Did You Know . . . .

Did you know that …

… all “tea” comes from one plant, of which there are over 3,000 varieties.
… except for water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world.
… China grows more tea than any other country, but they are not the largest exporter.
… tea improves concentration, mood, and energy, as well as relaxation.
… there is no ‘orange‘ in orange pekoe tea.

… if the tea leaf shipped out of China from the northern ports, it was called ‘cha’
… if the tea leaf shipped out of China from the southern ports, it was called ‘te’.
… white tea actually has more caffeine than black tea.
… a pound of tea has more caffeine than a pound of coffee – but a cup of tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
… the average tea drinker in the U.K. drinks 4.5 lbs of tea each year, while the average tea drinker in Turkey drinks 6.8 lbs.

… tea was first touted for its medicinal benefits – good for colds, dropsies and scurvies.
… in Victorian England, tea sold on average for £26/pound – while the average wage was £10/year.
… in Victorian England, some servants would take the used tea leaves and sell it to unscrupulous dealers, who would add fillers and resell the leaves.
… although we think of teapots as British, they actually originated in China in the 1500s.
… in the Middle East, haggling over prices doesn’t even begin until after tea is served.

… tearooms where the first ‘women-owned’ businesses in the U.S.
… the most famous tearoom in the world is the Willow Tea Room in Glasgow, Scotland.
… in the 19th century, the term for accepting a bribe was called “tea money“.
… in Victorian England, tea was kept locked away in ornate tea chests, with the key being held by the lady of the house.
… in Victorian England, children in orphanages were given tea with milk and sugar daily.

 

… the first tea to be exported from China and enjoyed by Europeans was ‘green’ tea, called “gunpowder“.
… the Portuguese were the first to enjoy drinking tea in Europe, after merchants brought it back from Asia.
… crates of Chinese porcelain was first used as ballast in the bottom of ships transporting tea.
… a China closet was where the lady of the house would display her fine imported “Chinaware”.
… the Chinese started putting handles on teacups when they realized Europeans drank their tea much hotter than they did and in larger bowls.

Ming Dynasty Yixing Teapot

… “pot holes” is the term given to the holes in the road left by English potters who would dig up the fine clay to craft their teapots.
… in the late 1800s until WWI, from London to Glasgow, Tango tea dances were all the rage.
… Prime Minister Earl Grey is credited with ending slavery in Great Britain.
… Earl Grey tea is one of the most popular ‘flavored’ teas in the world.
… Both Twinings and Jacksons of Piccadilly take credit for inventing “Earl Grey” flavored tea.

The Cup of Tea, Mary Cassatt 1881

Afternoon Tea is credited to the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, in the 1840s.
… Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was a world-class coffee producer until the coffee blight of 1870.
… the tea bag was invented accidentally by Thomas Sullivan as a sample bag for his customers.
… iced tea was accidentally invented by Richard Blechynde on a very hot day at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 when he gave out ‘cold’ samples of his tea.

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Cover Photo:  “Church Lady High Tea” by Janie McGee

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