When did the UK get so passionate about coffee? Not to mention the growing trend for coffee cocktails. Just one sip of a Tia Maria Espresso Martini leaves us not only in an aromatic spin, but in no doubt that coffee and cocktail cultures are a match brewed in heaven.
We have professional baristas, commuters swigging shots of espresso and bowls of latte nursed in countless cafes. From the bean to the brew to the geeky flourishes, our tea drinking identity is undergoing a serious challenge if not being completely overwhelmed by the smoky old bean and its artisan tendencies. We are serious coffee culture nerds; just look at the options in your local indie coffee house – if you spend your time in any urban environ you will know what I mean.
Newer on the landscape, is a café nightlife culture with artisan coffee houses adding cocktails to their nightly listings blending la café and le cocktail in a heady, underground kind of marriage. But what are they serving? Well, the Tia Maria + Coffee Project debuted a menu of new coffee based cocktails at The Cocktail Village in London’s East End last month expertly demonstrated by the Tia Maria mixologists. These are recipes that favour the brave and bold with the Tia Maria Mint Frappe mixing the unique coffee liqueur with espresso, mint leaves and milk; or the Tia Maria Mint Americano that swaps the milk for sugar syrup and sparkling water. Turn up the heat with a gorgeous – and I can testify to this – Flat White Russian with Jamaican rum, espresso, demerara sugar and milk, or a Tia Maria Cappuccino mixing vodka with Morello cherry or salted caramel foam.
It’s the crafty-yet-intoxicating image of the coffee cocktail that rocks our boat. The Tia Maria recipes are all about flavour, from seed to cup, revering the depth, and dare we say it democracy of coffee! Of course the coffee liqueur is a natural fit when you add it to café culture, with its ingredients listing 100% Arabica coffee beans, Jamaican rum and Madagascar vanilla. But don’t take our word for it. Get down to your local coffee haven when you’re looking for something stronger and turn up the heat.
For more on the Tia Maria + Coffee Project see www.tiamaria.com.
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