Tea is the the most popular beverage in the world. Its History is fascinating and has a starring role in major historical events that changed the world. I absolutely love a soothing cup of tea, it calms and relaxes me. I believe problems should be tackled around a pot of tea, days should started and end with steeped goodness. The world of tea intrigues me, I collect, drink and celebrate tea in all its tastes and its rituals. Unlike Coffee, tea is medicinal and very healthy.
Tea originates from China, and was consumed for medicinal purposes in the 3rd Century. It was also exclusive to the wealthy and not drunk by commoners. Through the centuries and dynasties, tea was finally filtered down to the common man, and eventually crossed borders into Japan. Buddhists developed The Japanese Tea Ceremony, a tea sharing ritual in a sacred and spiritual manner. Tea made its way to England in the 17th century, thanks to the East India Company. The Queen dubbed tea as a royal drink and she held afternoon tea parties. This made tea very popular and sort after, drunk only by the wealthy aristocrats and the royals. The taxes on tea where heavy and there was a large amount of tea smuggling and distribution among those that couldn’t afford it. It finally went to America where tea literally started the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party.
Tea is known to be a solution to all evils. It is enjoyed all over the world in different ways. Here are some of the rituals :
India – The land of Chai Tea. India drinks more tea than any country in the world. Spiced tea is the order of any day. It is sold on every street corner, and if you are a visitor in an Indian home, you can be sure its Chai in that tea pot your host will be serving.
Morocco – Tea is the heart of Moroccan culture, toureg tea or mint tea is served daily. Served 3 times, each cup symbolic of Life, Love & Death.
Argentina – Mate is the way of life in Argentina its served through out the day, and the more you drink the more pungent the after taste becomes.
All tea comes from a plant called Camillia Senensis. The variations are from region, which time of year it was picked and the processing method. Herbal teas come from different sources. Each type of tea has different tastes, medicinal properties.
White Tea – The purest and least processed of teas.
Green Tea – Most common is Asia, loose Green teas are most often scented and flavoured.
Black tea – Most common around the world, usually in teabags, and readily available.
Herbal Teas – These do not come from the Camillia plant, herbal teas usually come from pure herbs, flowers and fruits.
Blended Teas – Blending of teas is very popular, for adding to taste and flavour. Any of the tea categories can be blended and enjoyed.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Rooibos is a proudly South African export, it is also one of the most sort after herbal teas around the world.
- After water, tea is most drank beverage in the world
- Iced tea was first served in the heatwave of 1904 at the St Louis World Fair
- There is an estimated 1500 different types of tea.
- In Morocco it it the men’s job to pour tea.
- Solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia until the 19th century.
Follow this weeks posts, of my favourite teas and paraphernalia.
Happy Tea Time.