Do you know where the tea you drink comes from? Hot tea is a delicious and healthy drink that is popular in many European countries and all over the world. Iced tea is more well-known in the United States though, and very few people know where it comes from.
Learn more about the history of hot tea and the origins of refreshing iced tea. We hope you will enjoy these drinks and enjoy them often.
Indigenous to China, Tibet and Northern India, the tea plant (camellia sinensis) is a shrubby evergreen. Left alone, it grows to 30 feet and bears fragrant white flowers. Tea planters prune it to three to five feet for convenience in harvesting. The best teas are grown in mountains to 6,000 feet. Perfect conditions for the flavor and quality include an average shade temperature of 65 degrees and well-distributed rainfall of 100 inches a year, with long intervals of sun in-between flowers. Now, 3/4 of the world’s tea comes from India and Shri Lanka. It also grows in Java and Formosa, as well as in China and Tibet.
The delightful beverage is made from the dried leaves and has plenty of health benefits.
But what about iced tea, you may ask. Where does it come from?
Iced tea was created in Americanearly 100 years ago so perhaps it is fitting that America is the only country where the majority of tea is enjoyed cool. In fact, iced tea was invented because visitors to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair were not interested in drinking hot tea on a hot summer day. The hot tea was getting a cool reception. Therefore quick thinking English merchant Richard Blechynden added ice, and the rest is history.
today 80% of the 2,2 billion gallons of tea consumed by Americans each year is served cold. Iced tea is so popular in America that each year June is celebrated as National Iced Tea Month.