10 Facts About Tea that Might Surprise You By Amanda Wynant, Staff Writer
Ever wish you knew more about the history, origin and properties of tea? You've stopped at the right blog post! We'll explore some of the lesser known facts about one of the oldest and most healthy drinks in the world.
One for all - First of all, black tea, white tea, green tea, oolong and yellow tea all come from the same plant. Camellia sinensis is the small evergreen tree from which all true teas are made. Each variety of tea has different characteristics based on when it is picked and how the leaves are subsequently processed.
Caffeine levels vary – White tea has just 30-50 mg of caffeine per serving. Green tea is just a tiny bit higher at 35-70 mg per cup. Oolong tea has 50-80 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. And Black tea has the most, at 60-90 mg per serving.
Tea bags – Though the rectangular, paper tea bag was not invented until 1944, many people sewed tea bags from fabric in the 1800's. Popular lore suggests that tea bags were initially used to hold small amounts of tea when travelers would bring it home from India.
A natural mosquito repellant – If you want to keep mosquitos away during summer, use leftover, damp tea leaves. The scent will naturally repel them.
Tea contains vitamins – Tea contains several 'B' vitamins and is also naturally high in calcium, manganese, potassium and folic acid.
It's popular – The only beverage, throughout the world, more popular than tea is water. In all the land, tea is more consumed than coffee, soda, milk, juice or alcohol. With all the health benefits of tea, we can see why!
Tea was discovered by accident – Legend has it, Emperor Shen Nong discovered tea in 2737 B.C., on a windy day, when leaves from tea shrubs blew into the water his servants were boiling for him.
You might be able to grow it – The Camellia Sinensis plant is native to East Asia, but a tea bush can grow in many other tropical or subtropical marine climates. For instance, tea can grow well in Washington state, in the United States. And it is said to thrive in Vancouver Island, Canada.
Some tea can set you back a few bucks – Grown in the Chinese Ya'An mountains of the Sichuan province, there are tea bushes fertilized by panda bear waste. Tea from these plants costs around $200 per cup! It is reported to be the most expensive tea in the world.
It fights cavities – Recent studies suggest that tea may fight tooth decay. Some companies are considering adding tea extracts to their toothpaste to enhance effectiveness. Tea can also fight bad breath and destroy bacteria.
Bring these fun facts to your next tea party for some fantastic conversation starters.