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Why Was British Tea Time Started?

International Tea Day is celebrated every year on May 21. On this day, tea lovers unite in celebration of their favorite beverage. International Tea Day also promotes ways to sustain the production and consumption of tea. On this day, we can also learn of the importance of tea in combating hunger and poverty.

You might be surprised to know that tea is the most loved beverage for millions worldwide. Every second, people consume 25,000 cups of tea, meaning more than two billion cups of tea are consumed per day.

  • 2737 BC – Legend has it that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tea tree while a servant boiled water for drinking. Some leaves fall into the cup and begin  the practice of drinking what is now called “tea”
  • 15th Century – The traditional tea-drinking ceremony in Japan (also known as ‘chado’) develops.
  • 16th Century – Ceramic teapots arrived in Europe in the 16th century.
  • 1610 – The Dutch and Portuguese introduce tea to England.
  • 1773 – With the intention of revolting against the high taxes levied by the British government without providing any voice, residents of Massachusetts throw tea into the Boston Harbor. “No taxation without representation” is the major complaint.
  • 1823 – Commercial tea plantations start in Assam, India.
  • 1901 – The first tea bags are called “tea leaf holders,” and they are patented by Roberta Lawson and Mary Molaren.
  • 2004 – At the World Social Forum, International Tea Day is conceived and then celebrated the following years in New Delhi and Sri Lanka, then later in other tea-producing places like Nepal, Viet Nam, Bangladesh and others
  • 2019 – After some years of advocating for its observance, International Tea Day is adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the suggestion of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea
  • Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease.
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee has its advantages, but tea wins in the war of antioxidants. While green tea is most commonly associated with antioxidants, white tea contains more. Coffee also contains antioxidants but in a much lower concentration than white tea.
  • You might be surprised to know that tea (not coffee) is the preferred beverage of choice for millions of people in the world. The global per capita consumption of tea is 35.2 liters. Every second, people consume 25,000 cups of tea. This equals 2.16 billion cups of tea per day.
  • Green tea is often touted as the healthiest tea. It is chock full of polyphenols and antioxidants that help to boost brain and heart health
  • There are as many as 3,000 varieties of tea.
  • Some types of tea have additives like twigs, sawdust, and sheep dung.
  • More than two billion cups of tea are drunk every day!
  • Tea is especially popular in India and China. These two countries account for 37% of the world’s total population.
  • Here’s a mind-blowing fact: all tea — be it black, green, oolong, white, or yellow — comes from the same plant, the camellia sinensis. Of course, this excludes herbal teas and tisanes, which are technically not “true” teas.
  • So-called panda dung tea is made using panda poo as an eco-friendly fertilizer. This method is said to retain more nutrients than non-panda-poo-fertilized tea and to yield a tea that’s fragrant and smooth.
  • British Tea Time As the story goes, in 1840 or so, Anna Russel, the Duchess of Bedford, found herself languishing every afternoon between lunch and dinner. Instead of popping a granola bar, she dreamed up something far grander: a light meal with tea that could double as a social affair.
  • According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., 84% of the tea consumed in America is black tea — of that, 75-85% of the tea is served as iced tea.
  • The term “high tea” actually originated to refer to the height of the tables where it was served — bar tables in working-class joints that catered to the working classes looking for tea and a meal after their shift. It was a nice custom, but not a high-class one.
  • The tea clipper Cutty Sark’s hold could carry 10,000 tea chests at a time – that’s enough to make 200 million cups of tea in one cargo!
  • The art of reading tea leaves is called tasseography.
  •  Teacups didn’t always have handles. At first, the English made cups without handles, influenced by the traditional Chinese tea bowls.
  • Tea pets are tiny clay statues that have no soul when you purchase them. Over time, as you pour tea — which has a soul — over them, the soul within your tea transfers to your pet. You can even dip a brush into your tea and pet your tea pet. You can also use your tea pet to test the temperature of the water. They are such cute and friendly companions for your tea time.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Faith Based Events

Days of the Year

National Today

Big Heart Teas

Royal Museums Greenwich