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Tea (Meal)

Tea (Meal)

The year 1840 is a landmark in culinary history. Antoine's restaurant had its beginnings in New Orleans, San Francisco consumed the first vintage of commercially produced California wine, and London society imitated Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford (17881861), with her cure for what she described as "a sinking feeling" she suffered each afternoon. It was then customary in England for the aristocracy to eat a huge breakfast, make do with a small lunch, and sit down to a substantial meal for dinner at eight o'clock or after. Milady's late afternoon discomfort was shared by many another and so was her cure: She ordered tea and a collation of sandwiches and cakes to complement the tea to be served daily at the stroke of five and invited friends to join her.

From the 1840s on, the tradition of afternoon tea with sandwiches and pastries trickled down from the aristocracy to enter English life at large. By the year of Anna's death, the conservative Mrs. Beeton's authoritative Household Management pronounced afternoon tea"a meal of elegant trifles"to be obligatory in any well-run Victorian household. Not long after Anna's death, the novelist George Gissing was to write, as if in tribute to her, "Nowhere is the English genius for domesticity more notably evidenced than in the festival of afternoon tea." As it began, so it remained essentially a female ritual, but gradually two distinct "teas" evolved.

Aristocratic homes served what was called "low tea" in the afternoon. This was a repast of "elegant trifles" like cucumber sandwiches and other finger foods rather than solid nutrition; the emphasis was placed upon presentation of the foods and socializing over the delicacies. This "terribly, terribly nice" affair became known as "low tea" in contrast to the petty bourgeois and working class custom of "high tea," which has also been called "meat tea" or "farmhouse tea." These are family affairshearty, lavish spreads to satisfy the appetites of workers home from toiling and children hungry after school. High tea serves the humbler classes in Britain as the evening meal and often consists of such left-overs as cold joints of mutton, with fresh baked scones, buns, or biscuits and tea in abundance to warm the belly and banish fatigue. "High tea" is not parallel to "high church"; the more elegant and ceremonious the tea, the further it departs from high tea. In Britain during Victoria's later years, teatime migrated from five o'clock to four, and its ceremonial aspects attained the very height of ostentation. Besides the evidence of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest and Saki's short story "Tea," we have historical accounts of these excesses. Margot Asquith, second wife of the British Liberal prime minister Lord Herbert Asquith (18521928), writes in her autobiography how the Rothschild family kept great state in, among other places, their home in Waddesdon, where one day Prime Minister Asquith was waited on at teatime by the butler. "Tea, coffee, or a peach from the wall, sir?" "Tea, please." "China, Indian or Ceylon, sir?" "China, please." "Lemon, milk, or cream, sir?" "Milk, please." "Jersey, Holstein, or Shorthorn, sir?" Volumes could be written.

See also British Isles ; Coffee ; Dinner ; India ; Lunch ; Meal ; Restaurants ; Stimulants .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Asquith, Margot. The Autobiography of Margot Asquith. Abridged edition, edited by Mark Bonham Carter. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1995.

Burnett, John. Plenty and Want: A Social History of Diet in England from 1815 to the Present Day. London: Scolar Press, 1979.

Hartley, Dorothy. Food in England. London: MacDonald and Jane's, 1954; Little, Brown, 1996.

Wilson, C. Anne, ed. Luncheon, Nuncheon, and Other Meals: Eating with the Victorians. Stroud, U.K.: Alan Sutton, 1994.

James Norwood Pratt

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tea

tea, tree or bush, its leaves, and the beverage made from these leaves. The plant (Camellia sinensis,Thea sinensis, or C. thea) is an evergreen related to the camellia and indigenous to Assam (India) and probably to parts of China and Japan. In its native state, it grows to a height of about 30 ft (9.1 m), but in cultivation it is pruned to 3–5 ft (91–152 cm). The lanceolate leaves are dark green; the blossom is cream-colored and fragrant. Today tea is consumed by more people and in greater quantity than any beverage except water. The flavor of tea is due to volatile oils, its stimulating properties to caffeine, and its astringency to the tannin content (reduced in black teas by the fermentation process). In all parts of the world, tealike beverages (sometimes called tisanes) are made from the leaves or flowers of a wide variety of other plants, often for their medicinal properties.

Cultivation and Preparation

China, where state farms are being supplanted by private ones, remains the largest tea grower of the world; elsewhere, tea is usually grown on plantations. Tea culture requires a protected, well-drained habitat in a warm climate with ample rainfall. The leaves are picked by hand, principally during flushes (periods of active growth), the most desirable being those near the growing tip. They are prepared by withering, rolling, and firing (i.e., heating).

The many kinds of tea are usually named for their color and grade (the best teas using only the two terminal leaves) or for their district of origin, e.g., Darjeeling and Lapsang. Teas are sometimes scented by exposure to fragrant flowers, e.g., jasmine. Brick tea is made from tea dust or inferior tea pressed into blocks. Black teas (e.g., pekoes, souchongs, and congous) differ from green teas (e.g., imperials, gunpowders, and hysons) in having been fermented before firing; oolongs, intermediate in color and flavor, are partially fermented. Green teas are produced chiefly in China and Japan; black teas in China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya; and oolongs in Taiwan.

History

Tea was cultivated in China in prehistoric times and was probably first used as a vegetable relish (as it was in American colonies and still is in some parts of Asia) and medicinally. By the 8th cent., cultivation had begun on a commercial scale in China, and shortly thereafter, in Japan. The tea ceremony of Japan was introduced from China in the 15th cent. by Buddhists as a semireligious social custom. Tea was first imported into Europe by the Dutch East India Company in the early 17th cent., and its subsequent popularity played an important role in the opening of Asia to Western commerce.

Until 1834 the British East India Company held a monopoly on imports to Great Britain, trading by direct and indirect routes exclusively with China. Only after this monopoly was broken did other tea-producing areas develop as major exporters—chiefly Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan. Leading importers of tea include Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Russia, and the Netherlands. The United States also is a large importer, although coffee has long been a more popular beverage.

Classification

Tea is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Theales, family Theaceae.

Bibliography

See J. Shalleck, Tea (1972); J. Schapiro et al., The Book of Coffee and Tea (rev. ed. 1982).

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Tea

TEA

A drink for social occasions and after meals.

In the Middle East, tea is a popular drink brewed with the leaves and water in a kettle (although tea bags are becoming more common). Hot tea is strained into small glasses, often set in decorative metal holders, and served with various additions depending on region and personal taste. These include sugar, honey, lemon, apple flavoring, and mint. (Mint tea is also a very popular digestive drink; it is made solely from mint leaves of the genus Mentha, which grow throughout the Mediterranean region and Eurasia.)

Tea is imported to the Middle East from the Asian tea plantations of China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, and islands of the East Indies. It is also cultivated along Iran's Caspian Sea coast and Turkey's Black Sea coast. Originally it came into the region by way of ancient caravan routes along the Silk Road (from China to Iran to the Black Sea and Constantinople) or ship routes from the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea.


Bibliography


Hartel, Herbert, et al. Along the Ancient Silk Routes. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982.

clifford a. wright
updated by eric hooglund

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tea

tea / / • n. 1. a hot drink made by infusing the dried, crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water. ∎  the dried leaves used to make such a drink. ∎  (also iced tea) such a drink served cold with ice cubes. ∎  a hot drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants: herbal tea | fruit teas. 2. (also tea plant) the evergreen shrub or small tree (Camellia sinensis, family Theaceae) that produces these leaves, native to South and eastern Asia and grown as a major cash crop. 3. chiefly Brit. a light afternoon meal consisting typically of tea to drink, sandwiches, and cakes. ∎ Brit. a cooked evening meal.See also high tea. 4. inf. another term for marijuana. PHRASES: not for all the tea in China inf. there is nothing at all that could induce one to do something: I wouldn't do that girl's job—not for all the tea in China. tea and sympathy inf. kind and attentive behavior toward someone who is upset or in trouble. ORIGIN: mid 17th cent.: probably via Malay from Chinese (Min dialect) te.

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Tea

TEA

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, except for water, and provides over 40 percent of the world's dietary Caffeine. In the United States, caffeine from tea accounts for about 17 percent of caffeine consumed; per capita caffeine consumption from tea is about 35 milligrams per day, which is a little over one-third of the daily caffeine provided by coffee beverages. Tea consumption in the United Kingdom is substantially higher, averaging 320 milligrams per capita per day and accounting for 72 percent of the United Kingdom's caffeine consumption.

Although tea contains a large number of chemical compounds, the relatively high content of polyphenols and caffeine is responsible for tea's pharmacological effects. The primary psychoactive component of tea is caffeine. Tea also contains two compounds that are structurally related to caffeine, theophylline and Theobromine, however, these compounds are found in relatively insignificant amounts. On average, a 6-ounce (177-milliliter) cup of leaf or bag tea contains about 48 milligrams of caffeine, a little less than half the caffeine in the same amount of ground roasted coffee, and only slightly more than the amount found in 12 ounces of a typical Cola soft drink. Six ounces of instant tea contain 36 milligrams caffeine, on average. Individual servings of tea contain amounts of caffeine that can affect mood and performance of adult humans.

Although the term tea has been used to refer to extracts from a large number of plants, only teas derived from leaves of Camellia sinensis plants are of special interest here, because they contain caffeine. The term tea has come to be used especially for extracts of Camellia sinensis and that restricted usage is maintained in this entry.

Consumption of Camellia sinensis was first documented in China (where tea is called cha or chai ) in 350 a.d., although there is some suggestion that the Chinese consumed tea as early as 2700 b.c. Tea was introduced to Japan around 600 a.d. but did not become widely used there until the 1400s. Through the China trade, tea became available in England in the 1600s, where it became the national drink. Tea was introduced into the American colonies around 1650 but in 1773 became a symbol of British rule. Americans protested the British tax on tea by raiding ships anchored in Boston Harbor and dumping boxes of tea into the water. This event, referred to as the Boston Tea Party, along with other similar protests that followed, became important in shifting the predominant caffeinated beverage in North America from tea to coffee.

India, China, and Sri Lanka are the major producers and exporters of teaproducing about 60 percent of the world's tea and providing about 55 percent of world tea exports. The United Kingdom, the United States, and Pakistan are the leading importers of tea.

Two types of tea, black and green tea, account for almost all of the tea consumed in the world. Black tea makes up over 75 percent of the world's tea; green tea accounts for about 22 percent. The method by which tea is manufactured determines whether black or green tea is produced. Black tea is dark brown in color and is produced by promoting oxidation of a key tea constituent. Green tea is yellow-green in color and is produced by preventing such oxidation, a less processed tea. Oolong tea, a less common type, is partially oxidized and is intermediate in appearance to that of black and green tea. Flavored teas were originally prepared by adding a range of fruits, flowers, and other plant substances to the tea prior to final packaging, although artificial flavors are often added today.

(See also: Chocolate ; Plants, Drugs from )

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barone, J. J., & Roberts, H. (1984). Human consumption of caffeine. In P. B. Dews (Ed.), Caffeine. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Spiller, G.A. (Ed.). (1984). The methylxanthine beverages and foods: Chemistry, consumption, and health effects. New York: Alan R. Liss.

Kenneth Silverman

Roland R. Griffiths

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SILVERMAN, KENNETH; GRIFFITHS, ROLAND R.. "Tea." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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SILVERMAN, KENNETH; GRIFFITHS, ROLAND R.. "Tea." Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior. 2001. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403100439.html

Tea

Tea

In the broadest sense, tea is a water extract of leaves, blossoms, roots, bark, or other parts of plants. The extraction can be done by soaking, boiling, and steeping (soaking in water below the boiling point). The extract can be an ordinary beverage or a medication.

The most common tea is from the leaves of the plant known as Camel-lia sinensis. Chinese legend attributes the accidental discovery (around 2700 B.C.E.) of drink made from this plant to King Shen Nong, who noticed tea leaves had blown into his kettle of boiling water. The tea that Shen Nong most probably drank is green tea, which quickly became the most popular beverage in China, Japan, Korea, and the countries of Southeast Asia. (Its popularity has continued, and in fact, tea brewed from Camellia sinensis is second only to water as the world's most popular beverage.) Unlike orange pekoe (a black tea, which is most identified as tea by consumers in the United States), fresh green tea beverage is tinted apple green, hence its name. Other teas from Camellia sinensis are broadly termed black, red, and yellow according to the appearance of either the dried leaf or its extract.

Tea Processing

All Camellia sinensis teas are from the growing ends and buds (called the flushes) of the tea tree or shrub. Flushes that undergo a process called fermentation become black, red, or yellow teas. This process is not the one in

TEN LARGEST TEA-PRODUCING AND EXPORTING COUNTRIES, 1998
Principal Producers Quantity Produced (in metric tons) Quantity Exported (in metric tons)
India 870,400 225,000
China 687,675 219,325
Kenya 294,165 263,685
Sri Lanka 280,056 267,726
Indonesia 152,063 67,219
Turkey 120,300 17,526
Japan 91,000 752
Myanmar 66,808 N/A
Vietnam 51,000 33,000
Bangladesh 50,575 25,049
source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

which microbes are added to make alcohol-containing beverages, cheese, sauerkraut, and other foods. Rather, an enzyme (catalyst) changes molecules called polyphenols that are green into more complex polyphenols that are red and yellow. Both the enzyme and the polyphenols are in (and not added to) the tea leaf, and leaf fermentation is activated first by withering (slow drying of the leaves) and then by rolling (pressing the leaves so that the sap comes to the surface). Black tea is made when the fresh tea leaves are allowed to totally ferment (100 percent). Partial fermentation of 10 to 15 percent and 20 to 30 percent yields yellow and red (sometimes known as oolong) teas, respectively. Steaming or roasting the leaves to inactivate the enzymes soon after harvest prevents fermentation, and these are the first steps in green tea manufacture.

Health Benefits

Tea has been called an elixir of life and is commonly used as an antidote to mental fatigue. This effect may in fact be caffeine-induced. Although there is less in tea than in coffee, enough caffeine is present in a cup of tea to dilate the brain's blood vessels. Tea seems to have a wide range of health benefits, as a survey of the scientific literature between 1998 and 2000 attests. The two principal active ingredients are the tea polyphenols (a group of six chemically and structurally related molecules) and theanine (an unusual amino acid found in green but not black tea beverage). (Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.) Like vitamins C and E, the tea polyphenols are antioxidants that may slow the onset of atherosclerosis, some forms of cancer, and the onset and severity of arthritis. Nonantioxidant properties of tea polyphenols also may contribute to their overall effectiveness in disease prevention. Evidence is mounting to suggest theanine can help anti-cancer chemicals (such as doxorubicin) kill tumor cells more specifically, but how it does this is still unknown.

Economic Importance of Tea

Worldwide tea production was over 3 million metric tons (worth about $8 billion to growers) in 1998. India and China produced about half of this output, most of it for internal consumption. Whereas China and Japan produce mainly green and partially fermented teas, the other growers supply mainly black teas. The world's largest importers of tea are the United Kingdom,

TEN LARGEST TEA-IMPORTING COUNTRIES, 1998
Principal Consumers Quantity Imported (in metric tons)
United Kingdom 175,829
Russian Federation 150,225
Pakistan 111,559
United States 96,646
Egypt 65,457
Japan 45,442
Iran 40,000
Germany 38,664
Poland 36,569
Sudan 23,843
source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

the Russian Federation, Pakistan, and the United States. However, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are the world's leading consumers on a per-capita basis.

The estimated wholesale value of the U.S. tea industry has risen from $1.84 billion in 1990 to $4.60 billion in 1999 and continues to rise, according to the U.S. Tea Association. The largest segment of that growth was due to the increased consumption of ready-to-drink teas, which rose from $0.2 billion to $1.65 billion dollars during this period.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas, like regular tea, have been consumed for eons and for the same calming, stimulating, or medicinal reasons. Tea made from chamomile flowers steeped for more than thirty minutes in boiling water is said to be a sedative that also soothes indigestion. Tea made from the rootstock of comfrey was believed to heal broken bones and be a good gargle for sore throat and cure bleeding gums. Tea made from sassafras root bark or leaves may have the pleasant taste of root beer but will cause the drinker to perspire and urinate. This tea has been used for everything from a blood-thinner to a cure for rheumatism and syphilis. Indeed, teas can be made from many plants and may contain thousands of active compounds . The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that herbal tea drinkers use caution. Chamomile can cause a severe allergic reaction in people with sensitivity to ragweed, asters, or chrysanthemums. Liver disease has been reported in drinkers of large amounts of comfrey tea (ten or more cups a day), and comfrey contains a chemical that causes cancer in rats. The major chemical components of sassafras tea, once used to flavor root beer, were banned thirty years ago because they caused cancer in rats. The use of caution means moderationdaily consumption of any particular herbal tea for not more than two to three days at a timeand avoidanceby children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers.

see also Coffee; Economic Importance of Plants; Herbals and Herbalists; Herbs and Spices; Medicinal Plants.

Robert Gutman

Bibliography

Gutman, Robert L., and Beung-Ho Ryu. "Rediscovering Tea: An Exploration of the Scientific Literature." HerbalGram 37 (1996): 33-48.

Snider, S. "Herbal Teas and Toxicity." FDA Consumer 25, no. 4 (1991): 30-33.

Tyler, Varro. The Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1993.

Willson, Kenneth C., and Michael N. Clifford, eds. Tea: Cultivation and Consumption. London: Chapman & Hall, 1992.

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tea

tea A beverage prepared by infusion of the young leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of varieties of Camellia sinensis and C. assamica, originating from China. Green tea is dried without further treatment. Black tea is fermented (actually an oxidation) before drying; Oolong tea is lightly fermented. Among the black teas, Flowering Pekoe is made from the top leaf buds, Orange Pekoe from first opened leaf, Pekoe from third leaves, and Souchong from next leaves. Tea bags were introduced in New York by Thomas Sullivan in 1908, initially as a means of sending samples of tea to customers in muslin bags rather than tin cans.

See also caffeine; herb tea; xanthines.

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tea

tea Family of trees and shrubs with leathery, undivided leaves and five-petalled blossoms. Among 500 species is Camellia sinensis, the commercial source of tea. Cultivated in moist, tropical regions, tea plants can reach 9m (30ft) in height, but are kept low by frequent picking of the young shoots for tea leaves. The leaves are dried immediately to produce green tea and are fermented before drying for black tea. Family Theaceae.

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tea

tea not for all the tea in China there is nothing at all that could induce one to do something; an emphatic expression recorded from the mid 20th century.
tea and sympathy kind and attentive behaviour towards someone who is upset or in trouble; the phrase was used as a film title in 1956.

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tea

tea XVII (early forms also tay, tey). prob. immed. — Du. thee — Chinese (Amoy) t'e, in Mandarin dial. ch'a, whence earlier cha(a), chia (XVI).

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Tea

TEA

TEA

This entry includes two subentries:
Tea as an Icon Food
Tea (Meal)

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tea

tea See CAMELLIA and THEACEAE.

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MICHAEL ALLABY. "tea." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. 1998. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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MICHAEL ALLABY. "tea." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. 1998. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O7-tea.html

tea

teaabsentee, addressee, adoptee, agree, allottee, amputee, appellee, appointee, appraisee, après-ski, assignee, attendee, bailee, bain-marie, Bangui, bargee, bawbee, be, Bea, bee, bootee, bouquet garni, bourgeoisie, Brie, BSc, buckshee, Capri, cc, chimpanzee, cohabitee, conferee, consignee, consultee, Cree, debauchee, decree, dedicatee, Dee, degree, deportee, dernier cri, detainee, devisee, devotee, divorcee, draftee, dree, Dundee, dungaree, eau-de-vie, emcee, employee, endorsee, en famille, ennui, enrollee, escapee, esprit, evacuee, examinee, expellee, fee, fiddle-de-dee, flea, flee, fleur-de-lis, foresee, franchisee, free, fusee (US fuzee), Gardaí, garnishee, gee, ghee, glee, goatee, grandee, Grand Prix, grantee, Guarani, guarantee, he, indictee, inductee, internee, interviewee, invitee, jamboree, Jaycee, jeu d'esprit, key, knee, Lea, lee, legatee, Leigh, lessee, Ley, licensee, loanee, lychee, manatee, Manichee, maquis, Marie, marquee, me, Midi, mortgagee, MSc, nominee, obligee, Otomi, parolee, Parsee, parti pris, patentee, Pawnee, payee, pea, pee, permittee, plc, plea, pledgee, pollee, presentee, promisee, quay, ratatouille, referee, refugee, releasee, repartee, retiree, returnee, rupee, scot-free, scree, sea, secondee, see, settee, Shanxi, Shawnee, shchi, she, shea, si, sirree, ski, spree, standee, suttee, tant pis, tea, tee, tee-hee, Tennessee, testee, the, thee, three, thuggee, Tiree, Torquay, trainee, Tralee, transferee, tree, Trincomalee, trustee, tutee, twee, Twi, undersea, vestee, vis-à-vis, wagon-lit, Waikiki, warrantee, we, wee, whee, whoopee, ye, yippee, Zuider Zee

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"tea." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tea." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O233-tea.html

"tea." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O233-tea.html

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