Our creative director Christophe Reissfelder is a self confessed coffee snob and flavour connoisseur. James Bailey is the industry authority on coffee and all round flavour expert. When the two met there was an instant connection over their shared love of plants and extraction techniques.
Here Christophe shares the inspiration behind some of our most groundbreaking drinks whilst James provides a unique sensory evaluation of them.
I created these drink because …
CR: I wanted to make an isotonic drink that meant carefully balancing the salt and sugar content. The idea came from looking at the refreshing traditional drinks across the world and took inspiration from raw cane juice and how it is used to hydrate in hot countries usually served with a little salt added for preservation and flavour.
JB: This was just amazing. Again, good old shake to reincorporate the carbon and get a more uniform colour - the grey ghostly character is very cool, but imagine it might not turn everyone on. What had me hooked on this was the balance was struck fantastically well with the sweetness, acidity and saline character. I know that salt is added, but I feel like it was a more natural salted character, maybe the cane juice imparts a little. The lemon and yuzu were more than simply lending acidity, but had a candied and perfumed character, that I wasn't expecting from the appearance of the drink.
CR: I created this drink because I wanted to work with the Umeboshi plum, from my travels in Japan I had always loved this flavour. I read about its renowned tonic properties and started with an Umeboshi tea with some honey. When I ran it past the team someone commented that it looked like coca-cola so I started experimenting with the kola nut. Always wanting to give our drinks an edge I was taken by the stimulating properties of the Kola nut.
JB: Initial aromas when the drink is taken into the mouth have dried flower / violet notes. Beautiful levels of vanilla padding out and giving a bit of luxury depth to the bright, vivid cleansing tones of ginger and lime. The tart lime becomes almost mentholic or like wintergreen in the finish - can become a little drying. Despite not being sparkling there is an effervescence given the intensity and character of acid. Sticking your nose in the bottle you get a totally different experience. Resinous pine sap aromas come out with a slight plasticine note which reminded me of the nail varnish note you can sometimes pick up in really vivid Reislings.
CR: Amelia’s a huge fan of ingested hydrolysed collagen in her work as a nutritional therapist mainly for its impact on gut health. I have been pioneering the use of a berry called shisandra for sometime and really wanted to create a recipe that showcased its complex flavour profile and compliments the delicate floral notes.
JB: Really amazing saline backbone (potentially the sugar cane?) with an almost briney quality that supports the lipsmacking sugariness which is very candied like boiled sweets. Acid very intense and refreshing and balances sweetness very well. Can slightly dry the tongue in the finish, inhibiting a long aromatic finish. Cooked lemon / lemon curd character and some sweet potato / yam notes. Really beautiful clean grapefruit aromas. More focussed in flavour - complexity added by slight woodsy notes from the grapefruit and especially when crunching the fine schisandra sediment.