Why I Love Tea
Tea - It Makes Life Better!
I love tea! Probably because I'm British I can't imagine life without tea. Coffee is important, but somehow life without tea is not something I want to imagine. So here I'm going to reveal many of the reasons I love tea; the ways that I think the world is a better place because of it!
When we talk about tea we naturally think of black tea, served with milk and/or sugar, made in a teapot and served in teacups. And there's a correct way to hold the cup in polite society - pinky up!
However, tea is not just one drink, it is many. There are the true teas which derive from the tea plant. And then there are many other beverages, tisanes or herbal teas, that are tea-like drinks. These are also delicious!
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True teas come from this plant, Camellia sinensis.
Yes, all true teas come from this: Teas of all colors like black teas, green teas, yellow teas, white teas, and oolong teas all come from this plant. Which kind of tea results all depends on the processing.
Also, many scented or spiced teas are blends of a true tea with other ingredients. So this plant is very important!
Around the World
"Tea Revives The World" by Macdonald Gill
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This tea plant, Camellia sinensis, is an evergreen, growing primarily in tropical and sub-tropical climates with a fair amount of rain. It does rather well in China and India! In fact, the tea plant appears to have originated in Southeast Asia, in an area including northeast India and southwest China.
From there it has spread to many other countries. Some varieties can even tolerate marine climates and are found further afield such as Japan, and also Europe and the United States.
So, tea is grown in many parts of the world, and in those places where it doesn't grow it has been imported for so long that it is part of the culture, like in Britain! Tea is able to adapt itself to any culture, truly a universal drink. That's one reason why I think the world is a better place because of tea! Here are some beautiful examples of tea around the world.
India is an amazing place, somewhere I've often thought about but never had a chance to visit. It's very famous for its tea, especially the "champagne" of teas - Darjeeling tea, cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world.
Of course the British have a long history of enjoying Indian tea. The British East India Company began large-scale production of tea in Assam, hence the other most famous Indian tea - Assam tea. But tea was known and enjoyed in India long before those Brits arrived, and continues to be enjoyed there by everyone.
Russian tea is traditionally made in samovars, large metal urns that boil the water.
The tea is made very strong in a teapot that often sits on top of the samovar. Hot water from the samovar is then added to dilute the tea to taste.
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The English love their tea so much they bring it to the beach! In Scotland we used to bring flasks of tea too, but it was mostly because we were so cold after swimming in the ocean!
Japan is famous for its tea ceremony. The tea for the tea ceremony is very special, it's green and whisked up with a brush that looks like an old-fashioned shaving brush! It doesn't really taste very good so you get to eat some slightly odd cookies with it.
It's really all about the atmosphere, the sharing of this special time together with someone, not so much about enjoying the tea.
Morocco has a tea ceremony too. Bit different from the Japanese version! In Moroccan culture tea is traditionally prepared by the head of the family; in other words, by the man not by the woman, who cooks and serves the food.
Moroccan-style tea is prepared from a green tea, lots of sugar, and fresh mint. The tea is brewed in a special teapot with a long, curved spout. The tea is then poured into tiny glasses from a height of 1 to 2 feet. Amazing!
The World of Fantasy
And then there's the world of fantasy!
How can we forget Alice's experience at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party!
Look at all those beautiful teacups lined up all down the table. It's always tea-time you see, so they have no time to wash the cups in between and just keep moving round the table.
Of course, poor Alice never gets a clean cup of tea of her own!
The Tea Hour
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Tea is Wonderful Anywhere
Tea can be enjoyed indoors, or outside! Tea can be enjoyed alone or in the company of others. It can be drunk in the quiet solitude of one's room, surrounded by the wonder of nature, or in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life. Drinking a cup of tea provides an opportunity for quiet contemplation or shared moments of intimacy with others.
It's Always Time for Tea - Tea just seems to fit every situation!
I just have to have a cup of tea first thing in the morning. Please don't talk to me before I've had my cuppa, or at least got the water boiling so I know it's on it's way!
We Brits always have a tea break in the afternoon. Makes sense, how can you keep going without a break and some refreshment all the way from lunch to dinner!
If you need to take a break, relax, unwind, take time out from whatever's making you busy and stressed, have a cup of tea! If it's a chilly day, warm yourself up with a nice hot cup of tea. If you're too hot, have a refreshing cup of tea, hot tea or iced tea, both seem to work!
When you meet with friends, a cup of tea always sets a good atmosphere. If you're having an important meeting with colleagues, or people you don't get along with so well, serving tea is a great idea.
And when times are tough, a nice cup of tea always helps, always comforts.
"Time for Tea"
More reasons to love tea!
This cute little book is the perfect gift for the tea lover. I know, I bought one for myself!
Read my review
- "Time for Tea" by Helen Exley
My Review of "Time for Tea" by Helen Exley
Tea is not just delicious, relaxing, yet refreshing, it's also good for you.
Tea is high in antioxidants. These are molecules that slow or prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. So antioxidants reduce the number of free radicals, and thus benefit the body, protecting it from cancers and other diseases.
Tea without milk (or sugar, of course) has no calories. Drinking tea with milk adds calories, but there are benefits from the milk such as calcium and valuable minerals.
Although true teas contain caffeine (which is both good and bad), it contains much less than caffeine than coffee. Interestingly, the form of caffeine in tea seems to be different from that in coffee such that it doesn't have its negative impact (buzz then let down), but rather is a delightfully refreshing drink!
Tea doesn't have to be drunk from a fancy teacup!
I love a good mug of tea. Those fancy teacups are good for certain kinds of tea, or special occasions. But when I want to relax with my "cuppa" it's mugs all the way! Here's a favorite mug of mine featuring my husband's "Cosmic art" - I love all of his designs!
Moai on the Small Planet Mug by Misticmedia
I just love teapots! Of course with the use of tea bags it's easy enough to make a single cup (or in my case, mug) of tea without a pot. But still, teapots are part of tea culture and shouldn't be forgotten!
Teapots don't need to be boring, as this collection of animal shaped teapots illustrates!
The art of tea or tea in art, either way tea is a wonderful feature of many artworks. From an artistic portrayal of a teapot, teacups, samovars, or the tea itself, to pictures of every kind of person sitting with a cup of tea, tea is just a fine addition to the best works of art!
Now, doesn't the tea just make her look elegant, intriguing, and wonderful!
And doesn't the tea set and the thought of the tea just add so much to these already gorgeous flowers and strawberries?
Tea and Strawberries by Barbara Mock
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Tea Lovers Link
- Tea Appreciation Society
The Tea Appreciation Society is a worldwide collective of tea lovers.
© 2009 Jennifer P Tanabe