Gourmet Teas

Written by Seth Cotterell
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Tea is arguably the single most consumed beverage in the history of the world. Tea in all its varieties has been a part of human culture throughout recorded history. Originating in Asia, tea can be found today in virtually every location imaginable. Tea's migration around the world is an interesting study, and scholars can trace the rise and prosperity of nations with the path of tea's world wide diaspora.

Tea is originally an Asian beverage. More specifically, its origins are in China. Tea was discovered in China by accident over four thousand years ago. Legends vary, but supposedly tea was discovered by one of the emperor's servants who inadvertently dropped dried tea leaves into a boiled, sanitary cup of water. Pleased by the pleasant aroma and smooth taste, the emperor became tea's first enthusiast.

From China, tea traveled to other Asian countries. It was brought to Japan by Buddhists from China. In Japan, tea found a society where it could flourish. Tea has become a Japanese trademark and the brewing and serving of gourmet teas has reached its zenith in the island country. Taking part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony is something everyone should experience in their life time.

History of Gourmet Tea Continued

India was tea's next stop on its global trek, and a very fruitful one. In India, new and different gourmet teas were developed with a uniquely Indian flare. Chai tea is one of the finest gourmet Indian teas. It is naturally flavorful and for a different twist, you can add a little milk and sugar for a real treat. From India, tea was brought to Europe by colonial powers and then to the American colonies. Tea plays an important role in American history as demonstrated by the Boston Tea Party.

The Benefits of Tea

Drinking tea is not only a cultural and social activity shared by people in diverse cultures, it is actually quite healthy too. Regular consumption of tea is shown to have many positive health benefits. Each type of tea has its own particular benefits. Tea has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of year and is still widely used to combat common health problems.

High quality gourmet teas not only taste great, but will make drinkers healthier and happier. Gourmet loose green tea, for example, is high in Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, as well as being a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system to help the body fight off sickness. It also provides a boost of energy and vitality. Green tea is Asia's most consumed tea.

More Health Benefits of Gourmet Tea

Black tea is also very healthy. Black teas are popular in Europe and other Western countries. Black teas are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, the natural result of metabolism. Antioxidants reduce the risk of stroke and are believed to have cancer fighting properties as well. A cup of piping hot black tea is a popular breakfast drink in Europe and elsewhere.

Gourmet tea is becoming more readily available and popular thanks in large part to the Internet. Before the advent of the World Wide Web, gourmet tea shops were rare and often tremendously expensive. Today, online gourmet tea sellers are able to offer better selection and lower prices. This has enabled gourmet tea to find a new generation of loyal drinkers who want to experience the healthy benefits of tea and also the enjoyment of the social and ritualistic aspects of tea drinking.

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