April 1, 2013

Tea and Beer? New York's Coffee and Tea Festival

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The other week, I attended the 8th annual Coffee and Tea Festival in NYC. Being the tea fanatic that I am, I was in heaven sampling different loose leaf blends (some mixed with beer!) and fabulous raw honeys from nearby bee farms. I also got to try tea-infused beauty products, buy the latest in tea accessories like this Snap N'Go clip and learn how to give back with each tea purchase thanks to Ajiri Tea.

Ajiri Tea,  makes Kenyan Black Tea, and gives 100% of its profits to support orphan education in western Kenya. In Kenya, it is especially difficult for women to find employment. However, the word "Ajiri" means "to employ" in Swahili and the company does just that, it employs women in Africa to make their labels using banana bark, thus supporting a sustainable cycle of community employment and education. Bravo, I'll drink a cuppa to that!

Another eye opener came from Karen, the owner and queen beekeeper at Bumble Berry Farms' in Pennsylvania, who explained that honey never goes bad.  She says that even once the honey starts to crystallize, just put the glass jar in warm water to liquify the honey again. Who knew? All those years I've been throwing away my honey bear bottles once they turned thick like that.


As soon as I entered the show though, I couldn't help but notice a particularly large line queuing at the Capital Teas booth. I soon figured out what the line was for though. They were mixing Beer + Tea and giving out samples. Yup, beer with tea mixed in to enhance the flavor and character of the tea. Now, your beer can be sweeter, creamier, loaded with antioxidants, less filling and with a touch of caffeine (with some varieties).


Although people have been mixing tea in their cocktails since the 1800s, this is the first time I had ever heard of such a thing with beer. This tea merchant sells beer-enhancing tea sachets just for this purpose. Available in 10 flavors, each in a convenient 6-Pack foil bag, to preserve freshness. Simply place one tea sachet in a tall glass, fill with beer and cold brew for five minutes.You can leave the tea in your beer longer than that though for even more flavor. Alternatively, you may place a tea sachet inside a beer bottle or can.

Captial Teas recommends these perfect beer & tea pairings. One bag for each bottle or can of beer.
  • Stella Artois (or other lager) + Cream Earl Grey Black
  • Corona + Genmaicha
  • Bud Light + Organic Monk's Blend
  • Miller Light + Royal Wedding Tea
  • Blue Moon + Cherry Blossom Rose Organic
  • Heineken + Provence Rooibos Organic
  • Red Stripe + Invigorating Mint Mate
But why stop at beer?  Here are some other cocktail recipes infused with tea.

Green Tea Margarita

1 Lime Wedge
Sauce of granulated sugar for coating glass rim
2/3 Cup Brewed Capital Teas Formosa Gunpowder, frozen into 6-8 small ice cubes
2 1/2 Tbsp. Tequila
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
2 tsp. Sugar

Instructions:  In a blender, combine the Capital Teas Formosa Gunpowder ice cubes, tequila, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and sugar. Blend on the pulse setting until slushy. Pour into your glass and enjoy!

Mo-Tea-To

4 oz. Brewed Capital Teas Moroccan Mint Tea
8 oz. Mount Gay Silver Rum
24 Large mint leaves
8 tbsp. pure cane sugar
Juice of 2 squeezed limes
2 oz. club soda

Instructions:  Crush sugar into powder. Add lime juice. Muddle the sugar and lime juice together. Add mint and press it against the mixture with the muddler. Add ice and rum; Stir. Add brewed Moroccan Mint Tea. Top off with club soda.

1 comment

  1. A coffee AND tea festival? This is my kind of event! :-) How fun!

    ReplyDelete

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