I arrived in Japan at 23 having mostly drunk water, coffee, wine on some special occasions and alright, a few cups of basic tea ruined with a lot of sugar because it wasn’t the most exciting taste. And there I was being offered at each meal or time of the day a different hot tea. I must admit I was craving pure fresh water. But like everything you get used to it and you even start feeling the benefits of these cups in a way you hadn’t thought of.
A hint of energy after a morning green tea, a feeling of lightness about a lunch not so light with a black tea to digest, a comforting embrace with mugicha in the afternoon and a nice hojicha over dinner time. There I was from complete tea ignorant to becoming a tea enjoyer… still quite ignorant though. I lived in Japan for 5 years, worked in a Japanese organisation and had my cups of tea delivered to my desk a few times a day, it certainly changed my palate or at least my taste.
This was many years ago but I have kept these habits and they have become a part of my family routine, even if sharing an espresso with my husband remains a moment of pleasure. I always start my day with a green tea, if I can put my hands on a nice sencha it will be my first choice, but I also enjoy tropical flavoured green teas. If I haven’t shared that espresso that I mentioned before, I love a black tea after lunch. And when the kids come back from school a rooïbos always goes down nicely, it has no caffeine as it is not a real tea, it can be served hot or chilled which is very important here in Australia with the hot weather we enjoy and it settles all little stomach aches.
I have been extremely fortunate to meet through my professional life real amazing tea connaisseurs and to learn from them a tiny bit but for me it all comes down to one thing, it makes me feel good also my kids love it and my friends always come back for more… what else?
How to implement tea in your family life?
As the heat is becoming intense, buy a nice quality flavoured rooibos, maybe something fruity or even minty. Infuse it in a large jug (with a touch of honey if your children have a sweet tooth, the cold tends to take away the natural sweetness of the infusion) and keep it in the fridge for afternoons after school when the kids come back and feel thirsty but want a bit of a treat. It will be much better for them than any of the ice teas, sodas or even juices that you might usually have. As I mentioned previously it is great on the stomach and also good for the skin. Rooïbos is not really a tea, but rather a bark originated from South Africa where the ancient doctors or shamans used it to heal in many different ways.
My all time favourite for summer is “privilege” from the French tea house Theodor, it is made with mint and rose and just reaches the perfect balance.
But you might have a local tea house or health store that you like to purchase from, just make sure that you introduce to the kids a flavoured option which will be sure to win them over.