The beverage of tea, its leaves grown on bushes (a bush produces 3,000 leaves a year/approx 1 lb of processed tea) and the popularity of drinking it on the rise here in North America, is an ancient beverage and drinking it, an ancient ritual.
The tale goes that a Chinese Emperor was reputed asleep under a tree while holding a cup of hot water – the tree he was under was a tea bush. A tea leaf dropped in, he sipped and loved it. While in England, the custom of tea drinking started in the 17th century, the oldest tea merchant is Twinings (300 years old) and it was curiously introduced in London coffee houses, one of them being Thomas Garway and its appeal began to spread. This long time custom has been gaining popularity in North America and the timing is great to help aid this fast-moving society to slow down. Tea drinking is something that requires time; time to let it brew and there is something about the activity of drinking tea that is very relaxing. Maybe it is the fact that we breathe the essence of the tea in in deep breaths and it is the deep breathing that relaxes us. Whatever the reason, this deeply rooted part of the English lifestyle is perfect for our culture.
Using Tea in Cooking
Uses of the beverage of tea go beyond the cup. There are many recipes that make use of tea to make sauces, marinades, cookies and even cocktails. There are many varieties to choose from, black teas, flavored black teas, tisanes (herbal and fruit teas), rooibos, green and its variety of flavors and types, and the very delicate white tea. There is a strong tea connection to France.
Tea Salons – Historical and Modern Salons
The tea salons and France are tied to the history of the Laduree family, a now internationally famous tea salon, well known for their to-die-for-line-up-down-the-block macaroons (macarons in French), and the atmosphere of this stunning salon that dates back to 1862. Fine tea is abound in Paris and Parisian tea drinking experience is defined by style, elegance and attention to detail. Wherever you drink it and however casual or refined, tea drinking has something for every taste and is something wonderful to fall in love with!