Drinks & Eats

CoffTea: Enhance Your Friend’s Coffee With Tea

Coffee and Tea
Coffee and Tea

Mixing your favorite tea with a BFF’s favorite coffee?! Crazy…maybe even sacrilegious, right? Tea is so magical on its own; it doesn’t need another beverage stepping in (or should I say steeping in), right? Well, maybe not need, but it does spark a bit of curiosity. So why not spend one afternoon mixing high quality flavored loose-leaf teas with high quality single origin coffees?

CoffTea can open your world to a new special treat for your morning or afternoon pick me up. This drink is best suited for those who enjoy both beverages, or simply want to add a unique flavor to their coffee without sugar-filled syrups or questionable ingredients. The coffee and tea aficionados may already be in on this trend, in fact, there are companies that are already working on blending the two for their individual health benefits, since both tea and coffee contain different micronutrients and antioxidants. It is time that these two very popular beverages get together!

Clueless about coffee? Here are the basics:

  • • The beans come from a cherry, that take anywhere from 7-11 months to mature before they are picked and harvested for their beans, which are green in color.
  • • There are two types of beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica makes up the majority of coffee beans consumed, and is lower in caffeine.
  • • Due to the plants’ need for warmth and water, the only area in the United States that is able to grow coffee is in Hawaii.
  • • Coffee is grown in 80 countries. You can find plantations in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
  • • Contrary to popular belief, the darker the roast of the coffee, the lower the caffeine content.

  • Know the notes of the coffee and the tea before you put them together
    Taste your tea and your friend’s coffee separately. Or, at least have your friend take a sip of the tea or describe their coffee in as much detail as possible (if you can’t stand the idea of having coffee). What type of roast do they drink? Is it dark or light? (higher or lower in caffeine) Is it at all acidic? Do they take their coffee with milk or sugar? Write down the characteristics of each to know which coffee and which tea might compliment each other. For example, sweet teas will pair better with coffees higher in acidity and citrus teas will pair better in coffees with lower in acidity.

    Below is a suggested list of pairings based on the caffeine and acid content that could be found in each type of coffee and tea. A tea that is low to no caffeine would be paired with a coffee that is higher in caffeine, whereas lower caffeinated coffees can stand being paired with a tea that has more caffeine. While the roast and tea blends can vary from each grower, roaster, and manufacturer, the suggested list is ordered from origin coffees likely to be darker to lightest in roast.

  • Jamaican Blue Mountain + Matcha
  • Sumatra + Blueberry tea
  • Kona + Chocolate tea
  • *Mocha Java + pu erh hazelberry
  • Brazil + Pumpkin Spice (when available and in season) or a Chai blend
  • Colombia + Vanilla Oolong or Rooibos tea
  • El Salvador + Herbal dewy cherry tea
  • Ethiopia + Coconut tea
  • Guatemala + Rooibos caramel tea
  • Costa Rica + Melon tea

  • *Note: Mocha Java does not have chocolate mixed into the beans. I repeat, the mocha here does not mean chocolate. It is simply a blend from Yemen and Indonesia. While it is not a single origin coffee, the two growing regions are said to complement each other, and is one of the more popular coffee blends.

    Okay, but how do I mix this stuff? Does your friend have a French press? That would work. The tea and coffee can go in there together and it will allow the tea to steep in the water with the coffee. If there is a desire to use a drip coffee maker you will need to keep the coffee and tea separate. Place the tea in a strainer/infuser or bag in the drinking cup and the coffee in the filter. Then brew as usual. If your friend is the kind of person who only gets their coffee out at cafes, consider buying or lending them a tea strainer pot such as this one or lf-fillable disposable tea bags filters . This is also an acceptable way to create a CoffTea blend.

    Now, no matter what you use to get the nutritious goodness from the CoffTea, you will need to be aware of measurements and water temperature for each roast and blend. Neither coffee nor tea enjoys boiling water, so be weary and generous to not overcook or burn the beans or leaves. Keep the water between 170-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee prefers 195-205 degrees, but if the tea is of a lower oxidation, the water could stand to be a little cooler. For example, green teas prefer anywhere from 170-185 degrees Fahrenheit, Oolongs at 190 degrees, and herbals and black teas can stay happy at 205 degrees.

    But, how much water, how much coffee, how much tea? Well, the best guide is still the label on your loose-leaf tea (and coffee), because it will depend on the grind and leaf. A good starting point if you tend to use a big 16-ounce mug is 2 tablespoons each of ground coffee and loose-leaf tea. However, using a scale is more accurate. The standard for tea is 2 grams per 8-ounce cup of water, and for coffee it is 1.6 to 2 grams of whole beans per 6-ounce cup of water. It might feel natural to low-ball the coffee measurement if you are by nature a tea drinker. Try to resist the urge.

    I think I know what I want to try
    What you want to try? Or what you want to gift to your friend? Either way, feel free to make a batch or two for yourself. You are allowed to enjoy CoffTea too! We won’t tell your trusty tea strainer or expect you to make space in the front of your cabinet for coffee beans. Tea can still be front and center in your morning routine and life, and the coffee can still be central beverage to your friend’s life. Just enjoy your experiment to join your favorite beverages, and hug it out on a combination well created.