Tea is an immensely popular drink all over the world. True tea is always made from the Camellia sinensis plant, but in everyday language we refer to a much wider range of brews as tea. One example of such a tea is the Rooibos tea. This tea is not made from Camellia sinensis, but from a South African plant named Aspalathus linearis. Rooibos simply means “red bush” in Afrikaans, and Rooibos tea has a vivid red coloration. Today, Rooibos tea is not only popular in Africa, but in many other parts of the world as well, including Europe and the United States. Rooibos tea is smooth and non-bitter, and will taste great hot as well as chilled.
Tea traditions vary from region to region, and while the Japanese find British tea customs quite bizarre, the Europeans are flabbergasted by the Tibetan butter tea. Butter tea is made from water, black tea, salt and butter. Milk can also be added. The black tea used is typically grown in the Pemagul region in Tibet, and it is purchased in bricks. When you prepare the tea, you crumble off a part of the brick and boil the leaves for several hours. The brew is then stores, and each time you wish to make some tea use add some of it to boiling water. You can make your own Po Cha (Tibetan Butter Tea) from ordinary black tea, six cups of water, ¼ tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of milk.
The history of tea is a fascinating one, and new chapters are constantly being added. On this site you will find information about how tea was introduced to Europe, the birth of the British tea culture, the Russian tea tradition, early Canadian tea habits, Indian tea cultivation and chai drinking, and the importance of tea in the United States.