Cofftea: The Hot New Hybrid That’s Coming To Your Cup

coffee and tea 4842741305_2e0639d13a_z

Well, if you were wondering whether to have tea or coffee with that cronut, here’s your answer: “cofftea” popular in Asia-Pacific countries for years, may become Americans’ new wakeup brew. Combining the health benefits of antioxidants in tea with the extra caffeine boost that coffee provides, the trend is gaining steam in South Africa and the UK also. Known to the Chinese as yuanyang, this pairing (the name means ‘lovebird’ after the mandarin ducks who mate for life) is a specialty in cafés across Hong Kong.

Closer to home, New York based Comax Flavors highlighted cofftea among its “coffeehouse” flavor trends for 2015. Baristas are noticing more customers who order a shot of espresso in their tea. Martha Stewart launched her line of ready-to-drink bottled coffee, ULIVjava, in the fall. What’s in this lightly sweet and refreshing “healthier” option? Green tea and the herbal goodness of yerba mate. Look for cofftea on the menu of her microcafé in Chelsea, opening on the site of her New York headquarters later this year. Teavana, owned by Starbucks, offers JavaVana Mate Tea, its “rendition of a mocha cappuccino especially for coffee lovers.” The blend of black Assam tea and mate lists “other natural flavors,” but not coffee, as ingredients. I tasted the chocolate and vanilla notes more than coffee, but it is a bolder black tea. Nestlé-owned Sweet Leaf iced teas offer coffee-tea blends in original and vanilla. Calling them “the PB&J of beverages” the company says its version of cofftea is “The best new beverage since that drink born on a golf course.” I prefer the lemony lift of an Arnold Palmer, but if you like Southern style sweet tea, and I do, it’s a refreshing change.

To try making cofftea at home in the morning, start with seven parts steeped black tea to three parts brewed coffee, then adjust to taste from there. Now you’re ready to throw on a skort or some jeggings, grab your thermos and that cronut and jump in your hybrid car.