Round Table Topic – Toffee & Cea

One of my favorite drinks is coffee. I like my coffee black. No sugar. No cream. I also like hot tea, especially Earl Grey. When I lived with Tim, I’d also drink green tea (generally because he had a lot of it). While I don’t drink tea nearly as much as coffee, I do thoroughly enjoy a cup now and again – especially when I don’t want all that caffeine and I just want a hot beverage. And much like my coffee, I also don’t want anything else in my tea except “tea”.

Yet, I have always been vexed by the question that why when you mix the two together do they taste so nasty? It would seem logical that a mixture of tea and coffee would be quite nice. Even refreshing. Both hot drinks are bitter. I even drink both hot beverages the same, unadorned with frills. Still, the very thought of snarfing down a piping hot mug of toffee or cea is repulsive.

Why? The table is open.

7 thoughts on “Round Table Topic – Toffee & Cea

  1. I think its a good mix. Hell, if they can mix coffee and coke together and sell it in a bottle then I am sure that Starbucks will sell coffee and tea together soon! Get it copyrighted while you can!

  2. Personally I don’t think tea is nearly as bitter as coffee.

    I’m more of a tea-drinker myself. In fact I like almost all the flavors of tea I’ve tried (oolong, earl gray, green, gunpowder, fruity-teas, that rice-tea from the last protozoicon, etc.).

    Sweetened iced teas aren’t bad sometimes but as a regular every-day drink I prefer my tea straight with no sugar, and especially with no cream or milk.

    Coffee on the other hand I’m totally the opposite. I find it almost always too bitter. Really the only way I do like coffee is as a flavoring for ice-cream or other confections.

    As for the mixture of coffee and tea, well there are just some things that don’t taste good together. And the dislike is probably in large part cultural. I hear that in Colombia they have a popular breakfast drink called “El Tuerbo Chargahe” which is exactly the same thing: Brew a serving of tea, then after removing the bag pour it into a pot containing one serving of coffee grounds. The trick is that the tea gets bitter if left in for more than 5 minutes so you want to remove the bag before that time.

  3. Not only does the steeping time affect the taste of tea, so does the temperature of the water. One should never use boiling water when making tea; it actually makes the drink extremely bitter. This is especially true with herbal and green teas, which are much more sensitive to water temperature than black teas. That said, I personally like to let a bag of herbal tea steep for the entire duration of my enjoyment of the whole mug.

    One may think that two bitter, hot drinks may taste good together, but you’re right, Mikey – it just isn’t so. While I’ve never tried to combine coffee and tea, I have found in several other cases that just because one food tastes great on its own, it may taste rotten when combined with an equally delicious food. An obvious example would be the combination of green olives and ice cream; I can tell you from experience that one should avoid that particular concoction. Not so obvious would be combinations that are now found in several popular restaurants, such as fish tacos. While salmon is one of my favorite foods, and tacos are always yummy, they are a bit skunky together.

    I’m sure that there are plenty of other common disgusting combinations out there, but that would be deserving of another post entirely.

  4. Yah. I hear you on the fish tacos. I went to a restraunt that served fish in burritos and it was pretty bad. Of course to make things worse the fish they used was actually pre-breaded fish filettes (those square kind we used to eat at home as kids). With the breading and burrito stuffings it was particularly mealy tasting and disgustiong.

    As for the teas: I had heard that hearbal and green teas should be made with sub-boiling water. But I’d always lived by the wisdom of the former Douglas Adams to the effect that black tea should be made from boiling water for best effect.

    And although tea does get a little bitter if left too long I tend to leave it in there anyway. It’s part of the ambiance or something. Although I have had one jasmine tea that gets really bitter fast, I take that sucker out after awhile.

  5. Some teas do require boiling water. I think chamomile might be one.

    Coffee and tea sounds pretty bad. Actually, to be honest, I think the coffee would mostly overpower the tea flavor, depending on the tea.

  6. Perhaps the strength of the drinks would make a difference in taste. I agree that in most cases coffee would overpower the tea. However, if you had some really strong tea mixed with some really weak coffee, both flavors might be able to be tasted. It would still taste really bad, but at least you could taste both.

  7. When I worked at the caffe, we served a combination of Oregon Chai and espresso that was rather popular. It was alright, but it didn’t use regular bagged tea or brewed American style coffee.

    As a fan of both drinks, and one who likes both in a variety of ways, I’d say this one is up to personal taste — there are a few ways to mix coffee and tea properly, but one cannot help but fear mixing without careful forethought.

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