Art Tea

Tea Flower by autan

Tea seems to be reemerging as a very popular drink these days in the United States. It has always been popular in England. But after the tea tax revolt that started the American Revolution, most Americans seemed to drink more coffee. According to Wikipedia and other research, Americans still drink more coffee- most tea in the US is served as iced tea. But hot tea is very popular now, and, especially with all the health benefits of green tea that has been in the news lately, more people will be drinking the hot brew not only when one has a cold, but to prevent illnesses.

Continue reading “Art Tea”

Tea Plants (part II)

Japanese Tea Field
Japanese Tea Field

The strongest flavored tea made from the Camellia sinenses leaves is called black tea or red tea.  Black tea is the tea which was most commonly sold over the years in the US by brand names like Tetley, Lipton or “Good Morning” organic. Black teas are made from “fermented” tea leaves.

What is called fermentation is really oxidation because it takes place when Camellia sinensis leaves are spread on trays in a cool, humid atmosphere to oxidize the leaves. This changes the chemical structure of the leaf, and allows the tea’s  characteristic flavor to emerge. The longer a tea is allowed to ferment, the stronger flavor it will have and the darker it will become. To retard the fermentation process the leaves are dried. After drying the leaves are graded -  longer leaves are used for loose teas and leftovers and dust leaves are used for tea bags.

Connoisseurs think of tea like great wines or coffees, each with its special flavor. Aged tea is considered a great delicacy in the Chinese culture. TheGardenLady was invited to  a Chinese tea ceremony where she tasted 50 year old black tea. This was a first for TheGardenLady who has attended a number of Japanese Tea Ceremonies.

Continue reading “Tea Plants (part II)”

Tea (part I)

Japanese Tea Field
Japanese Tea Field

It is cold outside, especially if you live in an area where it is frigid or snowing or raining. This is the time of year for drinking lots of hot tea, the world’s second most popular beverage after water. And now that there are so many articles about the health benefits of drinking tea, such as the antioxidants, anti-cancer content of tea , or tea helping to cure diabetes, people will probably be drinking more tea – both hot and iced.

Tea is one of the oldest beverages known to civilization- thought to have been discovered as a beverage in (probably western) China in 2700 B.C.  It was brought to Europe in the 1600s. We, in the American colonies, first got it from Europe and then were forced to buy it only from England who then foisted high taxes on the tea it exported. So the early colonists fought this high tax in a battle called the Boston Tea Party.

Continue reading “Tea (part I)”