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22 марта 2017, 03:58

Coffee-Tea, Meet Tea-Coffee With Javazen and Zestea

I’m a caffeine enthusiast. I try to moderate these days, but I grew up loving Mountain Dew. I pine for the days of Jolt Cola, and I pick up a bottle or two of Bawls whenever I go to Micro Center (and I usually leave Red Bull, because while it’s the biggest energy drink name, it also tastes like soup made from Flintstones Vitamins bouillion). So when I saw that the Coffee and Tea Festival Festival NYC was last weekend, I shlepped up to Greenpoint to attend.

Sadly, the days of comically caffeinated coffee is gone. Coffee and tea have evolved with more subdued sensibilities and aesthetics, and I generally approve of this change if only for the health of my kidneys. I still saw two interesting coffee and tea purveyors at the festival, whose wares I’ve been sipping all day. Javazen is a coffee company that infuses tea into its blends, and Zest Tea is a tea company that sells tea with as much caffeine as coffee.

Javazen takes the herbal health and relaxation aspects of tea and adds it to their coffee (which itself is sourced from certified organic coffee farmers in Central and South America, though they don’t get much more specific than that). Their standard Balance blend mixes coffee with matcha green tea (processed Japanese green tea powder, not to be confused with sen cha, hoji cha, or kaki cha, which are leaves and stems more conventionally brewed like tea) and cacao nibs.

I dislike matcha as a flavor, so I was pleasantly surprised by the Balance blend’s taste. Hints of cacao came through and made the coffee quite smooth, but I didn’t detect more than a tiny note of matcha (usually a sharp, bitter taste) that actually complimented the coffee flavor. I liked it enough that I picked up a 9-ounce bag of the blend and a new French press (I keep losing them) at the booth.

Javazen is currently available in four blends: Balance, Boost, Relax, and Pumpkin Spice. Boost has a higher caffeine content and adds yerba mate and acai. Relax has little caffeine and adds Rooibos tea and Goji berry. Pumpkin Spice adds Tulsi tea to an already Chai-like spice blend. They’re available as regular ground coffee, or you can get boxes of brew bags that let you brew the coffee like tea in a cup. The brew bags are about $1.75 per cup, so the grounds are much, much more economical if not quite as convenient.

Zest Tea makes caffeinated tea blends. Black tea (and even green tea) already contains caffeine, but Zest Tea blends add more on top. Each cup of Zest Tea has two to three times the caffeine of a cup of black tea, and as much or slightly more caffeine than a cup of coffee. According to Zest Tea, it produces less jitters and crashes than coffee (Javazen makes the same claim), because of the benefits of the tea basically blunting the edge that just coffee creates.

I personally can’t tell, because I get jitters even without caffeine and I don’t usually crash from even chugging energy drinks. However, they make a pretty good tea, and after trying it at the show, I bought a bag of Earl Grey which I’m sipping as I write this. Their Earl Grey has approximately 155 milligrams of caffeine per cup, with a pleasant, bright taste that has a hint of lemon. I can sip it without any sweetener if I don’t steep it for too long, which is very nice to see.

Zest Teas come in bag form, which is fortunately much less expensive than Javazen’s brew bags at about $0.50 to $0.60 a bag. Besides Earl Grey, Zest Tea has more herbal flavors like a green-and-mint-tea-based Pomegranate Mojito, an orange-pekoe-and-hibiscus-tea-based Blue Lady, and an orange-pekoe-tea-based Apple Cinnamon.

If coffee-tea and tea-coffee seem a bit too normal for you, here’s another brewable beverage purveyor I saw at the festival. Four Sigmatic makes mushroom-based coffees and elixirs. They claim mushrooms have tons of health benefits, so they load up their drink mixes with them. I tried their Stay Awake mushroom coffee mix (with cordyceps and chaga), and, well, it tasted like coffee-flavored mushroom broth. I love mushrooms, and I’d certainly consider drinking their stuff again, but you can’t get away from that mushroom flavor.

I got a sample packet of their Mushroom Hot Cacao mix with reishi, which I’m afraid to try. Actually, you know what? I’ll try it now, for you readers.

Okay, it’s mixed, currently cooling.

Smells very cinnamony.

You know what? It’s not terrible. Doesn’t taste like hot chocolate at all, but has a pleasant cocoa and cinnamon flavor. Very relaxing, almost like a thin Abuelita. And unlike the coffee, I can’t taste the mushrooms in it. It’s pretty good.

Source: http://www.geek.com/culture/coffee-tea-meet-tea-coffee-with-javazen-and-zestea-1693090/?source