As we have been ‘walking’ through the amazing world of St. Simons Island, Georgia, we have discovered everything from historical sites that make you feel as if you’ve actually stepped back in time, to the kindest people with the most amazing stories to tell, to the true luxury of the King and Prince Resort - it seems that down every new ‘street’ we find yet another treasure.
Our luck remained with us when we found ourselves at a talk given by the Serenity House Tea Society – a completely apropos name for the serene majesty and beauty that surrounds you during your stay on St. Simons. The company headquarters for the Serenity House Tea Society is yet another building that calls this particular Golden Isle home. And, today, we’re going to take you on an amazing journey.
From the 1800s until now, you will experience the world of tea; and, as the owner’s motto states quite clearly: you will…“Transport yourself with Serenity House Tea Society and leave your passport at home.”
And that is so true. You see, with Serenity House Teas you can quickly find yourself in India by tasting real Chai tea that is ingrained with cardamom pods, cloves and more. The Society can also bring you to Morocco with their Nana-Mint tea; China, with Heaven’s Green; South America, with Mate; and, South Africa with Rooibos and Honeybush. They can even teach you how to flavor a tea at home with fresh organic Lavender that comes from France.
You will never know until you experience Serenity Teas, how unbelievable the beverage really is; in fact, I can tell you that there’s so little you know about this subject that you’ll find this journey absolutely fascinating. We’re talking about a beverage that has so many different varieties you can find one purely dedicated to spiritually enhancing your mood, as well as some that are specifically created to relieve your stress.
There are approximately 3000+ teas available from around the globe, and each has its own combination of leaves, flowers, herbs, roots, and spices that create an infusion in hot water. Each and every tea has its own properties and all are created by a variety of processes.
As we listened to the ‘scholars’ of the Serenity House Tea Society, they began by speaking about the location we were sitting in at the time – the ‘low country’ of Georgia. They began by letting us know that in the 1800s Congress passed a bill that all restaurants in GA must serve sweet tea. There was an actual copy of this bill hanging in the kitchen of the King and Prince. Turns out, it was an April Fool’s joke, but most people didn’t get it. Hence, why sweet tea apparently became the ‘IT’ drink in Georgia.
This particular product which as been around forever is actually seeing a ‘rebirth’ in our market today. Although there are ‘tales’ of tea being used as a beverage thousands of years ago, no one is sure of its exact origins. The first recorded drinking of tea comes from China, with the earliest records of its consumption dating back to the 10th century BC. The trading of tea by the Chinese spread tea and the tea plant to numerous locations around the world.
A little fact…in the 1700s, Thomas Jefferson was famous for drinking two cups of green tea every morning. Green tea was here until the war, and then the East India Trading Company took over trading to the West. In Britain, tea became as widely consumed as it still is today. In Ireland, tea had become an everyday beverage for all levels of society by the late 19th century, but it was first consumed as a luxury item to be served only on special occasions.
Savannah, Charleston – all of the southern ‘upper-crust’ in the 1700s and 1800s – were the ones to drink tea at various events, such as balls. Apparently it was because the soldiers went by the punch and added a flavoring of their own – bourbon – hence, why cookbooks contained lots of liquor at one time.
The evolution of tea is actually quite interesting. In fact, it was not long ago that chlorine was actually added to teabags. Tea is not unlike wine; there are lower and higher qualities that can be purchased. And that’s why this particular company has become so trusted in the industry. The teas offered from Serenity House have to meet very high standards and they are carefully chosen and reviewed prior to acceptance. And, as with wine, the ‘bar’ that must be passed is very high and complex. Taken into account are many things, including where it’s grown, how it’s cultivated, fermentation, withering, blending, taste, color, consistency, and more.
85% of the Serenity House collection is purchased through Germany, where the standards are higher for tea than anywhere else. Every tea is tasted by a varied group so as to confirm the taste, and all of their tea is inspected for quality. Additionally, all teas are imported though locations with stricter food testing to help insure its quality. The tea may be grown in China, but it’s inspected by others even before Serenity does a personal inspection. And with the wide assortment of tea that’s carried by their company, everyone is always sure to find just the right tea and right taste for them. Ranging from simple, unflavored teas to others with ten or more different fruits, herbs, and spices added, the list goes on and on.
When it comes to tea, the word ‘quality’ refers to many different things. All of the tea leaves are of the same size and color; all decorations are the same (i.e., all orange blossoms are all cut the same) which produces a far better beverage.
The learned people behind the creation of the Serenity House Tea Society had a true mission when they were formed. The mission being, to introduce all customers to the many wonderful complex teas, tisanes, herbals, and wellness products that are available.
It is no surprise then, that Serenity House Teas have been chosen to provide their outstanding products to some truly amazing organizations, hotels, companies, etc. Just to name a few:
The Museum at Poplar Forest, which is the home of Thomas Jefferson;
The Commissary on Jekyll Island; The Historic Jekyll Island Club, where people like W.H. Macy, Rockefeller and more, of the famous ‘400 Club’ gathered during the summers. The tea served is Keemun, which is a black tea that would’ve been served at the club during that time period.
Restaurants, spas, Bed and Breakfasts, ‘5-Star’ resorts, such as the breathtaking King and Prince located on St. Simons, receive the Serenity House Tea Society’s ‘special attention’ that they have truly become famous for.
The three most consumed teas are the Green, Black and White.
Black tea is the most familiar in the United States. Used as an iced beverage, it actually makes up 80% of the tea served in our country. ‘High Tea,’ a term used by the British, is generally a service of black tea, with tea sandwiches and sweets.
White Tea has been referred to as the ‘Champagne of Teas,’ and receives many accolades. The highest in anti-oxidants, White Tea is also the lowest in caffeine, which makes this a very important tea to learn about.
In fact, in China, a tea called, Lung Ching, is supposedly the healthiest tea to drink, as it contains the most medicinal properties and is renowned for flavor, style, taste.
Not to be outdone, green tea also has medicinal properties. Made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone oxidation during processing, it has really only recently become widespread in the United States, where – as we stated – Black Tea is traditionally consumed. Many varieties of green have been created in countries where they are grown, and these varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time.
Over the last few decades Green Tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies, with some evidence suggesting that regular drinkers may have a lower risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer.
The Private Label Collection of the Serenity House Tea Society is truly something to check out. From their Southern Fruit Sensation (which is in high popular demand) to the Beacon Blend, which was one of two teas created in honor of the stunning St. Simons Lighthouse to Green Mint Gunpowder, which is a Historical Tea/Private Label for the Jekyll Island Club – the list goes on and on and is amazing to the palette.
Not only does the Serenity House Tea Society website offer some truly amazing information about everything from the history of tea to present-day brewing, but they also provide an added bonus of “Tea Recipes,” which everyone must go and check out as soon as they are finished reading.
Why is that? Tea Society Pound Cake; Morning French Toast and Simple Crisp Fruit Pound Cake with a glaze of honey; Homemade French Vanilla and Homemade Chocolate Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipes…need I say more?
Not only was it amazing to hear the Serenity House Tea Society ‘story,’ but their presentation of all these incredible facts, nuggets of wisdom and ‘gifting’ us the opportunity to taste their incredible products while at the King and Prince, was truly remarkable. Becoming educated on this particular subject is not only good for the brain, but it very well could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your health!
Take some Serenity Time today!
Until Next Time, Everybody!
For more information go to:
Serenity House Tea Society
504 Beachview Drive
St. Simons Island,, GA 31522
Phone: 912 638 0381