Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

Union Jack Tea Pot-01 thepamperedsparrow

Image: The Pampered Sparrow blog

Though the Portugese and Dutch may have been the first European countries to bring tea from China, the English have been synonymous with this drink for over two centuries. To us here at Teatopit, the relationship between the two sounds like the foundation of an epic movie!It was the Dutch that first began to ship back tea to Holland as a commercial import (by encroaching on Portugese shipping routes) in the latter part of the sixteenth century. By the early 1600’s, the Dutch had a trading post on the island of Java, and it was from Java (the irony!) that the first consignment of tea was shipped from China to Holland in 1606. Tea soon became a fashionable drink among the Dutch, and from there spread to other countries as a drink for the wealthy.

The East India Company had a monopoly on British trade throughout the first half of the 1600’s, and while it is likely that their sailors and tradesmen were familiar with tea, it was not a traded commodity until later. Tea was available in coffee houses (more irony!)—most notably Sweetings Rents in London, as a novelty, but really began to catch on when Charles II married Catherine of Braganza.  The Portugese princess was purportedly a tea fanatic, and her drinking of the beverage made it fashionable first among her court, then among the wealthy classes. The East India Company took advantage of this and began to import tea from China in 1664. This monopoly continued for another two centuries, until the East India Company’s monopoly trade with China—which was their chief supplier of tea—ended in 1834.  Because of its strong influence within the country, the British Company began exploring growing tea on a wide scale in India, beginning in Assam. Five years later, the Company had enough volume of “marketable quality” tea to begin selling it at auction in England. In 1858, the British government took over direct control of India and expanded the cultivation of tea beyond Assam and into other parts of India. By 1888, British tea imports from India were greater than those from China.

In one of our next posts, we’ll talk about the English custom of “afternoon,” or “low” tea and how it came to be.

Information in part from the UK Tea Council 

Image courtesy of eyes.lips.face

We know the reported health benefits of tea, but what about the beauty benefits? Two main components of tea—caffeine and polyphenols—are key elements that make tea such a wonder for some topical beauty treatments.In the health and beauty world, caffeine is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Products with this ingredient promise to reduce puffiness, diminish redness associated with rosacea, and soothe skin after hair removal treatments and some chemical peels. Polyphenols belong to a group of antioxidant compounds known as catechins that can have a beneficial effect in, and on, the body.

For regular tea drinkers who are surrounded by tea, at Teatopit we say, “use what you have!” to create these easy and no-cost beauty (and mood) boosters.

Eye Compress in a pinch…Tea Bags for Tired Eyes
Busy schedules make spa visits few and far between for many of us, but this doesn’t mean we can’t take a few minutes each day to unwind. When you don’t have cucumbers handy, take two recently used green tea bags, soak them in warm water for a few seconds then place them in the refrigerator for five minutes to cool. Sit back with the bags over your eyes for twenty minutes. Combine the compress with soothing music and deep, relaxing breaths, and see the difference this makes in how you look and feel! This helps reduce puffiness and diminish dark circles.

Image credit: Google

Teatopit is based in the northeast, and while we admit that winters can be pretty, the season tends to wreak havoc on our looks. Dry indoor air can make skin and hair brittle and lackluster in appearance. We’ve found a couple of remedies that not only improve our looks, but improve our outlook during the long, cold winter.

Steam Things Up…with a Green Tea Steam Facial
A green tea steam facial is a wonderful way to open pores and rehydrate the skin. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender or vanilla are ideal in winter) makes this a completely relaxing and sensory experience, be careful not to fall asleep!

• Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil.
• Reduce flame and toss in a ¼ cup of green tea leaves (use loose leaves or break open two bags). Let the leaves simmer for 10 minutes.
• Remove the pot from flame and place it on a flat, heat-resistant surface. Add three to four drops of essential oil.
• Lean over the pot with a towel draped over your head, forming a tent.
• Set a timer and allow the steam to work for five minutes.
• Pat your skin dry and splash a gentle toner on your face to close pores.
• Follow with a gentle moisturizer.

Recipe from

Hair Gets Thirsty Too!

A Black Tea Hair Rinse not only imparts a nice sheen and softness to the hair, some even claim it can reduce shedding—often a symptom of dry scalp. For those of us with dark hair, this rinse also enhances warm tones.

• Fill a large pot or saucepan with 5 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil
• Remove pot from flame and toss in a ½ cup of black tea leaves (use loose leaves or break open four tea bags). Let the infusion steep for at least an hour, overnight is best.
• Shampoo hair and dry with a dark or old towel, as tea can stain. Part hair into two or more sections. Pour the cooled infusion over scalp and hair.
• Cover hair with a plastic cap and wrap it in a towel. Let the treatment sit for no more than an hour. Rinse well and follow with your normal conditioner.
Although this recipe uses black tea, this rinse can be made using green tea. Do you swear by one over another? Let us know, and share your results with us!

Recipe from

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Theodore Roosevelt