How about a nice cuppa tea...



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Elleth
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How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Elleth » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:54 am

So ... tea.

Certainly something called tea was known in Middle-earth, whether it be some herb native to Eriador or another Numenorean import. (Would a tea bush even grow in the regions of the Shire? I wouldn't think s..

hunh.

Storm in a teacup as gardeners realise UK climate is perfect for growing your own cuppa

I wonder then: might Bilbo actually have been brewing up real tea with those seedcakes for Gandalf? I'd never thought so, but um... maybe?
I assume there's no explicit reference in the source material anyone's run across?

Failing that, is there anything in the early medieval / post-Roman / pre-Age of Exploration canon we know of that was regularly brewed up as a hot drink? I've been thinking of experimenting a bit beyond the standard grocery store herbals, but thought one of you well-read folk might know of something.
:)
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Iodo
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Iodo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:32 am

Elleth wrote:I wonder then: might Bilbo actually have been brewing up real tea with those seedcakes for Gandalf? I'd never thought so, but um... maybe?
I assume there's no explicit reference in the source material anyone's run across?

I always assumed it to be real tea, given that Tolkien created hobbits to be quite similar to English country folk. I know that tea is a relatively recent import, probably too recent for the time period the shire is most like but I interpret tea to be one of those slightly Victorian anomalies in the shire that ask questions about when that was meant to be, like mantle piece clocks and such. Hobbits always struck me as a society that had the technology to advance much further but hadn't for there liking of "the simple life"
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Odigan » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:25 pm

I also assumed it to be tea of the tea plant, and not an herbal tea, also known as a tisane. Personally I find the distinction and recent popular debate in tea-drinking circles over it (and the ire and rage it engenders) to be silly, similar to arguing that nut milks aren't "milk," despite having been called that for centuries.

Given the Hobbit's propensity for gardening, I always figured that their tea cabinets would also contain things like mint, chamomile, and hibiscus, which have all been commonly used since our Classical era.

Of course, when I saw this thread my first thought (aside from "Tea!") was this bit from Asterix in Britain:

Asterix-tea.jpg
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Iodo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:07 pm

Odigan wrote:Of course, when I saw this thread my first thought (aside from "Tea!") was this bit from Asterix in Britain:

I'm guilty of thinking of that as well :mrgreen:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Odigan » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:07 pm

It may not answer the specific question of tea in Middle-earth, but I did some looking around to see what sort of tea Tolkien himself might have enjoyed, and the result was this post on the MERS page.
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Iodo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:30 pm

Fascinating, I spent a bit of time trying to find out what “celebrated Chundah tea” might be and ended up researching Barrows Stores, I found this add in an archive that seems to suggest that the department store had a range of "Teas" so who knows what that includes?
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Odigan » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:21 pm

Iodo wrote:Fascinating, I spent a bit of time trying to find out what “celebrated Chundah tea” might be and ended up researching Barrows Stores, I found this add in an archive that seems to suggest that the department store had a range of "Teas" so who knows what that includes?


I did a lot of digging trying to find info on it, but came up blank. The British Newspaper Archive yields adverts for it in the Birmingham Mail from 1896, but for some reason I can't register my account so can only read the preview: "THE CELEBRATED Chundah Tea. 1s. 7d. per lb., SOLD ONLY AT Barrow Stores. 74. 76, AND 78, CORPORATION STREET."

There's a few places we can try looking besides, and I'm going to keep asking around. I am quite keen to have a sense of what this (presumably) house blend was!
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Iodo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:16 pm

Hmmmm... This thread triggered an interesting conversation this evening and my mum (who knows a lot more about tea than I do) said that tea's are mixed with other herbs and oils to create different flavors and suggested that Chundah tea might just be the name of a unique blend of "normal" tea?

Just a thought, failing that Chundah is a place in Pakistan, although I couldn't find anything about it
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Odigan » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:17 am

Iodo wrote:Hmmmm... This thread triggered an interesting conversation this evening and my mum (who knows a lot more about tea than I do) said that tea's are mixed with other herbs and oils to create different flavors and suggested that Chundah tea might just be the name of a unique blend of "normal" tea?

Just a thought, failing that Chundah is a place in Pakistan, although I couldn't find anything about it



Yes, I found the Pakistani valley as well, though no reference to tea from the region. I assumed the Chundah to be a house blend, but of what I could not say, until now...
Thanks to some help from the Birmingham History forum. Advert from 1927.

Birm Gazette 3.3.1927. Chudnah tea.jpg
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Iodo » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:48 am

Nice research :P good job
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Odigan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:45 pm

I did some looking around for an Assam/Darjeeling/Ceylon blend, and found this, if anyone is likewise interested. I ordered a tin of it. And maybe a few others... :)
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Elleth
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Re: How about a nice cuppa tea...

Postby Elleth » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:24 am

Nice! I'm curious to hear how it is. :)
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