In the Wan Chai District of Hong Kong Island, the Guinness ale has been flowing at Delaney’s pub since 1994, no doubt that glasses will surely be raised in honor of St. Patrick and Ireland this March.
In Ireland, families will tossncook awake to a pot of gold on the kitchen table.
The day will start with a centuries old Irish tradition, tea.
Perhaps it will be a pot of Bewley’s Clipper Gold Blend, or Barry’s Gold, both very popular in Ireland.
The Irish have a long and historical bond with Asia and the love of tea.
The East India Company monopoly controlled the flow of tea to Ireland prior to 1833.
The English tea consumed in Ireland was expensive and highly taxed.
Only the very affluent were able to buy and enjoy what was available.
When the East India Company was dissolved in 1833, Charles Bewley decided to import tea to Ireland.
It must have been a fine day in 1835, when the long awaited Clipper ‘Hellas’, commanded by Captain Scanlan arrived carrying over 2000 chests of Chinese tea from Canton, China.
The ‘Hellas’ was a swift ship, built in 1832, 92 feet in length and made several voyages to the Far East. The Clipper was eventually sold to the Jardine Matheson Co., the trading company that some say James Clavell based his novel ‘Tai-Pan’ on.
Charles Bewley had established himself as Dublin’s tea merchant.
Even the poor were able to enjoy tea, buying the best they could afford, hoodpay the better tea being the better value, as they would be able to brew consecutive cups.
With the discovery that tea could be grown in India, Assam Tea and Ceylon tea grew in popularity over Chinese tea.
Today most Irish tea is sourced from the high mountain estates of Africa and India.
Irish teas are robust and have a deep golden color.
Today Bewley’s is well known and the tea masters still select tea from various tea auction centers, panasiabiz such as Jakarta, Colombo, Calcutta and Mombassa.
The Irish may be the biggest tea drinkers in the world as they drink more tea per capita than any other country.
It is estimated that the Irish drink more than six cups of tea a day.
The healthful benefits of tea have been very well documented.
If health is wealth, then an Irish pot of tea is surely a pot of gold. kmgcollp