Everything you should know about Tea
Since its infusion began in China thousands of years ago, tea has captivated us with its many tastes and powerful health benefits. There’s a wide range of spiciness, sweetness, mildness, and boldness in the tastes and fragrances. There’s a lot more to enjoying a cup of tea than just brewing some leaves and letting them steep in hot water. The richness of the tea-drinking experience may be further enhanced by learning about tea’s rich history, cultural significance, and many kinds.
Origin and Discovery of tea
A magical mythology forms the basis of tea’s origin narrative, as is the case with many other topics. The Chinese monarch Shen Nong made the accidental discovery of tea in 2737 B.C.E. Legend has it that the monarch became sick after drinking tea made with stray leaves that floated into the kettle. A passion for tea that would last for generations was born then. Despite several myths, the true history of tea is murky at best. The Yunnan region of China is where the tea plant was first discovered by scientists. The Tang Dynasty (600–900 A.D.) saw the first widespread use of tea. The origins of the tea ceremony may be traced back to this era. After realizing how integral tea was to Chinese tradition, Tang emperors made it the country’s official beverage.
Embark on a Westward Journey
It wasn’t until the 17th century that global commerce really took off and tea became widely consumed in the west. With the help of international trade routes, tea eventually made its way to Russia and the Middle East through the silk road. After his missionary service in China, a Portuguese man brought tea back to Europe. Tea from Asia was first sent in 1610 by the Dutch East India Company.
It wasn’t until 50 years later that tea started showing up in London cafes. Tea in Britain may be traced back to Thomas Garraway, who opened the first thriving tea establishment. The Dutch East India Company’s tea leaves were what he was peddling.
In response to rising tea demand, the British East India Company emerged as a formidable rival to its Dutch counterpart, the East India Company. To compete with China’s tea monopoly, the business established tea plantations in Macau and India.
The British and natives in India were taught how to harvest and make the beverage with the help of experts sent over from China. As early as 1823, considerable amounts of tea were being harvested in India’s Assam and Darjeeling districts. After the establishment of tea plantations, tea plants came to cover the surrounding slopes.
When the United States was still a British colony, tea from Britain found its way to the new country. The number of tea brands and tastes available today has expanded enormously. Tea leaves are now sourced from a variety of plants, not just one. Because a tea leaf accidentally dropped into a pot of water thousands of years ago, there are now many infusions made from spices, herbs, flowers, and fruits.
One may choose from three distinct varieties of tea. Teas are extracts of the Camellia sinensis shrub, specifically the leaves. These teas have been around for several thousand years, and are considered the classic varieties. White tea, green tea, flavored teas, black tea, and also pu-erh tea are indeed the five authentic varieties of tea. Most studies on tea’s health benefits have used these teas as their reference point.
When it comes to actual teas, white tea undergoes the least processing. It goes through the barest minimum of processing to preserve its authentic appearance and taste. Tea leaves are hand-picked and promptly sun-dried in open air. White tea is made from the tea plant’s youngest leaves. Only the top two leaves of each tea shot are used in the final product.
When green tea leaves are picked by hand, they are sent straight to the factory. In this step, the tea leaves are spread out on huge mats made of bamboo or fabric to dry. This method dries out the tea leaves, which is an important part of making the final product.
Oolong tea, also known as “wulong tea” in China, is a kind of semi-oxidized tea. The tea extracts are given a little opportunity to oxidize. Oolong tea is more robust than green tea and much more subdued than black tea in both appearance and taste.
Among the real tea varietals, black tea undergoes the greatest processing. To achieve this, it is first rolled, oxidized, then dried. The time-consuming procedure results in a tea with a robust, coffee-like taste.
Té de Pu-Erh
Pu’er and pu-erh teas are also derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the oxidation process occurs after the leaves have been harvested. There are two types of pu-erh tea, the raw variety and the aged kind. Production of raw pu-erh tea is quite similar to that of green tea.
You won’t find any actual tea leaves in botanical drinks. Instead, seasonings, herbs, wildflowers, and branches are infused into hot water to create these drinks. Because of the large range of plants that may be used to manufacture blends, herbal teas come in many varieties.
The creation of flavored teas requires the blending of real teas with herbal tisanes. Herbs, spices, and flowers are added to a real tea base like green tea or black tea to produce unique and interesting flavors.
Tea's Benefits to Health
Maintains Heart Health
Recent studies, especially those conducted on animals, suggest that tea consumption greatly reduces the risk for major heart disease. Arterial tissue may be calmed by the anti-inflammatory effects of tea. This lessens the likelihood of inflammation, which may hinder blood flow and lead to clotting.
Caffeine, found in moderate amounts in green tea, has been shown to have a stimulating effect. Green tea is a wonderful option for those trying to cut down on caffeine because of its low caffeine content.
Possible Weight Loss Benefits
The chemical makeup of green tea may facilitate rapid fat reduction. The amino acids included in green tea encourage the body to use its fat stores for energy. Caffeine, found in green tea, is a natural energy booster that may help you push through your exercises with more intensity and for longer.
Strengthens Psychological Health
Consuming tea on a regular basis has been associated with a reduced chance of developing neurological diseases and a more relaxed state of mind. Consumption of green tea may also help ward against the memory loss and other cognitive impairments brought on by diseases of the brain like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Tea’s inherent sedative properties make it a great way to relax at the end of a long day.
Blood sugar levels may be regulated if this is the case.
Consumption of tea has been linked to improved glucose control, which might aid in the management of conditions like type 2 diabetes. Consuming black tea after a meal has been demonstrated to lower blood sugar. These results were seen as long as 120 minutes after eating.
Reduces Gas and Bloating
Tea may be used to treat a wide variety of digestive disorders, from nausea and indigestion to diarrhea. An ancient remedy for nausea and stomach pain, ginger tea has been used for centuries in China and India.
Health Threats with tea
While drinking 3–4 cups of tea per day is generally considered a healthy option, drinking more than that may have unwanted side effects. Here are six of the negative consequences that could occur from consuming an excessive amount of tea.
- Less iron is absorbed
- elevated levels of worry, tension, and agitation
- Inadequate rest
- Acid reflux
- Problems arising during pregnancy
- Caffeine addiction