There’s no way I could resist an invite to a party where tea cocktails would be on the menu, and lo, here I am with a lemon matcha and gin version in my hand, mind reeling at the choices on said menu, appetite for more tea-based beverages whetted.
To explain: I was invited to Bluebird Tea Co.‘s Opening ParTEA on Park Street, Bristol, and this was one of the many wonderful things I tasted during my evening there last week. I was accompanied by two of my pals from Lush Bristol, and though we agreed this was the most Portlandia-esque thing we’d ever done, we had such a good time!
We started with a Tea Mixology Masterclass with Hannah who showed us all the tea bases and beautiful herbs and flowers we could add to our specially crafted mix. I had to go for the gunpowder green (most caffeinated, yes please!) and some fresh summer flavours with hibiscus and lemon-grass.
I’ll be brewing my mix with an infuser; green tea is delicate and needs to be handled gently, brewing for no longer than three minutes in 80 degree water (otherwise it can become bitter). I’m also really tempted to try it as an ice tea using the cold brew method, it looks innovative. Has anyone ever done this?
Tea mixology lesson completed, I ate every last bit of a matcha sorbet from Swoon Gelato (vegan option, praise be) which was so good. This was followed by an almond milk matcha latte, to which I am now fully addicted (I bought a huge tub of the Mixology Matcha to take home). We were pretty buzzing by this point. It’s a great buzz though stimulant fans, as Maru Matcha will tell you…
“The amino acid l-theanine that is found abundantly in matcha is known to slooooowwww the release of caffeine into your body while actually promoting ‘alpha brain waves’ (which promote a state of calm alertness/focus without drowsiness).”
Bluebird Tea Co. creates tea blends that are hand-crafted in small batches and packed (by hand too) down on the south coast (the flagship store is on Brighton’s iconic North Laines). I do think that tea can be a little overlooked these days, with quick caffeine fixes everywhere, and this place, with its iced teas and cool brewing methods is pretty refreshing in more ways than one.
The head mixologists are Krisi and Mike, a tea buff and former ski instructor, who started the company from scratch, with little outside help. They’ll tell you that their name comes from the term ‘Bluebird Day’, a day with perfect blue skies, and they hope to settle in on Bristol’s Park Street, ‘spreading happiness, one cupful at a time’.
Bluebird Tea Co., 73 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5PB