A World of Tea  


Review by Debbie Mazo

Although the British have been sipping tea for centuries, tea was originally discovered by a Chinese emperor over 5,000 years when loose tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water. Today, tea is more popular than ever. In search of a healthier lifestyle, more people are turning to their favorite brew of tea.

An entertaining site where you can settle in for tales and trivia about these trendy leaves is the World of Tea. Sponsored by the Stash Tea Company, an Oregon-based mail-order company, this international site lets you browse the world of tea in seven different languages. Although the presentation could use some organization, tea fans should be happy with the quality of information.

For example, to find out about the brew's legendary origins, check out the History of Tea which takes you from tea's early beginnings in Asia to its arrival on the shores of America in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.

Planning for afternoon tea? This section also describes the popular tea types for afternoon tea service from caravan tea (created in imperial Russia from the teas brought over from Asia) to oolong tea (sometimes known as the "champagne of teas").

If you've always been curious about different tea ware, the history and design of teapots link gives you an overview of the teapot from its early days as an invention in Europe to 20th century designs incorporating functionality and modernity. Before you pour your next cup, find out the differences between the Chinese teacup and the British cup and saucer. Comparing and contrasting Chinese and English tea ware describes how social and political issues were reflected in the developments and changes made to tea ware.

Tea Recipes shows you how to create your own specialties using your favorite teas. Recipes here include everything from teashakes such as Wild Black Currant Escape and Mango Passionfruit Fiesta to inventive recipes that let you cook with tea such as Lemon Herb Halibut and Apple Cinnamon Glazed Ham. Of course, if you want to use stash teas for your creations, there's plenty of online ordering information available.

For the latest news on tea, the Tea Scene provides a snapshot of the tea world market on a weekly basis. If you need answers to those questions you've always had about tea, check out the Tea FAQ. Here you'll discover how to brew the perfect cup of tea (good quality water and proper brewing time are the key) and how much caffeine tea contains (from 8 to 110 mg per 6 ounce cup). Tea related quotations offers the final word on tea with over 70 quotes on this delicious brew, including the words of Noel Coward who summed it all up nicely when he stated, "Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't have tea?".

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She currently specializes in technical and marketing materials, but is also pursuing opportunities in food journalism.




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