Tea is making a comeback, and you don’t need to take our word for it. Blogs such as Tea for me Please and lifestyle columns including the Telegraph and the Guardian are just bursting with enthusiasm for the humble hot drink.
BIBO has long been right on the button with the tea revolution. Back in 2014, we wrote about how to make the perfect cup of tea, you can read our top tips here and you can find out how other nationalities brew their tea thanks to this great infographic from the UK’s Tea Council (yes you read that right!) BIBO has also recently partnered with one of the trailblazers of the tea revolution, Good & Proper Tea, that started life as a travelling tea van and now boasts two tea bars in London.
For years, coffee has been much of the Western-world’s cosmopolitan drink of choice, fuelling, with its high caffeine content, ever busier, more productive societies. Now, we are seeing a host of new tea-related business ventures opening up in the UK and beyond. From tea vans to tea bars, the UK’s traditional brew is growing beyond its milky builder’s roots and up into the leafy realms of super sophisticated and excitingly named green, white, yellow, oolong and puerh varieties. All these varieties come from the same species of plant but are harvested at different times and prepared in different ways to give a variety of tastes. Black, oolong and puerh teas have darker, more robust flavours, whilst green, white and yellow teas are lighter and more subtle. And who said tea has to be hot? Iced tea and tea cocktails are now super on-trend!
Tea in its many forms comes from two varieties of tea plant, Camellia Sinensis Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis Assamica. The former, grown principally in China, has given us white, green, yellow, oolong and puerh teas for over 3000 years. The latter, grown in the Assam region of India, has given us the popular Assam black tea. But I bet you didn’t know that we are growing more and more tea right here in Britain! According to the Times, 2016 has seen a record breaking harvest and even higher exports of British tea to China and Japan.
Tea has long been reputed to have health-giving properties, and a number of start-ups are focusing on the use of tea in traditional Chinese medicine to help support the body in recovery from all sorts of ailments. One such venture is Elixir Tea. Elixir teach you online for free how to make tea in such a way as to preserve all the good stuff. You can then buy organically grown teas through Elixir’s online shop from choice growers across China and east Asia.
So, knowing how great tea is for you and how many varieties there are to try, with the help of your BIBO, why not diversify your tea habit? Try different varieties and different temperatures of tea, safe in the knowledge that you are not only keeping up with the latest trend but also staying healthy in the process!
Guest Blogger: Nina Brown
Nina Brown is the founder of Tandem Collective (www.tandemcollective.org) and editor at InTandem Publications (intandempublications.com). Tandem aims to bring environmental issues to a broader audience through the arts.