Sit, relax and take a tea break while I tell you a brief tale of how these famous fragrant leaves arrived in the West via China and India.
It was British horticulturist Robert Fortune who was sent under cover in 1848 to China to steal tea growing secrets and bring cuttings to India for the East India Company. “For All the Tea in China – How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed the World”written by Sarah Rose chronicles Fortune’s adventures and is one of my favorite books. It is a fascinating tale that takes you deep into the unknown and unexplored regions of China and one man’s journey to bring tea to the rest of the world. Robert Fortune struggled against pirates, suspicious locals, the elements and his own untrustworthy companions, all for the sake of a humble leaf that would change the world forever. It’s a great read.
If not for Robert Fortune, tea may not be the world’s most popular and widely consumed drink, after water. Brits arriving in Hong Kong would not have introduced “afternoon tea” where black tea was served with milk and sugar. Today, India is the second-largest producer of tea. What I love about traveling throughout Eastern cultures is that there is a tea component to everything from shopping and socializing to dining. My next big trip would be visiting the tea plantations in India from Aasam to Darljeeling.
Green Tea is popular today for its many health benefits. It is said to aid in weight loss by boosting metabolism, and its antioxidants can help prevent certain types of cancer.
White Tea is the lightest variation; sweet and fragrant. It has very little caffeine and is said to have anticancer properties.
Black Tea is a caffeinated pick me up that doesn’t dip and drop your energy as the day goes on. My day always starts with a black tea.
Oolong Tea is common in Chinese restaurants, a more robust and fuller body drink. Oolong has antioxidants that aid in weight loss, improves mental clarity and reduces risk of cancer and heart disease.
Miranda’s Favourite Tea’s
Miranda loves her teas and when you spend an afternoon with the lovely Miranda, you will always be offered a cup of yummy tea.
Some of her favorites include:
- Her signature Earl Grey Tea with goat milk and maple syrup (or honey) is as delicious as it is heart warming, its like a hug in a cup!
- Fresh Mint Tea – Miranda picks the mint from her herb garden, this promotes digestion and is incredibly refreshing.
- Green Tea – contains potent antioxidants called polyphenols, which help suppress free radicals.
- Rosehip Tea – Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best plant sources of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system, adrenal function and skin & tissue health.
- Chamomile Tea – soothes the stomach and calms the mind.
- Hibiscus Flower Tea – rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which protect the body against cell-damaging free radicals.
- Tulsi Tea – helps the mind and body adapt and effectively cope with emotional stresses. Fights free radicals and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dandelion Tea – helps regulate parts of the digestive system and cleanses the liver, helps flight skin infections and is rich in calcium & antioxidants and high in vitamin A and K.