There was also was a purpose behind the buying and collecting of my tea pots.!
Together with another couple of good friends. I decided one fine Sunday to ask good friends to tea.
And so started our weekly sunday get together's at 4.
We called it our " Tea tasting Sundays" -
My mother being a tea freak and addict. She knew just about every tea that was on the markets.Often going to the Indian market or the Chinese food store to buy.
I had a good background on tea buying it. I do like to think so.
I love tea- but only black tea. (no milk -served as is).
The ritual behind our ceremony, was to indulge ourselves in the tasting of various teas , experiencing the full scent and flavor of it. Our discussions would take us to all parts of the globe.
We went on until the evening. And so went our sundays for some years. Sometimes introducing other friends to our sunday afternoon ceremony.
We took our tea the eastern and asian way. No milk or sugar. Milk and sugar was introduced much later onto the tea drinking scene. The milk looses the actual flavors and aromas of the tea.
They were wonderful sundays that are remember so well. Not only did we drink the tea.. It was made:-(must be with boiling water,straight onto the tea leaves) left to stand and stew-timing is critical. , It has to settle before you drink, so that you get the best . This is how you get the quality of taste and aroma from your tea leaves. Using a warmer tray so as not to let it get cold. There is nothing more comforting , than sipping a hot cup of steaming tea.
For each tea ceremony. I would use a different tea pot. (tea pots should never be totally washed clean inside) Some of the flavor of that particular tea will remain in that particular pot . Use a different tea pot for different teas.- You can note the difference.
As soon as we took the lid of a pot we found out that the aromas in the pots were different, and would fake the taste of a particular tea .
I never use the same tea pot for different varieties of tea. Always a different pot.
Not so much now, as I have grown older and my family have flown the nest.
I cheat a little too now and again. I use a good blend of Assam tea bags. ( can you smell it!)
My collection of tea pots started to grow. They were not and are still not just a collection. On some Sundays, I still have a tea ritual with my children.
Today being one of those days - at 4pm- Today I am using hand picked fine tea leaves from Kenya. Bought at a farm growing it now on the high hills not far from where I used to live. Given to me by my close cousin who lives not far also from this same area in S.A. Its a deliciously flavored and aromatic.
More often than not, I would serve and still do -chinese tea, along with Indian tea - our ceremonies we used both.
Tea from southern and northern China- Jlangbel . jlangnan - tea plantations reaching south to the Yangtze river. This tea is excellent.
The husbands had to bake a cake. They were not allowed ,( by wives vote) ,to bake just ordinary cakes. They had to produce something exotic , aromatic , moist and fruity. It really was so much fun.
The 4 of us being good friends. The "Tea Ceremony" brought us all closer together. Wonderful days to remember of my years in Africa.
Catherine's marriage to Charles the ll of England is well known to us all. She was a good and gracious Queen. She married at the age of 23.
The duke of Bragança Dom Duarte of Bragança- is a direct descendent and cousin to the Royal house of England.
The Jesuit priests , who were trading merchants in China. Bringing silks and ceramics back home . It was these priests who most probably introduced tea into Portugal.
It was used as a medicinal drink. "Cha´) is for tea in Chinese. In Portuguse Tea is Cha´.
Catherine of Bragança is also famous for not only being the Queen of England,Scotland and Ireland- but is also known for introducing tea into England- It was her preferred drink .
This imposing painting above (courtesy) is of Catherine - painted by -Benedetto Gennari.
My father always used to say " A cup of tea or two a day, indeed keeps the doctor away"- He lived until he was 89- My mother until she was 84- They both drank around 4 cups of tea a day.
In some medical circles, it is said that tea is not good for you. This I have heard often.
I do so wish that knowing and learning the benefits of tea.. One would know that drinking tea is the healthiest drink after water.
My preferred tea is Chinese tea . Although I enjoy to drink Indian tea - my favorite of the indian teas being Assam. The fine tea tips are full of rich goodness , with a captivating smell and aroma.
Tea was introduced to India much later . It became a very lucrative trade. The Chinese holding the monopoly over the trade.
The British east india company imported it into India, later in large quantities.
The seeds had been imported from China. There are earlier recollections of drinking tea in India before the colonization. The plant was known as Sanjeevani..also used for medicinal purposes.
Today in our 21st century. All types of tea are grown. Many names are given. Some good some not so good. The new teas with aromas, of many different tastes are now offered on the shelves.
For me . There is only one tea. That is the black fine tea from China and India.
Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday. Enjoy your afternoon tea - Savour each sip. Its medicinal happiness in a cup.