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Next to water, tea is the largest consumed liquid diet by mankind. Tea
is an ancient beverage originated from China. Legend has it that in
2737 BC while Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was relaxing under a tree taking a
cup of boiled water, a leaf from the tree accidentally dropped into the
water. As the Emperor was also an herbalist, he watched the reaction on
the leaf curiously. In a few minutes he tasted the resultant liquid and
found it to be very exhilarating. This episode gave birth to the
beverage Tea.

Over the periods tea was consumed sans milk. The credit of adding milk
to tea, known as ‘French Touch’, that improved its flavor and taste
goes to Marquis de la Sabilare, a French woman.
Anyhow it was Anna, Duchess of Bedford who invented the afternoon
teatime that hastened its astounding popularity.
Tea belongs to the family Camellia Sinesis and is available in 2000
varieties throughout the world. Among the four most popular categories
are, Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea and White Tea. The variations used
during the processing of the leaves give different flavors to this
beverage. Leaves of the super grade tree are plucked from the top two
branches of the plant and it will be highly aromatic. While preparing tea it
should never be reheated as the ‘essential oils’ that are responsible
for aroma will evaporate soon. A steaming cup of tea rejuvenates 6ne's
spirits and elevates the mood. Former British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill once observed, “Tea is more important than bullets”. Hosting tea
is a ceremonial, event in Japan and a reflection of its culture.

Tea has a highly potential medicinal value. As early as the 17th
century Louis XIV of France consumed twelve cups of tea everyday to keep away
his gout. Green Tea is a panacea for many ailments. This concept is
fast catching up throughout the world as researchers confirm its medicinal
Tea contains potassium, niacin, folic acid, manganese, vitamin B1 and
B2. Green Tea is so rich in Vitamin C that of this precious nutrient
exceeds that contained in a cup of orange juice. It aids in lessening
obesity as it breaks down fats in the blood stream.
It also facilitates digestion, fights food poisoning, strengthens bones
and tooth enamel.
Researchers have established that green tea contains a powerful
anti-oxidant ‘epigallocatechin-3-gallate’ or ECGC that has the ability to
neutralize free radicals preventing cancer. This is 100 times more
effective than vitamin C and 25 times better than vitamin E at protecting cells
from damage related to cancer and other serious ailments. Studies in
Harvard University also indicated that consumers of green tea are 50 per
cent lesser exposed to heart attacks than others as it lowers

So here's to a happy tea time.

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