Trivia with a Capital “Tea”: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Tea

Tea is a beloved drink all over the world. It is one of the most consumed beverages, second only to water. You might drink it hot or cold, with lemon or with sugar, but how much do you actually know about tea? The following are five tea-riffic pieces of trivia to wow your friends with over a nice cuppa.

  • Meet Camellia

    All “true” types of tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Black, green, white, and oolong teas are all made from the leaves of this plant. Oxidation, processing, and other factors give these types their distinctive colors and flavors. Other so-called teas, such as herbal (chamomile, peppermint, etc.), mate, and rooibos (also known as “red tea”) are more correctly called tisanes.

  • Grab bag

    Tea bags were invented in the early 20th century—on accident. An American tea merchant used silk bags to send samples to his customers. The customers mistakenly thought the bags were meant to replace traditional metal infusers, and placed them whole inside their pots.

  • High tea

    The tradition of having afternoon tea, or “high tea,” is thought to have been popularized by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, a friend of Queen Victoria. It was meant to be a substantial snack between the morning meal and the evening meal—with a side of gossip.

  • Identi-tea theft

    Tea grown in the Darjeeling region of India is highly prized, leading many to call it “the champagne of teas.” About 10 million kilograms of this tea are grown each year, yet worldwide sales are more than four times that much. Officials have tried to crack down on false labeling of teas or impure tea blends as Darjeeling.

  • Utili-tea

    Aside from making a delicious beverage, tea leaves can be used as an anti-inflammatory for minor bug bites and burns (and for puffy eyes), to fertilize plants, and as a freshener and deodorizer. And yes, you can steep them for a tasty treat first!

READ MORE

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter team says goodbye—for now

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, right, stands near the apex of a sand ripple in an [...]

Building ‘nanofactories’ to help make medicines and more

Each orb — one has been highlighted in lime green — is a bacterial microcompartment, [...]

Light guide plate based on perovskite nanocomposites

The surface illuminance of LGPs doping with 0 wt% (a), CsPbCl3(b), CsPbCl2.5Br0.5(c), CsPbCl2.0Br1.0(d), CsPbCl1.5Br1.5(e) and [...]

Why Do We Keep Naming New Species After Characters in Pop Culture?

Lady Gaga and a gametophyte of one of the fern species named after her. Image [...]

The Gray Wolf: The Great Lakes’ Comeback Kid

Image courtesy of Gary Kramer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The gray wolf has been [...]

A bubbly new way to detect the magnetic fields of nanometer-scale particles

As if they were bubbles expanding in a just-opened bottle of champagne, tiny circular regions [...]

Bean Leaves Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite by Using Tiny, Impaling Spikes

This adult male bedbug wants to suck your blood. Armed Forces Pest Management Board For [...]

Images hidden in noise revealed by a quantum-inspired phase-imaging method

Noise-resistant phase imaging with intensity correlation. Credit: Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw Researchers at [...]