Tea, more than just a cuppaMay 21st, 2020
During this period of uncertainty, it does one good to consider the other side of the situation. That it has offered many of us time to slow down (even if it feels busier than ever on the homefront), the space to be grateful for what we have, the allowance for moments of observation and reflection. It’s also somewhat poignant that, curiously, this is also proving to be a time of connection. Of forging deeper connections with those we live with and love. Creating new connections through technology, be they for work or personal interactions. Developing authentic connections through caring for the more vulnerable in our communities. And a universal connection with the better side of humanity in the form of everything from balcony symphonies and beautiful acts of compassion and bravery to left-of-centre innovations and inspiring creativity that has made us cry with laughter or moved us to tears (occasionally at the same time).
One of the simple pleasures of life that connects just about all of us across the globe is the enjoyment of a soothing, bolstering cup of tea. Whether you can’t begin the morning without your dependable cuppa, consider a tea-break away from your desk as a form of therapy, whip through the week fuelled by tea and rusks alone or ease into bedtime with the ritual of a comforting herbal brew, tea is a constant companion by which we can measure the rhythm of our days.
Tea also forms part of the foundations at Babylonstoren. Our superior-quality organic Rooibos and Honeybush – typically South African brews derived from local fynbos that have found favour around the world – make an appearance in our pantry as well as on all our menus: not only in teapots but also lending character and flavour to many of our refreshing drinks and dishes.
‘There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.’
– Lin Yutang
While we celebrate tea everyday here on the farm, May 21st has been declared by the UN as International Tea Day. More than just paying lip service to the world’s most consumed drink after water, the United Nations has called for the day to promote and foster collective actions and implement activities in favour of sustainable tea production and consumption while raising awareness of tea’s importance in fighting hunger and poverty.
These ethical values and objectives reflect our own: it is a source of great pride that Babylonstoren’s Rooibos (Afrikaans for ‘Red Bush’) and Honeybush teas – available online or in our Farm Shop in tea bags or loose-leaf – are organically grown by a local supplier in the Cederberg. In keeping with our self-sustainable philosophy we have also begun to grow and nurture our own organic Honeybush crops on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain on the farm. This is currently used in Babylonstoren Bitterlekker – our zesty non-alcoholic aperitif. Further emphasising our commitment to the environment, Babylonstoren teas are packaged in reusable and beautiful keepsake tins.
Delicious and versatile, our organic Rooibos and Honeybush teas are also crammed with health-benefits: caffeine-free and low in tannins (the organic compound that imparts a bitter flavour), there is growing research and evidence as to tea’s benefits in alleviating allergens, promoting digestion and aiding in the management of diabetes, cholesterol and obesity.
However you enjoy yours – with or without milk, with a spoonful of honey, sugar or straight up, over ice dotted with berries or steaming hot with slices of lemon and ginger – let’s raise a cuppa together today in celebrating a timeless classic.