Yolk presents Bumble x Bird & Blend Tea Co mocktail class
Did you catch my June roundup? If not, it’s here.
Back now? Great stuff. So, you’ll know about my recent creative endeavours then – jewellery making at Oliver Bonas and, pottery with Trekstock.
I’ve been keen to carry on with these sort of activities because it feels so satisfying to have something to take home at the end! So, earlier this week I attended a tea-infused mocktail workshop.
Let’s get on to the event (FYI – I only had my 45mm lens with me so the photos are all a bit up close and personal!).
It was hosted by Yolk and BumbleBizz. For those of you unfamiliar with the platform, BumbleBizz launched in 2017. It’s another arm of their established dating app, but rather than finding love (or something of that variety…) the app enables you to network, swipe style.
As well as meeting via the app, BumbleBizz host informal networking events in major cities. Some will cost you (like the recent events with Emma Gannon) and others, like this one, are completely free. We were told to have the app on our phones although it wasn’t actually checked.
Bird & Blend Tea Co
Bird & Blend Tea is a fairly new addition to Manchester’s Northern Quarter – they set up camp four months ago and you’ll find them nestled between the independents that line Church Street. It’s safe to say they look right at home.
They call themselves a tea mixology company which sounds rather intriguing and sciency!
The business began life in a Brighton bedroom and has grown to seven stores and regular festival popup appearances.
You could say they’re working towards world domination – one cup of loose leaf at a time! And yet, there’s no hint of forgetting their roots as the entire range continues to be blended and packaged by hand.
After introductions, and a little tour, it was time to learn how to blend our own tea. The end-goal? Something unique with layers of flavour!
The process was simple really – adding tea leaves to a little brown pouch (that was sealed and labelled once we’d finished). Choosing our flavour combinations, however, was tricky!
So much choice!
A three to one ratio is key. You take one scoop of your chosen base (Mate, white, green, chamomile, rooibos, hibiscus or black) and mix (blend) it with three scoops of flavouring.
After some (much) deliberation, I opted for a white tea base (I liked the sound of its virtuous properties) and I paired it with rose petals, dried lime, and cardamom.
There are no run-of-the-mill teas on offer here. We had a little smelling session, and they even have tea that’s reminiscent of foamy bananas!
We got a cute tote bag, which (along with a notepad) included a few tea bag samples: ‘Dozy Girl’ – Chamomile, lavender, rose; ‘Morning Kick’ – Yerba Mate, lemon, and ginger; ‘Triple B’ – Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan black.
Shake, shake, shake
Once we were done, our creations were packaged up by the lovely Sarah (not me!), and it was time to move onto tea-based mocktails.
We could choose any of the iced teas on the menu and rustled up mojito-style, desert-esque strawberries and cream, and the more classic (iced) Earl Grey.
This was the exciting bit! You start with a tea concentrate (that’s tea intensely brewed and left to cool) add syrup, water, and ice. Then you shake it up with all you’ve got (obviously, we did some rude looking Boomerangs – how could we not).
Why you should pay them a visit
If you don’t like tea then it’s probably not going to be your (tea) bag (sorry, I just couldn’t resist).
But let’s assume that you’re onboard with it. The traditionalists amongst us may scoff at the exotic variants (or more specifically the lack of English Breakfast), but these guys are Mixologists.
What else? Well, iced tea is a vastly different drinking experience. Perfect for the heatwave and apparently, in the fruity blends, it’s quite alright to add a drop of Gin or Vodka (you like the sound of that, don’t you!).
The shop itself is so easy on the eye. Industrial shelving? Check. Repurposed wooden crates? Check. Big hunky bar as a centerpiece? It’s waiting for you. I particularly love the sizeable tins lined up like spirits behind a bar.
Bird & Blend Tea is also a good call if you’re stuck for a last-minute present. The packaging is cheery with colourful labels, and teacups, pots, and brewing apparatus are also on offer (as well as… lovely tea).
Want to find out more about them? Check out their gorgeous Instagram feed (@birdandblendtea)
I don’t think you’ll regret a visit… I’ll see you there.
Are you a tea traditionalist? Or happy to give something new a chance?