Home NewsAustralia What’s the most popular drink in the world after water? Hint: It’s not alcohol or coffee

What’s the most popular drink in the world after water? Hint: It’s not alcohol or coffee

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What’s the most popular drink in the world after water? Hint: It’s not alcohol or coffee

Consumed by billions of individuals each day, tea is the preferred beverage on the earth after water.

That is the story behind the drink that began wars and formed the fashionable world.

中文版 | Indonesian

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Stepping right into a hip tea bar nestled within the coronary heart of Sydney’s Kings Cross, guests are handled to an unlimited array of uncommon tea strains and blends sourced from around the globe.

Inside, science-graduate-turned-tea-expert Cathy Zhang displays on the prospect opening of such a venue in a neighbourhood traditionally recognized for hedonism, noting the similarities to the invention of tea itself.

“The invention of tea was a mistake — opening this store was a mistake as nicely,” she says.

Whereas tea’s actual origins stay unclear, one legend says {that a} stray tea leaf blew right into a Chinese language emperor’s scorching cup of water hundreds of years in the past, unintentionally making a primitive “brew”. 

One other tells of a Chinese language farmer who unintentionally poisoned himself however was revived after the wind blew a small leaf into his mouth, which he chewed.

“Every part stunning in life occurs by mistake — by accident,” Cathy says.

Whoever it was who had the pleasure of tasting the primary cup of tea, it is unlikely they may have anticipated the way it would go on to reshape international politics for hundreds of years to return, establishing itself as the preferred drink on the earth after water.

Therefore why for tea lovers and purists, tea, or a morning cuppa, is a lot greater than a drink.

‘There is no such thing as a proper or incorrect method’

Regardless of completely different legends, data agree that tea, or Camellia sinensis because the plant is formally recognized, originated in China hundreds of years in the past.

But it surely wasn’t all the time a beverage — early data present tea leaves had been chewed on their very own, or added to soups and porridges, for his or her therapeutic results, form of like a medication.

“Historically, monks consumed tea to clear their minds to permit them to pay attention and higher meditate,” Cathy says.

Through the years, this “drugs” went by innumerous variation adjustments — from inexperienced teas to oxidised black teas — till establishing itself as a beverage about 1,500 years in the past.

For years the usual technique of preparation was to pack contemporary tea into “desserts” which might be floor down and blended with scorching water to create a beverage.

This beverage in a short time grew to become the drink of selection for emperors and artists, and a topic of standard tradition and discussions.

Demonstrating a standard technique of brewing tea, Cathy makes use of the “Gong Fu” method, which requires particular processes and gear to “re-brew” the tea a number of occasions.

Nevertheless, Cathy insists that the very best half about tea — and a key purpose for its reputation — is that “there isn’t any proper or incorrect method”.

“Once we discuss tea making, it’s very private,” she says.

“The tea you get pleasure from ingesting shall be completely different to the best way I need to drink it.”

For hundreds of years, China was the one nation that produced tea, and it used it as leverage to barter and commerce with neighbouring international locations because it unfold all through Asia, most notably, India and Japan, the place tea tradition closely influenced Buddhist doctrines and traditions.

This comparatively golden period of Chinese language tea manufacturing peaked across the 1600s, when black tea began to develop in reputation in Europe after the invention by Dutch merchants, setting the scene for hundreds of years of battle that will form the fashionable world.

Tea events and opium wars

It’s believed that Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese noblewoman who later married King Charles II in 1661, popularised tea with the British aristocracy.

On the identical time, the British Empire was within the midst of worldwide enlargement and changing into the brand new dominant world energy. It monopolised the importation of tea to England, whereas continuing to unfold it globally all through colonial outposts within the Americas, Africa and ultimately Australia.

However for the reason that plant was solely grown in China, it remained an opulent commodity, costing the British ten occasions the value of espresso — more cash than that they had.

Within the late 1700s, the Boston Tea Get together came about in protest towards tax exemptions for the importation of British tea sourced from China, with demonstrators dumping tea into Boston Harbor, a major occasion that contributed to the American Battle of Independence a few years later.

Shortly after, the Chinese language would have problems with their very own with the best way the British Empire was participating within the tea commerce.

“[The Chinese] did not need paper cash or British kilos — they solely needed silver,” Cathy says.

Operating low on silver to purchase tea, the British agreed to commerce opium for tea, triggering a Chinese language public well being disaster.

In response, a Chinese language official ordered the destruction of mass opium shipments within the 1800s, triggering the Opium Wars, which might see the British take control of Hong Kong which it held onto until 1997, and sowed divisions between the West and the East.

About the identical time, Britain’s curiosity in rising its personal tea led to the event of fields in British-controlled India — areas close to the Chinese language border like Darjeeling — resulting in a “triangle buying and selling system” between India, China and England.

As costs dropped, the manufacturing and recognition of tea soared across the British Empire, laying the foundations of the morning cup of tea loved as we speak in locations like Australia.

‘Greater than only a beverage’

Australia has a protracted historical past of having fun with the afternoon tea custom, the historical past of which might nonetheless be traced again to locations just like the Windsor Lodge in Melbourne’s CBD, which has served afternoon tea since 1883, making its service the longest-running in Melbourne.

Joseph Rozario has been working as a butler within the resort for 50 years and he has witnessed how the custom has been loved by generations.

Members of the royal household, Australian prime ministers, and celebrities equivalent to Muhammad Ali, Anthony Hopkins and the late Barry Humphries have all visited the premises.

“The crowds change yearly,” Joseph says. “Every single day, you see new faces in addition to returning purchasers.”

Lately, an aged man got here in along with his son and grandson, and reminded Joseph how he had served him as a baby, recollections he displays on fondly.

“One of the best ways to get pleasure from tea is to calm down,” he says, pointing to the inclusion of glowing wines, sandwiches and pastries now widespread at excessive tea choices.

“It’s important to calm down. When you do not calm down, you will not get pleasure from something that comes your method.”

In fact, whereas “tea” particularly refers back to the Camellia sinensis plant, the Chinese language weren’t the one folks to create drinks out of boiled crops.

For hundreds of years, Indigenous communities from South America to Australia have been making brews and infusions out of an unlimited array of herbs and crops — equivalent to yerba mate or tisanes — lots of which have grow to be a part of trendy “tea tradition” in multicultural Australia.

“[Yerba mate is] simply one thing that you simply share — it is not likely completely different to another tea or espresso that you simply devour,” says Argentinian-born Jonathan Rivas, head of Yerba Mate Australia, whereas sipping a contemporary brew earlier than passing his cup round.

“Even rising up, with household or buddies, after dinner, Mum would carry yerba out and everybody would sit round and socialise.”

Yerba mate has skilled an explosion in reputation for the reason that World Cup in Qatar, the place the champion Argentinian group would commonly be seen ingesting it between video games.

“It has an analogous impact to espresso, so it does carry you up, provides you a lift in vitality,” Jonathan says.

In Türkiye, tea is served in a distinctive however delicate tulip-shaped glass cup.

“It is a good, fresh-brewed tea,” says Onur Kurt, who now owns a Turkish tea store in Brunswick 

“We are saying it is the color of rabbit’s blood.”

Onur says the clinking sound of the teaspoon in her glass reminds her of tea tradition again dwelling, the place tea is a “lifeblood” that individuals drink like water.

“[My aunt would] have the teapot brewing on a regular basis. All her neighbours would continually pop in,” she says.

In India, which stays one of many world’s largest exporters of tea, it’s broadly served with a mix of spices and known as “chai” (a phrase which additionally means tea in lots of different languages). 

Earlier than opening the Melbourne chain Dropout Chai Walla, proprietor Sanjith Konda Home wasn’t positive he may compete with Melbourne’s thriving espresso tradition.

“However [the success of the store] has made me realise there’s house for chai — there are such a lot of individuals who love chai,” he says.

Having dropped out of college to start out his enterprise, the previous worldwide scholar says the success of his enterprise has made his household again in India proud.

“My dad known as me one night time saying that my grandfather can be very proud that I used to be operating a chai store,” he says, one thing that he considers his greatest achievement.

It is now estimated some 3 billion cups of tea are drunk on daily basis around the globe, making it the world’s hottest drink after water, successful out over alcohol and low. And its reputation solely elevated in the course of the pandemic, an impact Cathy personally witnessed at her Kings Cross tea bar.

“Tea is greater than only a beverage,” she provides. “Not simply the well being advantages — that goes with out saying — however the connection that tea can create.

“Such as you and me speaking proper now: With out tea, this dialog would by no means exist.

“And with so many individuals dwelling on the earth as we speak, folks we do not know, tea can create the right atmosphere and context to interact in deep dialog and bond.

“That’s what retains tea tradition going.”

Learn the story in Chinese language: 阅读中文版本 or Indonesian: Dalam Bahasa Indonesia


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