Tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world, aside from plain water, of course. Every culture in the world has its version of tea. So what is tea? In the strictest sense, tea is a beverage that is made by pouring hot or boiling water over dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant or tea plant as it is commonly known. Through the years, the meaning of the word “tea” has evolved to being almost anything made from dried plant parts and steeped in hot water.
- The first iced tea recipe can be found in “Housekeeping in Old Virginia,” which was first published in 1877.
- The tea bag was invented by accident. Thomas Sullivan gave away tea samples in 1908 in small bags, and the customers used them as is instead of opening the bags.
- Tasseography is a form of divination or fortune-telling that “reads” or interprets one’s fortune from patterns in tea leaves.
- Milk was originally poured with tea to prevent it from staining fine china.
- Earl Grey tea, one of the most popular blends of tea, was named after a 19th-century British diplomat.
- Slurping tea, while it sounds like bad table manners, actually increases the flavor of the tea and provides greater contact with one’s taste buds.