Afternoon Tea has long been a quintessential English custom, and a culinary treat if ever there was one. Clotted cream, jam, sandwiches and pastries, all washed down with copious amounts of tea, might well be the tradition, but the potential for healthier and even more exotic adaptations is vast. So much so that, for this year’s Afternoon Tea Week, we’ve put an Amazonian slant on the concept. Both Brazil and Peru are fast gaining international recognition for their vibrant cuisines, owing mainly to the biodiverse rainforest which produces a huge variety of fresh and exotic ingredients. Such are the benefits of this diet, that the Tsimane people, who live in the Bolivian Amazon, have been found to have the healthiest arteries of any population ever studied.
As well as being innately active, they follow a carbohydrate-based diet containing little protein or fat, and mainly non-processed high fibre carbohydrates such as rice, plantain, corn, nuts and fruits.
Taking inspiration from the Tsimane diet, we’ve compiled an afternoon tea menu which boasts some truly exotic and unexpected flavour combinations. We’ve replaced English tea with Yerba Mate - the national drink of Argentina - which contains just over half the caffeine of the average americano and is thought to improve mental acuity, without any associated energy crashes. The drink is supposedly popular with the Pope, not to mention Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino!
Amazon Afternoon Tea Menu
Inspired by an Amazonian delicacy called Juane (chicken, rice, olives, hard-boiled egg and turmeric all wrapped and boiled in banana leaves), our sandwiches are made from Gradz spirulina and pumpkin seed bread, and contain a filling of chicken, black olives and hard boiled egg, mixed with turmeric and mayonnaise.
Maracuya (passion fruit) muffins
These muffins are made from wholemeal flour and passion fruits, for a healthy and exotic tea time treat.
Mango passion pots
Our mango and passion fruit creme pots comprise layers of mango, creme fraiche and passion fruit.
Pineapple Yerba Mate Tea
Rio Health's Pineapple Yerba mate tea couples the unique flavour of Yerba mate with the delicate sweetness of pineapple, for a delicious, refreshing and naturally uplifting afternoon tea accompaniment. Yerba mate makes a healthy alternative to traditional black tea, since it contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and a range of immune-boosting polyphenols and antioxidants. This is owing to the fact that it is processed much like a green tea, and not fermented or roasted, thereby helping to preserve the unique nutritional value of the South American rainforest holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis) from which it is made. Such are the benefits of this increasingly popular tea, that one study even suggests it could potentially increase the effectiveness of exercise for weight management and sports performance.