Testimonies regarding the social aspect of coffee drinking

My first “coffeehouse cult” experience took place in a town that was really much too small to have a coffeehouse in the first place. The little shanty of a business was once a two-story house, but it had been transformed into a three-room java shack.

One room was studious, lined with books, magazines, and whatnot for the academies that sometimes congregated. Another was more like an open sun room or sitting room that transformed into a staging area for Friday night entertainers. Of course, the third room held the bar, the cafe-style tables, and all the normal coffeehouse adornments: mugs, machines, syrups, teas, and the like.

Those who patronized the business were inevitably regulars, and I was among them. If I had been more thoughtful in my youthful post-college days, I might have saved some of the cash I spent on pizza and coffee and invested it, but then I wouldn’t have the great stories from the Xpress Yourself Cafe, after all.

It was here that friends from the neighboring community came and talked over everything from politics to sports and a whole variety of topics in between. We had midnight Scrabble tournaments, where I usually took second place to a genius from the local photo shop.

The poorly-paid singer for Friday nights was a middle-aged stoner who wasn’t going any further in his career, as he wasn’t that good, but he was loud. When he wasn’t available, we occasionally had poetry readings and the like, and the “sensitive types” from all over came in to pour their hearts into the open mic.

The owners and I became fast friends, and I was granted access to areas of the coffeehouse that few others were allowed into. I helped wash dishes in the kitchen, I prepared sandwiches on my off-days, and my payment was an unending supply of mocha and latte. When they finally closed the little joint, it was like someone had died. The old man who owned the place lived across the street, and the owners were a few months behind on their payments after I’d left town.

I tried to join other “coffeehouse cults” in other towns where I later lived, but the air was never the same. The pseudo-intellectuals and the midnight buzzers were always distant, and no one ever wanted to know anyone.

Truly, the Xpress Yourself Cafe was a once-in-a-lifetime place. And, undoubtedly, it will never be replicated in the sterile, homogenized, name brand coffee shops of today. Thank you, Brenda and John Hojonski, for all that you gave your community – some of us will never forget.

Source:
1. Coffee culture
2. Healthy Beer
3. 5 Coffee News Stories That I Never Want To Read About Ever Again …

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www.discoverlebanon.com

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The Top 5 Beers to Pair with Grilled Food

Although many people, including foodies, don’t stop to think that food should be paired with anything but wine, there are people who strongly believe that good beer can be paired with food just as nicely as wine. Beer just seems like the natural accompaniment for grilled food. The nice refreshing cold carbonated taste just belongs with the flavors of food cooked over wood or coals.

When pairing beer with any type of food, there is one general rule of thumb. That is, you pair like flavors together. In other words, you don’t want to pair a full flavored full bodied wine with something like a delicate fish. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to pair a light and subtle flavored beer  with something as earthy and full flavored as say a steak or a bratwurst.

Here are five outstanding beers to pair with grilled food.

In general, it is safe to say that you can’t go wrong when pairing some type of ale with any grilled food. There are multiple variations on ales, and they range from the very pale and mild flavored to dark red and/or brown ales that are full bodied and richly flavored.

1.) Chimay from Chimay Brewery in Belgium –

Chimay has three fabulous ales. The red bottle is their red or brown ale that is known as Premiere. It is a very rich and smooth flavored brown ale. It is arguably one of the finest beers ever made. it also carries a nice price tag. Nonetheless, if you want to eat anything from  any type of grilled beef or pork, to a heavier fish like sword fish, this is an outstanding beer. The blue bottle, the Grande Reserve is their strong ale, best suited to the heaviest or fullest flavored foods such as elk, venison, beef and even buffalo. .

2.) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale –

This award winning American ale is made in the same tradition as many European pale ales. It has a nice flavor, but isn’t too terribly intense. It’s perfectly suited to serve with most types of grilled fish and chicken. It is also a nice complement for grilled vegetables. Samuel Smith’s India Pale Ale is another outstanding choice.

3.) Newcastle Brown Ale –

Newcastle is a nice smooth tasting brown ale with a slightly nutty taste. It is often used to pair with Guiness Stout to create a drink called a Black and Tan. Newcastle is very versatile and is great to serve with grilled chicken, pork, beef and more flavorful varieties of grilled fish.

4.) Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter –

If you want a rich, flavorful and strong porter, you would be hard pressed to find one to rival Samuel Smith’s. The pleasant taste of hops is just strong enough without being bitter. This is great when served with heavier beef, pork, lamb or meat like venison, elk and/or buffalo. This is a wonderful very intense flavored porter, but not bitter at all.

5.) Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peak’s Brewery –

This is a wonderfully flavorful English amber ale that is the perfect combination of flavors, a bit of intensity, but nothing overbearing. This is an ale that is suited to just about every type of grilled food. The best part is that it’s reasonably priced for a micro brew, but it can be difficult to find. Nonetheless, if you want an outstanding reasonably priced beer to serve with anything you grill, here’s your best bet.

There are literally many thousands of beers on the market. Some people don’t mind the beers made by big breweries, while others prefer the intimacy and flavor of micro brews. Pairing food with beer is a bit more challenging than pairing food and wine. While you want to pair flavors that are suited to one another, you will want to serve a beer with enough substance in the taste that people can enjoy it.

When you are enjoying the flavor of a beer, you tend to savor it, and that may be one thing that prevents people from drinking as much. Instead of reaching for the wine to go with your grilled food, consider trying a beer. You may find that it’s a tasty and refreshing combination.

Source:
1. The Ultimate Backyard BBQ Beer Pairing Cheat Sheet | Serious Eats
2. Organic Colon Cleanse
3. 20 Best Beers For Summer Grilling. Period. – Food Republic

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drinks.seriouseats.com

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The Effects of Microwave Cooking on your Food

While the use of the microwave does seem to be convenient in quickly heating up food, it usually isn’t the best way to go. Your food tends to get “nuked” when you put it in the microwave. That includes the following: burgers, pizza, sausages, hotdogs, pastas, vegetables, and so forth. There are many effects associated with the use of microwaves that one really shouldn’t use them.

For these reasons, I typical refrain from using the microwave unless I’m looking to heat up a quick meal. Interestingly enough, the use of microwave ovens are banned in Russia due to the effects of microwaving food.

After reading these effects, nuked food should be the least of your worries.

I said that microwaving cereals and milk can cause the agents that cause cancer from within. In a sense, microwaving milk and cereals can cause them to be carcinogenic. Microwaving breast milk is said to destroy the disease fighting capabilities. The milk can sustain damages that go beyond the heating. This is one effect that microwaving has an effect on milk.

It can cause digestive disorders by altering elemental-food substances. Microwaving can also affect the food chemistry as well. Microwaving food tends to cause problems for the human body. This seems to be logical because food absorbs all of that radiation when going through a microwave. In turn, you’re taking in those radiation particles in your body.

In short, the effects tend to be cancerous. Asides from potentially causing you cancer, use of microwaves very much destroys the nutritional value of foods.

The vitamins such as B, C, and E are deemed worthless when foods are put through the microwave. Meat proteins become worthless as a result of microwaving.

There are biological effects such as cellular energy diseases, life-energy field breakdowns, destabilized metabolic rate, cellular damage, and nervous system degeneration.

In short, microwaving food messes up the food, destroys the nutritional value, and has an effect on the human body. These are the many effects associated with microwaving food. If you want to heat something up that is not a TV dinner, you should try using the stove or the oven. The food is much better that way.

Don’t depend on the microwave too much.

Source:
1. Microwaves Are Bad For You: 5 Reasons Why Microwave Oven …
2. Are You Getting Enough Vitamin C?
3. Microwave cooking and nutrition – Harvard Health

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www.emfnews.org

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Teavana drink reviews three Kingdoms Mao Feng Organic Green Tea

I am normally a very big fan of green teas. Although this one had all of the hype that I expect with a Teavana green tea, there is probably a reason that I have never seen it. Or during any tastings at Teavana store locations. It definitely didn’t quite live up to my expectations no matter how my fiance and I tried to drink it. 

How we drink it

This is definitely a different type of experience altogether. Since the flavor is really weak it is very difficult to drink as a cold tea. If you are going to drink it cold you are really going to have to work hard to enhance the flavor of it. This means probably adding 5-6 times as much tea in order to make it strong enough. My young son will only drink tea cold and probably should only drink it cold so if we want to make this and he is awake we have to make it cold for him so he can feel like he is drinking it along with us. 

When we drink this particular variety, we normally drink it hot around dinner. This seems to be the best time to enjoy it, if you can really actually enjoy it. Drinking it hot I normally add creamer to it in order to give it the flavor that it is lacking. My favorite is probably creme brulee flavored creamer for this variety but hazelnut is also a nice flavoring for it as well. My fiance on the other hand likes to add honey or sugar to it with half/half or milk. Regardless we both have to add quite a bit of flavoring to make it tasty enough for daily drinking. 

When we are sick we often drink this tea because of the weak flavor.  It gives us the healthy benefits of green tea without overpowering our weakened senses.

Aroma

The smell isn’t anything amazing just a basic green tea. It smells grassy with water just like I expect my green tea to smell. I was hoping for something a big stronger but I really didn’t get that at any point during the process. 

Flavor

Overall the flavor is that of green tea. It isn’t a great green tea it is simply average. I would say that you are probably better off buying a store bought Bigelow green tea if you are going to get something like this. At least Bigelow has a somewhat better flavor than this. There is definitely a lot missing from this tea. If you want to get the most out of it you really have to quadruple the amount of tea that you use. The recommended amount simply isn’t enough at least not for my fiance and I. 

Best consumed

I personally enjoy drinking green tea for dinner and really don’t enjoy it at any other time. This one is pretty basic so you could really drink it whenever it works best for you.  It is low in caffeine so you could even drink it before bed. 

Health benefits of green tea:

Believed to beneficial to the immune system
Includes polyphenols that are believed to help prevent certain types of cancers
Stomach and digestive relief
Shown to lower cholesterol
Contains less only 1/20 the caffeine of coffee

Source:
1. Snow Peak Downy Tips Tea by Teavana — Steepster
2. Is Diet Soda Bad For You
3. Teavana – 38 Photos & 58 Reviews – Tea Rooms – 1065 Brea Mall …

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www.dragonpearltea.com

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The Slow Food Movement Explained

Slow Food: The answer to a fast life

Contrary to what the name implies, the Slow Food Movement is not wholly about eating snails and turtles, nor is it about having lousy service at a restaurant. Instead, it is an anti-fast food movement, a grassroots international campaign to slow down and preserve the pleasure of enjoying food.

The concept of eco-gastronomy, or the relationship between what we eat and our environment, is the driving force behind the movement, founded in 1986 by Carlo Petrini. The Slow Food Movement simply strives to keep food good, clean, and fair:

GOOD: Slow Food should taste good. Supporters of the movement believe that we must learn how to taste food again by awakening our senses to what we are eating: the textures, flavors, and scents. We can learn this from various food experts and from sharing with one another. The Slow Food Movement has several venues for food appreciation education. The most basic is a convivium, or a local chapter of the movement. These groups meet together and participate in various activities to enhance understanding and knowledge in the community. Taste Workshops are held at larger events, and feature experts who teach tasting and pairing of food and drink. The Slow Food Movement even has its own university: The University of Gastronomic Science, to unite the study of science and food.

Good food also comes from our cultural heritage, and a major focus of the movement is preserving these food traditions. Enjoying food in all its varieties and styles-from organic vegetables to artisan bread, heirloom tomatoes to handmade cheese, Southern dishes to Northwest wines-is an important aspect of the Slow Life. Taking the time to savor and share these traditions increases the sense of pleasure in life for families and communities.

CLEAN: Slow Food should be clean inside and out. This means that it should be healthy for us and for animals, and that it should be healthy for the environment. The Slow Food Movement seeks to promote methods of food production that are eco-friendly and sustainable. The goal is a network of sustainable food on local, national, and international levels. The Slow Life also includes taking steps to preserve and appreciate our surroundings.

FAIR: Slow Food is fair to the producer. Slow Food believes that the industrialization and mass-production methods of today corrupt what is good and pure about food. The movement encourages and supports producers and methods that create quality food. Events and networks are organized on the local, national, and international level to help connect those who produce excellent products with consumers. We as consumers are referred to as co-producers, because our informed choices can benefit and affect the direction of food production and consumption.

The Slow Food Movement is indeed a revolution on a world-wide scale, with a presence in 50 countries on five continents. Hundreds of thousands of producers and co-producers attend their international events, while over 80,000 members make up the many convivia around the world. The Slow Food Movement and its Slow Life have a unique perspective on making the world a better place to live. It is a movement that is coming-slowly-to a table near you.

Source:
1. Slow Food
2. Sacred Heart Diet for Losing Weight
3. What is Slow Food? – SheKnows

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www.eia.gov

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The Difference between White and Brown Eggs

The difference between white and brown eggs…

*Watch for black snakes in a hen house:

When I was but a youngster, Mother often sent me to the hen house to collect the eggs, I knew one thing for sure anyone who enters a hen house had better watch out for black snakes because they love to suck eggs. Many times, I’ve been frightened to death by a large black snake looking back at me as I collected the eggs. Black snakes will not hurt you but we didn’t want them in the hen house either because it robbed us of our white and brown jewels.

*There’s “no” difference in the eggs:

I was taught as a youngster, there was absolutely “no” difference between a brown egg and a white egg except the brown eggs often had two yolks in them. When we got an egg with a double yolk Mother would tell us it meant something good was going to happen for us. White and brown eggs are nutritionally identical, and, the inside and the outside look and are physically the same as well. They both come from a hen, and because one is white and another is brown, does not indicate there is any difference in their nutritional content value, or in fact, anything else about the egg is different other than its color. Different breeds of chickens may have laid the egg is the only thing.

*Color is determined by the materials they deposit as they’re developed:

The color of a hens eggs is determined by the materials which are deposited when the egg develops inside the hen’s oviduct. A hen who deposits white pigments and another hen deposits brown pigments, and believe it or not, chicken breeds such as the Aracauna and Americauna lay blue to green eggs. The Red Junglefowl, the original predecessor of chickens, laid cream-colored eggs. Did you know, various egg colors have developed over the centuries of breeding?

An egg that has darker yolks, is an indication it has a good concentration of vitamins and minerals. I never knew this, did you…the yolk of the egg feeds a chicken as it develops in the egg? Have you ever wondered what the string-like clear mucus is in an egg…it called the chalazae? Many uses of eggs with dark, firm yolks and distinct chalazae are known to be fresh and nutritious, regardless of the color of the shell.

*Does the color of a chickens comb make a difference?:

It is said that white ear lobed chickens lay white eggs the majority of the time and the chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs. This actually depends upon the genetic factor of the chicken. Years ago, consumers pushed white eggs because they were clean looking, and consumers would not have any concerns about them having food borne diseases.

Source:
1. What's the Difference Between White and Brown Eggs? – The Kitchn
2. Does Eating Later Affect Weight Loss Efforts
3. The Difference Between Brown and White Eggs – Today I Found Out

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researchmaniacs.com

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The Negative Effect of Soft Drink Consumption on our Health

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) calls soft drinks “liquid candy.” In a recent press release, the CSPI notes that while adults are turning to diet soda, teenagers are drinking more high-calorie ft drinks than ever. Teenage boys are drinking an average of three 12-ounce cans per day, and girls drink more than two cans.

Not surprisingly, the rates of teenage obesity are soaring. As noted by CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, “What was once a rare treat in a small serving is now served up morning, noon, and night, virtually everywhere Americans happen to be.”

The CSPI has filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking the agency to require a series of rotating health notices on all non-diet soft drinks – both carbonated and non-carbonated – that contain more than 13 grams of refined sugars per 12 ounces. (Most 12-ounce sodas contain 40 grams). These messages include warnings that:

* Non-diet soda may cause weight gain, tooth decay and other health problems.

* Soft drinks may cause brittle bones (osteoporosis) if substituted for milk or calcium fortified beverages.

* Caffeine is a mildly addictive stimulant and is not appropriate for children. Caffeine is found in a number of soft drinks.

The CSPI research shows that the refined sugar consumed in sodas by America’s teens exceeds government recommendations for total daily sugar consumption from all foods. Ten percent of all American boys consume 66 ounces of soft drink per day – the equivalent of five and a half 12-ounce cans, or 800 calories. Five percent consume as much as 7 cans per day, or roughly 1,000 calories. The more soda consumed by teens, the less calcium, fiber, vegetables, fruit and vitamins are consumed.

In addition to osteoporosis and obesity, this surge in consumption of soft drinks is contributing to an increase of type-2 diabetes among America’s teens. While the same health risks exist for adults, the percentages are declining among this age group as more adults turn to diet soda. However, the CSPI notes health risks associated with these types of drinks, also.

In addition to efforts by the CSPI to persuade the FDA to place warnings on soft drinks, the organization is recommending that chain restaurant menus and menu boards require calorie labeling of beverages, and that soda sales in schools cease. The CSPI has also suggested that local governments tax soda and other junk foods and use the revenue to promote health and fitness.

Supporters of the CSPI and its efforts to educate the public about the potential health risks associated with soft drinks include the American Dental Hygienists Association, the National Center for Health Education, the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons, and the Consumer Federation of America, as well as numerous leading science and nutrition experts.

For more information about the potential health risks associated with soft drinks and the work of the CSPI, visit www.cspinet.org

Source:
1. Soft drink
2. Buying Meat and Poultry: How to Make the Healthiest Choice
3. Soft Drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health

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www.israel21c.org

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Teavana Golden Jade green tea blend drink review

Golden Jade is a blend of green and black teas. They are naturally low in caffeine and help to boost the immune system as well as the digestive system. My fiance and I typically drink a lot of green tea but normally not all that much black tea, so this was a little bit of an experience for us to say the least. We decided to try it after a recommendation from one of the sales associates at a Teavana store location here in Florida. 

How we drink it

This is a somewhat simple green tea so we almost always drink this along with dinner hot. We have tried it a couple of times cold but found that the flavor really didn’t come through all that well. Since this is a pretty mild tea overall it is very difficult to make it strong enough to consume cold. However, if you really want it iced then you would be best adding 5-6 times the normal amount of tea when steeping. If you attempt to steep longer in order to obtain more flavor you will simply change the overall taste of the tea and it isn’t going to be for the better. Your best bet is to suck it up and add more tea.  However, I’m not certain the additional cost would be worthwhile for this type.

If you like hot teas however, this a very solid one to drink in that manner. It is great with some creamer, half/half, or just sugar. We typically mix it up by adding a variety of different creamer flavors to it. This not only cools it so that we can drink it faster but also gives it lots of flavor without adding any additional sugar. There is a Parisian flavored creamer that we both really enjoy with this type of tea but you could really use virtually anything without any issues. 

Aroma

The aroma really isn’t that strong. It is an obvious green tea with a bit of a sweet tinge to it. I find it to be pretty pleasant and is an excellent tea to make alongside dinner because of the aroma. 

Flavor

This is a very solid green tea with an excellent full flavor. This is probably my favorite somewhat simple green tea and definitely has a huge taste advantage of those that you would purchase in a standard grocery store. I typically consume it with 2-3 times the tea as directed but I really love the full flavor and taste of the tea so I like to enhance that quite a bit more. 

Best consumed

I personally enjoy green tea with dinner but because it is somewhat mellow all around you can easily enjoy it at anytime. It is even calm that you could use it before going to bed. Just keep in mind that it does still have some caffeine in it although it is definitely reduced considerably in comparison to coffee or other teas.

Source:
1. Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea | Teavana
2. The Coconut Oil Diet Explained
3. Emperor's Clouds and Mist® Green Tea | Teavana

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thechalkboardmag.com

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Tennents

Tennent’s Lager is one of the best selling lagers in Scotland, available in cans, bottles and on pump.  It is also available in other parts of UK and in USA.  This lager is produced by Wellpark Brewery, which is situated in Glasgow, Scotland.  The brewery was founded in 1740, back then it was known as Drygate Brewery.  Hugh and Robert Tennent started the business.

In the early days, the brewery produced high strength export ales.  The grandson of Hugh Tennent, who also had the same name, was in control of the business when it first produced Tennent’s Lager in 1885.  Charrington United Breweries took over the business in 1963.  Three years later, due to a merger, the company became known as Tennent Caledonian Breweries.  The brewery is currently owned by C&C Group plc.  Tennent’s is imported and distributed in the United States by Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Tennent’s Lager has 4% ABV.  It is brewed using Scottish Highland water and Scottish barley.  The other lagers produced within the brand are Tennent’s Special (3.5% ABV), Tennent’s Ember ( 4.2% ABV), Tennent’s Light Ale ( 3.1% ABV).

Appearance

It has a bright, shiny golden colour which is very pleasing the eye.  There is visible carbonation.  If it is poured correctly in a bar, it can have a nice, creamy thick head.  This head retains quite well.

Aroma

There is a smell of malt, although it takes some effort to notice.  There isn’t an immediately obvious aroma.

Taste

It is distinctive, crisp, sharp and satisfying.  There is a hint of fruit and sugar, and a hoppy taste in the background.  It is certainly lighter than other beers such as Stella Artois.

Mouthfeel

Creamy, moderate, subtle, clings to the tongue, distinctive bodied, inoffensive, medium carbonated.

After Taste

This lager doesn’t leave much in the way of an after taste.  This is due to it being so light.  The sweetness tends to fade away.

Drinkability

This lager is light and inoffensive.  It is best when drunk chilled.  Within reason, this  pale lager could be drunk on a night without having to worry about being sick, or not able to concentrate at work the next day.

Summary

Tennent’s Pale Lager presents very well in a glass.  It is distinctive in taste, and yet also light enough to be inoffensive.  This drink would go down well on a hot day after work.  Nobody would seriously argue that it is the best lager in existence.  Much of the success of Tennent’s Lager has to do with the patriotic attitude that Scottish people have towards it.  However, it certainly isn’t a bad drink, and it is not by accident that this drink sells outside of Scotland.  You wouldn’t hate yourself for trying it.

Source:
1. Wellpark Brewery
2. Carrot for Cancer
3. Tennent's Lager · Scotland's Favourite Pint

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www.bancobryggeri.se

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Teas Effect on Human Society

The story of tea began in China 2737 BC when, according to legend, the emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a Camellia sinensis tree and leaves from the tree fell into boiling water he was about to drink. Over the centuries, important social occasions have developed around drinking tea.

In China and Japan tea ceremonies are centuries old traditions that continue to today. Tea drinking rituals are described in Cha Ching, a book about tea by the 8th century Chinese scholar Lu Yu. Japanese tea ceremonies are said to be based on the same book. Tea came to Japan with Japanese Buddhist monks who had been studying in China, and tea has also been used by Buddhist monks to aid meditation.

The British afternoon tea tradition

The British afternoon tea is a much more recent development than Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, but it is another tradition that still goes on today.

In the 17th century, wealthy men were meeting in coffee houses in London to discuss the world’s affairs and events over tea. Some coffee houses sold tea to be brewed at home and so women, who were not regular visitors to coffee houses, could drink tea as well. Wealthy women would meet in each others’ houses in tea parties, where tea was served from expensive china cups with sugar added (but not yet milk).

However, the honour for inventing the British 5 o’clock tea usually goes to the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria, who in the early 1840’s started to have tea with some snacks in middle of the afternoon. She invited guests to join her, and by the second half of the 19th century people around Britain were meeting in elegant afternoon tea events to drink tea and eat sandwiches, bread, scones and cakes.

Later in the 19th century hotels in both Britain and America began to offer their guests late afternoon tea in tea rooms and tea courts. In the early decades of the 20th century hotels also hosted afternoon tea dances, which were disapproved by some members of society. The 5 o’clock tea tradition is still continued in many of the world’s five star hotels today.

Another British invention were tea gardens, where ladies and gentlemen were served tea outdoors while taking walks in the garden or watching entertainment such as concerts. Men and women were allowed to enter the same tea gardens. From the 1880’s more and more women started visiting tea rooms and tea shops, where they could meet each other outside the house without having to be accompanied by a man.

Tea spreads to working classes

For long, tea was a drink of the wealthy upper classes. In Britain tea was highly taxed and too expensive for the working class. High taxation led to a widespread smuggling of tea in the 18th century

Smuggled tea was cheaper and found its way to the working classes who couldn’t afford tea before, and so smuggling was partly responsible for introducing tea to the poorer members of society. When taxes of tea were cut significantly in 1785, and legally bought tea became much cheaper, smuggling ceased. But partly due to smuggling, tea which had previously been only drunk by the wealthier classes was now popular in all parts of society. Through smugglers’ networks tea had also spread to rural areas outside bigger towns.

While the British upper classes were drinking tea in afternoon tea parties and tea gardens, in working class families tea was served after the long working day with hot food, and “high tea” became the main meal of the day.

The great health debate

In 1706 a book called Wholesome Advice against the Abuse of Hot Liquors, by a French doctor, made an attack against tea, coffee and hot chocolate. It claimed excessive consumption of hot drinks could cause sickness and death and advised moderation in drinking them.

Soon other writers were advocating for complete abstinence from tea. It was claimed that the poor should not waste their little money on tea, and that tea could make the working classes “melancholy” (which would adversely affect their ability to work for the wealthy).

Those who defended tea didn’t see anything harmful in working classes gathering for social occasions over hot tea. And when the temperance movement was born to encourage workers to stop drinking, it started to advocate tea as an alternative to alcohol.

Tea drinking today

Today tea drinking is not a privilege of the wealthy anymore. Tea drinking is a habit that connects tea-lovers in different countries and continents and across all social classes.

In the world’s biggest tea drinking countries, Ireland and the UK, black tea with milk and sugar is drunk every day in workplaces, offices and factories where employers provide their employees with complimentary tea. In the Middle East tea is served to customers in shops and at markets, in India millions of people gather around cups of masala chai at chai stands. Tea’s health benefits have been a popular subject for discussion in the last couple of decades in the West, while in China and Japan the ancient tea culture has survived until this day.

Sources:

The UK Tea Council

Source:
1. Health effects of tea
2. Heart-Healthy Eating Plan
3. Acute effects of tea consumption on attention and mood – American …

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www.nrlgroup.ca

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