Welcome to Tea

Most people I know are coffee drinkers, yet they drink tea when they have a cold, feeling a bit under the weather.

It’s true, it is delicious, with honey and lemon, tea provides an instant cure.

Why aren’t we drinking more tea? Because we weren’t born, or raised in a tea drinking culture.

But we can be taught, to like and appreciate teas’ complexities.

China? Russia? Argentina? These are well-established tea drinking cultures, where people make time to prepare, savor and share the golden elixir. The USA is a bit behind, it was just introduced to real coffee a few years ago, so it’s behind, but it’s coming along.

Romar Trading invited a select group of locals for afternoon tea, at the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino, where we were introduced to the fine products of Harney & Sons, master tea blenders, since 1983.

The patriarch, John Harney, founder and president of the company started blending teas in his basement. He cultivated a solid base of clients over the years, invited his two sons, Michael and Paul to join the business, and the rest is history, they have been passionate about teas for 40 years, and make 400+ unique tea blends. Distributed all over the world. Now also in Aruba

The first fun fact I did not know: There is only one tea shrub, in fact two very similar varieties, one is Chinese the other Indian, and all tea kinds, green, white, oolong and black are produced from the same leaves, of the same plant. An evergreen, that yield  both leaves and leaf buds.

So why are teas so different?

It’s the soil, the weather, the humidity, the method of harvesting, and the master blender, that make the difference. In that respect, tea is very similar to wine, while the plant is a plant the soil in which it grows, the elevation, the exotic locales around the globe — from the Himalayas to Bangkok, Thailand, China, and Japan, we are not just drinking tea, we are experiencing faraway places, where the leaves are hand plucked, and processed with utmost care to capture the essence of their birthplace.

Harney & Sons will offer an afternoon tea at the Marriott once a month, and the resort pasty chef  is providing the delicate finger sandwiches, and the fantastic pastry pairing.

Teas we sampled included Darjeeling, Earl Grey Supreme, Organic Breakfast, Dragon Pearl Jasmine and Organic Bangkok. They were served in small cups, escorted by a colossal tiered tray with delicate and savory finger sandwiches, and melt-in-your-mouth scones with homemade clotted cream and jam. I counted at least five different pastries, ready to be admired and devoured starring fruit, chocolate and custard cream.

Tea Cocktail? Of course. The Bar serves a number of cocktails splashed with tea, which are both, a bit intoxicating and very refreshing.

Follow social media for the next Afternoon Tea, in the Lobby!

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September 07, 2023
Rona Coster