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The Waka Life Blog

Ten Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Tea

If you love tea, then you know the beverage has a long history and heritage. Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about it!

Enjoy this quick read with a cup of Waka Coffee’s Instant Black Tea:

1. Different teas = Different steeping temperatures

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As there are different types of tea, they all require specific water temperatures for the best brew and steep process. For instance, black tea needs a temperature of about 203 Fahrenheit while green and white teas need a lower temperature of 176-185 Fahrenheit.

2. Tea bags didn’t appear until the 20th century

Teas were originally brewed as loose leaves, but it wasn’t until the 20th century when it was invented in the United States. In 1908 Thomas Sullivan started handing out his tea samples in small silk bags when people thought the tea was supposed to be brewed with the bag.

3. Tea is essentially oxidized tea leaves

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Tea is made from harvested tea leaves. The aromas and flavors of tea are enhanced through the oxidation or fermentation process and the drying process removes moisture to preserve the fermented leaves for longer.

4. Different types of teas come from the same type of tea leaves

All teas come from the same camellia sinensis plant. The only difference is how long they are left to oxidize. White tea is hardly fermented, green tea slightly fermented, and black tea leaves are left to fully oxidize until it turns the color black. Essentially, the darker the leaves, the longer it was left to ferment!

5. Tea was originally used for medicinal purposes

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When tea was first discovered it was thought to help detoxify the body and was used as a medicine. The tea leaves were even chewed whole instead of brewed sometimes. It wasn’t until about 3,000 years later where tea became a common beverage.

6. Different types of teas are thought to help with colds and ailments 

As there is a large amount of different types of teas including black, green, oolong, white, and herbal, different teas are believed to help the body in different ways. For instance, ginger tea is thought to help warm up the body and help with colds. Also, herbal tea's chrysanthemum is believed to help cool down the body and help with fevers.

7. While the origins of tea are unclear, a few myths say that it was accidentally discovered

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As the history of tea spans many centuries, it is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of them. However, according to the legend, it is believed that tea was discovered by accident in 2737 BCE when a tea leaf fell into Chinese Emperor Shen Nung’s pot of warm water.

8. Herbal teas contain no caffeine and aren’t really teas

While white, oolong, green, and black tea are made of tea leaves from the camellia sinensis plant, herbal teas do not come from this plant. Instead, they are made up of a mixture of roots, spices, fruits, and other parts of plants. This is also why herbal teas do not contain caffeine.

9. In some countries, butter is added to tea

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While some drink their tea plain and others with sugar or milk, in Tibet, butter is added to black tea. Specifically yak butter is added to the tea as the salt in it helps to keep those living in higher elevations to stay hydrated. This might remind you of Keto coffee, which contains butter as well.

10. The countries that drink the most tea are the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Ireland

While tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages, along with water and coffee, the top three countries that consume the most tea are Ireland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. According to The World Atlas, Turkey drinks the most tea with a rate of 6.96 lbs a person per year, Ireland second with 4.83 lbs a person per year, and United Kingdom third with 4.28 lbs a person per year.

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