January 12 is National Hot Tea Day

A frigid January day would be a perfect day for a cuppa..

History of National Hot Tea Day

Tea has been consumed for almost 5,000 years. In 2737 B.C., during the Tang Dynasty, legend has it that some tea leaves fell into a pot of water that was being boiled for Chinese emperor Shen Nung. He drank the brew and found it delicious and relaxing.

In 2016, the earliest known physical evidence of tea was discovered in the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han in Xi’an, indicating that tea, from the genus Camellia, was drunk by Han dynasty emperors, as early as the 2nd century B.C. The Han dynasty work, “the Contract for a Youth,” written in 59 B.C., contains the first known reference to boiling tea. The first record of tea cultivation is also dated to this period, during which tea was cultivated on Meng Mountain.

Tea was first introduced to Western priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. The first recorded shipment of tea by a European nation was in 1607, when the Dutch East India Company moved a cargo of tea from Macao to Java. Tea was sold in a coffee house in London in 1657, Samuel Pepys tasted tea in 1660, and Catherine of Braganza took the tea-drinking habit to the English court when she married Charles II in 1662.

Tea smuggling during the 18th century made tea accessible to the public. The British government removed the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade, in 1785. The popularity of tea played a role in historical events — the Tea Act of 1773 provoked the Boston Tea Party that escalated into the American Revolution. By the late 19th century, tea had become an everyday beverage for every social society.

The Tea Council of the U.S.A. was founded in 1950, and National Hot Tea Day was created by the council in 2016.

Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and purple tea are all made from the camellia sinensis tea plant. Each of these teas develops its unique characteristics through different harvesting and processing methods. Some teas are steamed, some are pan-fired. Some are allowed to oxidize and some aren’t. Some tea leaves are hand-formed into tightly rolled balls, while other tea leaves are roughly chopped, or left to air-dry in their natural shape. Some teas are harvested in the first weeks of the spring season, while others are harvested in the summer and fall.

What time is best for tea?
Any time is fine with me
With a group or all alone
With just a book to call my own

Can tea from a bag be considered tea?

54 thoughts on “January 12 is National Hot Tea Day”

  1. Tea and reading are perfect companions. Tonight I’m drinking a roasted green tea from Japan, called Hojicha. It’s a little different from most green teas, due to being picked later in the season, and the roasting of course. I also recently bought some black tea from Rwanda; it seems that country produces a lot of tea. The place I ordered these teas from is fairly close to where I live on Vancouver Island, and the folks there also grow tea. Canadian-grown tea–quite a novelty!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much for your informative response, Audrey. I didn’t know Canada grew tea. Is it an herb tea? Your choices sound lovely. I am drinking a cardomon flavored green ☕ that s friend gave me from an Afghan restaurant.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Pat, for this excellent post on a cold morning, I love tea and the first thing I say to anyone coming through the door: I will just put the kettle on.
    I also have a huge selection of beautiful cups, mugs, and tea implements.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoy your cup of tea, Luisa. I began the day with a cup of green tea, infused with cardamom. Then I stopped at Starbucks for a cup of hot chai latte. Lovely damp, chill day to enjoy a hot cup of tea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In India, especially during winter season, we have ginger tea which warms up the body, manages sugar levels and blood pressure and also aids in weight loss. Cheers ☕

    Liked by 1 person

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