Tea, a beverage that is consumed in almost every culture and is enjoyed by millions. Whether you brew it naturally hot or cold, many benefits can be obtained by drinking several cups a day. Almost everyone at some point has had a cup of tea.
Below are ten interesting facts about tea providing folks a helpful insight and fun read about the beverage enjoyed by many. Make your favourite cup and enjoy.
1. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. It is only beaten by water. Out of all the sports drinks, sodas, and even coffee, tea still holds (and probably will always hold) second place.
2. All tea, white, green, oolong (aka. wu long or brown tea), and black tea come from the same plant. Camellia sinensis is the mother of tea and gives us the leaves that can become those four main types. It is the processing the leaves go through that determines their classification or “colour”.
3. Tea is grown in many countries, but it is India that produces most of the world’s exported tea. China produces the second, mostly green and white teas, and Sri Lanka comes in third for total world production. Japan produces a lot of green tea as well, but only around 2% is exported since Japan is a huge green tea drinking nation.
4. Even though there are only four main types of tea, literally thousands of varieties can be made from each. Many factors such as culture, climate, growing conditions, processing, and even time of day of harvesting all make that possible.
5. Tea is not graded by taste or colour, but by leaf size and texture. There are eight main grading categories, with “Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe” (FTGFOP) as one of the highest to “Pekoe” (P) which is the lowest loose leaf grading. The common term “Orange Pekoe” is believed by many folks as being a variety of tea when in fact is just a grading of tea. The “orange” in orange pekoe has nothing to do with oranges or extracts from them either.
6. In America, over 90% of folks brew their tea by tea bag. The majority of the tea is black tea; green and white teas have only started to become popular, but continue to increase in sales every year.
7. There are many health benefits that can be obtained from drinking tea daily. Common benefits are help with certain tumor and cancer prevention, lowered cholesterol, and a healthier heart. But did you know that the properties in tea can also help your skin look younger by destroying free radicals which cause dark spots and wrinkles? Tea has shown to even fight cavities!
8. Black tea is the most common, most exported, and most consumed type of tea in the world, while white tea is the least. Black tea is also the most oxidized of all types, while white tea is the least.
9. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee. A cup of black tea has half the amount of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee, and green tea has less than half the amount of caffeine compared to a cup of black tea.
10. The most important yet basic of tea facts is that brewing tea loose leaf style over tea bags is the best way to obtain true tea flavour and benefits. There are also many more varieties of loose leaf tea which can provide folks a lifetime of drinking enjoyment.
By David Carloni
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