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nothing beats a great cup of tea

Mar 1, 2008
Tea has been around a long time. Myth has the beginning of tea as a beverage dating back to about 2737 B.C. in China. Although long thought to be older than beer and wine, recent research shows tea to be about as old as beer but wine, as a fermented beverage, is older. Tea is, however, older than coffee.

Not only is tea old is it a widely consumed drink. While it may not be number one is the U.S., it is the major drink in much of the rest of the world in one form or another. The amount of tea produced worldwide in 2006 was better than 3.64 million tonnes. As very little is used to make a cup of tea, you can see there was plenty to go around.

Do you need to worry about the caffeine in your tea? Most teas have less than coffee but it does still contain caffeine and varies from about 8 to 110 mg per cup. As you can see that is a wide range. Where your cup of tea will fall depends upon mostly the type of tea and how long it is steeped.

Drinking tea will also provide you with some health benefits. While drinking, you are ingesting antioxidants which have been shown to protect people from Alzheimer's disease per the Phytotherapy Research magazine. You are also getting minerals which are essential for growing bones and homeostasis of the body. This doesn't even count what the vitamins do for you.

It doesn't matter to most people what the history or economics or health benefits of tea are. They simply drink it because it is a great, flavorful beverage. It's a good way to start a day or wind one down.

Over time, tea has not only been a drink. It has served as the basis for many ceremonies and events. You no doubt have heard of the Japanese tea ceremony in which a tea master will strive for excellence all his life. Then there is the afternoon tea that began in Great Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford as a means of tiding one over from the morning breakfast till dinner which was served late at night. It developed into quite the thing to do and became part of English society.

All around the world, one thing many people can agree upon is the cup of tea as a part of daily life. Whether it's a glass of iced sweet tea in the southern United States, a cup of Darjeeling from India, or Pu-erh from China, tea makes the world go round. Regardless of philosophy or politics, tea is something we can agree upon even if we might not agree upon the type.

You can brew your tea in a clay pot or a floral Staffordshire teapot. You can use tea bags or loose tea. You can serve it in glass cups or the finest china., But one thing the many, many people around the world who drink tea know. Tea is irresistible.
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