There is no single right way to serve tea, as traditions and etiquette vary from region to region and from country to country. Like any form of etiquette, the most crucial element is the ability to set your guests at ease. Remove the tea leaves before serving, both to curb the bitterness that can develop from over-steeping and to ensure that no one accidentally drinks them. Provide a variety of accompaniments such as milk, lemon, sugar, honey or an artificial sweetener. Some hosts also provide a kettle of hot water for those who prefer a weaker brew. Tea sandwiches, scones, or other accompaniments are traditional, but are not strictly required.
As to the actual method and process of steeping and preparing tea, the possibilities are numerous. You will find many suggestions here at Global Tea Mart, as well as in the books we sell. Developing your own unique tea rituals is a large part of the fun, and we encourage you to experiment.
At Global Tea Mart, we know that tea is much more than a simple beverage. As 8th century Chinese poet Lu Yu said, “Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind.” Yet we also understand that many who are new to the world of tea do not quite know where to begin. Those who have enjoyed tea for some time know that there is always something more to learn. Developing a rich, broad knowledge of tea is a passion that can last a lifetime. Global Tea Martprovides our patrons with a deep and meaningful tea experience. From its history and culture to the health benefits and vast array of tastes, we offer you the opportunity to immerse yourself in this fascinating topic. Yet we do not expect you to do it alone. Throughout your experience you are guided by Cha, our panda tea mascot, who is always here to help.
Pull up a comfortable chair and join Cha in our Tea Library for an entertaining yet educational introduction to the world of tea. We want you to feel that this is your library, a place to learn all about tea, and so we’ve included a recommended reading list, a detailed dictionary of tea-related terms, tea trivia games, a World Tea Map complete with videos, and even our monthly “Life Beyond the Teabag” newsletter. You can also find Cha’s Blog here, with posts on the historical and cultural importance and impact of tea.
Of course, the tea experience is not just about reading and playing games. Tea is the second most-consumed beverage in the world-second only to water and enjoyed by billions of people around the world. And yet, few people know just how diverse tea really is. When you are ready to expand your horizons beyond what is available at your local supermarket, we invite you to choose from among our extensive collection of premium international teas, ranging from the well-known to the very exotic. We carefully describe each tea’s flavor and properties to help you choose the teas you will treasure for a lifetime. In addition, the fun, interactive State of Mind tea game allows you to choose a tea based on your emotional state, whether high in the clouds or peaceful as a forest glen.
In our store, you can also purchase tea and tea food books from the Library’s recommended reading list, as well as gift certificates and a wide variety of tea time accoutrements. Whether you are looking for the perfect teapot, infuser, or teaspoon, you will find preparation and serving utensils to fit your style and budget.
While we could never hope to sum up the vast depth of the tea world in just a few words, we have put together answers to a few of the most common tea questions. We invite you to begin your journey here, and then explore our site for a more expansive view of tea.
Where did iced tea come from?
Sometimes known as “America’s Favorite Drink,” iced black tea has its roots in a cold green tea punch, heavily laden with alcohol that was served at least as early as the 1830s in both the United States and England. By the end of the Civil War, iced tea was a known novelty, occasionally making an appearance in the society pages as the beverage of choice at large social gatherings.
What really brought iced tea to the forefront of the national consciousness, however, was the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. As the story goes, young English tea grower Richard Blechynden was engaged by an association of Indian tea growers to promote their black teas at the fair. Despite his glamorous booth, complete with turbaned Indian servers, he simply could not interest fairgoers in sampling the steaming cups of tea in the middle of a sweltering summer.
Mr. Blechynden decided to fill glasses with ice and market the tea as a refreshing cold beverage. It worked brilliantly, drawing long lines of tourists eager to cool off and sparking a multimillion dollar industry. Today, most Americans are unaware of Mr. Blechynden, but all are familiar with his famous beverage.
When and where did people first drink tea?
The exact origins of tea drinking have been lost to time, but the discovery of its beneficial properties is enshrined in an ancient Chinese myth. ShenNong, one of China’s mythical Three Divine Sovereigns, reputedly lived during China’s prehistoric period, 2838 to 2698 BC.
By the time he was three years old, ShenNong understood everything there was to know about sowing and reaping crops, knowledge that earned him the title of “Divine Farmer.” ShenNong dedicated his life to medical experimentation, tasting hundreds of grasses and plants daily to determine which were harmful and which were helpful. He found tea, which he named Cha, to be an excellent detoxifier, and chewed its leaves as a remedy after tasting plants that he determined to be poisonous.
Today, most scholars recognize the story of ShenNong as a myth, and believe that he might be a composite of several early figures. Regardless, his story demonstrates what a feat it must have been for early humans to determine the properties of different plants and decide which ones were helpful rather than harmful. It also highlights the cultural and historical importance of tea throughout the ages.
How do I properly serve tea?
At Global Tea Mart, we hope to become your online home for all aspects of the world of tea. If we can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to call us at 844-208-2337. We look forward to being a part of your life-long tea journey!