What is quintessentially British? Rain, The Monarch, Pillar box red, stoic steadfastness? With the recent celebrations of Britain's beloved Queen's, birthday milestone and St. George's Day, which acknowledges another part of England's gallant heraldry. I wanted to pay tribute to the pinnacle of all that is British....Tradition.
Not what you expected? Think about it, everything that is purely British is because of tradition. Even the Queen's mantra of duty over personal life harkens back through centuries of Monarchs. Wether we like it or not tradition has shaped our ideals, our comforting preferences with food, and how we go about our day to day routines.
I adore my modernity and couldn't imagine myself living in any other era. I founded my company on a concrete layer of my beliefs, that being tradition. Where we have been before and timelines prior to our current one, all greatly influence where we go forward and who we become personally. Without tradition as an underlying foundation, there would be no modernity. Without great risk, struggle, or heartache; there would be no frivolous enjoyments in our existing lives.
Around the globe, every country is steeped in tradition. Our most beloved enjoyments of all Britishness, being tea, is equally cloaked in mystery. Tea, once an unknown, exotic plant has become the epicentre with quite the illustrious past. Shrouded by a blackened heritage including, corrupt business dealings, greedy ruthlessness, thievery, illicit affections and mood altering indulgence; these all enhance our modern, enjoyment of tea today. How scandalous!
For centuries countless civilisations have left their influences on tea; be it culinary or medicinal. Without these forerunners we simply wouldn't have the information to grasp new techniques or enjoyments of our go to brew. Ancient and modern times are intertwined, overlapping each other in most things.
Egyptians today hold tea in such high regard that it is their national drink; over coffee. Be it strong black for enjoyment or herbal tinctures that benefit one's heart. Ancient Burma not only drank tea but pickled the tea leaves and ate them served with various accompaniments, think bar snacking for the ancients. Even Thailand brews strong, spiced tea, similar to the flavour of modern Chai, served over ice and condensed milk added. England itself is responsible for introducing ancient East Africa and the Pacific colonies to their interpretations of tea, as these countries had no previous customs or endearments to tea. Every culture has adapted and likened tea to suit their palate and customs; making for no one way for tea to be enjoyed. Tea is enjoyed by all.
In modern times we not only drink tea in various ways and influences, we cook with tea too. Tea is as versatile and unique as any other culture past or present. Without a certain Portuguese Queen consort of Charles II, arrival to England back in the 1600's or if an English horticulturalist, Robert Fortune, didn't dress as a chinaman, risking his life to steal tea and it's production secrets from China; goodness knows how we would have ended up enduring our daily, modern times. Tea connects us all through our past, our futures and all cultures globally. Tea, is our social comfort of choice and long may it rein in our hearts.