“Would you like to have some Tea?” is the first thing that pops out if you meet and greet someone. Certainly, when in Mauritius, this is probably what you will notice if you are invited over by your Mauritian Friends! Grown, picked, traded and sipped for centuries, this beloved beverage is considered as the Islanders’ passion that never seems to wane. Mauritius is a producer of tea, initially on a small scale when the French introduced the plant into the island around 1765. It was under later British rule that the scale of tea cultivation increased.
Tea drinking allows for socializing and is commonly being served to guests and in the workplace. The Mauritian people usually consume black tea, often with milk and sugar. But as the tropical paradise has its array of flavors to offer, so does their cup of Tea. Flavors such as Mint, Cardamom, Citron, Vanilla, Passion Fruit, Peach, and Fruit Punch are at the top spots of peoples’ choices. Not just these, you also have Tea Infusions that have intense aroma and a rich mauve color that will elevate your senses by just a sip!
As a visitor you can explore this fervor by following the Tea Route at the Bois Cheri tea plantation – a culinary and cultural journey into the history of tea production in Mauritius. Followed by Domaine des Aubineaux in Forest Side, a little way south of Curepipe, where the town gives way to a more rustic area. Their beautiful gardens, a handsome colonial house-turned-museum filled with antiques, paintings, vintage photographs and furniture from the East India Company are the perfect getaway for some Tea tasting. Wide ranges of infusions are offered: flavored black tea (plain, mint, coconut, bergamot, earl grey, lemon or vanilla), herbal teas (with ayapana, lemongrass or ginger) and green teas – plain or with jasmine.
Finally, make your way towards the Bois Cheri factory. You’ll pass by an old locomotive’s steam engine once used to dry out tealeaves. Grab a cup of tea in hand – and gaze down on an ancient volcanic crater now transformed into a small lake, surrounded by century-old trees and admire the panoramic views from the wooden terrace.
Feeling relaxed already!