Welcome to this week’s installment of Thursday Tea Break!
This is a fun, weekly series covering our get-togethers, what we are up to that week, and what books we are excited to get our hands on.
Tea of The Week
Our tea of choice this week is French Breakfast from Octavia Tea.
This tea has been one of our favorites since we started ordering tea from Octavia. It is a bold twist on a breakfast tea, like Earl Grey. Flavored with vanilla beans, this tea carries caramel notes and a creamy sweetness that requires no additional sugar in our opinion. As you can see in the image, there are also small dried rose petals in it to round out the flavor and add a pop of color to this delicious tea.
After weeks and weeks of waiting due to weather and other obstacles out of her control, Amanda can finally introduce all of you to Nikola “Nico” Drake Tesla — her new puppy! (His dad got to pick the middle name)
Tea Time: The History of Tea, Part 1
This issue marks the start of a series that I (Amanda) have been thinking about starting for awhile now. I have been an avid fan of tea for many years now and much of what I know is self-taught or from classes taken here and there. One of the best ways to remember is to teach, though, so I want to share the knowledge and information that I have gathered with others in a hopes that someone else can also begin to enjoy tea.
The most plausible one takes place in China in the province of Shezwan (like the chicken). The emperor Shen Nung had a tea leaf drift into his cup of hot water one morning and instead of fishing it out he watched the water change — thus discovering tea. Shen Nung is accredited as being incredibly brilliant and introducing the plow and animal husbandry to his people, though the truth behind these legends is debatable.
The second story claims that Indian prince Siddhartha fell asleep while trying to meditate. Upon waking he was so disgusted with his weakness that he tore off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. Where they struck, shrubs grew and when the leaves were brewed they produced a drink that held properties of great mental clarity.
Japan has a similar story although it is said that it was Daruma’s (Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism) eyelids that the bushes grew from.
There are other, less plausible tales in the History of tea, but these three remain the most well known.
When people first began drinking tea, it was primarily used as a medicinal beverage. Green tea leaves would be brewed in pots, creating a bitter liquid. This would have been choked down, instead of enjoyed as today’s teas are. But we will get to more about the medicinal uses of tea later.
See you next week!