For years coffee drinks have been the staple at most cafes. Except for the ubiquitous chai latte or more recently the popularity of matcha, teas were regulated to just a bag. Don't get me wrong I love sipping tea but sometimes a girl wants something a little more complicated. Enter the brand new wave of tea drinks. Baristas across the country are taking tea to a new level. They are substituting tea for espresso in cappuccinos and using real vanilla in their London Fogs. I've even noticed menus catering to tea drinkers popping up in cafes usually reserved for coffee enthusiasts. Tea in the United States is finally getting its day in the sun. The variety and flavor profiles that exist with tea make it perfect for creating exciting new drinks. Here are some of the coolest tea drink creations I've come across recently.
The Red Cappuccino at Cederberg Tea House uses rooibos tea extracted through an espresso maker. The mellow beverage is both caffeine free and slightly sweet.
A Matcha Jasmine Latte pairs high quality matcha powder with house-made jasmine infused syrup. It is the brain child of New York's Bibble and Sip. A perfect combination of sweet and earthy in a cup.
At Urth Caffe in the Downtown section of Los Angeles you can have a Moroccan tea latte. A warming combination of green tea and mint made with the dairy of your choice. They continue the unique spin on lattes by offering a thai, red and Japanese variation. They have locations through out Los Angeles.
African red tea is finally getting its day and popping up in many cafes. The Boston favorite Sip Cafe has the vita tea latte. A blend of rooibos and milk creates a unique flavor profile with hints of licorice and vanilla.
If you happen to be in our nations capital head down to Georgetown for some dirty chai. Some have called it the best version of this spice tea meets espresso beverage. At Baked and Wired you can enjoy your dirty chai baked into a cupcake and finished with espresso frosting.
If your looking for something smoky head to Tea Bar in Portland, Oregon. An eclectic café experimenting beyond the classic tea lattes. Their smokey lapsang latte is made using black tea that is smoked over pine needles. The tea has a strong flavor well suited for slow sipping making it the perfect Sunday morning beverage.
Now it's your turn. Please let me know any cool tea drinks or cafes that have popped up in your neighborhood. Let's support the tea movement and I might even feature it on the site.