Noveltea drink launches a new twist on afternoon tea

An entrepreneurial duo have put a new spin on traditional tea with the successful launch of NOVELTEA, following help from TEDCO Business Support and a £50,000 loan from Virgin StartUp.

NOVELTEA, which hit the market in April 2017 and launched at the prestigious Fenwicks Food Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne, is the brainchild of Vincent Efferoth and Lukas Passia.  The pair are graduates from Newcastle University and decided that the time was right for tea to get its own alcoholic makeover. 

With a quirky spin on tradition and driven by a passion for mixology, NOVELTEA founders Vincent Efferoth and Lukas Passia developed their innovative new alcoholic drink of cold-brewed tea infused with a matching spirit of either gin or rum; ideal for enjoying with afternoon tea or as a gin and tonic replacement in the early evenings.

Inspired by tea stories from around the world and named after eccentric tea tales, NOVELTEA launched with two distinct flavours; The Tale of Tangier and The Tale of Earl Grey.

The Tale of Tangier, is an infusion of Moroccan green mint tea with Caribbean rum to deliver hints of exotic fruit and floral citrus notes, whilst The Tale of Earl Grey infuses Earl Grey tea with British gin and hand-selected botanicals to deliver a distinctively smooth and rich taste. 

Vincent Efferoth, co-founder of NOVELTEA comments:

“To enhance the taste of tea, we cold-brew The Tale of Earl Grey and The Tale of Tangier for up to 12 hours in order to develop its smooth taste. This process draws out all the distinctive flavours without causing some of the bitter notes that can be associated with tea. Cold-brewing also produces lower levels of caffeine by extracting more antioxidants than hot-brewed processes.”

Looking back on their journey to acquire the perfect blend, fellow co-founder Lukas Passia says,

“For those looking for something a bit different, NOVELTEA presents a twist in the way one enjoys afternoon tea. We hope some of the fun behind the taste of each tale comes through when our drinks are enjoyed during afternoon tea in quirky places.”

NOVELTEA is enjoying a burst of interest from premium retailers looking to be early adopters of this new drink.  Having captured the attention of trendy bars, 5-Star establishments and artisan food halls, NOVELTEA launched in Fenwick Newcastle on 1st April 2017 as its first retail partner.

Robin Winterschladen, Wine & Spirit Buyer, at Fenwick Newcastle, says:

“NOVELTEA presents a very unusual but on trend proposition with its alcoholic tea blends, as the UK is a dynamic market for gin, rum and tea. We are delighted to be the first retailer to stock NOVELTEA within our flagship store.”  

Efferoth & Passia have ambitious plans for NOVELTEA to hit global supply by 2021.  Officially launching at Fenwick Newcastle, the pair plan to distribute NOVELTEA to 4* and 5* hotels, as well as premium bars, restaurants and other artisan food outlets.

Originally from Germany and having lived in the UK, Efferoth and Passia experienced the British fascination for craft beers and spirits as well as deeply rooted afternoon tea traditions. Afternoon tea was a completely new experience for the pair and upon delving into the popularity of Champagne and Prosecco as accompaniments for afternoon tea, they were surprised that there were no alcoholic tea blends currently on the market. 

Vincent Efferoth and Lukas Passia’s passion for mixology and desire to push boundaries in terms of taste and tradition has resulted in the development of The Tale of Earl Grey and The Tale of Tangier alcoholic tea blends (11% abv to offer a fresh perspective on the 165 million cups of tea consumed every day. 

The NOVELTEA business received a boost following help and guidance from TEDCO Business Support, assisting the duo in successfully applying for a Virgin StartUp loan of £50,000 to help fund the launch costs of such a unique business.  

Bill Hartshorne, business advisor at TEDCO Business Support comments:

“Vincent and Lukas are natural entrepreneurs and share the passion and drive it takes to really make NOVELTEA a runaway success. TEDCO was able to support them with help and assistance in applying for one of the low-cost, government-backed business loans offered by Virgin StartUp. As the exclusive delivery partner in the North East for Virgin StartUp, we are able to help businesses get investment ready and apply for capital with Virgin StartUp to help meet some of the initial launch costs associated with a business.

“In the case of NOVELTEA I have every confidence that the business will go on to succeed with Vincent and Lukas at the helm and I wish them the very best of luck in the future.”