The best way to catch up with a girlfriend or girlfriends is over a cup of tea and cakes. Supposedly the practice of entertaining with “tea and a walk with in the fields,” aka afternoon tea, started in early nineteenth century Britian by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford.
Prior to the introduction of tea, the English had two main meals — breakfast and dinner (dinner was served around eight o’clock). The Duchess was said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” at about four o’clock in the afternoon. Her solution was a pot of tea and a light snack. Later, she invited her friends to join her. The practice proved to be so popular that the other social hostesses quickly picked up the idea.
Join the fashionable society for your sip of tea. Below, a list of recommendations.
Tea drinking is an integral part of Chinese culture. A Chinese saying names tea as one of the seven basic daily necessities, elevating tea to be among other important staples like firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. During the mid-Tang Dynasty (780 A.D.), a scholar named Lu Yu published Cha Ching or The Tea Classic. Having spent over twenty years studying the subject, Lu records his knowledge of planting, processing, tasting, and brewing tea. The monumental work, which fastidiously documents the history, place of origin, color, taste and benefits of each tea, is an unparalleled tea encyclopedia.
In comparison, tea plays a less prominent role in American society. Yet, tea-drinking offers a plethora of benefits such as fewer signs of aging and a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure. Thirsting for a cup of tea? Go no farther than Tea Time (downtown Palo Alto).
The small, quaint tea room is great for tea lovers and ideal for the subtle affair of appreciating a variety of teas and their distinctive characteristics. I come here for an introductory tea pairing course. It’s like wine pairing, different types of tea pair well with different foods. The key is to match the flavor profile of a particular tea to its complementary food flavor(s). Join me and sample your way through six courses of tea and food combinations (click HERE for the tasting menu).