Tea and Memory

The aroma of tea linked to your memory of attending a rock concert? What about that scent evoking the image of a dear relative now gone? Or the clinking of teacups bringing back that special tea time with loved ones and dear friends? Very possible.

Tarajulie Estate – one sip and I could swear I’m back at that restaurant in London!
Tarajulie Estate – one sip and I could swear I’m back at that restaurant in London!

Numerous studies have shown that there is a strong link between aromas, tastes, sounds, and particular memories. Those sensory stimuli trigger your brain to bring up “stored stuff.” An example that springs to mind is smelling fresh-baked apple pie and remembering days spent in the kitchen with Mom or even Grandma rolling out crust, coring and peeling apples, adding in cinnamon and other spices, etc. These memories can happen naturally or you can “assemble” them by consciously focusing not only on the smell but everything else going on around you.

Tea aroma and flavors, plus the sounds of tea time such as those clinking cups, can be linked to various memories and will thus evoke them whenever you enjoy some more of that tea. The short explanation for how this happens is “that memories relating to an event are scattered across the brain’s sensory centres but marshalled by a region called the hippocampus.” [source]

Hippo-what? Never mind. Just know that when you are enjoying a wonderfully fragrant and tasty tea, and if you also focus on the items around you, the next time you have that tea, you will also remember those things.

For example, hubby and I would occasionally enjoy lunch at a wonderful Thai restaurant that served a soothing and mild jasmine green tea. To this day, the scent and flavor of any version of jasmine tea transports me to that restaurant and lunch time. The craving for red curry served with saffron scented basmati rice becomes overwhelming. On the other hand, a nice pot of Assam can bring memories of lunch at a restaurant near the Tower of London and a most excellent steak and kidney pie. See what I mean?

Build up some tea time memories of your own. Serve up a special tea and pair it with an event or a food or something else special that you will want to remember later on. Enjoy!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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