Accidental Discover of Tea:
In 2737 BC, legend has it that leaves from a tree dropped into Emperor Shens Nung's cup of boiling water. The servant had boiled the water for hygenic reasons before the Emperor was to drink it. But this time the water was turned brown by the wayward leaves. Being a scientist, the Emperor was curious and decided to try some of the new liquid. He found the liquid aromatic and refreshing. Since that serendipitous beginning tea has been part of many cultures down through the years.
Tea moves to Japan via Buddist Priest
2000 years after the beginnings of tea, Buddist priest traveling between Japan and China introduced this drink to Japan. The priest brought tea seeds back to be cultivated in Japan. This was such a success that tea quickly became integral part of Japanese life. The "Japanese Tea Ceremony" was soon perfected with the help of Ch'a Ching (The Tea Book, written by Chinese scholar Lu Yu).
Tea Leaps to Europe through Trade
Tea reaches Europe during the 1600's, with credit being claimed by both the Portugese and the Dutch. The Portuguese with their advanced navy, created trade routes to China and brought back tea to Portugal. From Lisbon, a seaport of Portugal, the Dutch East India Company transported the tea to Holland, France, and Germany. Soon the Dutch were trading directly with the Chinese. This tea was initially popular among the wealthy, but soon became prevalent in Russia and England as their beverage of choice.
Tea in America
In the mid 1600's the Dutch were activity involved in trade with the Western World. Peter Stuyvesant was the first to bring tea to the colonist of America. These settlers were heavy volume tea drinkers; as they comsumed more tea than all of England at that time. This fact led to one of America's most famous events, the Boston Tea Party. The British Government mistakenly thought that they could excessively raise the tax on the importing of tea because many Americans were hooked on this drink. Instead, the result was the Boston Tea Party, an event that led to the American Revolution.
Antioxidant differences between Green Tea and Black Tea
Green tea and black tea come from the same plant (Camelia Sinensis), howevere in studies comparing green tea to black tea, reseachers have found that green tea is 6% more potent as an antioxidant. This is because green tea is produced by lightly steaming the fresh cut black tea leaves. To produce black tea, the leaves are oxidized. During oxidation, many of the polyphenol substances, compounds with potent antioxidants are destroyed. Unlike black tea, green tea is very high in polyphenols.
What is the difference between tisanes and tea?
Tisane teas are a herb or herb mixture of herbs. Only in the United States are these tea mixtures called tea. They are usually referred to as an "infusion" or "tisane" in other parts of the world.
Medicinal teas are tisanes made from specific herbs, flowers and extracts that may be beneficial. A wide variety is available. Some have significant scientific backing to their claims, others do not.