What is tea?
Before we learn tea facts, let’s answer the question – what is tea? Tea is a beverage consumed by pouring hot water on fresh or dried leaves of Camellia sinensis.
Tea has a stimulating effect on humans because of caffeine. Tea has more caffeine than coffee if you compare by weight to weight.
Tea! The word is similar to elixir for many people in this world. Many people can’t start and continue their day without tea. It is extremely addicting. It is available in several varieties that no one can escape from its magic. Tea gives a tough competition to coffee. After our coffee facts, let us learn about tea facts today. Are you ready?
Tea Facts 1-10
1. The second most consumed beverage in the world is tea. Do you have any guesses for the beverage that is consumed the most? Coffee? No, water is the most consumed beverage!
2. Coffee is famous in the west, but tea rules for the Middle East and Asia. As the east side’s population is more, tea becomes the second most consumed beverage on the earth.
3. Tea is derived from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. There are other plant varieties, but the leaves of the main plant are only considered tea leaves.
4. Three million tons of tea are produced all over the world every year.
5. If the beverage doesn’t contain the leaves of Camellia sinensis, then it is not called tea. It is called a tisane. Tisane is just like tea, but it is made up of a variety of herbs and spices.
6. The US alone consumes over 1.42 million pounds of tea each day.
7. It is believed that there are 1,500 varieties of tea in the world. The exact number is unknown and thought to be limitless.
8. The leaves of the raspberry plant are used to produce herbal tea.
9. A herbal tea in South Africa is called Rooibos. The leaves are pointed and are similar to needles in shape.
10. Tea is broadly classified into four varieties – black, oolong, green, and white. Each division has hundreds of its iterations.
Tea Facts 11-20
11. The Lipton Tea Factory situated in Dubai’s Jebel Ali produces 5 billion tea bags each year!
12. A new tea plant requires a minimum of three years to get ready for the harvest. It takes four to 12 years to produce seeds.
13. For the tea plant to grow properly, it requires 50 centimeters of rainfall.
14. A traditional afternoon tea is served between 3 pm to 6 pm. If it gets beyond 6 pm, then it is called High tea, and more solid food should be served along with tea.
15. In Japan, roasted brown rice and green tea are served together. It is called Genmaicha. It became a staple diet when the food was scarce.
16. Black tea is the most oxidized form of tea, and it produces a more potent flavor. White tea is the least oxidized one.
17. It is believed that tea was discovered in 2737 BCE. China’s emperor Shennong had few tea leaves fall into his cup containing boiling water and drank the resulting water.
18. It was the Dutch East India Company who introduced tea to the West. Earlier it was called Tay or Cha. Later tay was modified to tea.
19. In the 1700s, smugglers mixed dry leaves, barks, etc., with tea and sold it to increase their profits.
20. To make sure the delicate china cups didn’t break due to heat, milk was poured in the cup before adding tea back in the old days.
Tea Facts 21-30
21. In Tibet, butter tea is a common variety of tea. It uses black tea, Yak butter, and salt.
22. Tea is the 31st most valuable livestock/crop! According to the data compiled by Statista, the global market of tea would reach $44.3 billion by 2021. The sale of ready-to-drink teas makes up $5.5 billion.
23. The best green tea is harvested from early April to mid-May, which is the first harvest of the year.
24. The oldest tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) is present in China. It is believed to be around 3,200 years old.
25. Tea is classified not only based on type but also based on size. There are five categories, which are
- Broken Orange Pekoe
- Orange Peko
- Flowering Orange
Apart from these types, there are two additional varieties called golden and tippy.
26. Since 2000, dealers involved in Darjeeling Tea must get a license directly from India’s Tea Board of India. They even have to inform the board on the production and manufacturing of the tea.
27. PG Tips ordered the most expensive tea bag in the world to auction it for charity to celebrate their 75th birthday. The teabag had a diamond-encrusted and was made by Boodles Jewellers. It was worth GBP 7000.
28. Tea plantations are present in South Carolina and Hawaii.
29. Tea contains antioxidants that help in repairing cells and also helps in strengthening our immune system. It also helps our bodies against cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, and other health issues.
30. To create a pound of black tea, you need leaves of 2000 small tea plants.
Tea Facts 31-40
31. Black tea is the most fermented of all teas. The more tea leaves get fermented, the blacker they get.
32. When you are making tea, it would be flavorful if the tea leaves can expand.
33. Ching gifted tea to Tsar Alexis in the 1600s. It was then the tea was introduced to Russia.
34. Some famous institutes teach and help hoteliers and restaurants regarding what food should be served and paired with different specific tea blends. Two such institutes are the Academy of Tea of the United Kingdom and the Palais de Tay in Paris.
35. Tea is highly beneficial for us, especially the less oxidized ones like white tea or light black tea. Some of the benefits are lower risk of depression, decreased chances of heart disease and stroke, lower risk of diabetes, etc.
36. The world’s most expensive tea costs GBP 22,000! Panda bear poop is used as a fertilizer agent. Anyang, the creator of this tea, said that the tea has extra nutrients that the panda couldn’t take advantage.
37. The phrase ‘agony of the leaves’ was coined to describe the tea leaves’ curling when hot water is poured on them.
38. White tea leaves and green tea leaves are not fermented at all. They are steamed and heated to remove moisture.
39. Tea is the national drink of the countries like Afghanistan and Iran. They consume green tea as water and consider black tea as a hot beverage.
40. Boston Tea Party dumped nearly 92,000 pounds of tea in 1773.
Tea Facts 41-50
41. 85% of the tea sales in the United States of America are mostly iced tea with added sugar.
42. The countries that consume tea the most (in per capita terms) are Turkey (the first rank), Morocco, Israel, United Kingdom, and Australia. The US stands at 69th place.
43. Chrysanthemum tea is a type of herbal tea consumed in Korea and China. It is a medicinal tea that is believed to reduce fevers and headaches.
44. ‘Tea breaks’ practice is around 200 years old. It is popular among England’s tradesmen where the tea they drink is called ‘Builder’s Tea.’
45. Tea has high antioxidants. These antioxidants slow down the absorption of caffeine in our system. It means that we can stay alert for a longer time, and there won’t be any caffeine crash at the end.
46. Similar to the Afternoon Tea of England, Japan has Zen Buddhist tea ceremonies. It has a specific dress code and a specific way to prepare tea. This ceremony dates back to the 16th century.
47. Darjeeling tea is one of the most costliest teas. It is mostly because it is grown in a 70-square mile area at the foot of the Himalayas. Hence, it is referred to as ‘Champagne of teas.’
48. Afternoon Tea parties gained popularity after Queen Victoria started holding those parties. But it was Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, who started the afternoon tea party in the 1840s.
49. A specific blend of Darjeeling tea and Oolong tea is called ‘Sherpa tea.’ It is made at a high altitude due to water boiling at a very low temperature.
50. Tea replaced ale and gin to become the most popular drink among Britain’s commoners by the 1800s.
Tea Facts 51-60
51. Herbal and black tea requires 3 to 5 min to steep, but green and oolong tea requires just 2 minutes of steeping time.
53. A 56-year-old man drank 16 cups of tea and suffered from kidney trouble. Tea contains high amounts of oxalates. If you go overboard with tea (especially black tea), it may lead to renal failure.
54. Few thinkers of the 17th century preached to either not abuse tea or completely abstain from it. In 1706, a French doctor advised not to consume hot coffee, brandy, tea more than required. John Wesley, one of the creators of Methodism said that tea caused nerve disorders and advocated abstaining from tea.
55. In the 1980s, bubble tea was a staple in Taiwan. It was made with condensed milk, Tapioca pearls, black tea, and honey.
56. The art of reading tea leaves, coffee leaves, and wine is called Tasseography. The word ‘tasseography’ originated in France, where tasse means cup.
57. In the 18th century, tea was so expensive and valuable that it was kept in elegant boxes with locks (called tea canisters). The boxes were then kept in a locked chest. The locked chest is called tea caddy now.
58. Tea is a diuretic, meaning it makes you need to urinate.
59. China tops the list of tea production in the world. India comes second. Other countries featuring in the top 10 list are Vietnam, Iran, Turkey, and Argentina.
60. If you have puffy eyes, then a quick solution uses the recently used black tea bags. Squeeze the bags to drain whatever liquid is left and then cover it over your eyes and stay for 10 to 15 minutes. The puffiness of your eyes would decrease. It is be noted that it is a temporary solution for eye puffiness.