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A Brief History of Tea

According to a Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nong was boiling water in his garden, when a leaf from a nearby tree fell and landed on his pot. Inadvertently the skilled ruler discovered what centuries after would become the second most consumed drink in the world after water; Tea.

It was only until the early 1600s when Dutch traders brought tea to Europe; Many give credit to Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese royal, for making the beverage popular among the English courts when she married Charles II; and much like spices, tea became a widely desired commodity all over Europe.

Milk + Tea: a Match(a) Made in Heaven

From black tea to Thai tea, bubble tea, and masala chai, etc. the world has embraced the delicious idea of combining milk and tea.

World’s Love Affair with Masala Chai

When the British and Dutch established tea plantations in India, locals adopted this new ingredient and incorporated it to their own Masala chai, a cleansing, ‘reviving’ Ayurvedic beverage. By combining both cultures, this beverage was born: a comforting and vivifying drink with spices, milk, sweetener, and tea. With time, Masala Chai became more and more popular, even to the point that now it can be found in every corner of the world. The traditional Chai is brewed with warming spices such as cardamom, ginger cloves, and black pepper. Other possible recipes include nutmeg, mace, chili, coriander, and rose flavoring.

Magic Matcha

Matcha is another brew fighting to replace coffee in popularity. This traditional green tea is the main character in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist Monk, introduced the seeds and the methods of preparing this powdered green tea to his nation. This ritual of preparing and drinking tea is formed by four basic principles: harmony (wa), respect (kei), purity (sei), and tranquility (jaku).

Over the last few years, there has been a massive rise in Matcha‘s popularity due to its multiple health benefits. Matcha lattes have also become wildly popular as a result of its calming, relaxing and soothing characteristics.

The Science Behind Warm Beverages

We are strong followers of Sheldon Cooper’s theory: ‘When people are upset, the cultural convention is to bring them a hot beverage. Research has found that hot drinks encourage warmer feelings. They can be comforting, invigorating, relaxing, warming (when you’re cold), and ultimately, they make this crazy world we live in slow down even for a while.

They can even make you a bit friendlier! An experiment conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder found that: ‘Participants who briefly held a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee judged a target person as having a “warmer” personality (generous, caring), and participants holding a hot (versus cold) therapeutic pad were more likely to choose a gift for a friend instead of for themselves.’

Williams L. E., Bargh J. A. (2008). Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth Lawrence. Science 322 606–607. 10.1126/science.1162548.Experiencing 

Having a warm drink can be also an act of self-care. Taking a moment for yourself might be just what you need, and that is why we have a few milk tea ideas for you to try:

Spiced Walnut Latte

The lovely Inga Voloshin, a chef turned dietitian, and now inspiring the world with her amazing blog HUNGRY HEALTHY, came up with this delicious Spiced Walnut Latte.

This scrumptious tea latte will surely give you the boost you need at any time of day; it features a mixture of warm spices like turmeric, ground Ceylon cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger. Find all the ingredients in her blog post:

Spiced Walnut Latte

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

1.000 times better than Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte! this recipe is 100% natural and very easy to make. Just mix pumpkin purée with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan; make sure you keep your heat low throughout the preparation and add milk and a bag of Chai; brew for a few minutes. Whisk to breakdown the purée completely, when it’s done, take out the tea bag and the sweetener to your liking.

Bubble Tea

Hop on the bubble tea train with this simple recipe! Originally from Taiwan, bubble tea is sweet tea with milk and tapioca balls, also known as boba. Usually, in tea shops, this variety is very sweet, but now you can follow this recipe to a T(ea) to recreate this delicious drink at home!

You can use any kind of black tea, and dairy or non-dairy milk for this recipe. Steep 2 bags of tea in just boiled water and let sit until it cools down. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 3/4 cups of tapioca pearls. Let them cook for about 5 minutes and wait for them to float to the top. Then, strain and rinse them under cold water. Add the tapioca pearls into glasses and pour tea into each glass, add 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey in each glass. Stir and taste. Add a couple of ice cube to each glass and there you have it, your own bubble tea.

An Ode to Tea Lattes
Article Name
An Ode to Tea Lattes
Publisher Name
Burma Spice

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