Tea is the most popular beverage in the world next to water.
On any given day, about 50% of the American population drinks tea. On a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.
About 85% of the tea consumed within the United States is iced.
Orange pekoe is not a flavoring but refers to the size of the tea leaf.
History of Tea
Charleston, SC was the first place tea was grown in the United States and tea is still grown there today at the Charleston Tea Plantation.
According to reports, iced tea was discovered “accidentally” during the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. Due to the stifling heat, Richard Blechynden who was at the fair selling teas from the Far East, was not having much success peddling his goods. He poured the tea over ice and it was a hit!
Thomas Sullivan a tea and coffee merchant in New York is credited with the accidental discovery of tea bags in 1904. To save money, he sent out samples of his tea to potential customers in small silk sacks instead of the typical tin cans. The recipients of the samples didn’t bother to remove the tea from the silk sacks and brewed up the tea in the bags. Orders began to pour in for tea in little bags and the tea bag was born!
Tea and Health
Tea contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar and is virtually calorie-free.
According to FDA figures published in the March 1984 FDA Consumer, a 5 oz. cup of tea averages 40 milligrams of caffeine and a 5 oz. cup of coffee averages between 80 and 115 milligrams of caffeine depending on how it’s brewed.
Tea contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds believed to have antioxidant properties.
Recent research suggests that drinking tea provides potential benefits in the areas of heart health, gastrointestinal health, and bone health.
Both tea and chocolate contain catechins which have potent antioxidant properties. Catechins are believed to improve hypertension and reduce inflammation.
A new study by researchers at the University of Toyama in Japan and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in the United Kingdom shows that chamomile tea may help prevent the development of diabetic complications, such as loss of vision, nerve damage, and kidney damage. Chamomile tea is prepared with dried flowers from a plant called Matricaria chamomilla L. It is considered one of the richest sources of dietary antioxidants.