A vintage tea time is likely the most elegant and calming act on a cozy afternoon. Especially fall is the season of long walks in the cooler air, books and tea.
How we experience a tea culture is defined by the many ways tea is prepared and consumed in different parts of the world. And this is also what allows us to interact in a refined manner, that can often build a bridge between cultures over a hot, aromatic beverage.
The diverse traditions are also accompanied by either savoury, or sweet goods. Which can mean English scones and cucumber sandwiches over a cup of Earl Grey, or a Masala Chai with spicey lentil fritters in India.
No matter where the tea time is held though, people all over the world not only cherish this tradition because of simply consuming nutrients. It is even more than a breakfast or dinner after a long, stressful day. It’s quality time. It cheers you up on a grey, depressing day. It provides the frame for a welcoming atmosphere for your friends and is a silent party that lets the mind wander.
|Handmade vintage teapot made in Lübeck, Germany|
To me, the process of making tea is almost meditative. To find the right tea and perfect flavour, can take a long time. But once the choice is made, the scent of the leaves and spices is already a joy. And I am sure, even for the reluctant tea-naysayer, there is a brew out there that will make you fall in love with it.
My favorites are Chinese green tea in the morning (since I reduced my coffee intake enormously) and often masala chai or mate in the afternoon. Yerba mate is the national drink of some countries in South America. Argentina for example.
Russians often serve Zavarka, a strong tea prepared in a separate tea pot and enjoyed in often several rounds.
Also fennel / anis / caraway and sometimes black tea, are on my list every week.
I also rarely use tea bags. What I prefer is loose-green that I simply put in the teapot without any filter and then just use a strainer to pour it into a cup.
Green tea is widely considered one of the healthiest options and is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains bioactive compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health.
Black is -according to several sources- the most processed tea. Although I still enjoy a cup once in a while, I have learned that green has a better impact on my energy level and mental well-being.
Another interesting variation is Mint tea, often enjoyed in Morocco. The hot beverage is such a strong part of the Moroccan culture, that a day without it seems unlikely.
To find my very own favourites of snacks to enjoy with my tea, I came across so many nice variations of baked goods and spicy bits to nosh on, that I couldn’t press them all into a simple post. But in this vintage tea time- variation, I mostly rely on very simple, easy-to-make- recipes.
Since it is autumn in my hemisphere, the apples in my neighbours' garden were perfect for my cinnamon curd rolls with apple pieces. Since I don’t eat much sugar, I let the fruit, cinnamon and vanilla unfold the sweetness, while cutting the amount of refined sugar.
The recipe is one of my favourites and I hope you enjoy them just as much as my loved ones and I.