By Onkar Nath:
In today’s world, tea has become an integral part of every home’s kitchen. It can also be said that tea is one of the most served drinks in the world. It could be called by different names depending on different cultures, societies, demographics and so on. There has been long and complex history of tea and myths associated with it. As per the Mondal (2007, p. 519): Camellia sinensis (botanical name of the plant of tea) originated in Southeast Asia at the confluence of northeast India, Burma, Southwest China and Tibet. Different countries have different kinds of history about the origins of tea. But out of these histories, one thing is common and that is the high rate of adoption of tea-drinking by the several societies in the world. Drinking tea has become so popular that guests are always welcomed with a cup of tea; it is enjoyed at any hour, regardless of the season or occasion.
The reason for adoption of tea at such a pace is its associated health benefits. In fact, in a country like China where tea consumption has been recorded as the earliest in this world, tea was used as a medicine. Scientifically, it has been proved that tea, which contains caffeine, stimulates the brain, which gives a feeling of alertness and wellness. It reduces tiredness, headache, helps fight bad-breath and checks the decay of the teeth.
There are different varieties of tea in the world but three main varieties are classified i.e. Indian tea, Chinese tea and hybrid tea. Under these three broad categories, different types of tea like green tea, black tea, white tea, herbal tea and oolong tea are prepared. Each type of tea has different methods of preparation and has different kind of benefits. For example, when green tea is prepared in the factory, it is not allowed to oxidise, owing to which it contains the property of antioxidants which help in reducing the probability of heart disease. However, it loses its property within a short span of time and also in order to brew a cup of tea, the water’s temperature requirement is different when compared to the other teas. On the other hand, black tea is more raw than refined. It is stronger than any other kind of tea and it retains its flavour for many years.
Considering all the above points about the benefits of tea, I would also like to mention that everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. This also applies to tea. An excess of anything is bad and excessive consumption of tea will also lead to several losses. It is the presence of caffeine in tea which, when taken moderately can be good for your health but if taken in very high amounts, it leads to health hazards.
However, despite citing the advantages and disadvantages of tea consumption, I would like to conclude that tea can definitely not be replaced by any other drink in many coming years of the history of mankind.