Food And Drink

The world’s love affair with tea

From its famous origins in ancient China to its starring function in social routines around the world, tea is a lot more than simply another beverage

Tea is among the most popular beverages in the world, with an approximated 2.5 to 3 billion cups taken in every day. Common tea types consist of black, green, white, natural, spiced or flavoured, and there are likewise lots of methods of preparing, serving and consuming this common infusion. Read on to discover the history of tea, its appeal, developing techniques and remarkable tea customs worldwide.

Two men sharing a pot of tea
Sharing a pot of tea

History of tea

According to lots of historians, tea was understood to be consumed in China some 4,800 years back. It then ended up being an everyday beverage in the 3rd century throughout the Three Kingdoms duration when China was divided into the states of Wei, Shu andWu That period was marked with turmoil, however its lots of war stories, together with heroes and bad guys, went on to influence lots of art types, consisting of the popular book ShanguozhiYanyi(Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Intriguingly, it protested this unstable background that the tea-drinking routine took hold and ended up being deeply deep-rooted in the Chinese culture.

The appeal of tea then infected neighbouring Japan andKorea It was believed that Korea’s ambassador to China brought tea back and provided it to Queen Seondeok at some point throughout her reign (632-647), while records reveal that the Buddhist monks in Japan had actually currently integrated tea into their events by the 8th century.

A traditional Japanese tea room
A standard Japanese tea space

But it would take another couple of a century for tea to reach Europe– very first presented by Dutch traders in the early 1600 s, then popularised in England by Catherine of Braganza in 1662, child of Portugal’s King John IV and spouse of England’s King Charles II. When Catherine and her dowry showed up in England, Portugal had actually inhabited Macau for over a a century. Naturally, lots of Portuguese worthy households recognized with asian spices and natural solutions, consisting of tea. England, on the other hand, had no direct trade with China at that time and understood little about the brew. The brand-new queen quickly discovered herself considered as an innovator when women in the royal court began to copy her tea experience– instilling tea entrusts warm water prior to serving the drink in small porcelain teacups and dishes, all extremely classy and with an air of regal pomp.

Catherine of Braganza © Lisby1 CC PDM 1.0
Catherine of Braganza © Lisby1 CC PDM 1.0

By the 18 th century, tea had actually ended up being the beverage of option for lots of in England and Wales, however its high taxes likewise indicated that not everybody might manage it. Inevitably, this type of out of balance trade quickly had the attention of smugglers. In 1784, Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger recommended that of the 13 million pounds (weight) of tea consumed in Britain, just 5.5 million were generated lawfully, according to a BBC short article. In action, William Pitt slashed the tea tax from 119% to 12.5% and stopped the smuggling trade over night.

Around the very same time, the British likewise started to explore cultivating Chinese tea saplings in India however their effort had little success. Instead they discovered the environment in India appropriated for growing poppy. They farmed the crop thoroughly, mainly in contemporary Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and utilized the seedpods to produce opium and traded it for tea with China.

In1823, a nobleman from Assam called Maniram Dewan shared the regional tea with his British pals. At initially, the Brits didn’t believe much of the Assam range, however when the East India Company lost its trade monopoly with China in 1833, the Brits were required to act quick and quickly discovered themselves establishing tea plantations in Assam’s Brahmaputra valley. Slowly however gradually, the growing jobs were broadened to Darjeeling and likewise Sri Lanka (referred to as Ceylon at that time).

A tea plantation in Assam, India
A tea plantation in Assam, India

Top tea-consuming nations

This might amaze you, however leading tea manufacturers like China and India aren’t in the leading 10 of tea-consuming countries. According to WorldAt, Turkey is the most tea-loving nation worldwide, taking in a massive 3.16 kg of tea per capita in 2016.

Ireland remains in 2nd location, consuming 2.19 kg per capita, followed by the UK at 1.94 kg per capita.

Other nations that assemble the leading 10 are Iran, Russia, Morocco, New Zealand, Egypt, Poland and Japan.

Two Turkish men drinking tea and catching up
TwoTurkish males consuming tea and capturing up

Popular tea types

All teas, apart from natural, originated from the camellia sinensis plant and it is the production procedure that provides each kind of tea its unique attributes. In other words, from the very same plant, you can get black, white, green or oolong tea depending upon what you select (buds or leaves) and how you process your harvest.

White tea

Delicate and minimally processed, white tea is produced from the unopened buds of the plant. When the young buds are gathered, they are still covered in great white hairs, for this reason the name “white” tea. Once gathered, the buds are rapidly dried to produce a mild-tasting tea with low caffeine material and high levels of anti-oxidants.

A great suggestion is EnglishTea Shop’s natural white tea readily available on Amazon.

Organic white tea link to Amazon

Black tea

The most typical tea type, black tea represent almost 85% of tea usage in the western world. To make black tea, you select tea leaves, bruise them and leave them to oxidise completely– permitting oxygen to connect with the cell walls and darken the colour– prior to heat-treating and drying the leaves. As an outcome, you get a stronger-flavoured beverage with a greater caffeine material compared to most other teas.

Most black teas readily available on the marketplace today are in fact a mix of various grades of black tea grown in numerous nations, from popular manufacturers like China and India to the more odd ones like Argentina andMalawi Each producer likewise follows an unique set of standards– thinking about elements like colour, body and total spiritedness of the tea on a taste buds– to produce a mix that attract their clients.

Green tea

Green tea is generally pale green or warm yellow in colour, and this is because of the production procedure where the tea leaves aren’t permitted to oxidise completely. Once the leaves are chosen, they are rapidly steamed or pan-fried to avoid oxidation from changing their fragile flavour. Green tea is understood for its health advantages, boasting a high level of anti-oxidants, while some research studies likewise reveal that it might enhance metabolic rate and brain function.

Gunpowder green tea is among the most popular ranges, and the term describes withered and steamed tea leaves that have actually been rolled into tight pellets that look like old-fashioned gunpowder for cannons. The pellets are then dried to produce a smoky profile. Almost all gunpowder green teas are produced in China, most especially Zhejiang Province.

ChiswickTea offers powerful Gunpowder premium loose leaf green tea, a brand name that we like.

Gunpowder green tea link to Amazon

Oolong tea

The production of oolong shows the design of the tea master. First, they should choose if the leaves need to be oxidised minimally, partly or completely, then they should form the leaves, generally by rolling and curling them into tight balls. Then comes the roasting procedure– some tea masters would avoid this part while others would continue to roast and change the flavour. TieGuan Yin(IronGoddess) is a popular range of oolong that has actually been greatly oxidised and roasted, while GaoShan(HighMountain) rests on the opposite spectrum– minimally oxidised and unroasted.

Pu- erh tea

In ancient China, pu-erh is made from the wild camellia sinensis plant grown in Yunnan, China, however nowadays it is gathered from handled plantations. To make pu-erh, tea masters would push the oxidised leaves into cakes and leave them to age, permitting nature to assist establish the unique ‘earthy’ flavour that pu-erh is notoriously understood for.

Pu-erh tea cakes in Yunan, China
Pu- erh tea cakes in Yunan, China

Flavoured or spiced tea

EarlGrey, jasmine, increased and chai are all flavoured or spiced tea, made from a base of either black or green tea with included oil, flavouring or spices. For circumstances, jasmine tea is generally a mix of green tea with fragrant flowers, while chai is a heady mix of black tea, clove, cinnamon and cardamom.


Herbal tea does not include buds or leaves chosen from the camellia sinensis plant, however is made completely of caffeine-free active ingredients like seeds, leaves, roots, tree barks, fruits and flowers. Examples variety from the typical (chamomile, peppermint, rooibos) to the uncommon (hemp, butterfly-pea flower). Global sales of natural tea are strong– and approximated to get more powerful– as wellness-conscious customers are eager to accept the health advantages of various kinds of infusion.

If you’re trying to find something that promotes healthy sleep, have a look at Clipper natural sleep simple infusion, which consists of cinnamon, chamomile, valerian and other natural herbs improved with natural orange flavouring.

Sleep easy infusion link to Amazon

How to brew tea

Black tea— most commercial teabag makers advise utilizing newly boiled water to make tea, which has to do with 95 ° C(203 deg; F).But when utilizing tea leaves or higher-grade black tea, the perfect temperature level must be 90 ° C((******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** ) ° F) if you mean to include fresh milk throughout the developing procedure or 80 ° C((********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* ) ° F) if you choose to consume it black.

While everybody has a favored infusion time, many black teas tend to taste bitter when you high them for too long.

Green tea— for single tea bags, the perfect temperature level is 80 ° C((********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* ) ° F), and after20-(******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* )seconds, shake the teabag in hot water a couple of times prior to discarding it. If you are utilizing loose leaves, then a lower temperature level works finest.

White tea— this fragile tea must be instilled in temperate around 70 ° C((********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** ) ° F).Any greater temperature level is most likely to burn the tea and avoid it from launching its optimum flavours. The infusion time might be anything from 20 seconds to 2 minutes, depending upon your choice.

Flavoured and natural— the suggested temperature level is generally 80-90 ° C(176-(******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** ) ° F), however the infusion time is absolutely as much as you.

Making a cup of tea
Making a cup of tea

Tea customs worldwide

Most cultures have a distinct relationship to tea, and it is just natural that they have their own method of making tea too.


In cold, high-altitude Tibet, tea is strengthened with generous aidings of milk, salt and yak butter. Known as po cha in your area, the procedure is to instill black tea with salt and milk initially, then you put the tea mix, together with a generous quantity of yak butter, into a chandong(a cylinder churning gadget made from wood). After churning the liquid with a stick for a couple of minutes, you reheat the mix carefully prior to serving the hot drink in small cups.

A Tibetan woman with a chandong
A Tibetan lady with a chandong

Tibetan yak butter tea or po cha
Tibetan yak butter tea or po cha


Moroccan mint tea, aka Maghrebi, Touareg or Sahrawi tea, depending upon which area of Morocco you remain in, is a tasty mix of green tea, fresh mint and sugar. As Moroccans like their tea strong, they tend to utilize gunpowder green tea as the base.

A woman serving mint tea in Agadir, Morocco
A lady serving mint tea in Agadir, Morocco


India is most well-known for its chai mix– black tea blended with fragrant spices like cloves, cinnamon and cardamom, together with milk and sugar. Every chai wallah (tea seller) has his own dish and some might include newly pound ginger or a grating of fresh nutmeg in the tea mix. In the past, chai would be served in little clay pots referred to as kulhar, however nowadays plastic cups or little glasses are more frequently utilized than kulhar.

A chai seller in Kolkata, India
A chai seller in Kolkata, India


Russians like their tea a lot that they produced samovar, a metal container with a nozzle at its base and a connected teapot (filled with zavarka or tea concentrate) at the top. Inside the container, vertical tubes consisting of burning charcoal are utilized to keep the water hot. When you’re prepared for a cuppa, you put the tea concentrate into a cup and leading it up with warm water from the samovar. Although a Russian development, samovar is likewise extensively utilized in Turkey, Iran, and parts ofIndia Russians likewise like to have their tea with milk, sugar, and a cookie.

Women having tea, with a samovar on the table
Women having tea, with a samovar on the table


Japan is the supreme location for those who like a remarkable tea event which is likewise a creative expression of zen. Green tea is the de facto beverage in every teahouse, however every host has a somewhat various approach of preparing and serving the drink. Most travelers tend to participate in either a chanoyu(including matcha, carefully ground green tea) or senchado(including loose tea leaves), while the official chaji event is finest scheduled for the hardcore lovers.

A chanoyu ceremony
A chanoyu event


Committed tea drinkers, the British presented the routine of afternoon tea in 1840, when the Duchess of Bedford would request for a cup of tea and some pretty bread in the afternoon when she was peckish. Today, the affair is more sophisticated– you get expensive scorns, cakes, pastries, and sandwiches, all organized nicely on a three-tiered tea stand.

Afternoon tea in England
Afternoon tea in England

Are you going to put the kettle on and brew a cup of tea now?


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