Page 12 - preparation of tea
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The Boston Sons of Liberty were determined to make more of a statement. On December 16, 1773, they let two ships sail into harbor. Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and others, met in the Old South Meeting House to plot their strategy. After sending a message to the governor to turn back the tea, and having the message informed, the mob descended on the waterfront. Disguised as Native American Indians, they emptied 342 large chests of precious tea into the harbor.
The Boston Tea Party, as it became known, caused the British Parliament to pass a series of laws that Americans referred to as the “Intolerable Acts”, limiting the political and geographic freedom of the colonists. These unjust acts were the direct cause for the convening of the First Continental Congress, which ultimately led to the Revolutionary War.
So, in a sense, Americans can thank tea for providing a cause to fight for independence.
Of course, Americans have continued to embrace tea ever since, adding their own distinctive traditions, like iced tea and the tea bag.
Iced tea was created at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. The temperature was soaring and the staff in the Far East Tea House couldn’t get any fairgoers to even look their way, let alone sample their tea. So they poured the hot tea over ice cubes and the drink quickly became the exposition’s most popular beverage.
At about the same time, an enterprising New York tea merchant, Thomas Sullivan, began sending out samples of tea in small silk bags to win customers who thought tea in tins was inconvenient. Before long, Sullivan was swamped with orders for the easy, pre-measured tea sacks, and thus, the tea bag was born.
Today, iced tea accounts for 80-85% of America’s tea consumption. Of the more than 270 million pounds of tea packaged for consumption in the Unites States, more than 65% comes in tea bags.
Tea is now grown and processed throughout the world, with the major tea growing regions being
in mountainous terrain where milder climates and rich soil can be found, as in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, and Sri Lanka. And with consumers today turning to all natural, relaxing and refreshing drinks, tea is one of the most compatible contemporary beverages for today’s active and healthy lifestyle. Research is being conducted into the possible health benefits of this increasingly popular thirst-quencher, and each day, new scientific evidence emerges, lending credibility to tea’s already positive health image.
With a history dating nearly 5,000 years, and with more than 3,000 variations, the most widely consumed beverage in the world has firmly established itself as a beverage of historic and cultural importance, with unbeatable flavors and blends, and all-around appeal as the perfect beverage for today’s health conscious lifestyles.
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