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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tea Discovered - Teameister

Top station, 41 km (1hr) from Munnar is aptly ...Image via Wikipedia
By Penny Bronson

Tea, is a popular beverage in the world today and is produced from the leaves or buds of the tea bush. The will examine tea by discussing the History of Tea, Cultivation of tea as well as tea processing and varieties. Preparing and serving a cup of tea and the various kinds of tea and what makes each special is also covered.

The United States of America has a long history with tea as well and is covered in detail on the teameister report. Historically, the use of tea can be traced back to at least 1000 BC. Records indicate that early dynasties, such as the Tank Dynasty, used tea as a social beverage. Tea was introduced to the Europeans sometime in the 16th century. Tea was hugely popular among the wealthy. Britain set up tea plantations in colonial India. Did you know that Ireland and England are the two highest per capita consumers of tea in the world today?

The varieties of tea is classified according to the period of oxidation the leaves have experienced. You will read about this process and the differences between cultivation and variety as well as the differences in taste and price. White tea, green tea, Black and oolong and herbal....however herbal teas are a standalone product because they do not generally contain any tea leaves. Traditionalists do not consider herbal mixtures a form of tea.

Tea plays an important role in many societies and cultures. For example Chinese - Tea houses offer a social gathering place open to anyone, regardless of age and standing. In vietnam tea is one of the largest exports of and is a common drink served to company and guests to the country. Britain, Germany, Ireland, India, Russia all have unique customs.

In the United States tea is offered at most establishments as an alternative to coffee. Over 80% of all tea consumed in the US is in iced form.

Tea should be served in mugs or cups, never glasses; hot temperatures may crack or shatter the glass. Ceramic and porcelain cups also retain heat better than glass. Additives to the tea are based on personal and cultural preferences. Popular additives include milk, cream, sugar, honey, lemon and fruit jams. Milk is generally added afterwards to prevent it from being scalded, as well as to produce a less milky cup of tea. Another reason milk is added afterwards is to accurately measure how much is needed, based on the color of the tea. Tea is packaged in a variety of ways such as teabags, loose tea, compressed tea and tea sticks.

Tea has played an important part in almost every culture of the world. Used for religious rites, meditative purposes, social activities, or just to unwind, tea has dominated every aspect of our lives. This report has outlined the various varieties of tea, showed its role in history and culture, and suggested methods of preparation and serving. Based on this information, it is clear tea will continue to be an integral part of life for centuries to follow.

The new teameister website is all about tea. We are planning an online tea community where members will exchange tea stories, recipes and chat. As we grow the website we encourage comments and input from our membership and associate bloggers.

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