Published on April 19th, 2018 | by Sarah Jubb0
Everything Stops For Tea And Chocolate
The United Kingdom has a long history with tea and an important history with chocolate. That means that combining the two of them is just something that should naturally occur, and we’ve taken a quick look at the history of both along with what chocolate compliments which tea.
The origins of tea can be traced back to ancient China, it was a known beverage during the time of Confucius (551 – 479BC) and only grew in popularity afterwards. It was the drink of choice in China by the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). At this point in time, tea was made in blocks, or bricks, with the leaves being pounded and pressed into a mould before drying.
When someone wanted to make a drink, they would grind, or cut, a piece of the brick and boil it in water. At the time that Europeans tried tea for the first time during the Ming Dynasty, the method of brewing tea by steeping cured loose leaves in boiling water became popular, which is why it remains popular in Europe even to today.
Tea was first brought to the UK by the wife of Charles II, Catherine of Braganza. The drink was already popular in her homeland, Portugal, and when she married she brought a chest of tea with her. Her love for it spread throughout the aristocracy and the wealthy circles, leading to tea becoming of more importance to Britain.
A Strong Showing In Chocolate
Chocolate however has its origins in the other side of the world, with cocoa beans being found in South America. They had long been drunk as a beverage by the indigenous people of the continent and upon returning to Spain in the early 16th century, Christopher Columbus brought cocoa beans back with him.
The Spanish soon began to drink cocoa like the Mayans and Aztecs did, enjoying the energy it gave them and ‘hot chocolate’ was soon born. It was only with the advent of the Industrial Revolution that chocolate began to resemble what we see today. A hydraulic machine was invented to grind cocoa beans into paste and the cocoa press was invented in 1829 by Coenraad Van Houten.
In 1847, Britain’s contribution to the chocolate world began when Fry & Son’s found a way to create the world’s first bar of chocolate. It marked the first time that chocolate could be eaten as a treat and sparked the chocolate industry that we see today.
Pairing Chocolate With Tea
Most people would consider eating biscuits with tea, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with combining the two. In fact we have a whole selection including the Nestle Big Biscuit Box or the Border Business Twin Packs available on site for anyone who wants to fulfil their sweet tooth with a delicious biscuit.
But there are a large variety of teas available for purchase, so it only makes sense that there would be different chocolates that work best for certain ones. A study in 2015 found that the combination of dark chocolate and green tea not only tasted delicious, but also provided an energy boost. Dark chocolate with a minimum of 60% cacao was found to make people more alert and attention but increased their blood pressure.
But when consuming dark chocolate that contained the amino acid L-theanine, a relaxant in green tea, they had a drop-in blood pressure. This means that combining dark chocolate and green tea could potentially be a heart healthy confectionery choice.
So why not get a brew going and indulge in a sweet treat?