Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Austen In August : Tea Pairings




Happy Austen in August ! Today I want to talk about tea. Many of my Austen reads are consumed with a cup of tea. There are so many types of tea but I consistently find my self drawn towards English Breakfast and Black Teas.

I was interested in learning about what Tea might have been like in Jane's time, and I learned some fascinating facts from the book above.

         Tea Transcended The Class Systems

Though there were varieties of tea that were very expensive (these varieties were often locked up in tea caddies), there were several varieties available to the lower classes. The warmth of the tea was a balm to many, and the boiling of water for the kettle made for a healthier drinking experience then regular water.

Location, Location,Location 

Until the early 1870's China had a monoply on tea importing to England. There were also several tea leaf recycling plants started to meet the growing demand for tea.



                                             Traditions
It is generally accepted that afternoon tea has a long history in England but it wasn't until the late 1840's through the 1870's that afternoon tea became a ritual. Elaborate place settings and even tea gowns were the norm by the 1870's. 


                                        Pairings
One of my favorite tea companies is Ahmad. So I thought it would be fun to suggest some teas to go with my favorite characters and books:

                                       Persuasion

                                         Earl Grey


Solid, quiet Anne. What else but the most solid, British tea would work for her?



Emma
Fruit Tea

Bright, meddling Emma would do well with a little sweetness with her afternoon tea. 

                                     The Bennet Sisters
                                          Variety Chest

                                                        

The whims of Lydia alone would require a variety of teas in the Bennet home ! This collection has a taste for every palate.

Hope you all have a good cup of tea with your next Austen immersion! Happy Reading!

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