Welcome to my new dating series! Unique Date Ideas will review and showcase a range of interesting date suggestions which involve more than a nice meal and a drink. Here I will be sharing my experience at Bird and Blend Tea Co: Tea Mixology Workshop.
Please note: Me and my partner were invited to this event in exchange for a review.
Bird and Blend’s London Borough store sits around the corner from the market and offers a relaxing retreat from the city’s bustle and noise. Inside the brand’s Borough store, besides the colourful walls featuring an assortment of teas, you will find a beach theme with deck chairs and a beach canvas, next to the tea cocktail making bar at the back.
Founded in 2012, Bird and Blend Tea Co. is an independent company reimagining our notion of tea. Initially set up in the bedroom of Krisi and Mike, Bird and Blend now has multiple retail stores across the UK as well as an international online store. In addition to selling teas, gifts and tools, the company has a very popular Tea Mixology Workshop where you can learn the art of tea making and create your own blends.
While I consider myself a coffee addict, I’ve long held a particular romanticism over tea. From enjoying afternoon tea to drinking Matcha during my ongoing health stints. As a child, I remember picking up fruit teas at a particular tea shop and trying to convince my mother I was going to use up the whole packet (I had many short, childhood phases).
With that in mind, I was intrigued to learn more and perhaps discover new teas to replace my standard cupboard peppermint. Although my partner doesn’t drink tea at all, I wanted to bring him along to see what impact the workshop could have.
What to Expect from the Tea Mixology Workshop:
As we arrived, we were instantly greeted with a warm welcome and led to the back of the store where we could choose our first tea cocktail from the menu. We both chose ‘The Wobbly Unicorn’; a ‘blue brew with a gin twist, topped with a zingy hint of lemon’. With our drinks being made, together me and my partner selected 10 different teas to taste later on.
The first-part of the workshop involved the store’s manager, Emma, going through the different teas and herbs, explaining their origin, health benefits, how they are made and ideal brewing temperatures. During this, we kept drinking tea cocktails (unlimited) and played games which tested our knowledge. The first game involved matching the different teas to their correct labels. Embarrassingly, my non-tea drinking boyfriend did a better job. Neither of us had heard of Pu’erh, Mate or Rooibos tea before.
Once we’d gained some tea wisdom, we had a short break before the second part of the evening: the tasting and making. We sampled our 10 selected teas and then attempted to make three of our own blends. My most creative: Rose petals, coconut, goji berry and lavender.
No matter how tasty the teas or how beautiful the aesthetic, the success of a workshop revolves around the hosts. Luckily, the team at Bird & Blend were passionate, enthusiastic and extremely well-informed. I could tell they genuinely love the brand and enjoy what they do. Their energy helped the tea mixology workshop stay entertaining.
In terms of the teas themselves, I was amazed at the many different tea types and names. Everything from ‘Fruit Salad’, ‘Chocolate Digestive’ and ‘Birthday Cake’ to ‘Moondrop Dreams’ and ‘Honeycomb Cookie Doh!’. I also didn’t realise the many cocktails you can make with tea – no longer will I instantly think of a Long Island.
Overall, me and my partner both really enjoyed the experience. The Tea Mixology workshop hasn’t made us tea connoisseurs but we certainly have opened our eyes to the world of tea and learnt the basics of tea creation. I liked the Bird & Blend flavours I sampled (my favourite being Birthday Cake) and would be open to swapping my usual coffee intake with some of them.
Would I change anything?
For tea lovers, I can’t imagine it gets much better! Not only do you get to sip on Instagram-worthy tea cocktails, you have the opportunity to taste a wide range of products and then take home your own custom blends. What’s more perfect? For curious novices like me however, there were moments where I felt slightly overwhelmed.
I would have preferred for instance, to have learnt more about the different types of teas before selecting 10 from the shelf to sample later. When we reached the sampling stage, it seemed like a lot of teas to try in a short amount of time. My taste buds became slightly confused.
Value as a unique date idea:
Going on a date and being able to order a ‘Hot Spiced Strudel’ cocktail which contains an Apple Strudel tea blend – that alone makes this date idea valuable!
As a serial dater (I’ve had my fair share), I’ve come to learn just how important location is. Too fancy and you can’t relax; too informal and it doesn’t feel like a date. The perfect location requires an atmosphere and ideally, a conversational focus. Rather than discussing whether to order steak or fish, the Tea Mixology Workshop let’s you share your favourite desserts (we did this in detail when choosing what teas to sample).
If going to a workshop as a first date, you can be comfortable you won’t have awkward silences. The workshop lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes – plenty of time to spend together. As a couple, it’s also lovely – it sticks out in memory compared to the usual bars and cocktail places me and my partner book.
Considering the unlimited drinks, knowledge and experience of making tea blends, I would say the workshop provides value for money.
Good to Know:
- The workshops take place in the evening and costs £40 per person.
- The tea cocktails are unlimited throughout the duration (alcohol is optional).
- Every attendee receives a goody bag tote filled with tea samples and recipe cards.
- All evening, you receive 10% off everything in store.
Interested to book or learn more, visit Bird & Blend Tea Co. and check out via social media: