Tea is old. It is older than coffee and about the same age as beer as a beverage. According to legend, it was discovered when a leaf, from the tree a Chinese emperor was sitting beneath, fell into the water a servant was boiling for him. That leaf fell from a wild tea tree. Eventually tea became the national drink of the Chinese and the rest, as they say, is history. Not only is tea old is it a widely consumed drink.
While it may not be number one is the U.S., it is the major drink in much of the rest of the world in one form or another. The amount of tea produced worldwide in 2006 was better than 3.
64 million tonnes. As very little is used to make a cup of tea, you can see there was plenty to go around. Some people worry about the amount of caffeine in their coffee and drink tea as a means of reducing it. How much caffeine you will get though depends upon several factors such as the type of tea, the brewing time, and preparation. The most is about 110mg in a six ounce cup of black tea.
But even black tea can have less. Tea has many benefits as well like many of the other major beverages consumed. In tea's case there are antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
There is some evidence, from studies published in such magazines as the Lancet and Phytotherapy Research, that these antioxidants in green and black tea can help prevent some cancers and fight Alzheimer's. Certainly most people don't care about all the many benefits to tea, even if that is why they first started to drink it. After a time, it simply becomes a way of life because it is simply a wonderful beverage. There are so many wonderful types of tea and if you add in herbal teas, or tisanes, the varieties are almost endless. Over time, tea has not only been a drink.
It has served as the basis for many ceremonies and events. You no doubt have heard of the Japanese tea ceremony in which a tea master will strive for excellence all his life. Then there is the afternoon tea that began in Great Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford as a means of tiding one over from the morning breakfast till dinner which was served late at night. It developed into quite the thing to do and became part of English society. Even though East and West can seldom agree on anything, one thing we all do agree upon is that wonderful cup of tea.
It is savored both in the northern and southern hemispheres of the world and is the center of many social gatherings all around the world. It is even way of life in some places. In the end, as the billion plus drinkers of tea around the world know, whether it is served from a clay pot or in a glass cup, tea is irresistible.
So brew up your favorite flavor, enjoy the health benefits and drink a cuppa tonight.
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