“Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another –
Let us hold hands and look.”
She such a very ordinary little woman;
He such a thumping crook;
But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels
In the teashop’s ingle-nook.
John Betjeman, ‘In a Bath Teashop’
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you can’t help but think of the role that tea plays in so many romances and love stories. As Henrik Ibsen put it in his play ‘Love’s Comedy,’ where tea is being discussed, “Its home lies in the Valley of Romance.” Blushing glances over your mug with your tea-for-two date, comforting a loved one with their favourite brew to ease the blues… It’s the perfect way to show someone that you care. After all, no tea lover can deny the feeling of warmth and happiness that comes from being presented with a fresh cup of tea made just the way you like it – it truly is the little things. John Betjeman encapsulates this beautifully in his poem ‘In a Bath Teashop’ – the most ‘ordinary’ of lovers can be transcended to the ethereal perfection of angels by sharing this precious moment in a teashop.
As well as the ceremony of tea-time being a romance in itself, there are also certain teas that contain ingredients which are believed to enhance this passion. For many, aromatherapy can play a key part in making yourself feel more open and in tune with your emotions, and this can also be found in the ingredients of certain teas. You’ve probably heard about aphrodisiacs in food, such as oysters and chocolate, but what about in your tea?
We’ve picked three of our favourite Valentine’s teas to get you in the mood for romance, so how about surprising your loved ones with the gift of tea this year?
This tea is simply a blend of Ceylon black tea and rose petals – it’s not hard to guess why we’ve chosen this. Roses are synonymous with love and romance and have been for centuries – for instance, they are associated with the goddesses of love in both Greek and Roman mythology (Aphrodite and Venus, respectively). When used for its aromatherapy qualities, roses can induce spiritual relaxation, calming the mind and boosting confidence – exactly what you need to unwind and enjoy time spent with your loved ones.
Roses have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a way to strengthen the body’s openness to romantic feelings. Ayurveda, meaning ‘life knowledge,’ is an Indian system of natural healing, focusing on the energy that flows throughout the different sections of the body and keeps us well. Basically, it’s all about internal balance. Rose is important because it balances the part of the body that controls the heart and emotions, allowing you to be more in tune with your feelings. This is known as Sadhaka pitta. The flower also plays a part in the Prana vata, which governs the mind and nervous system to alleviate feelings of anxiety and the inability to ‘switch off’ – something which can definitely inhibit your romantic side! Give it a go and see if the ancient powers of rose can relax and inspire some tenderness.
If you want to try something a bit different, you can also go for Love Heart (£2.99 for 3 pieces, pictured above!), our rose-infused green tea compressed into beautiful heart shapes, which flower and flourish when brewed. Let your love blossom!
Jasmine Dragon Pearls – £7.35 per 50g
Jasmine is another flower that is known for its loving qualities. The scent is warming and sensual, and is used in perfumes and aromatherapy to relax and release inhibitions. This is why it is often cited as a way to improve the libido and promote intimacy.
As with rose, a trip to India expresses the importance of jasmine in romantic pursuits. Kamadeva, the Hindu God of Love, has a bow tipped with (among others) jasmine blossoms. With these, Kamadeva can pierce the hearts of people to make them fall in love.
To make Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea, the youngest and therefore the highest quality silver tips of the tea plant are picked and then layered with jasmine blossoms to infuse the delicate scent. If you are after something a little special to pierce straight to the heart of your loved one, the dragon pearls are perfect. The tea has an elegant flavour, and watching the little pearls of tea leaves unfurl to release the soft aroma of jasmine is stunning.
If you’d like to try out the romantic properties of jasmine but for a little less, our Jasmine Green Tea Pouches (£3.95 for 15 pouches) are also delicious. The combination of green tea and jasmine is beautiful, and all our tea pouches are handmade with the loose leaves in biodegradable pyramids.
Pu Erh Sweet Chai – £4.90 per 100g
We’ve chosen this tea, made from a blend of Pu Erh and chai spices, as a fantastic one to give as a Valentine’s gift because of its sweet and spicy flavours. If you don’t fancy the floral aromas of rose and jasmine but want something with a little kick, the Pu Erh Sweet Chai is divine.
It helps that some of its ingredients are as well known as rose and jasmine for their aphrodisiac attributes. Alongside the fragrant earthiness of the Pu Erh, this tea also contains cinnamon, licorice, ginger, sandalwood, cloves and thistle. Sandalwood in particular is an essential oil that has long been used as an aphrodisiac, as its warm and calming scent is believed to invoke sensuality. Similarly, ginger has warming properties that increase sensitivity and stimulate circulation to get you feeling a little more intimate. You can either take this tea black, or if you’re after something a little more indulgent this Valentine’s you could also try it with hot milk and sugar.
Hopefully, this should give you a few ideas about how you can spoil your loved ones on Saturday. If these suggestions aren’t quite for you, check out our website or pop into the Teahouse to take a look at all the other teas on offer – we’d love to help you out and make sure that you find something perfect. It’s the simple things we love on Valentine’s Day (and all the other days, for that matter!), so why not do something a little different and shower someone you care about with the gift of tea this year.