Southern Hemisphere Taste Buds are joyous and jumping with anticipation as winter approaches, bringing with it a multitude of hot bevvy options to enjoy.
For centuries, taste buds across the globe have chosen coffee and tea as their preferred hot beverage to indulge in, becoming a diet staple in most cultures to this day.
So, imagine if a scan of your cupboard revealed it was bare of both coffee and tea? Your taste buds would eventually recover from the shock, then urge you to forget those bad arse brews, acknowledge their many flaws, and consider the alternatives! Of which there are many. Both good, and not so flash!
The preparation of tea and coffee has traditionally been embellished by elaborate ritual, thus adding to the experience and enjoyment of partaking in their pleasures. Take for example the Japanese Tea Making Ceremony. In response to the pace of life, these processes have been simplified for quick fixes and some of the alluring attributes of being a coffee or tea drinker, sadly lost.
We are evolving as a species of caffeine obsessed, tight jawed, white as sheets, wide-eyed addicts, clenching our steering wheels in ridiculously long queues, awaiting daily fixes of mediocre offers of skinny long macs topped up.
The tres chic café “to be seen” scene, can also wear thin as one endures nonchalant wait-staff, Barista bravado and spikey prices for 250mls of a precious and rare blend which boasts beans from forbidden Nepalese mountains, ground freshly by the very hooves of an endangered and mystical yak, carefully transported across treacherous seas to the door step of your favourite corner café on the trendiest street in your neighbourhood! Yum.
So, sometimes it’s nice to know there are alternative drinks to warm you up from the inside out which will also provide an opportunity to come-down, detox and sample the experience of an unexpected hot drink ceremony that will reinvigorate your taste buds and their faith in you.
A trip down supermarket lane opens your mind to the gifts you can bestow your buds! Forget the coffee and tea, chocolate dinks are all the way for me!
Growing up, my family members would coincidently unite in the middle of the night to scoff dry Milo by the dessert spoonful. Our Family size tins of Milo were not long for this world, quietly awaiting their demise, cold and all alone in the darkness, trapped inside the pantry walls.
Grown up now (somewhat), I don’t dare risk bringing it home, and, if ever my eyes should meet with The Tin as I pass it by in the supermarket, I will be sure to swiftly shift my gaze and quick step past to (quite insincerely) refocus on the Ovaltine.
Australia’s greatest invention, Milo, is best served however, with warm milk and the perfect accompaniment to a sandwich for an after school snack for the whole family. It’a a simple combination of milk and Milo, heated in the microwave. Of course, I prefer to heat the milk then add the milo afterwards, enabling a two course experience- a mildly chocolate flavoured warm milk beneath a gloriously high tower of unadulterated chocolate Milo powder.
Horlicks, a malted milk, is another hot beverage which may also tickle your taste buds. In 1873 English Born Pharmacist James Horlicks joined his brother to manufacture the malted barley, wheat and powdered milk product, initially marketed as infant food. “Horlicks” resembles the sound of the profanity “bollocks” and is now engrained in the English vernacular as an acceptable substitute. To avoid an awkward situation, perhaps steer clear of ordering Horlicks whilst abroad.
Taste buds- pack your weeny suitcases as we head off to The Netherlands where a taste sensation awaits us. Hot milk and liquorice flavoured herb, anise, combine with sugar to produce Anijsmelk which is sipped on the ice-skating rinks of the north. This hot drink is a healthy choice too. Anise will ease stomach pains, prevent bad breath as well as ward off coughs. While Anise may not be available at your local supermarket, trips to the Netherlands ex Perth start from $1,358 return. Small tablets which are called Anijsbokjes can also be purchased online.
Kraft, cows and founder of Bonox, Camron Thomas, have a lot to answer for. Unbelievably, there is still a market for this hot beef flavoured paste from 1918, which was quite the rage in its’ day and, to this day, is primarily used as a drink. I think I can find better ways to spend the $6.05 for a 230gm jar from Coles and personally, have no interest or inclination to experiment with Bonox in solid or liquid forms. Perhaps it has other unorthodox uses keeping it on our shelves – paint, putty, nugget or camouflage?
There are countless other options to trial as alternatives to Coffee and Tea including Quick and Ovaltine, not to mention the mulled and flaming alcoholic variety that will really get your tastebuds jumping!
So if you “went to the cupboard and the cupboard was bare”, explore the alternatives and give your tastebuds a surprise or a scare!