Friday, October 2, 2009
Tea in unexpected places
Rwanda. I hear the name and instantly associate it with the horrible genocide that took place there in 1994, killing hundreds of thousands of people. But 15 years after that atrocity, Rwanda is healing, some say, partly thanks to the successful tea industry there, tea that goes into a famous British blend. Can you guess which one?
Yesterday I mentioned my new Taylors of Harrogate Tea Room blend of tea. In a bit of serendipity, just days after I got that tea I was reading a British food magazine, the August 2009 issue of Waitrose Food Illustrated, and came upon an article titled "Tea and Therapy." I learned that Taylors has been buying Rwandan teas for years. The top estate is in Gisovu, whose tea makes up at least 50 percent of the popular blend known as ...
Yorkshire Gold! The article, written by Kevin Gould and photographed by Jonathan Gregson, is just a pleasure to read. Gould quotes the agriculture minister, Agnes Kalibata: "We must go forward. After the genocide, tea farmers - killers and survivors - have had to live together again. Having formed cooperatives, they now share money, problems -- and hopes. We thought things like post-trauma counselling were Western luxuries. Now we understand that talking helps to heal. Farmers chat all day in the fields and the precious healing starts."
I love knowing that this beverage we all enjoy so much is helping bring hope to Rwanda, and I hope you do, too!