Beginning the Tea Journey
Hi Everyone, I’m Pat and I’m looking forward to us sharing a journey together.
I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in nature, and the foods produced by nature. Where I come from, we used teas mainly, for whatever ailed you, of just to slow down your day and make it more peaceful. Peppermint tea was big for digestion, Lemongrass for fever, Ginger for stomach aches or female conditions and hibiscus tea for special celebrations. Coffee, and it was the gourmet type, was for grownups rushing to work, and on Sundays, we had a special treat with breakfast called “cocoa tea”. This tea was made by grating the cocoa bean (the very same that produces chocolate) adding nutmeg or allspice to the boiling water, and then sweetening this beverage with condensed milk. What a delicious treat!
At work, 3pm was tea time, with a serving of black tea, served with milk or lemon, and a light snack or pastry. That break just seemed to make the afternoon much better!
my journey into the world of global teas
Once I started traveling and trying different teas, coffee and other beverages, a whole new world opened up for me. There were just so very many specialty teas, and tea blends. When I lived for a time in London, black teas were the Afternoon Tea of choice, or if you were daring, Earl Grey tea. I never liked Earl Grey much in the beginning, because it tasted like perfume. For the same reason, I couldn’t stand gin! Once I started studying essential oils and aromatherapy, I learned that Earl Grey had the oil of bergamot, and gin contained juniper berries and anise, among other ingredients, so the perfume taste of both then made sense to me.
Loose Leaf Green Tea
During the last decade, with the importance of the health revolution(s) weighing in on people, tea started to gain ascendance, as an important health tool. With tea blenders growing in number, and the varieties of blends available, tea has now become the fastest growing beverage on record, surpassing coffee. Makes sense, if you think about it: there are many more ways of processing tea than coffee, and many, many tea plantations all over the world now, including the U.S. Globally, more people drink tea than any other beverage. And also globally, people appreciate the fact that you actually have to stop what you’re doing to take the time to choose, make and savor your tea!
Opening a Tea Shop
So, I gave in to my love, and opened a tea shop. I am contacted by tea plantation owners constantly, and am learning more and more about this amazing plant, the camellia sinensis, and just how valued it is worldwide. Some of the tea blends are heartbreakingly beautiful, a far cry from the plain black teas of old, and I am happy to try as many of them as I can. Of course, I have my favorites, but even these are subject to change when I try other blends.
There are some amazing teas out there, for their avid market! Matcha from Japan has gained ascendancy among a certain type of healthy individuals, particularly in the Millennial demographic. This demographic is the one that is steadily pushing forward, and expanding the tea market to greater and greater growth. This is the group that requested Brown Rice Matcha so often, that it became a stock item in the tea shop.
The Ever Expanding Flavored Tea Market
Flavored teas have also expanded ad infinitum, with more new blends coming out (seemingly) daily! There is great competition in creating wonderfully creative tea combinations, now that the taste for these have opened up. And everyone, it seems is jumping in to capture this new market! Old fuddy-duddies like Lipton Tea is hastening to catch up in a market that doesn’t like their bitter brews any longer.
Revolution Tea, Ahmad Tea, The Republic of Tea, Adagio Teas and dear Harney’s are among some of the best commercially available teas around.
Tea Plantations All Around the Globe
And with new plantations also opening up globally, the competition is on! America has also gotten into the tea plantation business, with a location in South Carolina. America, of course, was the creator of “iced tea” and Southern “sweet tea” but even so, is still producing tea rooms/tea shops at a fast rate, where traditional hot teas and Afternoon Tea service are welcomed by people seeking a quieter, relaxed, more genteel way to eat and drink.
Kenya, is now one of the world’s greatest producers of tea, and they are known for their unique Kenyan Purple tea, a gourmet treasure.
Growth of Tea Rooms and Tea Shops
In fact, tea rooms and tea shops are among the fastest growing of new specialty businesses. The growth potential is huge for those willing to take a chance. I also heartily support the opening of the tea/coffee cafes with cats concept, that are springing up all over the place, bravo! They are combining two of my favorite loves.
Tea Blending as a Work of Art
Tea blending is as complex, beautiful and satisfyingly aromatic as perfume creation. As an aromatherapy specialist many years ago, I used to create natural perfumes for my clients, and loved it. Custom perfume creation and tea blending are truly works of art.
Creating Natural Perfumes
My life has always been centered around nature, health and the joy that comes with living life with an appreciation of what we have been given. I eat and drink healthily, but am never a complete purist, as you must have fun with your food, rather than having a guilt complex about what you’re ingesting. The only time a guilt complex is appropriate, is if you are a constant fast food eater!
We are Dedicated to Tea, Coffee and Good Food on this Site and Blog
This site is dedicated to tea, coffee and good food and this is really an endless subject. There are so many things to say on this, so be prepared for an interesting ride! And, by the way, one of my new tea loves, the South African Redbush (Rooibois), is fueled by my love for the author Alexander McCall Smith’s heroine Mma. Precious Ramotswe and Grace, of the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency in Botswana, so I’ll sometimes be talking about them, and the constant taking of the tea.
There are just so many products in the categories I’ve chosen, that we will have many, many ongoing conversations, referrals, recipes and the like and have fun sharing experiences together.
Feel free to join me on this journey where we explore tea, coffee, cocoa/chocolate, and a host of good food. Please consider that we are having an ongoing conversation. Feel free to comment and/or ask questions. I look forward to having real conversations with you.
Commitment to Sustainability
Later on, because I am totally committed to sustainability, I shall be recommending and selling plants for you to grow at home, such as tea bushes, coffee plants, cacao, vanilla orchid and herbs and vegetables. It is so much nicer to grow your own, they absolutely taste much better than anything from the supermarket, and the feeling of accomplishment that you get cannot be overstated. You should absolutely know where your food is coming from! And, the good thing about potted plants is that you really don’t need acres and acres to grow stuff for yourself and your family. So, I hope you will give container gardening a try.
Thank you for connecting, looking forward to learning more about you, and I look forward to your questions or comments, and remember to savor every morsel you eat, and drink that you sip! Tea, a pacifier and unifier!
P.S. I love cats too!!!