We are so excited to share that TeaDrops have been making their way around the globe--and this time, they will travel to the wonderful land of Australia for the very first time! We wanted to share a bit about the history and tradition of Aussie tea with you all and hope you'll enjoy this little teatime journey around the world. So, TeaDrop yourself a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy!
The Nerada Tea Plantation outside of Cairns
Photo Source: Waltzing Australia
- Tea was on board the First Fleet in January 1788, when Australia was established as a penal colony.
- Due to Australia's ties to Great Britain, tea has been a longstanding and major part of Australian culture and mirrors the British tradition; many Australians take morning and afternoon tea. These teatimes resemble British tea services, complete with the fact that tea is offered to guests as well as served with tea cakes and sandwiches. "Supper" is also called "tea" in Australia--just like in Britain!
- Tea can grow happily in the climate of Northern Australia in New South Wales and Queensland. Most tea grown is black and is the most popular variety amongst tea drinkers there, prepared with milk added. A bit of green tea is also produced in the Alpine Valleys near Victoria.
- Interesting fact: Upon viewing the aboriginal people drinking an infusion from a plant of the species leptospermum(different than the plant from which we derive tea: camellia sinensis), the infamous Captain Cook labeled their drink "tea," and today, this plant is now called the "ti tree."
The leptospermum laevigatum plant
- "Billy tea" was a staple during the Australian Colonial Period. Named after the drink prepared in the popular folk song Waltzing Matilda, it is prepared over a campfire and infused with a gum leaf. This remains an iconic Australian method for preparing tea.
Take a listen to "Waltzing Mathilda" here.
We hope you enjoyed this peek into teatime in this beautiful country! Wherever you are, we hope you'll keep TeaDropping on!
Posted by Erin Schwartz