HISTORY OF TEA
& COOKING ARTICLE
drinking is believed to have originated in China about
five centuries ago. The word 'tea' itself comes from
the Chinese 't'e', pronounced 'tay'.
holds that the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung, "The
Divine Healer", discovered tea in 2737 BC when
some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of water
he was boiling. Upon tasting the beverage, the Emperor
pronounced it "heaven sent", and soon tea
drinking spread not only through China but through Japan
and throughout the Far East. A nice story...
until European traders sailed to China in the 17th Century,
did tea finally arrive in Europe. In 1610, the Dutch
East India Company brought tea to Holland and by the
1650s, it was imported by the British. Up until ten,
coffee was the beverage of choice in London Coffee houses
served as social hubs where young aristocrats gathered
to gossip and be seen (and not a Starbucks in sight!)
As tea rose in popularity, the British government taxed
it heavily in order to protect the coffee industry.
the taxes, the working class people of England increasingly
enjoyed their daily "cuppa". The tradition
of "high tea" at about six o'clock originated
with the rural and working class people who would come
home from the factories and fields for their main meal
consisting of potted meats, fish, cheese and salads.
In contract, "low tea" was taken in the late
afternoon. The invention of "afternoon tea"
is credited to Anna, Duchess of Bedford, who in about
1840 began taking tea with sandwiches and cakes to ward
off "that sinking feeling" around four o'clock
in the afternoon. Since the upper classes ate dinner
fashionably late, Anna and her friends found that tea
and small cakes were perfect to tide them over between
lunch and dinner. Her idea soon became the fashion,
and an English institution was born.
came to America with the Dutch and English colonists.
Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, made a living producing
silver tea service sets. And, tea made it to the history
books as a symbol of liberty in Boston Harbor when the
colonists' frustration with English taxation exploded
into the Boston Tea Party sending pounds of tea into
1860, at the age of 10, a young Scottish lad from Glasgow
took his first job. This began a lifetime of hard work
and extraordinary success in the tea business. Lipton
was the first to standardize the quality of his wares
throughout his 20 plus shops in Scotland. His credo
was to offer the highest quality product at a fair price
by eliminating the middleman and buying teas directly
from his suppliers. He acquired several tea estates
and became his own supplier of t ea. He capitalized
on his own supply system and promoted Lipton tea as
"direct from the gardens to the teapot."
1890, Sir Thomas Lipton brought his premium quality
teas across the Atlantic to America. He had recognized
that what tea drinkers wanted most in their tea was
fresh, high quality leaves that produced the "Brisk"®
taste he pioneered. Sir Thomas was the first to package
his product in small, convenient sizes to keep the tea
fresh, preserve the flavor and guarantee that customers
received the correct amount of tea.
longer known as The Thomas J. Lipton Company, the company,
owned by UniLever is now known and marketed only under
the name Lipton.
tea we drink in the U.S. is shipped from India, Sri
Lanka, Indonesia, Africa and Japan. Some teas also
come from China and New Guinea. Still others come
from Taiwan, Russia and South America.
are three basic types of Asian tea; Green (unfermented),
Black (fermented) and Oolong (semi-fermented.) All
three come from the same tea plant - Camelia sinensis.
The differences result from the way the tea leaves
are plucked and processed.
there are three basic types of tea, there are over
3,000 varieties to choose from. Like some wines, teas
often take their names from the areas in which they
any one time, there may be over 40 different teas
in one Lipton® tea bag. The tea buyer is responsible
for maintaining exacting standards for flavor and
quality throughout the year.
to their give name, herbal teas are not tea at all.
Herbal teas do not come from tea plants, but from
any part of herb and spice plants including the leaves,
flowers, roots, bark, seeds or stems.
in the U.S. drink more iced tea than anywhere else
in the world. Iced tea was born at the St. Louis World's
Fair in 1904. A tea merchant was dismayed when he
couldn't sell the hot brew in the sweltering heat.
In desperation, he poured the hot tea over ice and
iced tea has been enjoyed ever since - all year round.
hundred tea bags (eight ounces of t ea) makes one
hundred cups of tea. It takes two pounds of coffee
to produce one hundred cups of coffee.
pound of tea contains more caffeine than a pound of
coffee, but less tea is used per cup. To reduce the
caffeine in a cup of tea, brew it for a shorter period
of time. Always use boiling water and preheat your
teapot or cup. An average tea bag brew time of three
minutes yields 20 to 46 milligrams of caffeine per
five ounce serving of tea.
to Brew a Good "Cuppa"
with a quality blend of tea
fresh cold water. Depending on where you live, you
may want to use bottled water. The purer and softer
the water, the better the tea will taste.
some boiling water into the tea pot (or cup) to warm
it; discard the water and add a teaspoon of loose
tea . Bring the tea pot to the kettle and as soon
as the water starts to boil, pour it over the tea
leaves in the pot, or cup. The reason: oxygen releases
the full flavor of tea. As water boils, it loses oxygen
and over-boiled water makes tea taste flat. That's
why you don't want to re-boil water in a kettle. Always
use fresh water.
the tea steep for 3 to 5 minutes for black tea, and
a minute or two more for green tea and 8 to 12 minutes
for herbal. While it is steeping, cover the tea pot
with a 'tea cozy'. If you're just making one cup,
cover it with a saucer.
Hall Every, CCP
Ann Hall Every, 2001
article is from Ann Hall Every, CCP who runs her own
food and cookery web site called Cooking with Aloha
- Cooking with Love - to visit Ann's web site click
find out more about Ann and her passion for food you
can either have a look at her biography page (click
here) or you can visit her web site - www.cookwithaloha.com
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