Health benefits of tea drinking shared and tea etiquette explained
Sips of hot tea, health conversations and tea etiquette were the order of the day at this year’s celebration of the annual International Tea Day. Hosted by Protea Hotel by Marriott Gaborone Masa Square in partnership with Freshpak, tea enthusiasts braved the cold front of the past weekend to enjoy the various teas on offer while celebrating the popular drink during the winter season.
“Most people are striving for healthier lifestyles, and in light of the winter season being upon us tea is good for emotional and physical health,” said Health, Wellbeing and Clinical dietician, Ndiko Giddie, at the event.
“Tea has a long history of being associated with health benefits, with each variant delivering these in their own uniquely tasty ways. Rooibos tea is a naturally caffeine-free beverage that can have a number of health benefits, including boosting the immune system, fighting off inflammation and even warding off cancer and heart disease.”
Giddie added that Rooibos is a flower that grows in the clean mountain air on the slopes of the Cederberg in South Africa’s Western Cape to produce a tea distinguished by its warm aromatic fragrance and strength of flavour. Rich in antioxidants, Freshpak offers a range from Echinacea and Vitamin C to herbal flavoured and green teas – all with the benefit of being caffeine-free and catering for the young and old.
“Chamomile has been traditionally used to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation while Ginseng has been used for thousands of years as the herb that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties,” she explained. “Cranberries are rich in antioxidant compounds. So it is currently necessary for you to take a tea break daily and take care of your body and soul.”
Regarding wellness, the founder of Leadership Excellence, Maipelo Madibela – who curates programmes aimed at mobilising towards a physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally healthier nation – pointed out that there is seasonal depression that usually comes with winter. With inflation currently crippling the financial status of most people, Madibela said it is important to check in with oneself and understand one’s mental health.
“Food is fuel for the body,” she noted. “It is important that everything you eat has to have a purpose for your body. Having a good relationship with food will bring out a healthier you.”
The owner of Tsompie’s Tea Room in Tlokweng, tea enthusiast Tsompie Mokaila, took the guests on a journey of tea drinking etiquette. She was born into a family of tea lovers and had a strict mother who was particular about tea etiquette. In Mokaila’s parents’ home, tea had to be served preferably in English fine bone China tea cups and saucers, with everything arranged neatly with hot milk and homemade scones or bread.
She explained: “Stir the tea with a teaspoon up and down two to three times silently, then set the teaspoon on the right hand side of the saucer. Hold the tea cup by meeting your thumb and index finger in the handle, resting your middle finger under it. Sit up straight and enjoy your tea elegantly, sip by sip. Eat the savouries and tea sandwiches first, followed by the scones and then the sweets.”