Thursday, May 16, 2013

History of tea in brief

Tea has been consumed in many countries since thousands of years. First creditable records appear from China dating back to the 3rd century AD. The use in earlier period may have been for medicinal purpose and its use as beverage may have been accidental.  

The tea may have been used similarly in Eastern India but there are no records. The tea was introduced into India during the 19th century by the British. They used Chinese Seed and cultivation technique on large scale of lands cleared for tea plantation. Some local Assamese variety was also cultivated. Today India is the largest producer of tea leaf after China and exports a substantial amount in bulk and packets. Several varieties of tea is grown in many countries now but not on very large scale.  

Eventually tea become popular among the Indian masses as late as 1950. This was due to aggressive promotion by the rulers. Today it has become a lifestyle product with it being consumed daily in the morning and evening. Tea is served almost any time of the day to visitors and business associates etc. 

The number of varieties of this wonderful brew is mind boggling with Assam Black and Darjeeling Green being the connoisseurs choice. The leaf after blending by experts is available in many kinds of packing. The carton is most popular followed by tea bags and plastic jars. Tea leaf is also available in loose bags or big cartons. 

The brew is consumed without milk in many countries. In India it is prepared with milk and sugar. Another Indian brew that is very popular is the Masala Chai or Spiced tea. This is actually a mixture of tea leaf with suitable spices offering additional flavor to the taste. A vast variety of spices are used to blend with the leaf. Some of the spices added have medicinal properties along with a distinct aroma.          

For more information read History of Tea

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