I was speaking with my acupuncturist the other day about various bits and pieces how we do, and naturally the topic of tea came up. He checked my pulse and asked me a few health questions during my treatment, believing he could decipher from this which type of tea is best for my body.
From this he concluded two main things – that I have a weak stomach(true) and it is the root cause of a lot of my health struggles, and that I have poor circulation(also true).
He advised that for my body type, rose tea would be best or any sort of flower tea. Green tea should only be drank very occasionally and only when the tea is very hot. Green tea is good for cooling the body, not so much for circulation it turns out. My heart sank a little. My current staple has been green tea with jasmine and it is so refreshing and delicious! It won’t be easy to give it up, but I suggested to Dr. Han that I might alternately drink more of the new delicious organic black chai tea I had recently acquired, in place of the green teas.
And that, people, is when my lesson in tea began. He told me how black tea first came about and why it stuck around. Excuse me as I paraphrase: The british had sent their first shipment of tea on course from India, back to the homelands in Britain, the intent to sell this wonderfully new and exotic tea at an immense markup to what they purchased it for. The first shipment of tea arrived at bay in Britain, but it had not kept well and appeared to be going somewhat black and rotten. Determimed not to let this endeavour be wasted, the representatives of the East India Company encouraged their fellow Englishmen to try it, claiming it to be black tea while eventually introducing milk and sugar to balance out its truly ‘new’ and ‘exotic’ flavour.
By this point I felt quite thoroughly mortified. I mean, after years and years of funnelling this drink in me and it turns out that I’ve been binging on some god-awful rotten tea!? What have I become!?!?
Before I get too carried away, that is where black tea originiated from. I imagine and wilfully hope that the methods used in curing process from the 17th century to current day in 2013 has changed somewhat…
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that since my tea history lesson 101 with Dr. Han, my black tea intake has dropped to zero, zilch, nada. Also safe to say that I have since invested in some fresh ginseng tea and a small amount of rose tea, in hopes to introduce this as an alternative, less compromising tea-staple.
After all these years binging and purging on tea and considering myself to be somewhat of a devotee (or devotea, if you will) I am rather perplexed as to why I haven’t spent more brain-juice learning such things as these.
So far, I have concluded: That black tea in the 17th century must have been awful. That black, green, oolong and white teas all originate from the same plant and are good for cooling the body, not so good for circulation. That my home tea collection is far too small and unvaried. And that I will make my millions concocting my very own ginseng-chai blended tea, which doesn’t seem to exist, but very please definitely should. I am a freakin’ genius!
Lastly, I must dust off my tea genius hat and endeavour to become filled to the brim with tea knowledge (see what I did there?) so that I may adorn said hat once more.