Posted in Kafevend Blog
1c: Mauritius- Lying off the east coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is a small island that had been uninhabited by humans until it was colonised by a succession of countries, starting with the Dutch in the 17th century. Like so many far flung colonies, it was hauled over to produce items for trade. In more recent years, Mauritius has had great success selling unrefined sugars, particularly to the company Billingtons.
2a: 1890- Thomas Tunnock opened his first bakery in Uddingston, south east of Glasgow. The Tunnock company's current factory is located only a few hundred yards away from the original site. The business is family owned, and has been so since it started, which seems a rare thing to me- so many companies are absorbed into larger groups; it is nice to see one that remains independent.
3b: A horse- Joseph and Edward Tetley did not start out selling tea- in fact, they began by selling salt from a pack horse, in Yorkshire. They later set up as tea merchants in London. Tetley was the first company to introduce tea bags to Britain in the 1950s after the American Thomas Sullivan invented them by happy accident. Whilst the British public was slow to take to the new fangled invention, tea bags are now a staple requirement in any kitchen.
4c: Food of the gods- The produce of the cacao tree was an important commodity to many civilizations in Mesoamerica. Some even considered the tree and its beans to be a gift from their god, and the name theobroma is an acknowledgement of the historical significance of the tree.
5d: The England vs Germany penalty shootout- Events like these, where large portions of the British public simultaneously use breaks in programmes to make tea, for example, cause surges of increased demand on the electricity supply. The national grid has a team dedicated to examining upcoming tv programming and ensuring extra supply can be created during the breaks.
6c: 1920s- Kenco began as the Kenya Coffee Company, a company conceived by a group of retired coffee planters. They would locate quality coffee and send it to a shop in England where it was sold, often by mail order to country houses. It later flourished when it was bought by John Gardiner, who expanded the business with a retail chain in London.
7a: Green- Whilst black or white tea is sometimes used, green tea is the traditional tea of choice for making Jasmine tea. Jasmine flowers are mixed with the tea leaves and release their fragrance into them. The leaves are then rolled up into "pearls", and these are packed and sold. Jasmine tea has been enjoyed in China for around a millenium.
8b: North west- East Frisia forms part of the north western coast of Germany. Its border with Holland meant that tea was introduced there in the 1700s by the Dutch East India Company and the region has enjoyed the drink ever since. More tea is consumed there per head than in Britain. Like Britain, a tradition has grown up around the consumption of tea, with such oddities as using a particular kind of teaspoon specifically for signalling that you have had enough to drink.
9a: Brazil- At the start of the 1930s, Brazil's government was looking for help dealing with a huge coffee surplus. One group that helped out was Switzerland's Nestlé company. They set a team to developing better processes for making instant coffee, and by 1938 they launched the Nescafé brand. Whilst take up was slow, Nescafé now supplies coffee worldwide.
10b: 87ºC- Due to it's height above sea level, water boils at 87ºC in Tibet. Po cha, or butter tea, is more akin to a light soup than actual tea, and serves as a fortifying beverage whilst working in the cold temperature, not to mention the high altitude.