- In ancient Chinese tradition, tea is an important part of courtship
- Tea is good for your heart
- Your favourite tea can reveal what type of lover you are
If you really want to woo your loved one this Valentine’s Day, take a leaf out of China’s book and serve them a cup of tea.
Forget the champagne. In ancient Chinese tradition (dating back to the 7th century), tea was a vital part of courtship.
“In Far Eastern folklore, a tea tree can’t be transplanted. It only sprouts and grows from a seed,” says Dr Tim Bond, tea expert and member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP).
“This is why people took tea to symbolise loyalty, love, and the expectation of a happily married life.
“Chinese dowries always contained good quality tea and the wedding ceremony was marked by the bride and groom kneeling to serve tea to their parents and grandparents.”
TAP says tea is still used today, in modern times, as a way to bring people together, such as having a heart-to-heart over the kettle when things go wrong.
But tea can be good for the heart in more ways than one.
“One reason regular ‘black’ tea plays such an important part in our emotional lives is that it contains a rich tapestry of plant compounds – flavonoids, caffeine and theanine – which trigger different mood states,” explains dietitian and TAP member Dr Carrie Ruxton.
“Herbal and rooibos teas produce their own effects on the body thanks to their unique phytochemicals.
“Flavonoids open up the blood vessels, helping oxygen and nutrients to energise our brains, caffeine creates alertness and focus, while theanine – an amino acid – provides comfort and relaxation.
“This is why tea is good for the heart – both in the physical and emotional sense.”
According to TAP, your favourite tea can even reveal what type of lover you are:
Regular Black Tea
Steady, reliable and strong with hidden depths. You love in a bold, confident way with a hint of maturity.
Fiery and hot, leaving a warm glow wherever you touch. Sometimes, too much for people to handle, you make up for this by being fiercely loyal.
Most people would describe you as chilled and laid back with an inner calm. Able to bring peace and tranquility to any situation, you are the ideal partner for stress bunnies.
Refined and sophisticated with impeccable taste. You have beautiful, old-fashioned manners that inspire confidence and respect.
Refreshingly different and apt to go against the flow. You are rarely the same twice and can surprise and amaze when you put your mind to it.
Deeply passionate and sweet, when you decide to love, it’s forever. But let this be a warning to anyone who takes your love for granted – you have an astringent side too.