Everyone knows that tea is a healthy drink, but have you ever considered the benefits of added ingredients such as spices and flowers? Herbs, spices and essential oils have long been added to improve the flavour and metabolic benefits of the drink.
India has perhaps the best known example of a spiced tea, namely Masala Chai. Every family has its own version, but it has become so popular outside India that it is now being mass-produced in factories by international firms. There’s even a Chai Latte! This powdered “instant” form is a far cry from the original tea leaves and spices boiled up in a pot, and retains few of the benefits of the original ingredients.
In Kashmir, local green tea is often used as the base for ‘chai’, allowing more of the flavour of the spices to come through. This twist is becoming popular with the health conscious not only in India but around the world.
Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants, a class of health-critical chemicals which are increasingly shown to reduce the body’s risk of developing some cancers, and may help to manage weight. Meanwhile cloves are known for their antiseptic properties, and cardamom and cinnamon are used for increasing the metabolism.
Earl Grey teas, originally made famous in the 19th Century through the addition of Bergamot oil to black tea, now represent a large and varied group of flavoured drinks. Bergamot has antispasmodic and carminative (aids digestion) properties, so with Iford’s internationally renowned gardens for inspiration, it made sense to add soothing blue cornflowers and calming lavender to their Earl Grey blend.
Rose is also a popular addition because of its calming effects and anti-aging properties. Blended with high quality black tea that is rich in antioxidants creates a healthy drink that tastes delicious – sweet and leafy, with a lingering floral note.
“Scented teas and herbal infusions are a great way to enhance the mood and nourish both soul and body”, says Jo Gaglani, Mumbai-based co-founder of the new British range of products marketed as the Iford Manor Collection.
“We wanted to create a range of herbal teas and infusions which would inspire people and nourish them both on the outside and the inside,” commented Jo.
Using carefully sourced ingredients, Jo is inspired by the beautiful heritage and surroundings at Iford Manor, UK, the family home of Jo’s colleague and friend William Cartwright-Hignett.
Himalayan Sunrise, Lavender Earl Grey, English Rose and the rest of the Iford Manor Collection are available from many of the finest hotels and spas. More information online at www.ifordmanorcollection.com
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