Most people need an infusion of caffeine before they head off to their jobs, but the bitter taste and harsh effects on the stomach that come with drinking coffee don't appeal to anyone. Some people prefer the smoother, more savory caffeine experience that comes from drinking tea. If you think you might like to take up tea drinking, here are some facts about tea and an introduction to some types of tea.
While coffee is a beverage made by forcing hot water through ground coffee beans, brewing tea is a more leisurely effort. Tea comes from soaking dried tea leaves in hot water, gently infusing the water the diluted properties of the leaves. To some, tea is a more civilized process. Tea is one of the oldest and most popular drink the world, having originated in China in the tenth century BC and been imported to England and her colonies in the 1800s and is considered a source of antioxidants.
Tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, of which many varieties exist. The plants are grown in the tropics and subtropics and make their way through importation. It takes three years for a new tea plant to be ready for harvesting and up to 12 years before it will bear seed. However only the top leaves are harvested, leaving the plant able to produce more every one or two weeks through the length of the growing season and ready to produce again the next year.
After the leaves are plucked they are dried. Contrary to popular belief, the differentiation point between many types of tea is not in what sort of tea plant they came from, but in how the leaves are dried. Different levels of oxidization, wilting, and fermentation create different varieties of teas, including green tea, oolong tea, and black tea
Other variations of tea are created by adding substances to the tea once it had been died and shredded. The Earl Grey tea you had for example, contains bergamot. Most tea is then packaged in bags that can be dipped into cups of hot water for steeping, but some forms of tea require the leaves to be place in the water and then strained out. Most teas are served hot, except for ice tea, which is chilled and sweetened.