Posted by: ktzefr | May 13, 2011

12 Fun Facts About Tea

I’m listening to Enrique sing “Bailamos” and drinking Guangxi Golden Hook tea.  What better way to spend a cool, cloudy spring afternoon.

Did you know that…

1)  Tea was discovered nearly 5,000 years ago.

2)  More tea is drunk around the world than any other beverage.

3)  In the 1800s Britain wanted tea and China wanted opium, so the British East India Company grew the drug in Bengal (by then part of the British Empire), sold it, via merchants in Calcutta, to China for silver; then they paid the same silver back to the Chinese for tea.

4)  In the early 1900s afternoon tea became the fashion in Britain and, with the introduction of tango dancing from Argentina, the best hotels added string quartets and tea dances to the menu.

5)  The Boston Tea Party ended America’s liking for both the British and their tea, marked the beginning of the War of Independence, and started America’s coffee-drinking tradition.

6)  Tea (Thea sinensis) is an evergreen plant of the Camellia family.

7)  Tea plants grow best in hot, humid places with temperatures of 50-85 degrees fahrenheit, and many of the world’s most famous teas — high-altitude Ceylons, China’s Weyi, India’s best Darjeelings — come from bushes cultivated above 4,000 feet.

8)  The aroma of black tea is complex, with more than 500 chemicals so far identified, including hydrocarbons, alcohols, and acids.  

9)  In the last 40 or 50 years tea production has expanded by over 156 percent with more than 3,000 million tons of tea produced every year.

10) Caffeine is one of the most important constituents of tea.  Although the caffeine in coffee is absorbed rapidly into the body, this is not so with tea.  The  rate of absorption is much slower and the caffeine remains in the body longer, making tea the more refreshing, revitalizing drink. 

11) Tea tasters and blenders (much like their counterparts in the wine industry) have a special vocabulary of more than 100 words to describe the appearance and flavor of tea.  Five of the most common are:

— body (tea with a strong liquor, rather than a thin, weak one

— colory (good colored liquor)

— flat (a tea that has gone off, has too much moisture)

— tip (the very end of the delicate young buds that give golden flecks to the process leaf)

— wiry (well-twisted leaf, as opposed to open pieces)

12) Connoisseurs of tea brew loose leaves (tea bags are only for emergencies) and leave the milk in the refrigerator and the sugar in the pantry.  A good tea should not require anything added to it.

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Check out related posts HERE Tea and Travel: some like it hot in the islands; Tea and Rumi; 4 Fun Facts about Jasmine Tea; Tea & Poetry; The Sweet life…with Tea.

** Tea facts from The Tea Companion: A Connoisseur’s Guide by Jane Pettigrew

** Check out Enrique’s “Uno (95/08)” HERE.

** The flowers in the picture are alstromeria (also called Peruvian lilies and Lilies-of-the-Incas).  For more info, click HERE.

Alstromeria (Peruvian lilies)

Have a happy weekend!

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See also TEA TALK; THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNSAVORY


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Responses

  1. I love tea and I will drink a good tea without anything in it. David brought two tins of tea back from China — one of my favorites ever — and no milk for me.

  2. Enrique’s voice is always a soothing part of my day. He helps me keep my feet on the ground and strive towards something better. His voice moves me.

  3. […] See also “12 Fun Facts about Tea” […]


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