Green Alert, a new proprietary blend of fair trade organic coffee and tea, keeps caffeine drinkers energetic all day.
When I first heard about Green Alert I was skeptical. Very, very skeptical. My love affair with coffee and my newfound appreciation for tea have rarely intersected, and I’ve never once considered mixing the two. Nonetheless, the idea piqued my interest and I reached out to them for a review sample.
I received both versions of the product that Green Alert is raising money on Kickstarter to get to market: Primal and Refresh. Primal is a mix of Wulu Green Tea and a darkly roasted Sumatran Coffee, while Refresh combines Moroccan Mint Tea with Ethiopian coffee – also roasted dark. I’m not the biggest fan of dark roasts in the first place, and combining that with loose-leaf tea just seemed like a horrible idea to me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Lucas Rayala invented Green Alert the way all great things are invented: by messing around. One morning he decided to mix his morning coffee grounds with green tea in a French Press, and after a self-described “tentative sip” he was hooked. Even better – he didn’t experience the seemingly-inevitable afternoon caffeine crash, nor was he jittery throughout his workday.
He began experimenting with different coffees and various types of tea, inviting friends over to taste and give feedback. Pretty soon, he found some killer combos and wanted to share his findings.
On his company’s Kickstarter page, Lucas talks about why he believes Green Alert is so effective, but yields differing results from drinking coffee or tea independently. “When you combine coffee and green tea,” he writes, “you actually get more caffeine than your regular brew. Green tea also contains a substance called theanine. Caffeine and theanine are the key ingredients in typical energy drinks like Redbull, but Green Alert is made from organic, fair trade ingredients without any preservatives or additives — an energy drink you can feel good about drinking.”
An energy drink you can feel good about drinking.
He also goes on to talk about the antioxidants found in Green Alert, and the health benefits associated with both coffee and tea, including improved memory, lower cholesterol, and improved blood flow.
I was able to try both the Primal and the Refresh blends. Because I’m just dipping my toe into the world of tea, I shared them with a close friend who’s been a tea drinker his entire life. Surprisingly, our notes were very close.
Lucas recommends brewing Green Alert at about 180ºF in a French Press with a 3.5 minute steep time. In our tests, we found that closer to 200ºF worked just as well and that you can play around with the steep time to taste.
I expected that while brewing Green Alert I would experience neither coffee nor tea – I figured that the smells and flavor profile would be a new beverage that I would either love or hate. Quite frankly, I expected to hate it.
The reality was exactly the opposite. While brewing, both the Primal and the Refresh smelled like you were simply brewing coffee and tea right next to each other. The Primal specifically gave off both the smell of fresh dark coffee, and the light freshness of green tea all at once, yet these odors complimented and danced around each other in a most pleasant way.
The actual flavor of Green Alert was similar; while I expected a brand-new beverage that would perhaps have elements of coffee and tea, I found that both taste profiles were completely whole in my cup. I could taste the dark Sumatran – which was clearly roasted well – as well as the Wulu Green Tea all at once, and neither flavor crowded or influenced the other. I can’t express how surprised I was to discover this, and how happy it made me!
The Refresh was much the same. I’ve never been a big mint person, but I found the Moroccan Mint Tea to be as subtle as it was tasty, and a perfect compliment to Ethiopian dark roast. It was refreshing, crisp, and full of flavor.
I wasn’t able to test Green Alert using other brew methods, and I’m curious how a paper filter might impact the final taste results. Using an immersion brew method like the inverted Aeropress or the Clever Drip Brewer would be something worth looking into – though I suspect a big reason the French Press works so well is due to the nature of brewing tea. Nonetheless, I look forward to experimenting with Green Alert more – and perhaps that, more than anything, shows that I’m sold.
I don’t think my expectations have ever been proven more wrong than they were with Green Alert. On top of that, in no way was it an acquired taste. If you like coffee and you like tea, you’re going to like Green Alert – it’s as easy as that. Lucas Rayala and his team have seemingly done the impossible – they’ve managed to do both coffee and tea justice simultaneously. The result is a beverage that exceeds expectations and – according to their findings – leaves you without jitters or a crash.
I pledged money to Green Alert’s Kickstarter campaign, and I encourage you to as well. They are good people with a great product, and they aren’t asking for much. As of this writing they have 16 days to go and have already reached almost 80% of their goal. I hope that you’ll help them get to 100%.
The Coffee Guy