How do you brew your tea? If you’ve played around with techniques you probably discovered that the way you steep can change the flavor. It’s this unique relationship that led Preston Caffrey, founder of Java Tea Company to discover his ideal cup of tea. Unlike most tea buyers, Caffrey was looking for a tea that reminded him of coffee. Unable to find one on the market, he decided to create his own.
You may wonder, if he loved coffee so much, why turn to tea? Simple, for its health benefits. Caffrey knew drinking tea was healthy, but wanted a bolder flavor. He added dark chocolate, caramel and almonds, all which brought forth the taste of coffee, but something was still missing.
And so, Caffrey and his family decided to take a six-month sabbatical in Italy. Living in a small town outside of Umbria, he was amazed by how the locals drank their espresso. Here the “on the run” mentality was missing.
Caffrey describes that while drinking this “fast paced drink”, the Italians slowed down. It was as if, for a moment, time froze, and within the café life slowed down while people took the time to connect with each other. Caffrey discovered that what he craved was not just the taste of coffee, but that feeling of being able to unwind, relax and connect.
Inspired by the café experience, Caffrey went home and brewed his tea in a stovetop espresso machine. As the blend trickled up the machine, it transformed from a sweeter green tea, to a creamy brew. By simply changing the way the tea was steeped, Caffrey brought out the nuances of flavors in the complex blend. He had discovered the perfect way to brew his cup of tea.
Today, Java Tea Company has expanded their tea line to six blends each inspired by an espresso-based drink: from vanilla latte to cinnamon spiced mocha. “The tea has the full bodied dark roast flavor and the smooth light acidity reminiscent in a cup of coffee,” said Caffrey. What brought this flavor to its full height was the way it was brewed.
Today, take a moment to be inspired by Caffrey’s creativity and play with your brewing techniques. Compare and contrast everything from traditional tea bags to a French press. Explore how the nuances of the leaves unfurl in each process and impact the brew. You may just stumble upon something wonderful.
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This time of year, I think of “Oh my? It’s fruitcake weather!” — one of the memorable lines in Truman Capote’s wonderfully incisive portrait of his alter ego Buddy’s time in the South baking with his eccentric cousin Sook in “A Christmas Memory.” However, reading the story sets me to … Continue reading
We’re going back into the archives to revisit these classic posts by James Norwood Pratt. This post includes “China Black”, “Keemun – Splendor of Flavor and Perfume”, and “Yunnan – Among the Grandest of the World’s Black Teas”. We have added a link to the end of each one to … Continue reading
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