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Tea for You

Heather Campbell November 1, 2009 Archives No Comments on Tea for You

 

 Curious Thyme Bistro is now closed.

 

Next to water, tea is the world’s most consumed drink. Tea has provided many comforting benefits for the past 5,000 years including better health, relaxation and even quality family time.

Taking time out for a tea break creates a moment of peace in a stressful day.

We continue to discover the benefits of tea not only for peace of mind but for body health. Tea is a natural source of polyphenols and flavonoids which has anti-oxidant activity.

According to the Tea Association of Canada, tea was originally discovered in China almost 5,000 years ago.

It has taken an interesting journey across continents and has been adopted by many cultures. For example, Britian, a nation of tea drinkers, was not introduced to the beverage until the mid-17th century.

Canada didn’t receive its first shipment until 1716 and it took more than a year to arrive.

Today Canadians drink almost nine billion cups of tea each year. In 2007 the Canadian tea market was worth about $388 million.

Tea has been significant to many cultures with black tea in Britian, chai in India and herbal teas used by Chinese doctors. There are more then 1,500 varieties of tea available around the world falling into three categories; black, green and oolong tea.

Many believe green tea is better then black tea, but they both come from the same plant, camellia sinemsis. Herbal teas come from an infusion of leaves, roots, bark, seeds or flowers of other plants.

In the late 17th century, New York City had a number of tearooms and by the end of the 19th century tearooms were the hallmark of elegance for high-end hotels in North America.

To recreate some of that tearoom experience, Curious Thyme Bistro has brought back tea time at the Travelway Inn. Vince and Jennifer Potter offer 68 varieties of loose leaf tea to choose from for  afternoon tea time.

“You can come for tea time between 2 pm and 5 pm. We serve tea with crumpets, scones and desserts,” describes Potter.

The British born and trained chef and his wife have created a modern and casual tea time experience.

“The high tea offers mini scones and sandwiches with dessert on a nice big platter along with customary cocktails,” says Potter. “A very elegant experience.”  Tea time at Curious Thyme Bistro can be the perfect setting for business meetings, family get-togethers or recharging during a busy day.

The extensive selection of loose leaf tea offers many health benefits compared to bag tea, and it can be re-steeped more times.

The Potters acquire loose leaf tea from the California-based company The Art of Tea, the number one tea company in the world.

Tea is served in clear teapots and glass cups allowing patrons to watch the miracle of loose leaf tea, such as flowering teas that blossom in the pot and offer a pleasant and soothing aroma.

Tea is so cool these days that an extensive tea appreciation certificate course is offered at George Brown College in Toronto.

“Tea drinkers have become very much like wine connoisseurs. And, just as there is a wine for everyone, there is also a tea for everyone, says tea instructor and culinary instructor Stephen Field.

 

Tea Facts

Tea is grown on a commercial basis in about 40 countries around the world.

The origin of the name orange pekoe is said to be from two terms – a transliteration of a Chinese word meaning “white down/hair,” and representing quality and a reference to the Dutch Royal House of Orange representing nobility.

Black tea retains its flavour for several years and for this reason, has long been an article of trade; compressed bricks of black tea served as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet and Siberia into the 19th century.

Black tea, the stronger-flavoured and more robust among all tea, is considered to be the most popular. Green and white teas are considered to be the most pure of tea as they have undergone the least amount of oxidation during processing.

It is believed tea was discovered as early as 2737 BC when tea leaves accidentally blew into the cup of hot water being enjoyed by the second emperor of China, Shen Nung.

A recent study revealed drinking tea can improve brain health and help prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and improve the brain’s ability to focus. (Research and information presented  at the International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Health in Washington, DC.)

Source: Lipton Tea

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