While we have all been hibernating over winter here in Australia, Teaka has quietly gone about winning another award. Following some great feedback from our customers in late 2021, we decided to put our Fruit Blend product forward for an award at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition in 2022. We are very flattered to have received another coveted award, thanks guys!
Teaka Fruit Blend is a Tea Aperitif produced using the finest English Breakfast tea, apples, various fruits and local botanicals. A wonderfully fruity classic black tea alcoholic beverage with a traditional sweet palate and lovely aroma. A fruity taste with the fresh tannins in the black tea, not overbearingly so, very refreshing in fact. Our traditional beverage. 700mL bottle 20% ABV.
Teaka is a craft spirits producer based in Melbourne Australia. Our purpose is to produce a world-first refreshing alcoholic tea aperitif. A multi-award winning light spirit, low sugar. Bursting with Flavour. Designed specifically for those who seek clean living, yet still enjoy having a drink to relax. Those who choose to balance health with small indulgences.
About Melbourne International Spirits Competition
Melbourne International Spirits Competition is the only International Spirits Competition where all the judges are real trade buyers, who are judging the spirit by category and actual price. These judges are buyers from the top Australian liquor stores, restaurants, hotels and more.
The Melbourne International Spirits competition is in its eighth year and and features over 200 entries from spirits producers around the world. The competition is judged by trade buyers in the market and is a strong indicator of quality. Showcasing an elite group of the top products brought out by distillers in recent years.
Teaka Tea Spirits
The first of its kind in the market, Teaka is an alcoholic Tea Spirit produced through the maceration of a unique recipe of tea, fruit and botannicals. Launched in mid-2020, Teaka introduces a low carbohydrate spirit that is bursting with flavour and highly refreshing. Enjoyed by most in a Teaka Spritzer used or to make delectable Tea Cocktails.
Teaka Camomile Vanilla Tea Spirit is a tea spirit produced using the finest chamomile tea, vanilla and local botannicals. Subtle and slightly sweet, with rich undertones, followed by a floral note of vanilla and soothing after taste. This drink is ideal to savour on the rocks at the end of a busy day, as you would sip on a whisky.
Teaka Rooibos Lemon Tea Spirit is a tea spirit produced using the finest Rooibos tea, honey, lemon and various botannicals. The full-bodied nuttiness of the Rooibos (Red Bush) tea, containing woody notes, is carefully balanced with the soothing lilt of honey lemon and a spicy cinnamon finish. Ideal to drink in our warm mulled wine equivalent, Spiced Teaka.
“We are delighted at receiving such great accolades in this prestigious international competition” said Craig Westcott, founder the Teaka Spirit Company. “This gives us great confidence that we are achieving what we set out to do, creating a subtle yet complex blend of flavors that may be enjoyed by both tea and alcohol drinkers alike.”
Tea Spirits have been around since early 2020. They were first produced in Australia by Teaka, a craft spirit company, as a light spirit that is natural, low carbohydrate and low sugar. After enjoying the taste of tea spirits the main question that customers keep asking us is: “what is the best way to drink tea spirits”. In order to answer this question we have put together this guide to mixing, drinking and enjoying alcoholic Tea Spirits.
For background, alcoholic tea beverages have recently emerged on the market. Most of them are pre-mix drinks or derivations of Iced Tea / Kombucha (sometimes called hard tea). Unlike those drinks, Tea Spirits are a 20% alcoholic spirit that may be enjoyed in a number of ways including in cocktails and in a range of mixed drinks. They produced in a similar way to other spirits but use tea as a base ingredient combined with local botanicals; so introduce a large variety of fresh tastes. Tea Spirits therefore pair well with tasty foods, creating a taste sensation.
Making a Tea Spritzer
The first way to enjoy Tea Spirits is to make a Tea Spritzer. A tea spritzer is a chilled drink made from tea spirits, soda and lemonade. Generally, a slice of lemon is squeezed in the beverage too in order to bring out its flavors. This is one of the simplest ways to enjoy tea spirits and is ideal for a sunny day or evening. Tea Spritzers are typically consumed as an aperatif before a meal.
A few recipes are shown at the following link: Tea Spritzer Recipes (with our main recipe below). Note that we use ginger ale or ginger beer rather than lemonade for some tea spritzer products, eg. Rooibos Lemon or Fruit Blend.
Teaka Tea Spirits (30ml) – any Teaka product
Soda water (30ml)
Squeeze a few drops of juice from a lemon slice
Spiced Tea Spirits
Spiced Tea Spirits are a warm, spicy drink made with cinnamon-based Rooibos Lemon Tea Spirit. It is an alcoholic tea alternative to the familiar mulled wine (or spiced wine) that makes an appearance during colder months of the year. Designed for sipping on a chilly night curled up in front of the fire, or for drinking on a cool evening out.
Our recipe is quite simple for this drink. You will need a pot to heat up your drink on the stove along with a few ingredients. For a single drink:
Pour 50ml of Teaka Rooibos Lemon Tea Spirit in a pot & place the pot on the stove
Add a few pieces of cinnamon stick to the pot
Cut a couple of slices of ginger & lemon and add these pieces to the pot
Pour 100ml of Water into the pot
Heat up the mixture for 10 minutes (don’t bring it to boil)
Pour into a tea pot, filter, and serve
Sipping on Tea Spirits
There are a number of Tea Spirits that fit nicely in the “spirit sipping” category. These drinks are similar to a favourite whiskey, port or a very good quality red wine. Smooth, complex and full of flavour. A rich assortment of aromas to tantalise your taste buds.
Teaka Camomile Vanilla tea spirit is the first of these. This is a subtle tasting drink that is slightly sweet and somewhat fruity, with rich undertones, followed by a floral note of honey vanilla. Great for sipping on at the end of a long day, during your quiet time.
Teaka Peppermint Cocoa is a refreshing minty tea spirit providing an uplifting and somewhat sweetish taste. Its cooling effect is quickly followed by a decadent woody and nutty aftertaste. The nexus between mint and chocolate. Great as a desert cocktail too.
To prepare a Tea Spirit for sipping, you simply pour 50mL of the spirit in a glass tumbler. You can then add a small amount of water (5-10mL) to open up the flavour notes (and/or a small ice cube if you choose). That’s it. Sip away and enjoy the rich flavours!
There are a growing number of tea cocktails available with a range of flavours and taste experiences. In this area we are only limited by our imagination. A few examples are shown in the following document: Tea Cocktails. This contains a bunch of wonderful recipes for you to try out!
One example is a Calm Tease Tea Cocktail made from the award winning Teaka Pekoe Berry Tea Spirit.
Calm Tease Tea Cocktail Recipe:
Light, easy cherry notes with Chamomile on the finish. Very refreshing!
Add the following ingredients into a cocktail shaker:
45 mL Teaka Chamomile Vanilla
15mL lemon juice
2 dashes Peychauds bitters
Barspoon almond syrup
10 mL Aquafaba
Place in a shaker, do your Thang.. and double strain
Recommended – garnish is a little Chamomile flower
Pour gently into a cocktail glass & garnish with lemon peel
Another example is our Tea Martini made from Teaka Fruit Blend, an alcoholic lemon iced tea equivalent.
Teaka Martini Tea Cocktail Recipe:
Somewhat dry, somewhat sweet, a light trace of tannins.
Add the following ingredients into a cocktail shaker:
Teaka Fruit Blend (90mL)
Cinzano Bianco Vermouth (30mL)
Squeeze a few drops of juice from a lemon slice
Shake for 30 seconds (“shaken not stirred”)
Pour gently into a cocktail glass and garnish with lemon peel.
Pairing Tea Spirits with Food
Finally, given the nature of tea – the variety of rich flavours, their subtle yet complex tastes and the experience that they offer us – it isn’t surprising that tea pairs very well with food. Tea & Food Pairing with delectable meals is just starting to become “a thing” at top quality restaurants. Alcoholic Tea & Food Pairing is therefore something that needs to be explored in more detail (see this link for a guide).
We will publish more about this topic in the coming months, including alcoholic tea and food pairings that we discover. In short, though, we find that black-tea based products (eg. Fruit Blend or Pekoe Berry) pair well with red meat meals that are rich and filling. Both flavours are strong, so they complement each other well. By the same token we find that our floral/sweeter products (eg. Camomile or Peppermint) pair well with lighter meals and deserts.
To summarise, there are many ways of enjoying alcoholic tea or tea spirits. These drinks cater to all seasons with a range of tastes and experiences.
If you are interested in having an alcoholic tea tasting experience, a “High Teaka” or a “Teaka Ceremony”, Contact Us. We specialise in tea experiences and would love to show you the wonders of this new world!
Melbourne, Australia, 14 April 2021 – Teaka, an Australian craft spirits producer, wins a Silver medal at the 4th London Spirits Competition for its Teaka Pekoe Berry Tea Spirit. The competition took place in London on March 17, 2021. The medal is an ultimate endorsement in the global spirits industry.
Teaka scored highly in the three judging aspects of quality, value and packaging. The company has been instrumental in creating a new “tea spirits” alcohol category over the past 18 months. These spirits are used for tea pairings with food, in tea spritzers and for making tea cocktails.
The London Spirits Competition stands apart from other spirits competitions by awarding spirits for their drinkability. Where most competitions focus solely on technical competence and distilling prowess, the London Spirits Competition goes further to evaluate a spirit for its all-around excellence – in the way it tastes, looks and the value it provides. They believe that this golden triangle makes spirit drinkers more likely to buy and drink the spirit either from a retail store or at a bar or restaurant and want to laud this.
CEO Sid Patel of event organizer Beverage Trade Network mentions that “Spirits brands consumers are looking for an-round experience when drinking a spirit. The spirit needs to hit all the right notes to be enjoyed again and again. So, at the London Spirits Competition, we evaluate spirits that contribute to a spirit’s overall drinkability. Along with the quality, spirits are assessed for their appearance and value.”
The judging panel of 2021 was drawn from leading spirits industry professionals with direct commercial buying responsibility. This establishes the winners of the competition to be agreeable to both the on-premise trade and to the consumer alike. Spirits were judged on the basis of three primary criteria – quality, value and packaging – and then scored on a 100-point scale. Spirits that scored 90+ points were awarded Gold medals, while spirits that scored 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals, Bronze medals were awarded to spirits that score between 65 & 75.
“The standard of judging, the opportunity to compete against thousands of excellent spirits from around the world and the stringent judging criteria of quality, value and packaging makes this award a highly coveted one. We are very pleased that our Teaka Tea Spirits performed so well with such stiff competition at the LSC.” said owner Craig Westcott. “This Silver medal demonstrates that our spirits are the kind that bar managers and mixologists want to stock and that spirits drinkers enjoy drinking.”
The Teaka spirit company is a craft producer of a double award winning natural alcoholic tea spirit. A light spirit, low sugar, low carbohydrates. Clean, light, refreshing. Designed for those who seek healthy living, yet still enjoy having a drink to relax. Tantalise your taste buds with Teaka Tea Spirits. Read our story or contact us. For more information see: www.teaka.life.
The pairing of wine and food has been around for a long time and is gaining in popularity. Demand for matching good food with good alcohol is growing and fine dining restaurants are turning to sommeliers to improve their menus. Recently we have seen leading restaurants focus on tea pairings with food – this is a relatively new concept. This article gives a basic guide to the exciting new area of food and alcoholic tea pairing.
Because of the range of teas out there, tea has a very diverse and complex flavour profile, more so than wine in fact. It is not surprising that different teas match very well with certain dishes. There is some science behind this matching. At the end of the day everybody is after an amazing taste experience, so the right pairings matter. Customers expect a full taste experience and it is becoming important for good restaurants to take this seriously.
What is alcoholic tea (or tea spirits)?
Alcoholic tea beverages have been appearing in the market in recent years. Most are pre-mix iced tea drinks or “hard teas”. They are getting popular after the trend in seltzers (or “hard seltzers”), a flavoured alcoholic sparkling water. In line with the growth of low alcohol beverages.
A tea spirit is emerging that is a light, low carbohydrate beverage. It is distinctive with a subtle complex flavour, similar to tea, but not overpowering such as gin. It is the base for Tea Spritzers, a low carb alcoholic iced tea aperatif. Tea spirits are also a sipping beverage for degustation platters. Typically, a flavour-rich experience with greater diversity than wine food pairing.
Tea spirits are produced by distilling alcohol and blending high grade tea and local botannicals in a carefully constructed recipe.
What are the tea spirit flavours?
Tea spirits are a light alcoholic drink that get their flavours from the teas and botannicals used in their production. Different teas are used for different spirits produced, each tea with its own taste profile. Tea spirits are therefore only limited by the number of teas and botannicals available, and the flavour profiles match those of the teas used.
In order to pair teas, we must be able to distinguish different teas from each other. “Similar to wine, a tea’s qualities can vary dramatically depending on where it’s grown – the weather, the soil – as well as how it’s processed,” mentions writer Megy Karydes. The Australian Tea Masters Association diagram below shows the vast range of taste profiles that exist with different teas. Aroma plays a large part in defining their taste profiles.
“The whole idea of pairing tea with food is that you should have a tea that’s going to enhance the flavor of the food, or vice versa. What you want to happen in your mouth is to feel the different layers of taste and flavors. It’s like a wine sommelier, giving you advice, depending on what kind of tea you want to drink, what time of the day it is, and what you’re eating,” says Aurelie Bessiere, a tea sommelier (NPR Report).
How to pair tea spirits with food
The aim of pairing food with tea spirits is to achieve a balance that enhances the flavour of the dish and the tea spirit. Tea sommelier, Anna Kydd, recommends that you start by matching the intensity of the dish and the tea. The major tea categories in increasing intensity include: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and dark.
In general the lighter the tea the more delicate/subtle the flavours, with black and dark teas having the deepest flavours with the highest tannin content or astringency. This is similar to white and red wines. In pairing tea spirits, the weight of the flavours of the dish must be matched against the tea intensity.
The next step is to find flavour notes that match or complement the food. For example a big flavoured dish such as a pork curry would require a tea spirit of similar intensity paired with it, based on a black tea or rooibos (red bush) tea. Then similar or complementary flavour notes need to be matched such as apple or cinnamon. Focusing on typical food pairings such as nuts and honey or ham and melon.
There are basic rules that should be followed as guides when pairing food and tea spirits. However, the best approach in the end will be to use your intuition and lots of experimentation. Your instincts and taste buds will give you the validation that you need.
Examples of tea spirit and food pairings
Here are a few examples of food and tea spirit pairings, by tea spirit type:
-> Fruit Blend is an English Breakfast black tea spirit with a lilt of fruit and lemon. It is richer and more tannic to the pallet. It matches perfectly with meal made from red meat (beef), tomatoes, garlic, herbs, pear and even some red wine sauce. Big, intense flavours.
-> Rooibos Lemon is made from Rooibos (Red Bush) tea and is spicy, woody, with a lively twist of cinnamon. It is a distinctive taste that complements a meal such as pork chops with apple sauce, green beans and red pepper.
-> Peppermint Cocoa has peppermint tea as is base ingredient. It has a minty note with a nutty aftertaste. For main meals, this pairs perfectly with a tasty lamb chop meal containing garlic, pepper and mashed potatoes. For desert, it is absolutely decadent with chocolate, cream and even Baileys!
-> Pekoe Berry is an award winning Orange Pekoe (black) tea spirit with an earthy, complex taste containing berry and cocoa notes. It’s richness is a fantastic complement to a chicken curry. It is also ideal as an aperatif before the meal, mixed with soda and lemonade.
-> Camomile Vanilla comes from Camomile tea, vanilla and honey. It’s floral, fruity tones blend themselves perfectly with mango, berries and sorbet. Or if you are feeling more decedent, why not enjoy them with scones, tarts or cake. Perhaps even as part of a “High Teaka”.
-> A product soon to be released will be a Green tea or Oolong based tea spirit. This will have a light vegetal flavour and will match very well with seafood, vegetables, rice and Asian food. Watch this space!
-> Finally, Tropical White tea spirit (coming soon!) will be designed for cheeses, salads and desserts.
Tea pairings are here to stay
The world of tea pairings has officially arrived and is here to stay, tea sommeliers are leading the way. The art is advancing quickly, with tea spirits now gaining in popularity. Given tea’s diversity of rich flavour profiles, it’s not surprising the people are looking for whole new taste experience extending on wine pairing. Tantalise your taste buds, you may get an unexpected surprise!
Welcome to the Teaka Tea Spirits 2020 year in review. Great to have you part of our community! Teaka is the world’s first craft producer of alcoholic Tea Spirits (tea vodka). Based in Melbourne Australia, we are dedicated to the production of natural handcrafted alcoholic tea beverages.
After 18 months of research, we launched Teaka and released our first products in spring 2020. And what a year to get started! 2020 was a year of massive uncertainty, change and adaptation for everybody. Covid-19’s global spread has wreaked havoc on every part of the earth. It has brought home to us the mortality of the human race. Nonetheless it wasn’t a bad year to start our journey.
Benefit of Time
One of the benefits that has come out of 2020 is time. The Coronavirus pandemic has given us precious time to spend with our loved ones. Time to get back to the basics, to remind ourselves of what really matters in life, and to let our creative juices flow! Many new ideas emerged during 2020 because people have had downtime. What a joy it is to explore new hobbies, to read more books and to play more games.
Teaka was born with the sole purpose of bringing joy to the world by revitalising taste buds in a natural way. To bring the wonderfully subtle yet refreshing taste of tea to the alcohol world. We wanted people to thoroughly enjoy the taste of a clean spirit – the same way that they enjoy the fresh taste of tea – and to have fun in the process. The nexus between clean living and fun loving all in one.
What a Year!
2020 was a whirlwind for Teaka. During the year we moved from researching products, recipes and tastes into production. We launched the Teaka brand officially early in the year and, after our years of research, got good feedback from the market. Tastings, survey groups and more tinkering, allowed us to settle on our first couple of recipes. At that point we knew that we had the foundations in place to share fun and happiness with the community through taste.
Then came the challenges of sourcing equipment, stock and ingredients… during Covid when everything was in lock down! Nothing was easy nor fast. Every order was online, required a sample, and was delayed weeks (even months) due to shipping delays. Slowly we sourced what we needed and were able to bring the pieces together. Eventually we ere able to launch our first two Teaka products – Peppermint Cocoa and Pekoe Berry.
It wasn’t too long after that, in the last quarter, that we were able to launch our third product – Camomile Vanilla. This was followed by the release of our Fruit Blend product very late in the year. Quite an achievement and super exciting to bring a totally new alcoholic “Tea Spirits” category to the market! Pure passion represented in a delectably tasting new tea vodka drink.
Our first year also saw Teaka appear in a number of stores and restaurants in Melbourne. We are now working with lovely partners who share our passion for Teaka’s refreshing tastes and aspire to clean living. We are thoroughly enjoying working with key retailers and wholesalers including Dan Murphy’s and Kaddy, and are loving working with our precious customers.
The Silver Lining – Medal Winner!
And then there was a massive silver lining to end the year… In December we decided to submit one of our products, Pekoe Berry, to the Asia International Spirits Competition judged in Hong Kong. The competition is highly competitive, against leading global spirits, and it is judged by experienced trade buyers across the Asian region and globally. A good opportunity to get honest feedback and brand profile.
We are super excited to share that our product was awarded a medal in the flavoured vodka category! See: Asia International Spirits Competition 2020 Results. An amazing achievement to cap off a very busy year. Really excited about 2021 and the opportunity to share joy and fun with the world through natural refreshing tastes.
2021 – awareness, tastings & presence
Our focus for 2021 is to drive awareness, to give our customers more tasting opportunities and to create a presence in the market. Awareness is our biggest priority, however as important is to give those customers the opportunity to taste our products. We know from experience that if customers hear about Teaka and taste our products, then the rest will look after itself.
We welcome any opportunity to get in front of fun loving people. Give us a shout if you know anybody who would like a tasting and we will gladly assist. Really looking forward to an exciting 2021, to sharing it with you all.
Feel free to connect with us if you have any questions at all. You can follow us on our Social Networking groups at: