Tea is a lovely beverage that is preferred by millions of people worldwide. It is refreshing and addictively delicious. If you are an avid tea drinker, wouldn’t it be interesting to know more about this delightful beverage? So, let’s go on a journey into the world of Tea and understand deeply about this refreshing beverage.
What Exactly Is Tea?
Tea is generally prepared from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Usually, hot water is boiled and tea leaves/powder are added. One can add sugar, honey, and lemon to enhance the taste. But, many different types of tea can also be prepared from herbs like ginger, chamomile, lemongrass, etc. It is very aromatic and provides refreshment.
History & Origin
The origin of Tea is shrouded in mystery, but experts believe that it originated from China. Experts claim China’s Yunnan province to be the birthplace of this delicacy. According to a legend, It is believed that Emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered Tea when some leaves of a wild tree blew into his cup of boiling water. It was over 5,000 years ago! Isn’t it amazing?
While China is the home to Tea, some ancient records also suggest India and Tibet be home to native tea plants. In China, the Tang Dynasty ( 600 to 900 A.D) introduced the tea ceremony concept.
Tea reached Japan only in the 9th century, but only after 300 years did it gain any significant popularity in Japan. While the Chinese liked to brew their Tea in hot water, the Japanese innovated to grind the leaves into powder form.
Regrettably, Tea didn’t gain popularity until after global trades were functional. When it was first introduced to Europe, Tea was only restricted to upper-class aristocrats. The dutch East India company started commercial manufacturing of Tea in 1610. Furthermore, after 50 years, Tea began to make its way in the shops of local cafes in London.
To gain a monopoly over tea production, The British East India company started tea plantations in the Indian subcontinent. So, by 1823 Assam and Darjleeng became the hub for tea cultivation and manufacturing.
Where Is Tea Cultivated?
Even though Tea is cultivated throughout the globe, the major key players in tea production are China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. India is the leading producer of black Tea. The major tea-producing states in the Indian subcontinent are – Assam, Darjeeling.
Did you know that Jorhat (Assam) is known as the tea capital of the world?
Different Kinds Of Tea
While there is a plethora of Tea available, you can find these 5 major tea types in the market or these Tea Online in India. They are Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, Pu-erh Tea, and Oolong tea. They all have different delectable flavors and ways of preparation. Additionally, you can add milk, Tea, sugar, honey, etc. to give them your unique twist!
Nutrients Content Of Tea
Polyphenols – Tannins and flavonoids
Health Benefits Of Teas
- Antioxidants in teas protect from free radical damage.
- Drinking it may reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- Good for digestion.
- It can aid in healthy weight loss.
- Tea can help in strengthening bones.
- Caffeine keeps you fresh & alert.
Which Is Better: Loose Tea Leaves Or Tea Bags
Loose Tea Leaves
They are dried leaves of the Tea that are fully immersed in water for a whole, flavorful experience. They are commonly stored in an airtight container to preserve the flavor and avoid moisture loss.
- It consists of good quality tea leaves.
- It gives a rich flavor and aroma.
- The tea leaves can be reused multiple times.
- It requires more time for preparation.
- It takes a long time to clean up after preparation.
They were accidentally invented by an American merchant – Thomas Sullivan. Furthermore, they are now a pretty popular way of consuming Tea. These small teabags contain small, fine pieces of tea leaves. These are famously served in restaurants for a quick, refreshing delight!
- Convenient for individual portions.
- Quick brewing and clean up time
- It loses most of the essential tea oils and aroma.
- Bleached paper material can ultimately harm the health of the drinker.
In conclusion, Tea is an exceptionally unique beverage with a rich history. It impacted the culture and trading activities of many countries. Furthermore, this beverage has many health benefits like weight loss, oxidation stress protection, and better digestion. Even though it has its humble beginnings in China, Tea is now the second largest consumed beverage globally!