On April 21st we celebrate tea!
Tea has been used for centuries by many countries around the world. There is nothing quite like a nice cup of tea in the morning, evening, or honestly, any time of day!
National Tea Day originated in the United Kingdom where having a hot cup of Earl Grey in the afternoon instead of coffee is the norm. Tea has medicinal and health benefits, has been used in numerous cultural practices, and is a huge economic driver.
Origins of Tea
The method of brewing tea leaves was first discovered in China in 2737 B.C.
According to legend, the Emperor Shen Nong was boiling water in his garden when a wild tea leaf fell into his pot. He enjoyed the aroma of the leaf water so much that he tasted it, and the rest is history. The art of making tea or “Cha dao” is still an important cultural practice in China and Japan.
Tea traveled to India and today India is the number one consumer of tea and the number two producer of tea, after China. Chai – which means “tea” in Indian – is the national drink there. Beloved flavors such as Assam and Darjeeling originate from India. Tea stalls are everywhere on the streets of India, where passersby can buy hot cups of tea at any time of day from the “chai wallah” or tea vendor.
Masala chai is the preferred way to drink tea in India. It is a beverage made from black tea brewed with robust spices such as cardamom, black peppercorn, cinnamon, and cloves, and finished with milk and sugar. The American version of masala chai is simply known as “chai” or “chai tea” and has swiftly grown in popularity with the help of coffee shop versions, such as the chai latte at Starbucks.
Teapot and cups at a tea stall in India
Britain adopted tea from India, where it became a huge hit and spread across the globe like wildfire. Coffee is still preferred over tea in the United States, and with their history of pouring tea into the harbor, it may take a few more years for tea to overpower coffee. Tea is still one of the most popular American drinks, however, especially sweet iced tea.
On top of its history and cultural significance, the health benefits of tea are extraordinary.
Tea has been found to boost the immune system, which can help in fighting off illnesses and keeping your body strong after injuries. Some studies also indicate that certain teas can assist in fending off cancer. Many herbal teas are associated with positive effects, such as soothing indigestion and even calming generalized anxiety disorder.
Tea contains antioxidants, but they are more prevalent in white teas. Heart attacks and strokes may be reduced when consuming tea regularly as well! Green tea is thought to promote healthful digestion and even weight loss.
There are different types of tea for your potential needs such as black tea, oolong, green, and more.
How Can You Celebrate?
The best way to celebrate National Tea Day this year is to drink your favorite tea! Take the opportunity to try some new teas with a friend.
National Tea Day could be a great excuse to go out and support local businesses that stock tea. Treat yourself to new tea accessories: buy a unique mug, teacup, or a teapot. You can even purchase a white teapot or cup and make it a creative project by painting it.
Water is the number one consumed beverage in the world, and the second is tea. It is estimated that 3.6 million tons of tea will be consumed per year by 2021 and half of those numbers come from the Asian continent. The global tea market was estimated to be worth $39.3 billion in 2017.
Tea is certainly popular and will not be going away anytime soon! What is your favorite kind of tea? How will you celebrate National Tea Day this year?