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

Tea Lounge - Doorway to a relaxed cheerful ambiance

It is a bar no it is a coffee shop no you buy snacks here. Well it is a tea lounge. These places comes in various shapes and size. Some are created out of a barn or a garage while the rest are upmarket posh restaurants that serve tea in various flavors. 

Wagh Bakri Tea Company has established to upmarket lounges one in New Delhi and other in Mumbai. These are bars where you can relax and sip the hot beverage. The choice is yours the tea company specializes in blending the finest leaves from all over India. These are processed and packed in hygienic conditions to be marketed in India and many other countries.    

The five star lounges are plush with warm interiors and located uptown. They serve hot tea beverage ranging from Darjeeling to finest black tea from Assam. You can order instant premix, iced teas and masala chai the latter being a ranging concept all over the Globe.    

In college days I used to frequent the coffee houses in Jabalpur. These were community places where you could sit for hours gossip, chat or fall into an intellectual discussion over a cup of coffee. Hence these houses were frequented by regulars mostly retired people, recluse and people who had nothing much to do. Well it was fun for us and we still do it but not most often. 

This is what the tea lounges promise - a community place with an added advantage of modern decor and stylish ambiance. In things is what you would refer them as well more are to come. These are for those who like cheerful places with delicious hot beverages and not the murky dingy alcohol bars.        

Green Tea Healthy or Not

The whole world is abuzz with a wonder that is green tea. Be it health benefits, weight loss and magical cure for major diseases. This is the most talked about beverage in the World. 

Though limited studies have been carried out on green tea health benefits the gains are obvious. First of all the tea itself is beneficial as it contains antioxidants and other healthy chemicals. It cheers what can be more healthy? 

Constant research is yielding positive results about the gains from drinking green tea. If we take this beverage and compare it with black tea which is consumed the most all over the World then green tea comes out to be the winner. 

The process in case of green tea is much short which helps preserve antioxidants and other healthy chemicals. This is not so in the case of black leaf where processing is longer with greater exposure to sun.   

The magic chemical is catechin which prevents damage from free radicals. These free radicals cause cancer and damage the free radical.  

How much green tea to drink? 

Well I personally believe that consumption of this hot beverage should be as a matter to routine. Consume it as an when you like to drink tea in your daily life. Normally people consume this hot beverage during the morning and evening that would amount to four cups. I would also suggest to drink it before night sleep. This would clear the whole oral cavity besides relaxing your nerves to augur sound sleep.  

There are many brands of green tea available in the market. Most of these are affordable but organic tea brands are costlier. The tea exporters process. blend and pack green tea in countries like India and China.