Interesting Tea Facts: Did You Know?
Interesting Tea Facts : Tea History Facts, Facts about Unique Tea’s, Facts about Tea Consumption, Interesting Tea Statistics
From the interesting to the peculiar and unusual, these tidbits will show you a whole new side to tea!
Tea History Facts
Interesting Tea Facts
It is said that tea was discovered accidentally in 2737 BC by the Chinese emperor, Shen-Ning. As legend tells it, the emperor was boiling water when tea leaves fell in to his water. For 3,000 years, tea was used exclusively in the medical field to treat a wide range of ailments.
Centuries ago in China, tea was considered to be a means of currency. Tea leaves were hard pressed to form bricks which served as large currency amounts. One side of each brick of tea was scored, allowing it to be broken if needed to pay for smaller items or to give change to customers.
Tea has also been used as currency in some countries in the Himalayas and Siberia. The teabag was invented by American tea vendor, Thomas Sullivan in 1904. Sullivan sent samples of his tea to his customers in small pouches made from silk, but the customers at the time didn’t realize that the tea should be removed from the pouch to brew it. After realizing this, Thomas Sullivan invented the teabag, making the bags out of gauze.
Although everyone recognizes England as a tea loving country, when first introduced to England in 1657, tea was not particularly popular. When first introduced, tea was very heavily taxed which deterred many people from drinking it. It wasn’t until years later that tea took off as a hot beverage choice among the English.
The Boston Tea Party led to some 92,000 pounds of tea being dumped in to the Boston harbor. The cost of that loss in today’s money would be around $1 million. Since the attack was done under a swearing of secrecy, however, all but one of the participants got away with it. The one guy who got caught? An anonymous tip led to him being captured. His punishment was being stripped naked, tarred, and feathered. After this public humiliation and punishment, no one else was fingered in the attack and as such no one else was punished for it.
While we are on the topic of the Boston Tea Party, not many people know that Benjamin Franklin actually offered to cover the cost of the tea that was dumped in to the Boston harbor. His offer only came with one stipulation – that the British reopen the harbor. Unfortunately, this stipulation was a deal breaker for the British and so the tea was never paid for.
In 1841, tea was first introduced to India (the second biggest producer of tea worldwide today) by the British as a way to put an end to the Chinese (the first biggest producer of tea worldwide today) monopoly on tea. In the late 18th century, most of the tea that came in to England came in through smugglers. So unscrupulous were these smugglers that they would cut their tea with additives and other types of leaves in order to make more profit from the same amount of smuggled tea.
The most unfortunate part of this smuggling plan was that many times the additives used to “cut” the tea were poisonous and would lead to illness and sometimes even death! This became so much of a problem that in 1785 the English government reduced taxes on tea in order to make it more affordable to the average person. This action stopped smugglers in their tracks because they could no longer charge exorbitant prices for their smuggled tea!
Facts about Unique Tea’s
Interesting Tea Facts
Loose tea leaves can maintain their flavor for four times longer than teabags provided that they are kept in a dry, cool place. Loose tea has a flavor shelf life of around 2 years, where tea bags have a flavor shelf life of 6 months!
Despite their being some 1500 types of tea out there and all of them being part of the 6 main tea varieties, all of these varieties and tea types come from just two types of shrub!
It was tea that played one of the most pivotal roles in the development of faster cargo ships. Tea that was being transported from the East was being transported by ship, a process that took far too long for the West’s liking! It wasn’t long before technology grew in leaps and bounds to create faster cargo ships to transport tea supplies at a much faster pace.
Orange pekoe tea is named after the Dutch House of Orange and is nothing to do with an orange flavor, orange content, orange color, or orange scent.
In Tibet, black tea with salt and yak’s butter is a popular tea drink, referred to as “butter tea.”
Herbal teas are not actually considered to be teas at all. Real tea is made from the leaves of the tea bush. Herbal teas and fruit teas are not made from the leaves of the tea plant, rather they are made from leaves of various plants.
Tea has long played a role in Eastern societies, in fact, it has been playing that role for over 4,500 years! Compare that to the 400 years that tea has been in the Western world and it seems like just a drop in the bucket!
Ready to drink tea and ice tea are both very convenient methods of drinking tea when on the go. Unfortunately, these drinks tend to have much lower polyphenol content which means that they have less health benefits than teas that have been hot brewed.
While many teas have various health benefits, green tea tops the charts with its effect on the human body. Green tea is known for assisting in weight loss, fighting against heart disease, fighting against diabetes, fighting some types of cancer, and lowering cholesterol.
Facts about Tea Consumption
Interesting Tea Facts
Milk used to be poured in to teacups before tea was made so that it would serve to protect expensive bone china from cracking due to exposure to hot tea. The milk would lower the temperature of the tea enough to prevent cracking of the bone china cups.
While there are many different tea brands and gourmet tea types, Lipton remains the world’s bestselling tea brand! This speaks a lot to the convenience of readymade tea products versus the quality of flavor and customization that can come from using loose leaf teas instead!
There are a number of opinions on what type of water is best used in tea to get the most flavor out of the leaves. While most of us these days utilize tap water or filtered water, the early Chinese believed that it was water straight from lakes and rivers that led to the best flavor of tea. It’s probably not a good idea to do that these days, however.
When drinking Pu-erh tea, the best flavor comes from aerating the tea. This is done by loudly slurping the tea while drinking it.
The term “low tea” comes from the fact that low tea was served on low standing tables in the sitting room. Low tea was offered as a “snack” to be consumed before the evening meal. In contrast, “high tea” was served on the high dining table along with the evening meal.
While we are on the topic of low tea, there are three recognized types of low tea that are served in the afternoon – cream tea, light tea, and full tea. Cream tea consists of tea, scones, jam and cream. Light tea consists of tea, scones, and other sweets. Full tea consists of tea, sandwiches or appetizers, scones, sweets, and desserts. So if anyone ever asks you to low tea? Make sure it’s full tea or you are missing out!
Often in movie scenes when actors are shown drinking “whiskey,” they are actually drinking tea that has been watered down. While this might not taste all that great, it stops actors from getting drunk on the set! Can you imagine twenty takes and having to take a shot of whiskey in each take?
Tea should NEVER be served along with lemon and milk in the same cup or the lemon juice will curdle the milk in the tea.
Research has shown that drinking three or more cups of black tea every day lead to a significant decrease in the risk of stroke and or heart disease. Tea consumption has also been linked to lowered LDL cholesterol, a 40% reduced risk of heart attack, a reduction in blood pressure, and a reduced risk of multiple types of cancer including colon cancer, skin cancer, and rectal cancer. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to drink more tea, tea has also shown to reduce age-related neurological decline, reduce the chance of developing Parkinson’s disease, improve metabolism, decrease obesity, and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
After water, tea is the most frequently consumed drink in the world!
Interesting Tea Statistics
Interesting Tea Facts
There are more than 1,500 varieties of tea although they are all derived from the types of tea.
One of the most expensive teas you can buy today is a dark oolong tea known as Da Hong Pao. Grown in the Wuyi Mountains, this tea can sell for as much as $35,436 per ounce!
It takes 120 liters of water to producing 1 liter of tea, this compares to the 1,120 liters of water that goes in to producing 1 liter of coffee!
Despite being rumored to be a “caffeine jolt” like coffee, tea is surprisingly low in caffeine. A single cup of black tea has just 40 milligrams of caffeine. How does that compare to coffee? Well, it’s less than half the amount of caffeine with the average cup of coffee having around 95 milligrams of caffeine per cup!
We all know that the British are well known for loving tea, but did you know that the United Kingdom consumes around 165 MILLION cups of tea every day!
In order to thrive, a healthy tea plant needs a minimum of 50 inches of rain per year! The moisture content of the soil in which the plant is grown in also heavily influences the flavor profile of the tea, as does its exposure to sunlight.
It takes anywhere from four to twelve years for a tea plant to mature to the point where it will produce seed. After the seed is produced, it takes another three years until the plant is ready to be harvested!
One pound of loose tea leaves can yield more than 200 cups of tea!
In the United States, 85% of all of the tea consumed is iced tea rather than hot tea. Iced tea, however, is significantly less popular in other parts of the world.
The most expensive teabag in the world was made by hand by a jeweler named Boodles Jewelers. The teabag is made with 280 diamonds and is worth $15,250. Fortunately the teabag is being used as a way to make money for charity, so at least it isn’t a completely frivolous expense.