Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A TEA STORY IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Just thought I'd share with you a little American history about tea. Usually when we talk of tea, it has to do with the growth, production, and consumption of it in other countries. We are not nearly the #1 consumers of this most wonderful beverage. I hope some day that we learn to appreciate and drink more of it. Here goes the story...
The most famous tea story in American history may be that of the Boston Tea Party, but the United States also produced two other tea phenomena. At the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, Richard Blechynden, an English tea merchant, was dispensing free samples of Indian tea to promote his product. Since the weather was extremely hot, he literally could not give the tea away. Blechynden added ice to the drink, fairgoers got hooked, and Americans now consume five times as much iced tea as they do hot tea. In 1908, New York tea merchant Thomas Sullivan began sending tea samples to his dealers in silk pouches. These were found to be so convenient for brewing tea that the tea bag was born.
Tea is grown in South Carolina, where French botanist Andrew Micheaux brought the first tea plants and seeds to Charleston in 1799. Although intermittent attempts to market South Carolina tea failed, it is again sold today-and has been named the state's official hospitality beverage by the state legislature.
(This information was obtained by the ALL ABOUT TEA KNOWLEDGE CARDS, by Linda Osborne--Publisher-Pomegranate Communications, Inc.)
Here's what I think: We should check out this tea from Charleston. I've been wanting to taste it just to say that I've tasted American-grown tea, though I've heard that it is "wanting" itself in quality and taste compared to the foreign tea that we consume everyday. I'm not sure if that's due to inferior plants or if the weather conditions and landscape aren't as ideal as the foreign countries that grow it and have been growing it for so long. Anyway, I think it's worth a try and me forming my own opinion. Maybe I'll order it and give it away on the next give-away contest on my blog!! Then you can tell me what you think.
Sorry you're getting this post so late today. As you can see, we have our priorities around here. I try to post each and every day, but family life reigns supreme and calls me to answer to it first. We've been really busy around here for the last two days, so I'm playing catch-up. I love blogging, but on rare occasions (that I hope don't get too common:)), I may have to put a post off for a day or two. Don't despair. I'll be back ASAP!! Keep checking back because the tea-cha won't leave you for long. Thanks for reading when you do. I hope you enjoy it.
The winner of my tea give-away contest will be announced next Tuesday. Be sure to tune in. In case you forgot what we're giving away, it will be a wonderful imported bag of a J Green called Genmaicha-Matcha Iri, the green tea with a wonderful, nutty roasted flavor!!