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Tea – An Introduction to the World’s Best Drink

As a drink dating back to an early Chinese emperor about 2700 B.C., tea has a long and varied history. It is older than coffee and about the same age, maybe a tad younger, than beer. As wine now dates back to the Neolithic era due to fairly recent research, it has tea beat hands down as the oldest beverage. However, tea has been around for a long time your highest truth.

Not only is tea old, it is 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.

Does that tea you are drinking have less caffeine than coffee? Well, that depends. A 6-ounce cup of tea can have a lot or a little. It varies based upon what kind of tea you are drinking and how long you let it steep. The most seems to be about 110 milligrams in a cup of black tea. Black tea generally has more caffeine than green tea but not always.

Vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and polyphenols are among the benefits you get from drinking a cup of tea. These help fight off the effects of our daily lives by getting rid of free radicals and also boost our bodies’ defenses. Some studies show positive effects in preventing cancer and warding off the dreaded disease Alzheimer’s. All from drinking a simple cup of what I would argue is the world’s favorite drink.

Certainly most people don’t care about all the many benefits to tea, even if that is why they first started to drink it. After a time, it simply becomes a way of life because it is simply a wonderful beverage. There are so many wonderful types of tea and if you add in herbal teas, or tisanes, the varieties are almost endless.

Tea drinking has been the focus for several social ceremonies and social commentaries over the years. The Japanese tea ceremony and the English afternoon tea are two examples of the social events that have arisen from the drinking of tea, though one could argue strongly that the Japanese tea ceremony is a spiritual ceremony that involves many aspects of Japanese life.

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.