There’s something completely comforting about a hot cuppa, whether it’s a blended brew of the finest coffees to start your day, or a strong mug of tea that gets you ready to face just about anything the world can throw your way.

Slo-Jo, creator of tailor-made taste sensations for some of South Africa’s leading restaurant chains, has noticed that variations of teas and coffees are hot and trendy at the moment – but that there’s so much more to the two favourite brews than there used to be.

Chrissy Beedle, Slo-Jo’s Executive Manager of Research and Product Development, says that both beverages are firm South African favourites – but in true South African style, we love shaking things up a bit!

“Ice tea is a firm favourite in South Africa, but we’ve noticed that consumers are choosing sugar-free products,” she says. “That’s why we’ve introduced our range of sugar-free iced teas, which are available in leading restaurants. Slo-Jo also has a range of iced tea concentrates and ready-to-pour teas available in various flavours that help outlets keep up with customer trends.

“We have also added another twist to this range with a delicious Ice Tea Crush, which we think will be especially popular in our hot climate,” she adds.

 

Other top trends in tea and coffee include:

  • Matcha tea is a Japanese legacy that’s become a global trend. Matcha tea enhances your metabolism, helps reduce stress, boosts your immune system, lowers your cholesterol, and is a cancer-fighter. This tea is different to regular green tea because entire leaves are dissolved in water, so instead of throwing tea bags away, you drink in all the goodness. Slo-Jo recently translated the global health trend and created a taste experience that’s exclusively available at Mugg & Bean in a milkshake, refreshing smoothie crush, or a steamed milk drink.
  • With Berry, Peach and Lemon iced teas available in leading restaurants, the next flavourful step to creating tea-based cocktails is a logical one. Playing around with the cool flavours, along with complementary fruit, herbs and flavoured or plain spirits is a fabulous idea. If you prefer virgin cocktails, you could try a Vanilla and Chai Long Island Iced Tea, for example, based on Lemon Iced Tea and enhanced with Vanilla and Chai syrups.
  • While there’s no doubt that pure coffee is a gift straight from the gods, there’s no harm in adding a bit of variety to the nuances it offers. How about adding some complementary flavours to your favourite coffee blends – such as a shot of cinnamon, macadamia or vanilla to add some va-va-voom to your early-morning kick-start?
  • While coffee is our daily hero, it can play a supporting role too. Adding a shot of coffee to hot chocolate or even warm almond milk adds more personality to your firm favourite.
  • Rooibos tea’s reputation for being a healthy choice was given an added boost when redespresso® became popular, and Slo-Jo has taken this wonderful idea a step further by adding popular natural additives to create something new. Why not try a redespresso® Crush, which is made with coconut milk concentrate?

“Don’t forget that we feast with our eyes as much as we do with our taste-buds,” says Chrissy. “You should put as much effort into planning the presentation of your drink as you do into perfecting the balance of flavours. Achieving this balance will keep your customers coming back for more, as each beverage will be a celebration of all the great things we associate with teas and coffees – whoever we are.”