Ten Questions: Tea

I love drinking tea. There is nothing quite as comforting at the end of a long day. In warmer weather, iced tea is the most refreshing drink I can think of. If you are entertaining guests, there is a ceremony involved in the pouring of tea that is missing with all other beverages. I thought it might be fun to learn a bit more about tea.

We are going to strictly deal with tea, not dandelion tea or medicinal concoctions. Right now I have a large glass of iced tea full of ice. Shall we answer some questions?

Where does tea come from? 
All varieties of tea come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis.

What kinds of tea are there?
There is white, black, green, oolong, and pu-erh teas.

What is the difference?
The tea leaves are harvested and allowed to oxidize. The length of time of oxidation determines the variety of tea. Longer oxidation time means more caffeine and a stronger tasting tea.

Do a lot of people drink tea?
There is only one beverage that has a higher consumption than tea. That is water.

Is tea good for you?
Tea is high in antioxidents that are believed to strengthen the immune system, stop infection, and even lose weight. It can be used to reduce unpleasant odors and when applied to sunburn, it eases the burn.

When did people begin drinking tea?
Legend has it that about 5,000 years ago the Chinese needed to boil their water to make it safe. One day The Emperor, Shen Nung, was walking in his garden with advisors. He noticed that some tea leaves had fallen into his cup of hot water. It had such a wonderful smell and taste that it became the thing to drink. This is probably not completely true, but it is a bit romantic, isn't it?

Which countries grow tea? 
China, Japan, and even the United States grow tea. But the world's largest producer of tea is India.

But what about the caffeine in tea?
Tea has about 50% the amount of caffeine as coffee. And you can always buy decaffeinated tea if it is a real problem.

What is High Tea?
Low tea or afternoon tea is a tea served in the afternoon with snacks to hold one over until the evening meal. High tea is more of a meal later in the day. It is also sometimes called "meat tea"

When did tea bags come into existence?
New York importer Thomas Sullivan was looking for a cheaper way to package tea he used as samples for customers. The tin boxes being used cost too much. He began to wrap the samples in gauze packets. The customers just plopped the whole packet into boiling water and tea bags were created.

I have a dear friend in Scotland. I met her when she was living here in the United States. She made the very best tea I have ever had. I can't make it as well and I have not had any as good since she was here. It is not the only reason I miss her, but it is a reason.

So now we have answered 10 questions about tea. If anyone has anything further to add, I am all ears. There are some links below if you would like to learn a little more about tea.

Tea Tasting
Teas Etc.
Learn About Tea


  1. While I love a good cup of tea my favorite is iced tea, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day.

    Great post Emma, I enjoyed reading all the facts about tea.

  2. Ty-phoo tea is my favourite. I can always tell when the tea I am drinking is not Ty-phoo. Just realised what a strange brand name it is.

  3. A favorite drink hot or cold. I like to brew rosehips with mine to add some citrus flavor or use lots of milk and sugar.Tea made from clover blossoms was a source of energy for early settlers.
    Steve, Out On The Prairie

  4. To SquirrelQueen: I drink a lot of iced tea myself. I drink it all year round. It has such a clean taste.
    To Don't unplug your hub: I have not seen your brand of tea here. A lot of names for tea are rather strange. I believe tea drinkers can taste differences more quickly than drinkers of some other beverages.
    To Steve: Early settlers had to make do with what they had. Tobacco, coffee, and tea are just a few of the substitutions they made. My mother-in-law loved ginger tea but ginger root was not readily available to her. I was in an area that sold it in grocery stores so I would send her a supply every now and then.

  5. I love black tea! I was a coffee person, but now I drink more tea than coffee. Thanks for this wonderful post, I now know what the tea plant is actually called. :)

  6. To Ani: My favorite is also black tea. It is more full bodied I think. I never cared for coffee although I come from a family of heavy coffee drinkers. Thank you for your comment.


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