Mark Twain once quoted ‘accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors’ and the past few posts in this ‘lessons from the past’ series are perfect testimony to that. After a bunch of interesting stories about the origins of chicken tikka masala, pepper and buttermilk time to get to something that is quite the lifestyle essential for a large chunk of people around the world. Let’s talk chai!
Tete a tete with tea
Drinking tea is such a routine part of our lives, we hardly even realize the importance of it unless we miss out on one of those early morning cuppa’s! It’s kind of cool that tea was accidentally discovered by a Chinese emperor some 4500 years ago, when he was boiling water under the shade of a tree and some leaves accidentally fell into the water, he tasted this and found it delicious. The word eventually spread and tea became popular under the name kia. The word for tea kept changing over the years as did the flavours, taste combinations and ingredients used with it. Tea plants that were already growing as wild shrubs in parts of Assam were developed into tea plantations by the British, during their rule in India.
India, as we know now, is now one of the largest producers of tea in the world. Today the types worldwide are innumerable – from the widely used Earl Grey tea to the Japanese Oolong variety to our very own Darjeeling blend, Tea is the most popular and most consumed beverage in the world. It is not just about the refreshing taste but also the benefits attached to it. Tea, especially herbal and green varieties contains anti-oxidants, builds immunity, increases metabolism and is known to reduce susceptibility to many forms of cancer. Its fabulous flavour has resulted in it being used to impart flavour in an array of sweet and savoury recipes. Tea has definitely come a long way since its accidental discovery.
Did you know like tea, tea bags too were an accidental invention? An American tea merchant created tea bags to give away samples of the tea to his customers, who found it simpler to just brew the tea while it’s still in the porous bag rather than the loose tea.
Tell us how you like your tea – leave a comment below.