For the Love of Tea

nerafa tea Australian grown tea**This post is brought to you in partnership with Nerada Tea

Do you remember the first time you experienced tea? I say experienced, because a cup of tea is far more than a drink. Think about the different types of tea, the scent of the leaves, the sound of a boiling kettle, the pouring of water bubbling into your cup, the way it feels as you sip it.

If like me, you use leaves and a beautiful teapot and cup, the process is even more lovely. And if you are a true connoisseur, even the thickness of the cup will change the taste, and be important to you. I can not bear tea from a thick mug!

Read on for the history of tea and a great giveaway from Nerada Tea and The Sustainable Home Hub – Enter at the end of the post!

I can clearly remember when tea became a daily ritual for me. I grew up in a family of English migrants and tea was a part of life. As a child and teenager, I chose to drink milk with my breakfast and continued this when I left home. It was at my university placement in a social work department at a hospital, that tea became part of my life. A tea break was a must, and a milky cup of tea became my preference. Now, my tea is far darker, but I still do not like black tea without a bit of milk. Everyone is different in how they like their tea. For me, pouring the tea before the milk is essential, but I know other people who must have the milk in first – what are your tea rituals?

Tea has featured in the mundane everyday moments of my life, and the big life changing ones. A good talk with my best friends has always included popping on the kettle while we worked out the big issues of life. Tea has been shared with my mother, my grandmothers and my great grandmother. I have shared tea across the world, drinking Rooibos in South Africa on safari with my Mum, and when I travelled to England as a young child, one of my strongest memories is our family laughing at the countless number of cups of tea we were offered as we visited relative!  Tea has even brought me great comfort after the loss of loved ones, and soothed my emotions at other times in life when I have felt stress or upset.

Nerada TeaTea History and Facts

It seems tea drinking is an important part of many people’s lives. Millions of people across the world love their cup of tea each day, and it is hard to imagine a world without tea. In fact, it has become the most widely consumed beverage on earth after water. More tea is consumed throughout the world than any other liquid, except water.

Starting in China, tea is now consumed throughout the world, in a variety of types and styles.  Legend goes that tea originated in 2737 BC when the Emperor Shen Nung of China was removed from power, and driven out to an isolated spot in Southern China. He had no money and nothing to drink except water. He demanded all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One day he was sitting under a tree when some wind blew a few leaves into his cup of boiling water. Apparently, he loved this new drink so much that he sat under that tree for the next seven years and wouldn’t drink anything else but tea! See more on the history of tea here.

Tea in Australia

The tea industry in Australia has had a complicated history. It first began during the late 1880’s, after the Cutten brothers discovered potential farming land in Bingil Bay in Queensland. They set up Australia’s first commercial tea plantation here. Sadly, the great cyclone of 1918 and the tidal waves that followed, destroyed the entire plantation, and the estate was abandoned for many years.

During the early 1950’s things took an upward turn, after Dr Allan Maruff migrated to Australia, and settled in Innisfail, near Cairns. He noticed that the area had lots in common with his homeland of North India, where tea grew happily. He was as an enthusiastic botanist and decided to develop a tea industry in Australia, going in search of the Cutten brothers’ lost plantation. He was delighted to find hidden deep in the Queensland rainforest, a thriving tea plantation, with some tea plants as high as 15 metres! He collected hundreds of seedlings and seeds, and returned to Innisfail to begin his tea nursery.

In 1958 Maruff purchased 320 acres of land in the Nerada Valley, nestled in the foothills of the Atherton Tablelands and planted the tea seedlings collected at Bingil Bay. The tea plantation grew, as did the challenges of finding suitable labour. Marruff approached trading house Burns Philp and they formed a joint venture called Nerada Tea Estates.

By 1969, it became clear that the tea industry had to develop mechanical harvesting methods, so that tea in Australia would continue to be viable. A tea processing factory was established in 1971 and the tea was sold to packers and blenders in the southern Australian states. However, the quality of the tea was not high, and the need for very low prices put the new business under enormous financial pressure. The high production costs eventually led to the closure of the factory and plantation in 1972, with Burns Philp buying out Maruff’s holdings and selling the assets to Tea Estates of Australia (TEA).

The new group of Innisfail investors, led by local Holden dealer Rod Taylor, formed Tea Estates of Australia and decided to move away from selling bulk wholesale tea and develop a retail brand. In 1974 the Nerada Tea brand was launched into the Queensland Market through Cut Price Stores and by 1982 it was available in mainland states. This fledgling industry was still fragile, and needed support of a number of growers and investors to survive. It was a difficult journey, but one which eventually resulted in a thriving tea industry, with thanks to the Russell family. Read more here about the Nerada Russell family, who have been involved in tea since 1927, successfully growing the Australian Nerada brand we know and love today.

Types of Tea

Black, green and white tea are all derived from the same plant – camellia sinensis. What makes them different is how the leaves are picked and processed, which in turn results in varying flavours depending on which tea you are drinking.

Nerada produces single-origin black tea, meaning it is all grown, pesticide free, at their estate in the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. After the leaves are harvested, they are cut and torn, and left exposed to the air. They undergo a natural enzymatic oxidation, which changes the colour of the leaves from green to brown, a similar process to when an apple is cut and left out and eventually goes brown. After further drying, known as firing in the tea industry, the leaves turn black. Nerada produces a loose leaf tea (with no plastic in sight) so you can brew a big pot to enjoy with friends or for individual enjoyment.

Some teas have cleansing properties and are considered to have the potential to bring health benefits. I know that for me, peppermint and ginger teas are vital to my chronic stomach conditions. But it is the good old-fashioned black leaf tea that is my favourite.  Tea contains traces of proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. It’s also low in sodium, and enjoyed without milk or sugar, it contains virtually no calories. Tea contains natural antioxidants called flavonoids. Antioxidants help to fight damaging free radicals and maintain healthy cells and tissues. They also contribute to promoting healthy cardiovascular function.

The use of Teabags

As a leading producer of tea in Australia, Nerada recognise the need for continued innovation and are always looking at ways to reduce their environmental footprint. Their Australian tea plantations are pesticide free, and all other products are organically grown. Recently they were the first agricultural enterprise in Australia to be awarded Rainforest Alliance Certification.

Currently, there’s very few filter grade paper options available to tea producers that can seal the tea into the bags effectively whilst allowing the tea flavours to infuse naturally. The Nerada filter paper is manufactured using a blend of high-quality manila hemp, which does contain a tiny percentage (less than 2%) of food-grade synthetic fibres. These fibres are used to heat-seal the teabag, ensuring that the tea remains inside the bag while brewing. These heat-sealable fibres do not leak into the tea during the brewing process. In fact, the use of heat-sealable fibre in teabags has met with rigorous worldwide food and safety regulations, deeming their use 100% safe for the tea drinker.

Their teabags are oxygen-whitened, which means they have not been treated with harmful chlorine or chlorine-based compounds. Not only are oxygen-whitened teabags healthier for the tea drinker, no harmful toxins enter the environment once the tea bag is discarded.

Nerada teabags are compostable when added to a normal garden compost heap (we personally place our herbal infusion teabags straight into the compost or council green bin and have never had an issue). The natural fibres of the filter paper decompose at a natural pace, while the tiny amount (less than 2%) of synthetic fibres decompose at a slower rate than their natural counterparts.

Given that the popularity of the teabag in Australia shows no sign of waning, the next stage of Nerada’s product evolution will naturally focus on the teabag, and how they can make it more environmentally sustainable. Their team is currently in the process of trialling a new filter paper made from 100% natural fibres and they intend to introduce this new filter paper to their teabags as soon as they are confident in trial results – so stay tuned.

GIVEAWAY!

So, you can see, there are many reasons why tea is such a popular drink around the world. To celebrate Christmas and the love of tea, Nerada and The Sustainable Home Hub have put together a simply tea-alicious giveaway!

There are THREE prizes valued at over $130 each – each pack contains:

  • A divine vintage English china teacup trio (they are featured above – 1 with tulips, 1 with pansies and 1 with roses)
  • A box of fair-trade Christmas decorations which comes in a beautiful box filled with decorations
  • A box of fair-trade Christmas stars
  • 3 boxes of Nerada black loose-leaf tea
  • A selection of Nerada herbal infusions

TO ENTER

  • Just tell us below in the comments on this blog post in 150 words or less– “what is your favourite tea memory and why?” (We will notify winners by responding to their comments and via email, so make sure you tick to get notified of follow up comments)
    • We will select the top 3 answers by 5 pm ACST on the 14th December 2018 and will announce this on our social media channels. We will endeavour to post prizes to arrive before Christmas so keep your eye on the post and your email to see if you have won on the 14th December.
    • Open to Australian residents aged over 18 years
    • Judges decision is final – this is a game of skill, so get creative with your answers!

Answers posted on social media will not be included. You must comment on this post,
Good luck!

Helen

 

 

 

83 Comments

  1. Cherie Howarth on December 6, 2018 at 7:39 am

    I just love boiling the Billie when camping. Just before daylight when there is not another sole insight, in preparation to sit in my well loved camp chair ready to view the sunrise. My husband says it’s a little extravagant that my china teacup and saucer come camping, I tell him it is a necessity. My most memorable morning cuppa and sunrise has most definitely been on the Murray River.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 7:51 am

      I can imagine myself there and see you with that cup – NOT an extravagance!

  2. Karyn Cheers on December 6, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Reading this has brought back great memories of my childhood. The special container for the tea leaves, the beautiful set of cups and saucers in the china cupboard that where brought out for special occasions. The cute teapots. The smell of the tea brewing. Visitors arriving and the first woods uttered where would you like a cuppa. Many problems solved and major decisions made over a cuppa. As a small child I remember the boiling of the kettle on the wood stove and precise amount of tea leaves in the pot. After pouring the water on and letting it sit for a short time. The beautiful cups and saucers. On Sundays I would make cups of tea for my mum and dad and take into their bedroom. They never commented on their drinks but smiled and said thanks. I did master the perfect drink over the years.
    Such great memories.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 7:52 am

      this is very beautiful – thanks for sharing

  3. Kathy Crossing on December 6, 2018 at 7:54 am

    As small children my siblings and I would only have an opportunity to visit our grandparents once a year. On that visit my grandad would get up before dawn and head down stairs to the kitchen; he would brew a large pot of tea put out a packet of biscuits and wait. All the grandchildren would sneak down stairs join him. Over the next hours we would dunk our biscuits in his never ending cup of tea and we would listen to the stories that he told.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Kathy this is the most beautiful memory of your grandad – thank you for sharing x

  4. Karyn Cheers on December 6, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Reading this has brought back amazing memories of my childhood with the special container for the tea leaves. The beautiful teapots, cups and saucers from the China cupboard that where brought out for special occasions. Water boiling on the wood stove. The smell of the tea brewing. When visitors arrived the first words uttered would be “do you want a cuppa”. Major decisions where made or specials moments happened with a cuppa.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Such beautiful memories! Always a cuppa to be drunk

  5. Helen Wilde on December 6, 2018 at 8:52 am

    So many tea memories! My earliest experiences of tea as a child are two specific occasions. One was when I was unwell. I was a fainter, and also suffered from vertigo at times. My mother would make a cup of cambric tea, weak sweet milky tea. As children the normal strength tea was considered ‘too strong ‘. My second memory is of being the ‘tea maker ‘. On our Mother’s birthday, which was in January and so in our school holidays; and on Mother’s Day, which of course is Sunday, my sisters and I would get up early and make breakfast in bed for our parents. There was a task for each of us, making toast, setting the tray, and making a pot of tea. Picking a posy of flowers was a much coveted extra task, and sometimes frying eggs. We had no idea of how to time events, and so breakfast was usually cold by the time we took it in. Our parents would be keeping their giggles under control, being very aware of what their little girls were up to. Dad’s ‘aaahhh…’ of satisfaction on his first sip of tea was a much anticipated part of the preparations. Mam was always effusive in her praise, and the cuppa was the most appreciated part of breakfast in bed.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 9:54 am

      the most beautiful and eloquent tea memories xx

  6. Nadia Schoner on December 6, 2018 at 10:19 am

    My mum used to make us weak tea with a little sugar when we were sick or even pretending to be sick. It always made me feel comforted. Then as we got older my youngest brother used to make us all a cup of Russian Caravan tea and we would all snuggle in a big queen bed and have our tea and watch television. Now as I am older I have also come to realise why my mums ‘fussy’ friend insisted on a teapot for tea and refused for us to use the ‘fancy’ boiling water tap my dad had installed!

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 10:20 am

      what a lovely memory – tea heals in so many ways

  7. Pauline Clark on December 6, 2018 at 10:53 am

    From a very early age it was always my job to make my dads tea.
    He liked it strong, black and hot so I had to be very careful carrying it to the dinner table.
    Dad had a little battered silver 2 cup teapot that was so black inside but we were never allowed to clean it. He said it made the tea taste better.
    How I wish I could make him a cuppa now! I miss him dearly.
    I think of him every morning when I sit down for my own cup of tea.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 10:59 am

      I just love how so many people’s memories relate to their parents and grandparents – it is beautiful to read. Thank you for sharing

  8. Caterina Schulz on December 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    I remember going regularly to Coolum on the QLD Sunshine Coast with a friend & her family when I was 12 & 13. My family didn’t have a tea drinking tradition so I had very little experience of tea. Anyway the family always stayed in their beach bungalow but we girls got to camp out in the caravan on site. Every morning at 6 o’clock Grandpa would come up to the caravan and knock and call out “tea, girls” and one of us would open the door to a tray with cups of strong white sweetened tea. It was a wonderful way to start the morning, sipping tea in bed and giggling and planning our day at the beach. More than 40 years ago now but such pleasant memories.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

      what a combination! The beach, holidays, friends, grandpa and tea!

  9. Ronny Tidy on December 6, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I have always loved tea as my parents were Scottish & so the teapot was on a low peep most of the day( still hate stewed tea). If there were salutations we put the kettle in, commiserations, put the kettle in, feeling ill, put the kettle in, visitors, put the kettle on. My favourite was a rose bud that was dried and when you poured boiling water over it it opened to an exquisite bloom given to me on my wedding day. I felt it was like my new life, unfurling towards the future with my new husband.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

      oh my how beautiful!!!

  10. Jacqui Ryan on December 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

    I was about ten and on my first camp out complete with my horse. Breakfast time and a huge smoke stained billy can was boiled. Tea leaves thrown in and then the billy can was swung around and around
    I was amazed that none was lost. I was then served black tea with about 4 teaspoons of sugar in a battered enamel mug
    Not how I drink tea now but I still remember that day as it was the first time I was given tea and I felt very grown up

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

      What an important memory! The day you felt grown up 🙂 And how lucky to have a horse!

  11. Kyrie K on December 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I remember picking up my friend in our campervan – we were heading up to the Flinders for a camping get away. She jumped in the front seat with her thermos in hand containing a beautiful whole leaf earl grey tea. I hadn’t had earl grey before and we shared a cup along our journey. I will always remember how it warmed me from the inside out like a loving hug. The bergamot oil said to every cell in my body let me embrace you! This tea is now my daily go to, actually I’m having a pot for one as I write this!

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 11:54 am

      what a lovely memory of your friend. And you can think of her each time you drink your earl grey 🙂

  12. Carol dapper on December 6, 2018 at 11:49 am

    My grandmother loved her tea.She always drank out of a beautiful bone china cup with of course a matching saucer.My grandmother treated it like a ceremony .The process of brewing the tea(no tea bags in sight) and waiting for the perfect moment to pour!!!
    Then the giggles from the grandchildren
    When she would pour her tea into the saucer 1 or 2 times back and forth as she was eager for her tea to cool so she could savor her perfect cup of tea.🙂

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 11:54 am

      I can see her now and I totally appreciate her process!

    • Helen Wilde on December 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Oh this made me smile! It reminded me of an anecdote, about I think the Queen Mother. She was having afternoon tea with some shearers, and commented on how hot it was.. One of them offered her his cup, as he said,” Here you are Ma’am, have mine, it’s all saucered and blowed.”

  13. Kristy Lucy on December 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    My family are all tea drinkers and I have so many memories of morning tea, afternoon tea, supper! My most favourite though are morning tea with my nan, the tea would be hot, strong and black with lots of sugar and always a homemade biscuit to dunk, then we would sometimes pretend to be fortune tellers and find shapes in the leaves (and biscuit crumbs) left in the bottom, our fortunes were always happy or funny and even thinking of them now makes me smile.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      love the tea leaf readings!

  14. Barbara Dalgleish on December 6, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I grew up in a family of tea drinkers who liked it so strong the proverbial spoon almost stood up. It was never anything fancy – just black Billy Tea or the like. I still enjoy my tea quite strong with milk and so am not a great lover of herbal infusions but as an adult have come to appreciate a much wider range of brews. My favourite memory is a tea tasting in China where we sampled aged Puer tea – the longer it had been aged, the more expensive it became. The ceremony was conducted by charming Chinese ladies and the tea was made in large glass teapots. As the dried and withered leaves soaked up the water, they were transformed into long shards that rose near to the surface and literally danced around the pot. It was fascinating to watch and the tea was delicious.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      What an incredible experience!

  15. Alison McMahon on December 6, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    One of my first ever cupa of tea was shared with my dad and my Nanna. Nanna owned dairy cows and we would arrive very early in the morning to milk the cows. When that task was finished we would go up to the house to have breakfast and a very strongly brewed pot of tea on the wood stove with fresh milk. It was the best tea ever and spending time with my dear Nanna with her being appreciative of my help was very special. I got to choose my own favourite cup to use and it was just for me.

    • helene on December 6, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      oh how lovely to have the fresh milk! A wonderful memory

  16. Kerryn Macaulay on December 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Most of my family are now coffee drinkers, while I enjoy coffee as well, tea is my always anytime drink of choice. There is nothing like putting the jug on to boil while I decide which loose leaf tea to put into one of my tea pots. Then that feeling of peace when I sit down to take that first sip. I can survive anything with a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other ♡

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 6:51 am

      Love that, books and tea

  17. Janet Dennison on December 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Taking tea as a child with my grandmother and great grandmother in the conservatory with the tea trolley – beautifully set with starched linens, English bone China teaset and cucumber sandwiches. My best manners and behaviour were expected (and insisted on).

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 6:51 am

      how special!!

  18. Glenda Herdman on December 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Sharing a cuppa with my dad was always a favourite memory, he passed away in 2004. Miss the conversations, his silly jokes and the dad/daughter moments

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 6:51 am

      that is a lovely memory, so hard when people are gone. I can only imagine missing my dad x

  19. Anna Read on December 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I’m happy to find I’m not the only person left who loves brewing tea every morning in a ritual that’s so significant and personal. I’m amazed how many people use tea bags in mugs – and miss out on the magic that loose tea in a warmed pot (plus a tea cosy!) poured through a strainer; adding a little more boiling water for a third or fourth cup can give. Nerada has been my favorite tea for years – for the taste and value – and now I understand much more about the history of the company. Growing up in an English family clearly has its merits! My mother introduced us to weak, sweet, milky tea at a very early age and we all cherished the ritual. Both my brother and sister grew up to prefer coffee – but I just cannot imagine starting the day any other way.

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 6:48 am

      Oh yes the tea cosy!

  20. Naomi on December 7, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Tea is such a big ritual in our family. I have been a sufferer of IBS since I was a teenager and I remember my Mum suggesting that I start having a black tea after dinner because it was recommended to her from a doctor with a background in Eastern medicine. My mum, dad and I would all sit down to a black tea with no sugar or milk after dinner in front of the tv and it became a strong ritual which we still continue today. I am not sure whether it helped, but I always seemed to feel better afterwards, especially if we had a really fatty meal. My tea interests have developed and expanded over the years and now I love all types, but I particularly love sitting and chatting with friends and family over a pot of loose leaf tea and enjoy sipping out of small japanese style teacups that fit inside my small hands.

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 8:04 am

      That is really interesting – I also suffer with IBS as well as gastroparesis and reflux. For me it is about amounts – just the right amount of black tea is soothing – just one too many cups, or if it is too stewed, then I can feel dreadful – I think it is about tannin when it is too stewed. I find the herbal infusions with ginger, lemon and mint, to be increbible soothing for my poor tum

  21. Kelpad on December 7, 2018 at 7:42 am

    I’ve been lucky enough to have grown up in a tea drinking family, the loose leaf and teapot kind. My earliest memory is of my grannie pouring my tea into my own mini size, fine china cup and saucer, we would sit together in the morning and sip our tea.
    She would pour some from the cup into the saucer and blow on it so it wasn’t to hot and I’d slurp the tea, I’ve been drinking tea ever since, 55 years now!
    Still loose leaf, always Nerada and always in a pot, the only thing that changes is the size of the teapot and the cosy!

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

      how lovely to have a child size special cup!

  22. Rachel Neal on December 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

    After the birth of my beautiful grand daughter the first birth I had ever attended .Tears of joy were shed by the new grans lots of oohing and ahing hugs and kisses and a nice cuppa to go over it all again for the first of many times

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 8:04 am

      What a special moment!!

  23. Sandy Barker on December 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    My English grandmother, who always warmed the pot before making tea and always turned the pot around once for good luck, gifted me her beautiful Wedgwood teapot – the one she was given on her wedding day by my great-grandmother. I will always treasure it and every time I make tea in it grandma’s way, I think of her.

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Oh so lucky! I still turn the pot – three times 🙂

  24. Sharyn Burstall on December 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

    My fam weren’t tea drinkers, so i never knew a good tea until i moved out of home….30 odd years ago.
    My first and best experience was when visiting a friend’s parents for lunch.
    There was a pot on the table wearing it’s very own knitted jacket.
    Dainty little cups. Milk jug and sugar bowl. All very fancy.
    The smell was divine.
    The taste was better than that!
    My first sip made me feel like i would never put another liquid near my lips again… bliss.
    Even the little leaves in the bottom were impressive.
    A few cups later i thanked these beautiful people for a wonderful day and a new daily routine.
    It must be in a pot.
    I don’t remember what we ate…
    It changed me.

    • helene on December 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

      what a magical momentous occasion!

  25. Isabelle on December 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    For me, the smell of tea brewing in Grandpa’s kitchen, 1964. He had a little aluminium teapot and brewed tea for his breakfast. Also mixed n that scenario was toast, a boiled egg and marmalade.

    • helene on December 9, 2018 at 8:38 am

      perfect combo!

  26. karina lee on December 8, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Having a nice hot cup of green tea with my Mum once a week when she comes to help me with the kids. It’s a chance to debrief and catch up on life, family and whatever!

    • helene on December 9, 2018 at 8:37 am

      A lovely ritual and memory building for you all

  27. Teresa Boughton on December 8, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Christmas Day at our family farm, 75km from town, post Christmas lunch, surrounded by nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles our power goes out. My cousin lights a small camp fire and boils the billy. He throws in the tea leaves and much to the delight of the assembled children, swings the billy around in several large over shoulder rotations. Billy tea in enamel mugs for all with gingerbread to dunk.

    • helene on December 9, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Fanatstic Christmas memory!

  28. Patricia Paterson on December 10, 2018 at 7:17 am

    I enjoy my first cup of tea early in the morning, before anyone else is awake. While the kettle boils I water my thirstiest potted plants and quickly check what’s about to flower.
    I have a couple of favorite cups, from which I enjoy my tea. It must be prepared immediately after the kettles boiled, and sipped as the steam rises.
    Favorite memory: My parents swore by rotating the teapot three times to the right before pouring into mismatched dainty crockery. ..accompanied by knitted tea cosy and a seersucker tablecloth.

    • helene on December 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      A lovely way to start the day and a pretty memory of your parents 🙂

  29. Rachel on December 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Having a cupa wasn’t just about the drinking of the tea or tasting the flavour, my memories are about the occasion that it created. Memories of sitting with my grandmother, listening to her sing in the kitchen while it brewed. Listening to her stories while sipping from her bone China cups. The occasion when family would drop in, “put the kettle on”, “want a cupa?” …the laughter, the stories and the closeness we created, over a cup of tea; as I get older it’s something I’ll always cherish.

    • helene on December 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Beautiful memories

  30. Liz Websdale on December 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    First tea experience I remember was being allowed to drink sweet milky tea as a child at my Grandparents’ house. Made with loose tea with hot water heated in a big iron kettle on top of the wood fired Agar.And it was always Ceylon tea because my Grandfather said that was the best kind.

    • helene on December 12, 2018 at 11:18 am

      so wonderful to have those memories

  31. sharon on December 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I drink more tea than anyone I know! I always have a cuppa in my hand. Tea fixes everything. I can only drink it from a fine bone china cup or mug. My fondest tea drinking memories are of visiting my sister, lots of tea and scotch finger biscuits for dunking and many games of scrabble.

    • helene on December 12, 2018 at 11:17 am

      perfect combination!

  32. Tamara on December 12, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I have fond memories of sitting at the table while my great grandmother poured me a cup of tea from her aluminum pot. We would sip together, dunking our Scotchfinger biscuits into our warm brew. We shared wonderful conversations whilst engaging in this ritual. Today, my 12 year old daughter and I share a love of tea. We brew a pot each morning and night from our decorated ceramic pot, and share in conversation. The warmth of tea brings us together. It connects us.

    • helene on December 12, 2018 at 11:17 am

      love how you have carried this on

  33. Noeline Rowsell on December 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    My Nanna taught me how to make tea properly. I would make Dad’s cuppa nice and strong and sweet and Mum’s cuppa not so strong and no sugar. As an adult I moved away, married and had children.I didn’t actually like tea until after I had my daughters and my tastes changed. After my marriage failed I returned home and was the tea maker again. My last memory of my Nanna is having a cuppa with her, in a lovely china cup, watching the Sunday afternoon Worship program on TV. We had a lovely peaceful, companionable afternoon. That memory is precious as she passed away the next day. I have always love tea in a cup with a saucer ever since and have collected some pretty sets. My eldest daughter has also inherited the love of tea, served in a cup with a saucer.

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 7:01 am

      so many memories of your life connected to tea

  34. Jackie Proctor on December 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Not long before my friend moved back to New Zealand we shared a simple meal and then sat in front of the fire , lost in her big leather chairs and shared a pot of tea. She loves the whole process of warming the pot, just the right amount of tea and the perfect time to let it brew, something I do now as well. We sat , drinking our tea from her beautiful China cups and reminiscing about the years we had been friends. It is a treasured memory, our time together quietly talking and just spending time together over a cuppa

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

      that is so very lovely

  35. Sharon lord on December 12, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    My grandmother always made us a cup of tea to start the day in winter we drank it in front of the fire in the farmhouse kitchen. She would tell me stories of her youth she has long passed and i miss those early morning cups of tea. My mother has dementia now and i still have sunday afternoon tea with her it always brings a smile to her face . Her fine china teacup with the word mother on it is over 50 years old and will one day be mine and all those memories with it. Soon my granddaughter will be old enough to start the next generation of tea drinkers

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

      such lovely memories. I hope that you can continue to enjoy that tea with your mum for a while to come

  36. Rebecca on December 12, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I had my first cup of tea with Grandma. When I first became interested in cooking I’d go to Grandma’s and she’d teach me her favourite recipes. We both have a big sweet tooth so it was usually cakes and desserts. We’d always sit down after for a pot of tea and our latest creation. Passion fruit sponge and a cup of tea is still my favourite treat all these years later.

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 6:59 am

      how delicious!

  37. Jennifer on December 12, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    My love of tea started with my beautiful Nan. I would stay with her each school holidays and brewing a pot of tea became a ritual in my life.

    Nan would offer me a choice of teacup, but it was always the cup with pink roses, with its gentle flare at the top, that I chose. It once had a gold edge, but that wore off eventually!

    Back then, it was always regular black tea. Now I have quite the space in the pantry dedicated to a range of teas! Knowing my love of tea, friends and family have gifted tea pots that have filled a cabinet; a cabinet that was my Nan’s.

    Tea is still a daily ritual, which is now shared with my children. They too enjoying trying each of the teas, but it is what happens during its making that’s magical – a sense of calm, moments to stop, chat and simply “be”.

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Love that – the calmness of tea

  38. Toni-Jane Burton on December 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    The smell of white tea with sugar is my favourite tea memory…..poured from the thermos,sitting in the shearing shed, at smoko, with my Dad, I would have been about 4yrs old. Just takes me straight back to those days helping out in the shearing shed.
    Funnily enough, I drink all my teas without milk….don’t like the taste of milk in tea at all!! Ha Ha!!!

    • helene on December 13, 2018 at 6:58 am

      what a lovely memory and how funny!

  39. Jess D on December 13, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Well, i never used to like chamomile tea. One hectic evening at work (i work with kids in crisis-care), once the kids were settled in bed, my workmate Kerry convinced me to ‘give it another try’. We are both quite environmentally conscious people, so out came the Nerade Chamomile Tea. It was blissful. I felt so relaxed, and that my insides were being Nourished and hugged.
    So a big thank you to Kerry, as i now drink it everyday !!!

    • helene on December 14, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Love this memory

  40. Bec on December 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    My memory is a very new one and I’m so grateful for it. My son took part in electives at school and elected to join the grounds group. After many of these afternoons spent weeding and mulching and contributing to beautifying the school his wonderful teacher would often brew some tea for the group. My son got to try fresh herbal tea made with plants from the school garden and he was so excited by this ritual that he’s began trying different teas that I myself love to collect. I’m so glad his teacher began his tea journey and I’m excited to continue to share his journey!

    • helene on December 17, 2018 at 6:18 am

      a lovely new memory

  41. Beryl Roberts on December 15, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Memories of family are always tied up with cups of tea. Tea when you lost a love, when you were feeling down, at the wedding breakfast and the funeral tea. Hot sweet tea for shock. All family get togethers were based around a pot of tea. Thanks for the memories.

    • helene on December 17, 2018 at 6:18 am

      lovely memories

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