
No matter how hard I stared at the coarsely ground white stuff in front of me I couldn’t grasp that it was coffee. It’s white, I said to Craig Butin, an ex-Olympic figure skater who started Tea Bean Coffee. He’s to blame for this unusual way of preparing the bean, which he does by baking it for many hours. After the bean is a pleasing shade of eggshell, Butin grinds the coffee and blends it with teas and tisanes including black tea, African rooibos and dried berries. The reason he started this up was to get more caffeine than regular coffee or tea in the cup, which it does while still providing a delicious and wholesome beverage.
- Organic Café Orange
Not only does the San Francisco-based Mighty Leaf roast mate in this blend, but the whole coffee beans and bits of chicory root get put through the process too. Mix that with orange and licorice flavors and you have a beverage with a pleasing roundness and a whole lot of energy. Plus it’s organic, something to help bring the yogis to the dark side of coffee.
- Harney & Sons
For over 25 years, this company has been in the business of gourmet teas and now, they have taken their beverages further and incorporated coffee into an ice tea blend. Using organic black tea and Colombian beans, the light brews tastes more like an iced tea with a dark, acidic kick from the coffee. The original idea for this combination came from Japan, where those crafty Asians have been mixing green tea with espresso for years.
- Georgia X
Remember when I mentioned Japan was first on the coffee and tea game? Well, Coca-Cola makes cans of Georgia X, one of the many green tea and coffee blends you can find there. The drink mixes matcha with sweet espresso, a combo that tastes more like sugared iced coffee. But hey, the can is cool and if you can actually manage to find this stuff in the States (you can get it on eBay) you will surely be the hipster sensei. Now, if only we could get those green tea Kit Kats.