Tea is one of the oldest beverages known to man. Its history dates back millennia for the Chinese, while only a mere few centuries for the West. Tea finds it way to the kitchen table of people of all nationalities and ages. It's not only a way to quench thirst and provide refreshment but is a natural remedy that's been used for centuries and continues to be used today.
The traditions related to tea drinking have continued to be preserved in the homes of British aristocrats, who never miss an aromatic cup of tea served with fresh biscuits at 5 p.m. on the dot. And the Chinese, besides delighting in the taste and scent of tea, use tea leaves to divine and predict people's fate.
In Japan, tea drinking was its own ceremony, with the goal being for a person to relax their consciousness and feel their harmony with nature and all of the surrounding world. In the beginning, only male samurai participated in these ceremonies, saying that they did not think of war while drinking.
Only later did the tea ritual become something that was performed by the entire family. In fact, it became such an integral part of family comfort that every little Japanese girl began training in the intricacies of tea preparation.
Nowadays, no one devotes that much time to this drink, which we buy from vending machines and drink in plastic cups but centuries ago tea was linked to the comforts of home and harmony.
Because of these traditions, people also developed and perfected the crafts related to making beautiful teapots, saucers, cups, spoons and all other items related to the drinking and preparation of tea.
Separately, the flavors of tea grew in diversity thanks to the many and different products added to it: honey, lemon, milk, cream, rum, cognac. The ways of serving tea were also made more diverse - whether it would be poured in, compressed into a brick, packaged with paper filters or dissolved.
Tea is not only delicious, it is a medicinal beverage. It has a stimulating action because of the caffeine contained therein. It contains tannins, essential oils, alkaloids and many vitamins, while tea leaves contain natural antioxidants.
Tea is a universal drink, it can warm us when we're feeling cold but can also prevent a cold, tone us when we're tired or simply sweeten our lives a little.