This is the tea of the Empire. It may be mixed with crushed or extract of sweet grass or honey. Some add milk or gauram sauce. Tea made with the silver flowers is nauseating to the LizardKings.
Geology & Geography
All through the Inner Sea region, the Dhoeen shrub grows. It occurs only in the area where continual ice and snow reside, but keeping to thawed areas.
Origin & Source
The leaves are plucked from the shrubs on mountains near the snowline. The silver flowers have a restorative power that reduces fatigue and sells for a higher price. Soil impacts the flavor . Rocky volcanic areas bring a light, airy taste. Thick soils cause the tea to take on more sour citric flavor.
History & Usage
The Centaurs claim to have discovered Dhoeen tea. They have ancient records to support the claim. The silver flower tea has been found in treasuries of the Damamillia Deadlords. It has spread over the whole region, excepting the Lizardkings domains.
Cultural Significance and Usage
Dhoeen is served hot or room temperature. The cooling feel occurs with either. This cooling is also said to sooth tempers. Thus tea is served before meetings, during negotiations and when temperatures or tempers run high. The art of tea service is considered a mark of refinement or quality in the Empire. It is always by tradition, offered first to senior most (oldest) or highest ranking then descending. Service out of place is a statement or offer. Added flavors of fruit suggest positivity. Salt is a rejection. Spice says something more may come, though that is frequently a meal as spiced Dhoeen is an apperative. Honey is seeking a favor, while sweetgrass ground or extract is neutral. Served in white is a statement of opposition or rivalry. Brown clay or wood is neutral. Service with yellow or gold is well disposed. Silver or grey is reserved or withholding. Raw sweetgrass stems in cup or for stirring is a nod to refined or sagacious nature. A vegetable stalk is negotiable and no set ends. Metal says common. Wood is civilized. Clay stirrers are crude and base. Jade says the offerer or user feels they hold a stronger position. Bone is enmity or ill for someone. A trick is that one brings ones own stirrer set. For the master or mistress of Tea, there are many other messages that are sent with placements, compositions and position of elements of setting.
The leaf or flower is dried. The wet Golam territories dry theirs with fires which add smokey flavors. Esereti generally follow sun drying. Olia use heated drying rooms where they might also dry meat or fish, which may add other flavors. Torga practice a sunroom drying with glass covered boxes or rooms. The Taurien mosty make spiced dhoeen by drying with spices or on racks over coals which may be covered with fragrant herbs. The Damamillia used boxes buried in sand or even made a fermentation which they added to alcohol. The Deadlords do not drink tea much, except to refresh memories.
Trade & Market
Tea shops exist in most villages, towns and cities. They may be simple or extravagant. Likewise inns, brothels and other entertainments will have tea. The trade is varied in Dhoeen flavors, varieties and breeds. Other brewed drinks from roots or fruits may be traded or offered. Traders will buy boxes of dried tea to transport to distant or from parts of the Empire, the Frontiers and beyond.
Dhoeen is kept in jars, boxes or pouches where it is dry and protected. Brewing may be raw leaf poured through a strainer or placed in special cloth bag "nets" to brew in cups or pots.
Most is a few brass for a cup or small pot. Special rare varieties or unique flavors or imports may cost a silver Talent or more.
Tthe mint scent carries first, then an icy frostiness sharp and clear.
Sour but not bitter mintiness
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