Making Cofftea (Coffee+Tea) For A Unique Flavor Twist

SUMMARY POINTS

> Cofftea is a unique flavor twist of two awesome drinks
> Make your own easily at the office break room
> Brew both separately then mix to your preferences
> Add some variety to your morning or afternoon drink routine 

Orange juice and sparkling water (Orangina)

Iced tea and lemonade (Arnold Palmer)

Hot chocolate and coffee (Cafe Mocha)

These are just a few popular beverage pairings that go so well together. And, this doesn’t even count all the numerous mixed cocktails and drinks - we’ll save that for another day.

But, there’s one pairing that just doesn’t get much attention or love that matter.

It’s coffee and tea.

It’s crazy that two of the most popular beverages on this planet don’t really ever get together and mix it up.

It’s like they’re in separate worlds, never to be allowed to meet like forlorn lovers.

We’re guessing that much of that is driven by the fact that people tend to drink one or the other, not both together.

Our taste preferences are creating this divide between the two.

Take a look at this global infographic of coffee vs tea. The brown colors represent coffee drinkers while the reddish orange colors represent tea drinkers.

As you can clearly see, the world is pretty divided between coffee vs tea.

The only exceptions are the folks in eastern Europe and the Aussies down under. Both of those groups have equal love for coffee and tea.

In the Americas and Europe, people tend to favor coffee over tea. Specifically, here in the US, we’re three times more likely to be sipping on a cup of coffee than tea.

While in Asia and Russia, it’s the exact opposite where that pot of boiling water is for steeping dried tea leaves, not filtering roasted ground coffee beans.

Nobody ever really mixes coffee and tea. Why is that?

It’s like they’re totally kept separate from one another, never ever to be blended together.

Ask any devout coffee or tea drinker about blending both and they’ll scream it’s blasphemous and that it should never be done. Why taint the flavor of one with the other?

Like most everyone here in the US, we fall into the coffee camp.

But, it doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy tea. It’s just that we’ve become so accustomed to drinking coffee that it’s automatic.

We’re creatures of habit.

We order the same coffee drink from the same place every morning. And, we reflexively always reach for the coffee pot in the break room instead of the hot water tap for tea.

Don’t get us wrong, we think tea is great, especially in the evenings. Those non-caffeinated herbal varieties work wonders for dialing down the stresses of the day and helping us transition to sleep.

We think they’re both awesome drinks that deserve to be together.

So, we're here to shed some light on cofftea and why you should give it a chance. 

The Origins Of Cofftea - Yuenyeung From Hong Kong

You may think that cofftea is some new emerging drink trend, but mixing coffee and tea has been around for a few hundred years. Nobody is really sure who came up with this idea or when and where it originated.

Many people just point to where it has been and continues to be the most commonly consumed drink - Hong Kong.

The Cantonese term Yuenyeung or Yuanyang refers to the life-long coupling of Mandarin ducks - a symbol of enduring love between husband and wife. It’s kinda like our version of the life-long mating of swans or penguins.

Hong Kongers use this “loving marriage” expression of Yuenyeung for the wonderful pairing of milk tea with black coffee.

Yuenyeung can be found all around Hong Kong, in cafes, diners, restaurants, etc. It can be ordered pretty much anywhere.

It’s more commonly served hot, but iced versions have become popular, particularly with younger generations.

The primary ingredients in Yuenyeung:
- Brewed black tea
- Evaporated or condensed milk
- Brewed black coffee

The first two combine to make milk tea, which is an immensely popular drink in Hong Kong. Milk tea is the main core ingredient of this drink. It leads the blend.

The secondary ingredient is black coffee.

The most common blending uses three parts black coffee to seven parts milk tea. The reason why there's less coffee and much more tea is because coffee has a much stronger flavor profile than the more delicate tea flavors.

When it’s blended in these ratios, neither the acidic and bitter coffee nor the flowery and fragrant tea overpowers the other. The end result is a very well balanced drink with a slight bitterness that is offset by soft sweetness.

Certain regions in Hong Kong and also in parts of China will vary this blend with other teas and change the ratios a bit. But, in all recipes, the tea plays the dominant role.

How To Easily Make Cofftea At Work

Maybe, if we had all the time in the world and the patience to go along with that, we’d carefully follow the ideal blending ratios for Yuenyeung.

The reality is that we don’t - and you probably don’t either.

We like simple and quick.

Most offices have everything you need to make your own cofftea. Most office break rooms are stocked with hot water taps, coffee, tea and creamers.

If you enjoy coffee and tea equally, start with this 50/50 mix at first and then, adjust the portions to suit your tastes.

1) Brew a fresh pot of coffee

2) Brew one tea bag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes 

3) Make a cup of coffee as you normally would 

4) Get a third empty cup 

5) Pour half of your coffee into the cup 

6) Pour half of the tea into the same cup 

7) Combine with remaining halves for a second serving


If you’re more of a coffee hound, the above 50/50 blend might not have enough coffee flavor or kick for you. So, if that’s the case, start out with a 70/30 or 80/20 coffee-to-tea mix instead.

For tea, start with standard black tea. It’s the most common and your office probably has a box of Lipton tea bags sitting inside the cupboard somewhere.

You can try other tea variants like Earl Grey, English Breakfast, etc. Use the stronger teas rather than the mild herbal teas. Mild teas don’t pack enough of a punch to handle the bolder coffee flavor.

Important tip #1: don’t shortcut this process by brewing or steeping the tea bag in black coffee. If you do this, the acidity of the coffee won’t allow all of the tea flavors and aromas to fully release. It messes up the flavor. Brew the tea separately on its own!

Important tip #2: for the first few times you drink this, slow down and sip slowly and really taste the new flavors. Figure out what you want more or less of so that the next time you make it, you can adjust the portions.

One of the best things about cofftea is that if you’re seeking to reduce your caffeine intake, this blend is the perfect way to ease the transition to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Cofftea normally has less overall caffeine than a full cup of coffee, but still just enough to get that little buzz.

Use Condensed Or Evaporated Milk As Your Creamer For More Authentic Flavor

If you want to get closer to the real flavor of Yuenyeung, then buy some condensed or evaporated milk and keep it in the break room fridge at work.

Using this as your creamer instead of that powdered non-diary nonsense will get you closer to the real thing.

Both condensed and evaporated milk is essentially concentrated milk where about 60% of the water content is taken out of the milk. It’s like concentrated orange juice, only with milk.

If you normally drink your coffee with sweetener, use the condensed milk as it has sweetener added. Don’t add any extra sugar to your mix. Condensed milk is super sweet already. So, start with smaller amounts of condensed milk and adjust to suit your tastes.

If you normally drink your coffee without sweeteners, then use the evaporated milk instead as it’s not sweetened. It’ll provide a very rich and creamy flavor profile - quite different than normal creamer or milk.

In either case, go easy on the portions to start with and then experiment from there.

Mix It Up & Try Something New

So much of our life is so routine and structured. It seems like with each passing month and year, we just get more entrenched in our day-to-day patterns.

The same route to and from work.

The usual stuff from the grocery store.

The same weekly reports.

It’s easy to just stay in the groove and keep chugging along. And, there’s nothing wrong with that, especially, if you’ve got a lot of your plate. Having a smoothly running operating system for your life is essential for your sanity.

What’s needed is a bit of newness here and there - the kind that’s not disruptive but enjoyable and easy. Adding little bits of fun and newness into your day can be just the thing to bring a smile to your face.

So, why not try making and drinking some cofftea? It'd be a great way to turn that nasty office coffee swill into something a bit more drinkable. 

Really...you need to get up from your desk anyway. You've been sitting for way too long.

This article is pretty much finished.

Head over to the break room and make your first cofftea.

Not only will it change things up a bit for you at work, but you’ll also be bringing two love-struck beverages together finally.

It’ll be a warm cup of love and happiness right in your hands.

Feel Better,
[Cubicle|Therapy]