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Rosevear Tea - more than just a cuppa ...

By Lea Harris

Growing up there was always a brew on the go, but not in a good way. When I say a brew always on the go, I mean my mother would have a stained stainless steel teapot on the back burner that would be topped up with hot water throughout the day. It could dissolve teaspoons, god only knows what it did to her stomach! I didn’t drink tea for years. Discovering, in my early twenties, that there were more types than just 'builders'. I knew that teas had health benefits – peppermint for upset tums, camomile to calm and sooth, lavender to help sleep, but it wasn’t until I attended at tea tasting at Rosevear, that I discovered tea is more than just a cuppa. Isabelle and Adam Rosevear invited herbalist, Joseph Nolan, to talk about our everyday bevvy as a medicine, and it was eye-opening! We all know about the five tastes, I was about to discover that there are others. Besides sweet, sour, bitter and salt (we’ll leave umami out of this today), under discussion were astringent and pungent. Joseph guided us through how to taste the teas, encouraging us to multi-sniff, looking at it for colour, clarity and bubbles, tasting for flavour, mouthfeel and aftertaste (slurping was openly encouraged), and finally observational – sensations of ingestion, body responses, thoughts. Trying five different teas, we discovered each had its own characteristics, and the part it plays in helping with various ailments. A ripened Pu’erh was astringent, a cardiovascular tonic helping reduce cholesterol and helpings suppress weight gain as well as being full of anti-oxidants. It is also a stimulant. Next up Yunnan white buds served hot and cold. It was sweet and tart, an excellent anti-inflammatory so good for painful and swollen joints, also good for brain function. Our third sample was rhubarb rooibos, useful for mild cramps and, as a detoxifier, aids liver and kidney function (I guess it would help with hangovers too). Hibiscus was jaw-jingling; the colour of garnet, it’s hugely astringent, and the base of most red fruit teas. Packed full of vitamin C, it’s great for immune function, it also helps with high blood pressure. Our final tea was a full-on fragrant floral noseful of orange blossom and lemon verbena, both uplifting and calming. Not only an aid for sleep but helpful to women of a certain age suffering from Mediterranean moments – you know what I mean, ladies! The subject is vast as the teas at Rosevear, and Joseph only dabbed at the surface, peaking my curiosity to discover more about the world of tea!

Rosevear Tea 100 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4ES 71 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ 17 Clerk Street, EH8 9JH 0131 261 5547 or 0131 667 8466, Edinburgh 0131 558 2530

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