No one knows when tea was first discovered, but one legend places this event to almost 5,000 years ago and the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung. Having learned that those who boiled their drinking water suffered from fewer ailments than those who drank it directly from their springs or wells, he followed suit. One day, there accidentally fell leaves from a nearby tree into the his water, he liked the flavor and gave it its name, “Ch’a,” which means “it is.”

What goes into the art of tea?

steeping time

Though each type of tea has it’s optimal steeping time, it is truly up to you and your tastebuds to decide what you enjoy. Experiment with your tea preparation and develop your own method.

tea pots

Can be porcelain, clay, glass or metal. Iron teapots are used in Japan and can range from simple to ornate. Clay pots are used in China with the Yixing being the most famous. It is said that if you only steep a certain tea in the Yixing pot after years of use hot water can be added to the pot with no tea leaves present and you will still get a cup of tea after waiting the steeping time. The oils from the leaves are said to infuse the clay with flavor & that will transform the water into tea.

Additions

Many people like to add things to tea, like milk, cream, lemon, sugar and honey. siptea recommends trying the tea without any additions then experiment. Masala Chai is traditionally served sweetened with honey and milk added to give the spicy tea a rich sweetness to counterbalance the spice.

Tea Ceremonies

The way of tea originated in China. The ceremony around preparing and serving teas vary widely with the Japanese Tea Ceremony being the most famous. The reverence and symbolism in each movement show the viewer the regard the tea master has towards tea, themselves, their guests and the earth that produced the gift they are sharing.

Culture of Tea

Tea is an important part of many cultures. Ceremonies or traditions are built on the idea of take a break in your routine to stop and savor the tea and your company. The British, Russians, Middle Easterners as well as the Koreans, Japanese and Chinese have ritual and long held traditions in preparing and sharing tea.

The first question asked when enter the house of many peoples in the world is, “would you like some tea?”

Sip Tips

VESSEL: Choose a teapot or covered cup, and rinse vessel and cup with hot water.

TEA: Steep teas leaves loose. This allows the leaves to open fully and
release all their flavor. Place tea leaves in vessel and add H20 at
recommended temperature and steeping time.

WATER: The perfect cup of tea starts with spring or filtered water.
Avoid using distilled water. You want minerals for taste.

TASTE: Play with tea measurements and steeping times to create your own perfect cup of tea.

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