Tea – What's in a Cup?
Did you know tea remains the most widely consumed beverage in the world??
Did you also know that tea’s history is closely intertwined with the history of botany and herbal medicine? It is believed that tea in China was originally cultivated and drunk as a way of delivering medicine and remained a medicinal drink until the 16th century. One historical account of medicinal tea involves Hua Tuo who was a chinese physician living during the late Eastern Hang Dynasty (25-220) Hua Tuo was famous for (among other things) his abilities in herbal medicine. The monks however, soon started to drink it for its calming effects and peace. The Chinese tea ceremony now days is a blend of different philosophies: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. It is the result of respect of nature and search for peace. Over the time, Chinese tea ceremonies went from being strictly religious activities to social and cultural activities.
Tea also has a history rich in social connection. In many cultures, receiving an invitation to tea at someone’s house is an honour, as you are welcomed and accepted into the family. UK = Also in social settings, tea is frequently the favoured beverage, particularly when the need for a calming and de-stressing drink arises. Tea is often seen as a problem-solver, a means for calming and de-stressing, and a means for socialising.
The social side of tea can be defined by the way it is made and consumed, by the way the people interact with tea, and by the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking. In many countries tea is often deeply connected with the culture and the people and is much more than just a beverage. The culture revolves around the tea brewing, tea arts and ceremony, society, history, health, ethics, education and connecting with guests on a spiritual level.
On top of this, are the health benefits of drinking tea! There are many types of tea from traditional tea, to herbal teas and the health benefits vary depending on what type of tea you are drinking. Known benefits include:
- Protects heart health
- boosts energy
- may aid weight loss
- supports mental health
- may regulate blood sugar
- Aids digestion
So next time you share a cup of tea – you can relish in the long and proud history of tea and drink to your health and wellbeing.