You know me I love a bit of retail therapy so when I am out and about I like to meet up with my Grandma in Newcastle and we usually pop into Fenwick’s Food Hall to Mason + Rye for afternoon tea. When an invitation appeared in my mailbox for the launch of Noveltea hosted by Mason & Rye I was delighted to head along and find out what it was all about.
Noveltea is a new concept of an alcoholic beverage with a tea base, designed to replace the glass of bubbly with your afternoon tea and available first in the Food Hall at Fenwick.
Made in the heart of the City in Pilgrim Street by two young (and handsome) German men; Vincent and Lukas, who like so many students before them arrived from Cologne and couldn’t resist the draw of the Geordie welcome (and the beer of course) so decided to stay. They were enchanted by the British afternoon tea concept and couldn’t understand why there wasn’t an alcoholic tea to compliment the delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones.
A few chemistry experiments later and support from Newcastle University’s Rise Up Foundation, they have developed not one but two new tea based alcoholic beverages which are the perfect accompaniment to any afternoon tea or can simply be drank on their own over ice. Both are 11% so reasonably equivalent to a glass of fizz.
The first Noveltea; Tale of Tangier, is inspired by travels to Morocco and is a Green Mint Tea and Spiced Rum based drink (my personal favourite). Using citrus hints and aromatic spices the guys have really brought an essence of flavours reminiscent of the tastes of this fabulously exotic North African country.
Closer to home and we all know the Geordies love a brew; Tale of Earl Grey, paying homage to our own local hero. With Gin at the forefront of this magnificent black tea infused with botanicals, it delivers a wonderfully rich and distinctive flavour.
The drinks were served and copious amounts of sampling began perfectly accompanied by Mason + Rye’s, as always, superb sandwich and cake selections.
Talking to Lukas there has evidently been a lot of testing of their beverages to get the flavours exactly right! The two entrepreneurs have clearly enjoyed their voyage of discovery and entered into a wonderful new world of mixology. This is reflected in the design of their bottle which is a contemporary twist on an olde world which fits their market perfectly. They have brought a modern and quirky vibe to a British tradition and have certainly put lots of thought and effort into their branding and marketing and even more importantly delivered on the taste of their product. Their enthusiasm is effervescent and you can’t help but be drawn into their passion for their blossoming venture.
I wish them every success for the future and will certainly be looking to add one or two of their tipples to my future afternoon teas with my Grandma.