Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Random Facts About.... Tea

WELCOME BACK EVERYBODY. Here for you another "Random Facts About". This should be added to the circle of most common food. So far we've snooped around ChocolateCoffeeFruitsSugar and some other Unexpected Ingredients, but now we will focus on the most English beverage ever known. Yes, my dear gentlemen... I'M TALKING ABOUT TEA.

1. There are many different kinds of tea (up to 1500 types), but they are all derived from just one plant called Camellia sinensis, plant that can keep producing tea for 50 years. The color and variety of the tea (green, black, white, oolong) depends, however, on the way the leaves are treated. Generally this treatment is an oxidation process. Black tea undergoes the longest process of oxidation. White tea undergoes the shortest.
2. Tea is a natural antioxidant, and rich in vitamins: it contains vitamins B2, B1 and B6. Tea, however, is also rich in potassium, manganese, folic acid and calcium.
3. Experts have always advised on the best kind of water for making tea. In early Chinese texts we can find suggestions that the best water should be taken from rivers and lakes.
4. Russians started drinking tea in the 17th century, but because of its high price, it did not become widely popular until the beginning of the 19th century. Tea in Russia has historically been prepared in a samovar, a heated metal container. The samovar keeps tea hot for hours.

5. My quote about "the most English beverage" is not totally right. In fact, Britain is the second-largest nation of tea drinkers. The first is Ireland.
6. Most of the world’s tea is grown in mountain areas 3,000-7,000 feet above sea level and between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Tea-producing countries include Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya Malawi, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.
7. Tea leaves are a natural means of keeping mosquitoes away. All you have to do is use slightly damp leaves to add the scent of tea to the areas you want to keep insect-free.
8. Here are five good reasons for not giving up tea, even if you don’t drink it - it helps to heal shaving cuts, eliminates bad odors when added to a foot bath, can be used to marinade meat, is a great fertilizer for roses, and is also good for cleaning floors. Pretty versatile drink, isn't it ?
9. One particular kind of tea is called the champagne of tea. I'm talking about Darjeeling. It's a black tea, grown in the eponymous area of Indian Bengal. One of the world’s most highly-prized tea varieties, teas are often falsely sold as coming from this area: for every 400 tons of tea sold under this name every year, only 100 tons actually comes from Darjeeling. On the other hand, Yin Zhen or Silver Needle are the most highly prized of white teas. It comes from China, and takes its name from the leaves used to make it, which are harvested when they’re young and still unfurled, and look like needles.
10. You can use tea leaves to read the future. Just leave a small amount of tea in the bottom of the cup along with some tea leaves, and after stirring the remains three times, the pattern you’re left with will tell you what’s in store. In Asia, readers of tea leaves are just as respected as astrologers.
11. The term “herbal tea” means that the tea has been infused with herbs or fruit that was not part of the tea plant. Herbal tea includes rose-hip and chamomile teas.
12. If actors are required to drink whisky in a film or TV scene, they often are just drinking watered-down tea instead, which looks the same as whisky.
13. Mix gin and cold tea, flavor with little lemon rind, and you’ll get a great summer cocktail. In the mid 1700s, in Great Britain, tea replaced gin as the drink of the masses, and became the nation’s favorite beverage. But also simple tea is perfectly enjoyable. Perfect when drunk steaming hot, tea is also one of the most thirst-quenching summer drinks when drunk cold, perhaps with ice, and possibly some lemon, lime or leaves of mint to add flavor. 
14. After tourism, the cultivation of tea is India’s second largest industry. And India tea is the variety most commonly drunk the world over, despite the fact that it originally came from China. 
15. One of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, is usually credited with the idea of “English Afternoon Tea.” The British invented two kinds of afternoon tea: “Low tea,” or afternoon tea served on a low “tea table,” and “high tea,” which is served on a “high” dining room table.
16. While 1,120 liters of water go into producing a single liter of coffee, only 120 liters go into making the same amount of tea. In fact, to produce one liter of tea takes less water than producing wine, apple juice, orange juice, or beer.
17. The tannins found in green tea have been found to help stop bleeding by coagulating the blood. The tannic acid in black tea, to be precise,  is said to help remove warts.
18.  2009 study by the Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute at Maastricht University in The Netherlands argues that the catechins in green tea help decrease body weight as well as maintaining body weight after weight loss.
19. Ritz Carlton of Hong Kong. This is where the world’s most expensive afternoon tea is drunk – you can spend up to 9.000 dollars here. You can taste the world’s best teas, finger food, fantastic cakes and enjoy the best view of the city.
20. In recent Australian studies CSIRO scientists found that the occurrence of skin cancer in laboratory mice was greatly reduced when they were given black tea. It is thought that polyphenols which are very strong antioxidants and are contained in the tea are the most likely reason for this phenomenon.
21. Tea can be used to soothe burns and sunburns. Put wet tea bags onto the affected areas or keep in place with gauze. This works for other types of burns as well.
22. To cure puffy eyes lie in a horizontal position and place either a moist teabag or tea compress over both eyes and leave for about 20 minutes. The swelling around the eyes will to your amazement disappear and your eyes will return to their former glory.
23. Recent studies have shown that drinking between one and two cups of tea per day may promote fertility by stopping abnormalities in our chromosomes. In a recent test 250 women drank as little as half a cup of tea per day and their pregnancy rates were twice as high as those who did not.
24. Studies in the Netherlands have shown that men who drink black tea which contains catechins are 50 percent less likely to die of ischemic heart disease. This takes place when our arteries become clogged and are unable to work properly because of constriction.
25. Drinking black tea can help prevent lung damage caused by smoking.
26. Although ready-to-drink teas and iced tea are increasing in popularity, they may not have the same polyphenol content as brewed hot tea, which has the highest polyphenol concentration.
27. The caffeine in tea can have quite a stimulating effect, but it usually feels much mellower than drinking coffee. The reason for this is that tea also contains L-theanine that has a very interesting effect on the brain.Many studies have been done, and they all show L-theanine as having beneficial effects on the brain. It is prized for its ability to help induce meditative states, because it can help you relax without actually making you want to sleep. It has been found in studies to improve your memory, and even makes you more aware of your surroundings. It’s also been found to be capable of decreasing anxiety and good for dealing with stress in general.
28. Most people think of tea as only something that you drink, and in most parts of the world, that is the case. In Burma, however, they have long had a completely different way to enjoy tea. The Burmese have a pickled tea that they call lephet. To make lephet, tea leaves are first softened, then allowed to cool, rolled tightly, and placed underground to age. Lephet is considered a delicacy in Burma and is all but mandatory for important social occasions. The Burmese usually serve it on a tray with the pickled tea in the middle, surrounded by several other garnishes. These can include shrimp, sesame seeds, garlic, peanuts, and dried peas. While the Burmese may be the only culture that places importance on eating tea as a food, they still consume it as a drink on a regular basis.
29. Did you make those teas with boiling water? If the answer is “yes” , then here’s your mistake. There are only a few varieties of teas to be prepared with boiling water. But most of the time tea should be brewed with warm water somewhere between 65 to 80 Celsius degrees. It is done this way to avoid the leaves to lose their natural flavor and aroma. Tea is like caviar. You should know how to prepare it and how to consume it before actually having it. SO PREPARE IT WITH CAUTION
30. We can reuse tea leaves, especially pu’erh’s and oolong can actually get better taste and flavor from steeping to steeping. The process of re-steeping certain tea leaves can reveal different and hidden flavor from the first preparation to the second and third one. This way you can reduce the cost of tea, you can afford buying qualitative tea and reuse it once or twice. But be careful: the re-steeping of the tea leaves you previously used, has to take place in the same day as the first steep. Leaving the used tea leaves from one day to another isn't a good choice as they lose their flavor. Well, if it's a good way for saving money, sounds good to me.
31. The tea bag was invented in the United States in the early 20th century. True tea lovers do not consider tea bags to be a great invention due to the way the tea is packed tightly. This does not allow tea leaves to expand while brewing which releases more of the compounds responsible for flavor among other things. Tea bags, which are generally made from filter paper or silk do offer convenience, bringing tea to a wider audience than it may have had before they were created.
32. Weighing in at nearly 265 pounds, the largest tea bag recorded by Guinness World Records was just over eight feet long and wide. The bag is able to brew over 50,000 cups of tea alone and is made up of African and Indian tea blends. This record was set in 2011 in Portsmouth, UK and the blend is known as Portsmouth Tea. There are other records related to tea listed on the Guinness website, such as Largest Cup of Tea (ten feet tall by eight feet wide, holding 4,000 liters) and Most Cups of Tea Made in One Hour (an astonishing 725 by a team of twelve people).
33. Tea was a major factor in establishing connections between the East and West. It was also a catalyst for developing new technology, such as faster transport ships.
34. Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia.

WELL,  I CAN GUARANTEE YOU HAVING A CUP OF TEA CAN INVOLVE AN EXPLOSION OF PLEASURABLE TASTES. 

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