Have you heard of Blue Monday? This year it falls on 15 January and is apparently the most difficult or depressing day of the year. Instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s flip this and make it an occasion to reach out to your loved ones, friends or even neighbours and make it ‘Brew Monday’. It also doesn’t have to be a Monday; any time of the week could be ‘Brew Day’ and a chance to warm up and connect over a cuppa.
Excuse to go out
Make this an occasion to go out and try different cafés, and of course including a cheeky slice of cake. Look for independent businesses or local bakeries to support. Also, try different things from the menu, such as unusual teas or a chai latte (an Indian spiced tea, mostly quite sweet). Arrange your meeting dates as often as weekly or monthly, taking turns with your friends in choosing a place.
Cuppa to impress
If you are inviting someone over and they have never had plant-based drink, oat milk is the most versatile. ‘Alpro This is Not Milk Whole Oat’ is extra creamy and works well not only in tea but also coffee. Most oat milks, however, would be ideal for ‘beginners’ – especially the whole or barista-style options.
Sometimes soya milk curdles in hot drinks, and can look very unappetising. Have you ever wondered why? Often it is to do with different temperatures; soya milk from the fridge does not like hot black coffee! A milk steamer might help but curdling may still happen if the temperature is too high. Sometimes it is to do with the acidity of the drink; coffees can have a low pH level and that causes the proteins in soya milk to split. While it is great if you are making vegan ‘buttermilk’ pancakes, it is less desirable in your cuppa.
In addition, have more options available for your guests, such as different blends of coffees and teas. Also, there are various decaffeinated drinks available, including Rooibos – red bush tea, jasmine green tea, and vanilla chai. Dust off your teapot and share the experience.
Make it fun
You can organise a tea tasting session at your home guessing the flavours, or even via video call as a fun activity with your brew-loving friends. There are games that you could buy in shops or online, anything from movie trivia to sliding coasters across the table. Local social spaces, knit and natter groups or lunch clubs are all awesome places to enjoy a cuppa and giggle with likeminded people.
What to dunk?
It’s unthinkable to share a brew without a little treat alongside. Our favourites include Lotus Biscoff; lovely, bitesize crunchy caramel tasting biscuits that make safe dunkers. Also, ginger biscuits are especially nice on colder days. Always reliable are Bourbon creams, Hobnobs and digestives too.
If your guests give you a little notice, why not bake some nibbles from our online recipe bank?
Nothing can beat homemade shortbread.
If you fancy cake but are short of time, all you need is a microwave-safe mug (check on the bottom of the mug) and a microwave to make a chocolate mug cake.
Another super quick and great-looking bake is this puff pastry tartlet.
Make someone’s day by calling them or inviting them to visit. Tell them you have been thinking about them and you would like to know how they have been doing – then put the kettle on!