Bridging the Gap Between Tea and Coffee

Talking Tea Workshop-19

At Talking Tea we’ve long wanted to explore the seemingly deep divide between tea and coffee, and between tea drinkers and coffee drinkers. But lately we’ve come to realize that the divide might not be very deep at all, and that there might be more similarities between the two beverages, and the two communities, than we ever imagined.  

To help us look at how the gap between coffee and tea is already being bridged, we’re chatting with Nate Cochran of Spirit Tea. Part of Spirit’s focus is the introduction of high quality specialty tea to the coffee roasters and cafes, and Nate himself has worked in third wave coffee as well as in specialty tea.

Nate chats with us about his background in coffee and tea, about Spirit’s focus and how they create accessible tea menus for coffee environments. We discuss differences and similarities between tea and coffee from the perspective of process, oxidation, terroir and cultivar, but mostly from the perspective of flavor and aroma. We look at what flavor profiles in tea may attract coffee drinkers and how tea drinkers can approach coffee. And we talk about how  education and community propelled the success of third wave coffee, and how they’re crucial for the success of tea as well.

Spirit Tea’s website, including its online store, is at  

Photo of Nate Cochran talking tea and coffee during Talking Tea’s February 2018 workshop, at Pilgrim Roasters in Philadelphia, courtesy of Jeremy Zimmerman.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.   

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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.

This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” ( by mpgiiiBEATS ( available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license ( Adapted from original.

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