After water, tea is the world’s most consumed beverage. Despite the popularity of coffee in the States, tea drinking is deeply ingrained in the cultures of the Middle East, Asia, and some European countries.
Tea is an aromatic beverage made by pouring boiled water over cured or fresh leaves of camellia sinensis, an East Asian evergreen shrub. Tea is the world’s second most popular drink after water.
There are many different types of tea. Some have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour, while others have a wide range of flavours such as sweet, nutty, floral, or grassy.
Tea stimulates humans primarily because of its caffeine content. Camellia sinensis produces six distinct types of tea. It can be classified into these six major categories: black tea, green tea, white tea, pu erh tea, oolong tea, and yellow tea. These teas share certain health benefits in addition to being derived from the same camellia sinensis plant. Antioxidants, catechins, and polyphenols have been shown to improve everything from heart health to diabetes.
The differences in health benefits are due to differences in tea growing and processing methods. It is also what contributes to variation in taste. There are also many different types of tea, each with its own flavour, depending upon the region it is grown. Caffeine is another distinguishing feature. Caffeine is present in all true teas, but it is absent in the majority of herbal teas.
Tea is beneficial to your health. Tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help our bodies fight cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, and other diseases. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only green tea that is beneficial to your health. Flavonoids and polyphenols are also found in black, white, and red tea.
One pound of finished tea requires approximately 2,000 tiny leaves. There are over 1,500 different types of tea in the world. Tea plants grow in wild parts of Asia. But it is also grown in plantations in over 25 countries. The best tea is hand-picked and grown at high elevations.
According to the legends, in ancient China, monkeys were trained to pick tea leaves. Even today, this story is shrouded in mystery. Monkeys have been used to collect other fruits such as coconuts, but even lower-grade teas are unlikely to be sufficiently picked by monkeys. But, you can still buy tea labelled as “monkey-picked”, even though it isn’t anymore!
According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive teapot was commissioned by a charity in London. The ‘Egoist’ has a stunning inlay of 1658 diamonds and 386 rubies, as well as a massive ivory handle and an 18 carat gold base.
Compiled By: Nikita Gautam
photo credit: Drew Jemmett, Content Pixie, Desi Dermz.