Attic Teas began life as a tea bar and cafe in Bristol in 2006. The fact that we had called ourselves ATTIC ( All The Tea In China) was a very clear indication of our intention to delve into the deep magic of one particular plant, the Chinese tea plant, Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis, and the mystical world of Chinese tea.
I remember the day, wandering into the famed Shanghai tea markets with family and friends, looking for some ‘proper’ green tea. I can’t really describe the amazement and sense of wonder that descended over me as we entered, there must have been a thousand stalls, each with hundreds of different teas.
I only mention this moment as it was the first time I realised there was more than one type of tea.
I’d just assumed that as we had various types of Indian black tea as our staple in the UK, China would just have the green tea equivalent. But in China, where tea originated, they use very clever processing methods to create 5 distinct categories of tea- white, green, oolong, black and pu’erh. So right from the get go, we realised the ‘one size fits all’ approach of our traditional english tea was not going to cut it anymore, and this is where our tea exploration really began.
So let us fast forward 14 years and look at where we have arrived with these 5 types of tea. I should mention that back in those tea markets, we chose (with some expert help) the tea considered the best representative of each kind, so we have always focused solely on 5 teas, one from each category.
This blog post from here on in reflects our own discoveries and how we have developed our own unique approach to tea drinking through years of research, experience and feedback. It is the meeting of East and west, the spirit and the science, the invisible and the visible and we invite you to join us on the journey.
The idea of eating to suit your constitution dates back millennia, particularly with religious dietary restrictions seen as shaping personality and identity. Although most Western research focuses on how your personality might affect your food choices, the ancient medical systems of the East, like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine and 5-element theory, look at it from the other way around- how your food choices might support and balance your particular constitution.
Our constitution is our makeup, our composition, our character, our personality, and is a set of relatively stable traits, that together determine who we are. In the same way personalities seem to divide into archetypes, we have come to realise that there are archetypal tea types for each tea, certain qualities we see in common with people who seem to be most drawn to a particular tea.
From our experience, the effects of each of these 5 teas (reflected at a practical level in their slightly differing nutritional content) are distinct, they all have a different ‘energy signature’, so although all created from the same plant, these teas all taste and affect the body differently, so you are most likely to find you enjoy drinking one or two more than the others. This choice is important as we are seeking the tea(s) to best harmonise and support the person that you truly are.
Much of our work over the last 14 years has been looking into the best ways to help people find this match. So we start with a simple personality consultation to help guide us. But that said, at the end of the day, we are all unique, like our fingerprints. So although we can use personality typing to make suggestions, the complicated chemistry, genetics, life experiences, upbringing, friendships and all the other factors that create the heady mix that is each one of us means that only you, as an individual, can find the true concordance between yourself and the teas.
Think of the teas and your palate like tuning forks, finding the resonance between each other and there you will find your match. Beyond it being agreeable to pick a tea that you actually enjoy drinking, the reason we use taste as a guide is that when you drink a tea with some awareness, it is possible to experience its effects on every level of your being BUT the physical (taste and smell) and the emotional (do you like it/ how does it make you feel) are the ones that give us the most easy access to ourselves.
So although all of the 5 teas offer the most incredible benefits to our bodies and minds, finding the one(s) that are supporting YOU best, can only give you even more of an edge!
As the tea plant would say “All that you consume is what you are, choose wisely”
Thanks for reading!