12 Random Tea FactsPosted: August 28, 2013
Looking back to June 2012, I posted my first tea-related post ever and got a comment saying I should put more information about tea on my blog. I really thought that’s a good idea but at that time, I had so many limitation and the biggest one is me, myself. I realized how limited my tea knowledge was at that time. One year has passed and I can confidently saying I have learned more and more about tea. I write the basic tea facts in this post and I could say they are also kinda my first tea knowledge that I learned last year (of course with additional information and refinement that I got from my further tea learning).
- All tea types come from the same family of plant, Chamellia Sinensis but there are different varietal as is var. Sinensis, var. Assamica, and there are many different cultivars that differentiate one tea to another too. So it is not 100% true if you read somewhere that stating “All tea types come from the same plant”! It is somehow intriguing and confusing to believe, isn’t it? They do come from the same family of Chamellia Sinensis but doesn’t simply mean they all are the same exact plant.
- The different processing of tea leaves makes the distinct of tea whether it becomes black/white/green/Oolong tea.
- “Tea” that is not sourced from Chamellia Sinensis plant is not tea but tisane. So the herbal mixtures that we often see being sold in the market/supermarket/cafe or restaurant are tisane and not actually tea. For example, Chamomile “tea”, Rose “tea”, fruit tea, etc.
- Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world! Therefore it occupies the second place after water consumption.
- It is believed that black tea has more caffeine level compared to “lighter” tea such as white or green tea. The fact is, the less processing being passed by tea leaves, the higher caffeine level on that tea. Processing will affect the caffeine level so less processed teas (green and white) are actually have equal or higher caffeine.
- Drinking tea has been started for more than 5000 years ago and it begun in China during the Shang Dynasty.
- The invention of tea bag was accidentally happened when Thomas Sullivan, a tea seller from New York packed his tea leaves inside small silk pouches for tea sampling. Surprisingly people liked the idea of brewing the tea directly using the pouch rather than took out the tea. Tea bag remains until now as a convenient alternative to drink tea.
- The fashion of drinking iced tea was invented in America during summer 1904 by Richard Blechynden and until now, 80% of teas drunk in America are the iced ones.
- Chai is Indian word for “tea”. In southern Asia, such as India and Sri Lanka, there are different version and recipe of chai. Masala itself means blend of spices so there is no rules or specific recipe of how masala chai should be made since we can be creative with it! One of my Indian friend said, “We add everything we want with our tea” and I imply his statement as there’s no limit with creativity when it comes to chai.
- Rooibos is sourced from Red bush plant (Aspalathus Linearis) that is grown in Cederburg, South Africa. So again, this is not tea.
- Black tea has the longest living period compared to other tea types such as green tea (12 months). It can be kept up to 18-24 months in a proper storage.
- Drinking tea is strongly related with every region’s culture in the world. Each region has its own preference to enjoy tea. In Asia tea is enjoyed plain at most of the time, British people like to add milk in their tea to have more body and velvety flavor, in Russia people add raspberry jam as sweetener and so forth. In Indonesia, one of the famous tea comes from Slawi called Teh Poci (literally means tea pot) in Central Java. We drink black jasmine tea using red-clay tea pot, tea cups and lump sugar is also added altogether with the tea.
There are twelve months in one year and I was born in the twelfth month of the year. Twelve is an even number and I love even rather than odd number. Thus, we will stop with twelve facts today. The world of tea is enormously huge and wide in indefinite dimension. We can’t just learned but have to explore. There is always something new to be learned about tea. As my teacher said, “There is no one day I don’t learn something new about tea“. So, I cherish it as a lifetime process and a lifelong study. And me, kinda forever scholar of tea.
I’ll catch up with you soon in another post. See you in the next twelve tea facts! Ciao.