Authors can find inspiration in almost anything, but it is an interesting trend that tea has been mentioned numerous times in the creations of big names like Dostoyevsky or Dickens, and not only when it comes to literature, but also – their lifestyle. Maybe this is due to the fact that tea has a huge influence on many social aspects of life. It is not uncommon to use tea as a pun as well. Don’t you just get the sense that tea fits everywhere and in every situation?
Without further ado – it is tea o’clock!
1. “You’ll never find a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― Winston S. Churchill
2. “I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground
3. “My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.”
― Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
4. “Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?”
― Neil Gaiman
5. “Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.
“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
If they don’t drink vodka, the Russians consume tea and in great quantities – it’s their country’s hallmark tradition. They do this at any time of the day and with no restrictions. The biggest differences between the way the Russians consume their hot beverage and the way other peoples do are the lemons, the sugar, and the Samovar. The Russian tradition is a lump of sugar to be held in the mouth while sipping from the cup. In good old times and in rich homes during the tea ceremony, main courses were served at least four times. Honey, sweets, sugar, lemon, even muffins – this is just a light breakfast for the Russians. The tea is served with small salty bubliki (a kind of pastry), or sweets. Once upon a time towels were bestowed to the guests besides the tea, because the beverage was always served so hot that the natives were used to steaming. For the Russian Tea Ceremony, you will need also refined tea: Indian, Chinese or Green.
Tea came to Russia from the East. It is well known that for the first time Russians met tea in China and in the beginning of the 17th century, the Russian Tzar Michael Romanov received as a present from the Chinese ambassador several cases of tea, raised in their country.
Considered one of the seven necessities in the Chinese culture (along with rice, vinegar, firewood, salt, oil and soy souse) tea had earned its place as one of the most famous and beloved beverages among a vast number of nations around the world. This herbal drink and the intricate and detailed rituals that come with consuming it in China had been traced back centuries. There are some theories about how tea was first discovered and most of them sound as magical as the drink itself tastes. The most known legend is that tea was discovered by accident by Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BC. It states that a leaf from a shrub fell into the water that a servant was boiling for the ruler and thus the first cup of tea was produced. The emperor loved the concoction and continued drinking it.
A period called the “Spring and Autumn period” existed around 771 BC – 476 BC when tea was firstly considered a medicine. During the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) tea drinking in China was becoming a social event and the herbs were widely produced and consumed around the country. It is interesting that during this time tea was prepared in a form of a compressed cake called teacake or brick tea. Water was added to powdered teacakes to create the brew. Around the 13-th century, the Chinese people developed new techniques and begun roasting the leaves. This probably was how the origins of the loose tea we know today came to be. Tea became a very important drink among Buddhist monks, as some types of tea contained caffeine much needed during the long hours of meditation.
The five most distinct kinds of tea in China are: white, green, black, oolong and dark tea (post-fermented), but there are many sub-categories or varieties of different drinks that are begotten from the main ones.
They say in Britain everything stops for tea.
What exactly is the English tea at five o’clock?
It’s predominantly a ladies activity – this is how they raise in society: they receive friends over for tea and shine with silver, porcelain, flower arraignments, lofty preparations, sherry, and worldly surprises, or lackeys with liveries. The English love strong black tea served with milk. The tea is prepared and poured by the lord or lady of the house, and never by the servants. It was too expensive to be left to the servants. The guests never pour tea for themselves – the hostess does that. Even the Queen pours to her guests in Buckingham. You do not smoke during tea because it harms the fragrance.
Catarina De Braganca or Catherine Braganza
In England, the tea was introduced to the King’s court in 1662, by Catarina De Braganca, who is considered to be the founder of the British Tea Tradition. She was an infant Princess of Portuguese origin, which is why she was an established tea drinker, by the time her royal family decided to settle her with King Charles II. Her drinking inclinations impacted on the aristocracy and tea
Legends roam about these plants and the traditions are observed until today. Each cup of the warm beverage is prepared with a lot of care, and some of the species demand a lot of patience as well. There is something elevating and elegant in sipping that steamy mug of tea in the afternoon. It’s a legendary tradition – in England, everything stops at 5 o’clock for tea.
How much would you really pay for the perfect cup of tea?
Tienchi Flower Tea – $170 per kilogram
This tea is renowned in China and it looks like small broccoli. Science calls the Tienchi Flower Panax notoginseng, where Panax means “panacea” – a cure for everything. It is considered to be one of the healthiest teas in the world. Drinking it helps lower cholesterol, reduce insomnia, improve blood circulation and alleviate heart problems. It is sweet with a subtle, cool minty flavor.
“A cup of tea would restore my normality.”
[Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Screenplay]”
― Douglas Adams
Tea is one of those simple, everyday pleasures that can make your day better with just a tiny sip and a fast sniff of the steamy cup in the mornings. This versatile beverage has the ability to warm you up on a cold day or give you a boost of freshness in a hot one when it’s topped with some ice and sugar. It is a proven health remedy and is often used to supply natural antioxidants and vitamins or like a substitute for coffee in some cases (like the mate in Argentina).
Tea ceremonies are a major part of the Asian culture and it is translated as a “way of tea” in Japanese or “art of tea” in Chinese. There is a special term – teaism, which means exercising a tea ceremony with harmony, clear mind and enlightenment. Even though not every culture around the world invests so much thought and tradition into drinking tea, it is undeniable that this simple act has a very social and cultural element to it for many nations.
- THE UNITED KINGDOM
When we speak of tea, we inevitably think of the Brits and their long-lasting tradition of an afternoon spent drinking this tasty, herbal infusion. Ever since the 18-th century, England had been one of the world’s biggest tea consumers.
Bring me a cup of tea and the ‘Times.’
– Queen Victoria on her accession to the British throne
It is well-known that the herbal treatment is as ancient as the world. Many contemporary herbs have been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Children believe that every time a herb is planted, a flower fairy is born. Teas are also very appropriate for the prevention of various illnesses. Man strives to eat healthily and tea gives him the chance to drink healthy as well, for tea is truly therapeutic.
“Come, let us have some tea and talk about happy things…”
Also renowned as the Miraculous Tea of the Incas and part of the American Indian folklore, lapacho is derived from an evergreen tree blossoming in pink, called Red Lapacho which grows in South America. Lapacho is also named “the ant tree” because the only insects that have been observed on a Red Lapacho are the ants. Its inner bark’s taste slightly reminds that of vanilla and the tea made from it is an irreplaceable cure.
Lapacho is used against inflammation and instead of an antibiotic and it is also employed in the treatment of a significant number of illnesses from ordinary colds to chronic sinusitis. It is also extremely toxic to a variety of cancer cells. Lapacho contains a large number of healthy and precious chemical elements – among them calcium, potassium, iron and boron, iodine and manganese.