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by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
If you complain of headaches, stomach pain, chest pain, or even back pain in Jamaica, the first question you are going to be hit with from any family member or friend is “Yuh drink tea from morning?”
Back when I was in high school I was able to get away with skipping breakfast, but one thing my Mom would not stand for, is me not drinking a full cup of tea before leaving the house and that is a common trait in every Jamaican home.
So for those guessing why Jamaicans drink so much tea, this is the reason. Not only are they delicious, but our parents believed in its ability to prevent stomachaches and so there was no getting around it.
While in other countries the word tea specifically refers to draws made from leaves and herbs. In Jamaica, however, “tea” is used for every single hot beverage. So, here are some of the most popular Jamaican Teas.
Along with having a superb flavour, it is also rich in nutrients that have significant positive effects on health.
If you're making the original version of this tea, you'll need actual chocolate sticks or balls (processed from the cocoa bean) or store-bought cocoa or chocolate powder, along with nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, sugar, milk, and of course water. Some people also include some vanilla.
A great substitute for traditional milk tea. It can be picked up in just about any supermarket and only requires you to add water and mix. It is often had warm with breakfast but also makes a nice cold drink.
The go-to cure for just about every poisoning, according to Jamaicans that is. The seeds are broken from their pods, dried then grated. It is then boiled. For medicinal purposes, no sugar or milk should be added but if you are looking for a tasty tea, go ahead and add them.
The go-to tea for colds and coughs. The garlic is boiled for most times a minimum of 20 minutes before it is lightly sweetened and given to you. Much to the dismay of those who don’t care for the taste, it actually works.
This one is not as popular as it use to be when I was a child. This is a powdered tea mix with its main ingredients being malted barley, wheat flour and evaporated milk.
Being the home of the best coffee in the world, , of course, coffee is one of our common “teas”. While the older folk would have theirs with just sugar and maybe even a bit of rum, the youngsters add milk, sugar and sometimes a few other things.
The go to “bitters”. According to my mother and many other Jamaicans, it purges the blood, gives you clear skin and helps with pain.
There are so many different “mints” here in Jamaica that are commonly used to make tea. Some of the most common are peppermint, black mint and collic mint.
Referred to as lemongrass in most other countries, you can normally find lemon grass in the backyards of many homes, both in rural and urban Jamaica. It is a delicious tea that requires nothing more than a bit of sugar.
Growing up this was the special occasion tea. It is usually made on some Sundays, during Christmas and other major holidays. The cinnamon sticks are boiled in coconut milk with nutmeg, vanilla and sugar. The leaves are also used separately to make teas similarly to mint or lemon grass.
Guinea hen Weed is usually boiled. While some persons drink it ever so often, for no specific reason or ailments, (prevention is better than cure right?), others only drink it when absolutely necessary for its medicinal purposes. It’s anti-inflammatory, has cancer treatment properties and is also a muscle relaxant.
Having trouble sleeping? A cup of soursop leaf tea will calm your nerves, relax your body and have you sleeping for hours.
Grab a cup of ginger tea if you are suffering from gas, digestive issues, pain and much more. The roots are usually cut into small pieces and then boiled for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Lasco is used in many of our drinks, teas, and porridges here in Jamaica. Just mixing some of this powdered milk with hot water makes a great or you can combine it with almost any of the teas mentioned above. The most common flavours to use are vanilla and creamy malt.
This tea is great for boosting your immune system, and also relieves nausea and upset stomach. Don’t boil the leaves for too long though or it might get quite bitter.
There you have it, the top ten teas for breakfast time in Jamaica, how many have you tried already?
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