After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Tea plants are native to East and South Asia, however, no one is sure of its exact origins. The first recorded drinking of tea is in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating to the 10th century BC.
More than just a drink
For many centuries tea has been associated with health, traditions, culture and naturalness. For over four thousand years tea has been a high priority in Chinese tea culture. In countries of the Far East, drinking tea can be celebrated comes close to celebrating a ceremony - linked with enjoyment and meditation.
Over the last decades, together with the increasing wellness boom, tea has become part of healthy diets. And there is no wonder why: without sugar and cream, tea is free of calories, easy to digest and offers a wide variety of tastes.
Did you know that 120,000,000 cups of tea are drunk in the UK every day? This means that 1.5 kg of tea per person is consumed in the UK per year which puts the UK on the 7th position of the world tea consumption. Pretty amazing numbers, aren't they?
When enjoying you cup of tea you can switch from daily routine to a relaxing and cosy time spending. Caffeine and tannic acid contained in tea are two main ingredients which provide both relaxing and stimulating effect to the human body.
Enjoying your cup of tea
The actual time of tea time is not the same everywhere. It varies depending on your location in the world. Talking about the United Kingdom, tea time usually is at 4.00 p.m. However, this time can also be earlier or later depending when you have got free time for it. And of course, teatime is not only about taking a cup of tea; it can also be just a quick snack. Some English people take a later tea which is also known as meat tea – this time includes more heavy foods such.
Tea time is perceived by Americans as snack time. It is this time when all kids are coming back home from schools and want to have some snack to fill up their stomachs a little until it is time for dinner.
German people have a tradition to drink coffee in the afternoon at around 3 or 4 p.m. This time is called Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) and corresponds with American snacks and English tea time. However, Germans prefer their sweet cakes rahter than savoury snacks.
Such countries as Mexico and and the city of Hong Kong enjoy their tea time between the hours of 2-6 p.m.
In New Zealand, “tea” may refer to a light meal taken at about 5 pm.