10 Interesting Facts About Tea — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

As a very proud Englishman, I know that it is tea instead of blood that flows through my veins and that it is a very rare day when I do not open the kettle on the stove to get a good strong "cup" to fortify me. A long day at work.

Although I was disappointed that they didn't ask me to judge this particular battle at Kitchen Stadium, I was as eager as everyone else to see what magic the Iron Chef Forgione and his challenger, Chef Kittichai could do to inspire new ways to use One of My essential kitchen items.


1. The word tea comes from the Chinese The, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which the tea leaves came from. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the words char and chai are derived.

2. Tea (except herbal teas, which are not really tea) is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are made from leaves torn from the same tea bushes but undergo different processes to provide specific styles of drinks. Black tea is allowed to ferment, oolong is semi-fermented and green tea is not fermented. White tea is also not fermented and comes from the same bush, but is taken from the unopened buds of the tea bush.

3. Chinese legend tells us that Emperor Shen Nong first discovered tea in 2737. C. When the leaves of the tea bushes fell into the water, their servants were boiling to purify. However, at first, it was considered a tonic and was used only for medicinal purposes.

4. It is believed that tea arrived in Europe thanks to a Portuguese Jesuit priest named Jasper de Cruz. He visited China in 1590 when Portugal received commercial privileges with the country and was allowed to bring some of the plants he discovered with him when he returned home.

5. Until the 19th century, almost all tea was grown in China and its main export partner was Britain. As trade with China became more difficult, the British began looking for other areas to grow tea, including the regions of India (Assam and Darjeeling) and Africa (Kenya) and managed to begin cultivation by illegally smuggling plants outside from China. These "new" areas remain some of the largest tea producers to this day.

6. Not surprisingly, China remains the largest tea producer and supplies almost 29 percent of the world total, with India second. You may be surprised by some of the other countries on the top 10 list with Iran, Vietnam, Turkey and even Argentina making appearances.

7. Although the Chinese grow more tea, they are not the biggest consumers. At least not per capita. It would be the United Arab Emirates, whose citizens drink almost 14 pounds of things every year, which puts them ahead of the residents of Morocco and Ireland. The British occupy the seventh place and the United States occupies the 69th place in the first 100. However, we all manage to drink more than three billion cups a year, so tea is the second most consumed beverage behind the water.

8. It was the American Thomas Sullivan who accidentally invented the teabag when he sent samples in small silk bags to customers in 1904. They did not know how to empty the contents in the pot and added everything, including the silk container. Sullivan saw this as an opportunity and began making ready-to-use tea bags with gauze. Today, the tea bag is by far the most popular way of making tea, with more than 96 percent of the tea drunk in the UK in this way.

9. Although drinking all the different types of tea is considered beneficial for health, it is green tea that has the best reputation as a superfood. Several studies have shown that drinking green tea can be useful in the fight against heart disease, certain forms of cancer and diabetes, as well as a valuable tool in the battle to reduce cholesterol. Although some of the findings are in dispute, few doctors would disagree that a cup of green tea every day is good.

10. The most expensive tea in the world is grown in the mountains of Ya’An, in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Workers fertilize tea bushes using the waste from local pandas whose bodies absorb only a small amount of nutrients from the food they eat. Tea costs the equivalent of about $ 200 for a small cup.

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