tea leaf reading

Tea for Two. But, I Smell Coffee… Nondescript babble.

Tea Drinkers Beware – I can smell the coffee…

In Britain we are the great tea drinkers – apart from those of us who drink coffee of course. Is coffee drinking somewhat disloyal to our wonderful country? We’ve left Europe (I voted to remain) so maybe we ought embrace our English heritage and kick the Italians into touch?

I read an article somewhere last year giving a statement on a long running study of people, forty years of data. It’s the longest running medical enquiry study. After following hundreds of people’s life time habits the statisticians found coffee drinkers live longer than tea drinkers – by a tiny fraction – but enough to note.

I love a cup of tea but this news did sway me. It’s only a few years longer but every year counts at any stage of life I’m thinking it’s good to think about how much we can extend it.

As as result of this news, I have been forcing down this strong tasting drink each morning. For me, coffee is not a pleasant taste. I have to add milk and a ton of sugar to get it down and the smell…well it makes me heave.

For me, ‘Smell the coffee’ means the odour is pretty nasty. Originally it’s smell was a sign of woe – it meant ‘The Romans are Coming’ – which was (at one time, in Britain) a somewhat similar omen to ‘Winter is Coming’.

Let’s face this together, as there is one thing coffee does do well. Coffee does get things moving along. My stomach does much complaining after a cup. There has been no other life gaining benefits that I can currently gleam. Perhaps I need more patience.

I have recently decided that life can be rather short (living through a pandemic will do that) and considering I didn’t get a chance to see the data I’ve decided that the news of coffee drinkers living longer may not be worth adhering to…but is it worth ignoring?

Taste wise, it would be a relief to go back to drinking tea. Good old British tea – a cup of rosylee. In Britain, drinking Rosemary Tea, and a few others not so nice tasting herbs is very traditional. A cuppa rosy means tea, now usually the common ‘breakfast’ variety. But it wasn’t always so.

Over centuries Britain has traded far and wide with countries like China and India. This trade enabled the more exotic blends of tea we know today such as Assam, Green Tea, Yorkshire or PG Tips and of course Earl Grey. These exotic blends were successful with tea houses opening up all over from the 1600s and older natural herbal teas fell out of fashion.

Like many, I’d used Rosemary herb in cooking for years. I was surprised to realised it was a tea. How about that? It grows outside of a packet. It comes from the ground – that fools many that it could be ‘unsafe’.

However, we were drinking rosemary in droves before packets came along. It’s a good stimulant for your heart and vascular system and contains barely any caffeine. It is said to keep the blood clean and thin. Useful if you smoke or suffer from thickening arteries.

Supermarkets are doing a nice line in fresh herbs – most of the main chains stock the main herbs which can benefit tea flavours and your health. I grabbed a fresh rosemary plant for £2.50. These are easy to prepare and fairly strong.

Boil some water and pour over a sprig of rosemary in a mug with strong handle. Then let the rosemary and the water just sit for about two minutes. This is called ‘steeping’. You can obviously adjust to your own tastes. A sprig of rosemary is around two inches of one green leafed stalk.

If you feel just like a little pick-me-up then let the rosemary stay in the water until it turns green – if you just want a normal refreshing cuppa rosemary take out the sprig after two minutes. You don’t need anything else added to this delicious drink.

The taste is sweet and strong but then so is blended tea from China or Yorkshire. The effects are good though and do help increase mood. I find rosemary can bring me clarity as well as just tasting exceptionally refreshing.

Coffee will always have it’s place as the drink I must endure each morning and may prolong my life – however, it is tea which enriches it.

Thank you for reading.