Britain, Britain, Britain, a nation of tea drinkers - cut us and we shall bleed Earl Grey, we mop our tears with the beloved digestive biscuit, and we prop up the Houses of Parliament with a coaster or two, at least until the repairs are done. But what do we actually know about the blessed amber liquor? How many of us could tell you what mysteries are hidden inside the mug, or china cup?
We’re big fans of a quiz here at teapigs, and if you’re anything like us during Lockdown you’ll be having Weekly Zoom Quiz Nights left, right and centre. Here’s a free fact for you – did you know that April 21st is actually National Tea Day?! Huzzah, and pop the kettle on! We’ve only gone and given you a themed round for the day! Check out our favourite quiz facts below.
- There are 165 million cups of tea drunk in Britain every day! That’s an average of about 2.5 per person – though some teapigs are known to hit double digits daily! By comparison, coffee is about half as much, largely because tea’s drunk at home and coffee is usually out & about. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Something good happened, stick on the kettle! Oh no, something sad happened, stick on the kettle… It’s half time, stick on the kettle! I had a touch too much to drink last night, stick on the kettle…
- The original tea drinkers were the Americans, not the British! Well, at least as far as the competition between us two goes. Though we think of the US as a coffee nation, tea actually reached their borders first as it was a Dutch colony. In 1606, the Dutch set up an outpost in Java and opened started importing commercially into their colonies. The shift only really happened in 1767, after the British Government (who were in charge by that time) started taxing their colonies much more aggressively, and a little incident known as the Boston Tea Party came to pass…
- The history of tea is said to date back to 2732 BC – that’s almost 5000 years ago! Supposedly Chinese Emperor Shen Nung discovered the good stuff after leaves from a wild tea tree blew into his pot of boiling water and smelt so good he couldn’t resist drinking it!
- What do white tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea all have in common? They come from the same bush – the Camellia Sinensis. That’s right, one mighty shrub gives us a world of tea, and each type is created by different processes.
- Peppermint, chamomile, lemon & ginger… these aren’t really teas! They don’t grow from the mighty camellia sinensis, and so they technically are infusions or tisanes. We collectively call them teas because it’s still a nice big warm mug of goodness.
- Gram for gram tea has more caffeine than coffee! It’s a bit of a sneaky one, as you actually use less tea per serving than coffee, so mug for mug tea is quite a bit less – but in it’s natural form it packs a whallop!
- The modern teabag was invented in 1908 by a man named Thomas Sullivan – completely by accident! Sullivan was a New York tea importer and sent out some samples to clients in small sewn up silk pouches. Thinking this was the super fashionable New Yorker convenient way of drinking, they popped the whole thing in a cup!
- Tea was made popular in Britain by Catherine of Braganza – a Portuguese Princess! When she married Charles II in 1662, she brought over her tea drinking habit with her an popularised it among the British Upper Class.
- When adding milk it should always go after the tea! Yes that’s right, that’s even how the Queen does it, as confirmed by her butler in 2018! When tea was first drunk in Britain, the china used was much weaker and could shatter on impact with boiling water so the milk was used as a buffer. Thankfully that’s no longer a problem, and the etiquette is milk second as it allows you to judge your brew better. Remember, you can always add milk, but you can’t take it out!
- The oldest tea tree in existence is approximately 3,200 years old! It can be found in the Yunnan province of China. The stuff of legends!
What are your favourite weird and wonderful tea facts? Share them with us on social @teapigs.