Surprise! The biggest tea-lovers are not Chinese
For almost five thousand years, tea has filled the cups of many a tea lover, helping them to relax after a busy day. In many countries throughout the world, tea is the number one drink, but it is rarely ever drunk in the same manner.
The greatest tea-producing country is China, which is, as they say, the homeland of tea. This is nothing surprising because tea originated in China after the leaves from tea shrubs fell into the boiled water of Emperor Shen Nong. His enthusiasm for tea was contagious, and the warm beverage became an integral part of Chinese culture. In China, four basic types of tea are commonly used: green, black, white and oolong, and everything else is considered by the Chinese to be herbal beverages. Nevertheless, per capita, tea is the most popular in a different country – Turkey.
The traditional ritual of tea drinking cannot be separated from the famous Turkish hospitality. Drinking tea is a Turkish tradition that has existed for hundreds of years, and it is consumed in all possible situations, always accompanied by heaps of sugar cubes. Drinking tea is not merely an everyday activity, offering and sharing tea is also considered a gesture of friendship, and to refuse a cup of tea is almost unimaginable. The most popular type is black tea, but at Turkish bazaars you will find something to satisfy every imaginable craving, such as rosacea tea, jasmine and orange tea, fruit teas from apple, raspberry, orange and a number of other flavors. They are most often prepared in two-part teapots, and Turkish people drink it from famous tulip-shaped glasses.
Not so far from the land of Turkey, there are the Irishmen who, although known for their love of beer, much prefer tea. The average Irish person drinks four to six cups of tea a day, which makes Ireland the second greatest tea drinking nation, and most of them drink black tea. Tea is traditionally served with milk, and some Irish tea lovers claim that tea should never be consumed with sugar. Irish agree that no household should ever be without two essential things: toilet paper and tea. If guests are not offered tea while visiting someone’s home, they are likely to take it as an insult. These fans of strong black teas sometimes enhance it with a drop of whiskey.
The third country whose people worship and drink the most tea is, of course, the one that comes to mind whenever tea is mentioned: the United Kingdom. British tea serving rituals are world famous, and everyone knows that when the clock strikes five, it is time for tea. For that they are indebted to Ana Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, who in the early 1800s began to serve it to friends along with tasty tidbits like cookies and finger sandwiches to help them survive between lunch and dinner, which could not be served in noble circles before late in the evening. The British, like the people of Ireland and Turkey, drink tea throughout the day, and in all situations. If they need to wake up, they whip up a cup of tea; if they hear bad news, they brew a cup of tea to calm their nerves. Everyone in Britain is convinced that nobody else knows how to properly prepare a cup of tea, but a general rule is that tea should not be steeped for more than four minutes. And, of course, taken with milk. A few years ago, their social networks were abuzz with quarrels about whether to put milk into the cup before or after the tea. The disagreement was finally broken up by scientists claiming that milk had to be put in before the hot tea so as to avoid breaking the delicate china cups. Unlike the Irish, the British will sometimes add lemon juice to a cup of tea.
“Tea is the elixir of life.”
Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher
Tea protects the whiteness of teeth
Adding a few drops of milk to your tea prevents unattractive spots from forming on your teeth. Only one drop of milk in tea can be more effective than whitening toothpaste.
Perfect tea depends on the water temperature
The ideal temperature for steeping tea depends on the type of tea you are preparing. When preparing tea, always heat the water in a teapot. While heating it in a microwave oven may seem practical and efficient, it is impossible to achieve the ideal water temperature for steeping tea.
Regulate the amount of caffeine in your cup of tea
If you want more caffeine in your cup, steep the tea bag or leaves in hot water for a longer period of time. If you want to eliminate up to 80% of caffeine, first steep the tea briefly, and then pour fresh boiling water over it again.