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Amazing Tea World. All You Need to Know About Tea

Amazing Tea World. All You Need to Know About Tea Tea_time
Carmen Rotaru

The world of tea is amazing and always surprising, from how the tea plant grows to its massive consumption, interesting traditions and health benefits. Find out more about the tea industry and discover interesting curiosities about tea.

“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”  (Japanese Proverb)

There are many stories and traditions about tea, but also, there is also a huge industry around it. Did you know that tea is the world’s most consumed beverage after the life-giving water? More than 3 billion cups of tea are consumed on a daily basis worldwide. So, tea isn’t just a simple “commodity”, but, thanks to its traditional usage, tea is a highly important contributor and player in the beverage market.

Africa, South America, the Near East and especially the Asian region, all together produce a wide variety of teas, having a well-known reputation in international markets for producing high quality teas. Asia, for instance, is enjoying a share of every importing market in the world. World tea consumption reached over 3.64 million tonnes in 2006, which really means that over 180 ships of tea are send directly to our cups annually. In the last decade, an important role in the growth of the tea industry is played by the growth of agricultural product consumption, tea included, in China and India, which also led to an important increase of their economies.

Top 5 Tea Producing Countries vs Top 5 Tea Consuming Countries

My guess is that you are thinking by now about tea production and which are those countries where growing and harvesting tea has become a well-established tradition. Paradoxically, the top tea producing countries are not at the same time the most tea consuming countries. From annual reports and statistics based on various studies, it seems that tea is a beverage made for export on a scale of 50%.

In 2010 Top 5 Producing Countries % of World Total Top 5 Consuming Countries Consumption per capita
1 China 31% United Arab Emirates 6.24 kg
2 India 28% Morocco 4.34 kg
3 Kenya 8.83% Ireland 3.22 kg
4 Sri Lanka 6.24% Mauritania 3.22 kg
5 Turkey 5.20% Turkey 2.74 kg

I was surprised too when I first discovered the numbers behind this top. I first believed that the highest-rate of tea consumers is in UK, but it seems the Irish have surpassed the British tea drinkers. I also expected to find there Japan with its worldwide famous tea ceremonies, but Japan doesn’t even make it to the top 10. The only constant name both in producing, as in consumption is Turkey keeping its fifth place.

A Surprising Revelation. Health Facts About Tea.

Studies have shown in the last years that tea is also a healthy beverage. Tea can be a helpful partner in fighting against diabetes,  cancer,  skin issues, weight loss and so on. For instance, scientific information points out that drinking one cup of tea per day could make a significant contribution to daily antioxidant intake, equivalent to approximately one serving of vegetables. I guess this is actually good news for those of you who are not so much in love with vegetables. Cheers to the tea!

To continue with the good news, a study conducted by Harvard University researchers found that those who consumed one or more cups of black tea per day had more than a 40 percent lower risk of having a heart attack compared to non-tea drinkers. Eating Well Magazine named tea “Beverage of the Year” in 2010  for its health benefits and mass appeal to consumers searching for an alternative to the not so healthy and not so natural soft drinks and coffee.

Good news are also coming from Taiwan where a study conducted on 497 men and 540 women, ages 30 years and above, concluded that habitual tea consumption for more than a decade increased total-body bone mineral density (BMD). Researchers found that men and women with at least a 10-year tea habit had denser bones than the other participants, regardless of the type or amount of tea they consumed each day.

Curiosities About Tea

Tea features many curiosities as well and a lot of funny and weird facts we are sure you don’t even suspect when you think about this common, but yet so cherished drink. Hot or cold this beverage has started stories and myths, but let’s reveal some curiosities about tea.

Astrotea

Tea leaves are used in some countries to read the future. How is it done? By leaving a small amount of tea on the bottom of the cup you drank your tea from together with some tea leaves, and after stirring the remains three or seven times (both being magical numbers), it depends on each country’s custom, the pattern which remains is considered to be telling what the future has in store for the one who drank that particular cup of tea. In Asia, readers of tea leaves are just as respected as astrologers.

Camellia Sinensis

There are so many different kinds of tea, but they all come  from just one plant: Camellia Sinensis. The color and variety of the tea (green, black, white, oolong) depends, however, on the way the leaves are treated.

Camellia_Sinensis_tea_plant


Darjeeling

It’s oftentimes called the champagne of tea. It is in fact a black tea which grows in the East Indian Bengal. One of the world’s most highly-prized tea varieties, which makes it subject to pranks and falsehood. Be careful tea fans because many types of teas are often falsely sold as coming from this area. It is a real fact that for every 400 tons of tea sold under the name of Darjeeling every year, only 100 tons actually comes from Bengal.

Tea Calories

A brewed cup of tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, volatile oils, tannin and several B-complex vitamins. The flavor of tea is due to those volatile oils, while astringency and color is produced by tannin. A cup of tea can contain as low as four calories, while mixed with sugar and milk this percentage rises to 40 calories.

That isn’t all about tea, but it is a nice start to this amazing quest in the always surprising world of tea. Let’s have  a nice cup of tea while discovering together other interesting tea stories. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more information about tea.

 

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