Saturday, April 7, 2007
some time ago, my dad and i were talking about the coffee beans we bought on kona. we're big coffee drinkers. somehow the conversation lead into tea. "have you hear of yuanyang?" my dad asks.
"no. what is it?"
"it's a coffee tea drink. very popular in hong kong."
my mom had to inject something into the conversation, "i had a co-worker who drank that all the time."
afterwards, i got interested in the idea of mixing coffee and tea. i googled around to learn more about it. and finding out how to spell 'yuanyang' wasn't easy. eventually, i found it on wikipedia. however there wasn't much to go on. [read yuanyang wiki] it's funny how 'western' society debates if the drink was invented in hong kong. my mom later added that the co-worker drank yuanyang during the '70s. she also mentioned during the sf muni bus strike of that era, her co-worker would go out to by a cup of coffee and tea and mix the two at her desk. the actual origin or history of yuanyang is pretty much like the chicken or the egg question.
using my french press, i decided to try it. i'm probably doing this all wrong but who cares. i took a scoop of my free-trade 'organic' hazelnut coffee and several pinches of black tea leaves from mariage freres into my french press. poured some boiling water. and waited for four minutes.
the color is different. with my grounded coffee alone, it has a brownish muddy appearance. but this yuanyang has the clarity of tea appearing more blackish than the usual dark red color of black tea leaves. the taste is definitely more coffee than tea. maybe the balance wasn't right. after the tasting, i add some milk since i don't usually drink coffee black.
i will have to try again to strike the right balance for the "yin and yang" of coffee and tea.