Comae on, who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of tea? Although there are so many different kinds of this beverage – around 1,500 different types to be exact – everywhere in the world it is associated with relax, hospitality and tranquility. But tea, as many things in the world, has also a few secrets not known to general public. At least, until now.
The iced tea is believed to be introduced in the year 1904 at St. Louis World Fair by a British merchant Richard Blechynden, who could not sell any of the normal tea because of the hot weather. He added some ice to the beverage and his idea got so popular, that now 85% of tea consumed in the USA is an iced tea. In the same year and in the same country teabags were invented, although many people argue that loose leaf tea has much richer taste. As America is believed to be a place of opportunities, tea made its way to the Hollywood. In many films, where a scene includes drinking whiskey, the alcohol is “played” by watered tea.
Tea is a national drink of Afghanistan; especially green tea. Visiting guest is always offered a glass of this beverage, served with sweets or with dried fruits. In winter black tea is being prepared with milk, cane sugar and cardamom; drank in mornings for warming up. Sometimes it’s called there a “red tea”, same like in China. Although usually it is a hostess’ duty to provide guest with beverage, in Morocco it is traditionally a man’s job to pour the tea.
Brits are generally known and sometimes even mocked for their love of tea. When in the 18th century that beverage reached British soil, it was sold in coffee houses, where only men were allowed. In 1717 the Twinings family opened the first tea shop and ladies were welcomed there too. Twinings is now one of the most recognized tea producers in the United Kingdom. It can get weirder though, when we learn that during Victorian era gentlemen used special cups, preventing their mustaches from getting soaked in tea. That’s not all – a real British citizen have to be prepared for his five o’clock tea wherever he is. That’s why English tanks are required to have a tea-brewing station inside.
In almost every part of the world tea is associated with hospitality and time of drinking it is an important part of daily routine. With so many varieties out there, it would be a shame to not try types other than just the one which is most popular in our country. No matter is it black tea, green tea, rooibos or herbal tea, each kind brings different flavor, different health benefits and has its own rich history.