Coconut Tea, What’s The Big Deal? August 15 2014

posted by Dana Johnson

 

Ah the coconut, it seems that coconut is an ingredient in everything these days. You can get in oil form, or butter. Celebrities tote coconut water around like it’s the bottled version of, ‘The Fountain of Youth.’ You can use as a sugar substitute, because it now comes in sugar form as well. Gone are the days of Stevia, Splenda, Trulia, and god forbid anyone mention Sweet & Low. You’ll get those ‘looks…’ you know the kind I’m talking about, judging stares. (Whatever, everything these days is carcinogenic…in a few years they’ll probably say coconut is too…) It’s in such high demand that you find it in everything from what you put into your mouth, to what you put on your body. Coconut shampoo and soap inundate grocery store shelves like it’s no big deal. I get it, and I’m sure you get it too! Coconut, yeah…it’s the new thing. You can’t go a minute on Instagram, or Facebook without seeing the words…”Oh, my god. Today I made coconut oil from scratch, it’s literally the best invention ever…#coconutforlife #coconutqueen.” And we all have that friend who’s always on the trending bandwagon to claim ‘firsts.’ You know the one I’m talking about they’re always claiming that they’ve been using it “for years…” Yes, it seems like The Coconut is king, and it’s not going away anytime soon. But what about coconut in tea form? Surely that’s been around for hundreds of years, and only now does it seem that it’s made its way into prominent modern day popularity. So, what’s the big deal with this ancient tea?

 

It appears that the origin of the coconut still remains a mystery. However, it’s believed by many historians that the coconut dates back to its earliest markings, in the ancient Sanskrit writings found in India and some of its earliest roots can be traced back to Malaysia and Indonesia. Does this mean that coconut could have been infused into tea as early as its first noted existence? In India, it’s highly unlikely that coconut tea was consumed in large quantities, if at all, since tea wasn’t first introduced to India until the 1800’s. This was primarily due to the fact that the British at that time had introduced a tea campaign in an effort to try and break into the tea industry, as China at the time held a large monopoly on tea. However, despite its semi-late introduction into to the Art of Tea, India still remains the largest consumers of tea in the entire world. India also produces the largest amount of tea. Okay, so perhaps India didn’t invent Coconut tea, so then, how did this highly popular drink come into existence?


 

The truth is, I’ve had some difficult time finding out where exactly this “delicious” to some, drink originated. Best guess would be in America or in China, but it also very well could have originated in Europe. Whether it originated in America, or someplace else it appears it’s now a common drink in most coffee and tea houses. It’s listed on several menus, and can be made at home fairly easily. I’ve tried plain coconut tea, and to be honest with you…I hated it. It tastes a bit like dirt in a glass that’s then been watered down and then heated up. However, serve it to me as fusion latte, or tea and then you’ve got something. You can use a combination of coconut derivatives including coconut shavings, coconut milk, and coconut infused black tea fannings to achieve a delicious tea. I’ve found its most delicious when paired with another black tea, or with vanilla chai, or a masala chai tea. You can add the coconut flavoring as an extract at the end or steeped with the other herbs and spices.  My best advice, try it. If you don’t like it then figure out a way to…because the coconut isn’t going away, and it looks as if you may have to get used to the idea of coconut everything, all the time, every day, or at least until the next trend comes along. Words of wisdom get on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.