Nothing beats a great cup of tea - except if it’s High Tea, served aboard the Aspen Crossing Railway! Enjoy a traditional elegant pastime; fine china, fancy finger foods and some great company!
The New Hydration Movement
There’s a hot new beverage that’s gaining in popularity the world over. It has the Millennials digging into its history, where it comes from, how it’s grown, processed, blended. Is it ethical? What impact does all this have on the world? All this before the world tea consumer gets down to ingredient combinations, flavour blends and benefits. But really, tea is just gaining a new found respect despite its benefits being available for centuries.
Best Keep Your Leaves Loose
For many of us, loose tea leaves mean you must be sitting in a quaint little café, awaiting anxiously to hear what the tea leaf reader thinks they see about the future at the bottom of your cup.
Well, not anymore!
Whether you choose black, green or white tea; keeping them stored in a dark cool place helps to preserve the freshness. The fresher the tea, the better. Sure, you can now get all types of teas in convenient bags, circles and triangles, but long before you make that cup of tea, it’s already stale and lost most of its beneficial properties. You also risk having seeds and stems packed into each sachet, where loose tea is purer in form therefore providing you with that perfect cup of enjoyment! And, a better Tasseography interpretation.
Brewing the Perfect Cup
Tea is steeped in over 3,000 years of history. Since that time, tea has perked us up, calmed us down, lifted our spirits and quenched our thirst. You can drink it hot or drink it cold. You can modify the taste by adding spices, citrus, brandy or sharing with great company.
Depending on your choice of tea, you may have to prepare it based on the required temperature, along with a specific steeping time, and amount to get the optimum flavor and benefits. This chart from Divine Tea outlines how to adjust to the different types of tea, so you end up with the best cup of enjoyment!
Today’s tea drinkers are very health conscious experts when it comes to varietal loose teas. You’ll find,
Flavonoids: All teas except herbal have flavonoids that are heart healthy
Antioxidants: important for detoxifying the body from harmful free radicals damaging your cells
L-Theanine and amino acids: that’s why you think better over a cup of tea, concentration and alertness
Drinking tea will help to improve your blood vessels and how they function while improving blood circulation. There’s a reason why tea has been a treasured elixir for thousands of years!
It All Begins the Same
While most of us know that tea originally came from China during the Tang Dynasty in 2737 BC. Ok, maybe you didn’t, but now you do.
There are two types of plants that are used to make the variety of tea as we know it today.
Camellia sinenis. A plant that grown between 3 to 5 metres high, surviving really cold temperatures.
Camellia sinensis assamica tends to grow in a warmer climate of North East India where it will reach a height of 18 metres.
Today, 75% of the world’s tea is grown in China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. The main 5 tea producing countries. Of course, there are multiple countries where tea is grown including North America.
It’s interesting to learn that today there is only the Charleston Tea Plantation, one of the few original southern plantations that produces tea from the Camellia Sinensis plants brought from China in 1888.
The famous Bigelow Tea family purchased the Charleston Tea Plantation in 2003. However, only the Plantation tea is produced for sale under the same name. None of the Bigelow tea is grown there.
Tea is a Family Thing
We already know that today’s tea market is predominantly made up of a younger generation. But actually, tea is not relative to any specific age. Families and friends have gathered around the kitchen table for hundreds of years. It’s one of the familiar scenes we all have in our memories. Memories filled with laughter or tears, or both, it’s nostalgia is precious to our memories.
Probably one of our earliest memories of our introduction to tea can be traced back to when as children, sick in bed, warm tea with lemon and honey may have been given to us to ease our throats, take away the chills and aches and most of all, feel better by the attention from our loving parents. That’s the beginning of our very strong bond with tea that lasts a lifetime.
Whether its, warm, hot, cold or iced; tea in all its flavours, temperatures and varieties is a genuine part of our lives. It’s no wonder it has been handed down through the centuries.
Have you called all your friends and family yet?
Which High Tea date you’ll be gathering on?