This drink runs in the veins of Mauritians. Tea, before being in the cups, is a real work of art that requires hard work and sacrifice. We must go back to the beginning of the 19th century. Under the British occupation, tea growing in Mauritius became more widespread. Don't we say that tea is rather…English?! In the South of Mauritius, the main place of tea cultivation, there are still large plantations of this plant with its breathtaking aromas. You will certainly see them as soon as you get off the plane on your way to your hotel. How to recognize the plant? It's easy. The tea plant does not exceed one metre in height, the leaves are permanently green and sometimes grow on the edge of the motorway, like sugar cane. Sugar that goes so well with a good cup of tea!
However, there are not 10,000 ways to enjoy tea. You need to know what flavours are available in Mauritius. There is no shortage of local brands but in terms of flavours, the choice is very limited. It is either black tea or milk tea, but each production house has its own personal touch. This obviously depends on the cultivation, the variety of plants and leaves, but also on the environment. Tea grown in New Grove will certainly not have the same flavour as tea grown in Bois Chéri. Without passing judgement, because we'll be honest, we haven't tasted all the tea on the island either, it could be that tea grown in a more sunny location, such as New Grove, will taste better than the wet tea in Bois Chéri. But as they say, tastes and colours…
As mentioned above, tea in Mauritius is a labour intensive art. Mauritius being a tropical country, rainfall plays a key role in tea production. There are currently at least three large tea factories on the island. Each factory draws its quota of tea from small planters who are the artisans of what we drink around some delicious biscuits. That said, if there is too much rain, production is definitely affected. If there is not enough rain, production will also be affected. To tell you that tea production is a strong point of the Mauritian economy with more than 10,000 tons produced each year, of which several tons are exported.
Once harvested, the leaves are sent to factories that grind and dry them. Part of the production goes to packaging. The other part is sent to other units where flavours are added. The flavour that Mauritians particularly like is vanilla tea. There are also other flavours such as lemon and cinnamon among others. Unlike vanilla tea, lime tea is drunk hot and pure. Well, that also depends on you, you can add sugar, well infused or not so much. The vanilla taste of the tea is really present in subtlety and does not spoil the taste of black tea. On the contrary, the vanilla brings a sweetness.
If you come on holiday to Mauritius, let yourself be tempted by a real Mauritian adventure. We advise you to leave the biscuits and biscuits behind and enjoy a snack of sweet or savoury cakes. Why not accompany a warm, crusty bread that melts the butter, filled with a few "pimento cakes", all topped with a good slice of cheese! Some people replace the 'pimento cake' with bananas! The idea of tasting this creation may seem difficult, but many are fans. In Mauritius, tea goes with everything.
On the island, tea is not just another drink. It is above all an institution. Indeed, take advantage of your holidays to visit the famous Tea Route: a gastronomic and cultural route. The Tea Route aims above all to bring to life the different facets of a colonial and traditional Mauritius, anchored in an unforgettable past. The three stages of the walk plunge us into two closely related worlds: tea and sugar. With the Domaines des Aubineaux, Bois Chéri and Saint-Aubin, it is a journey through Mauritian history and its colonial heritage.