After Water, Tea is the most widely demanded beverage. As a tea-addict, I can live without anything in this world besides tea. And I’m sure most of the tea addicts will second this fact. It’s always better to be aware about what you are eating or drinking. Tea is one of the most fascinating product mankind has been blessed with. To all those interested, here is a list of the 10 most absorbing facts about tea:
10. Chai Tea Latte
Our very own Masala chai, prepared by the road side tea vendors, has a fancy name in the USA. It is called Chai Latte or Chai Tea Latte. Masala Chai is flavored tea made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Chai Tea Latte is an American version of masala chai where the steamed milk of a regular latte is mixed with a spiced tea concentrate instead of espresso. This term “chai latter” gained currency in 1994 on the U.S. coffeehouse scene. From Berlin to the USA, chai latter is a very popular beverage with Star Bucks selling it across the globe.
Tea, besides being rich in antioxidants, also contains a component known as L-Theanine. Found abundantly in green tea, this component has immense positive effect on anxiety including assistance in fighting cancer and heart diseases. It naturally calms the brain. It improves memory and improves the concentration power. The positive effects of L-Theanine is numerous and therefore, tea should be preferred over Coffee.
8. Soy Lecithin
The soy used in tea is soy lecithin which is a byproduct of soy plant. The soy lecithin used in our tea keeps the ingredients smoothly blended together and prevents clumping. It is used solely as an emulsifier. Soy, however, also has certain positive effects like it is useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even bipolar disorder.
7. Tea and Health
In ancient times, people used to drink tea as a health tonic. Although the positive effects of green tea is proved and tested, the benefits of other tea are yet to be confirmed. However, it is usually stated that drinking tea frequently can cause huge health implications. This may be due to the fact that tea contains caffeine. While some researches state that black tea has anti-cancerous element, there are other that states that it increases the risk of prostate cancer. Whether good or bad, it’s too early to comment. Let the researches do their work, while we sip tea just for the calmness that it brings with it.
Many of the beverages are called “tea” are not actually tea. Tisanes, or Herbal Tea, is an infusion of herb, dried flowers, fruits in boiling water and does not generally contains tea leaves. Herbal tea also does not have any caffeine. They can be served hot or cold. Herbal Tea dates back to ancient Egypt and China. In China, it is commonly known as Liang cha. It is a healthier substitute for tea.
5. Decaffeinated Tea
Tea leaves re naturally caffeinated. However, it may also be decaffeinated. Most of us tea-drinkers evade tea because of the fact that caffeine would be harmful to us and wouldn’t let us sleep. A generally accepted statistic is that a cup of normal black (often called red in China; as distinct from green) tea contains 40–50 mg of caffeine. While it is possible to reduce the content of caffeine in tea, the widely popular notion that most of the tea’s caffeine can be removed by an initial 30-45 second steeping is just a widespread myth. It is suggested that a five-minute steep yields up to 70% of the caffeine, and a second steep has one-third the caffeine of the first (about 23% of the total caffeine in the leaves.). Tea loses its caffeine level and its flavor simultaneously. Home decaffeination still leaves a significant amount of caffeine in the tea.
Tasseomancy or Tasseography is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves. After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup is then shaken well and any remaining liquid is drained off. The fortune-teller then looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and guesses the shape made by the tea leaves. They might look like a snake, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism.
3. Polluted Tea
Everybody is trying to understand the advantages and disadvantages of tea. While certain elements are beneficial for our health, there are others that may not prove advantageous. Recent study has pin pointed the fact that green tea and black tea contains high deposit of aluminum and fluoride. While aluminum can be used against diseases such as Alzheimer, the fluoride content may cause dental fluorosis in children. Overdose of anything is bad. Overdose of tea may create such impacts, drinking in moderation is always recommended.
2. Pickled Tea
Picked Tea is the national delicacy of Burma. Known as Lahpet, also spelled laphet or lappet in English, Burma is one of the very few countries where tea is eaten as well as drunk. Only the best tea leaves are fermented and the rest are kept for drying. Before being fermented or dried, they are first steamed for about five minutes. Then young leaves are packed into bamboo vats set in pits and pressed by heavy weights. No special occasion or ceremony in Myanmar is considered complete without lahpet. Lahpet was an ancient symbolic peace offering between warring kingdoms in ancient Burma. It was exchanged after the settlement of dispute. In pre-colonial and colonial times, lahpet was served after the civil court judge made a verdict; if the arbitrators ate the lahpet, this signified formal acceptance of the verdict.
1. Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese tea or chanoyu (hot water for tea in Japanese) is a traditional ritual of preparing and serving Matcha, powdered green tea along with traditional Japanese sweets to balance the bitter taste of tea. It is one of the most important ceremonies in Japan. Preparing tea in this ceremony means more than just having tea in the company of the guest. It means pouring all one’s attention to the pre practiced hand movements and all other steps so that the ceremony is perfect. It involves the preparing of the bowl of tea from one’s heart. The guest of the tea ceremony is the most important person and all the host’s attention should be on the guest (especially the main guests called the Shokyaku) including the placement of the tea utensils.
Even though tea originated in China, it has now made the entire world its home. This absolutely fascinating and fantastic drink is hard to be resisted.