WE DRINK tea on various occasions in a manner that it has almost become a daily routine without even thinking about its. origin, kind and who brought the tradition of drinking tea to us.
The people of England introduced the habit of drinking tea to us. In fact, they introduced the habit to millions of people in this world, specifically when the English discovered it in the colonies around the world.
The tea plant grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, and the tea leaves grow on terraces of land slopes in those areas. The taste of tea is affected by the way it is grown, processed, brewed and served.
In order to have green tea, tea farmers harvest leaves from the camellia sinensis plant. They cover such plants with nets or mats to prevent too much oxidation which will make the green leaves brown and alter their freshly-picked flavor. This process produces higher chlorophyll and lesser polyphenol (chemical compound) which partly gives tea a bitter taste, distinguishing it from other drinks.
In a report published by Sharq Al-Awsat Newspaper, the Tea and Infusions Organization said the British (the promoters of tea in the entire world) consume 60 billion cups of tea per year. That’s more than 900 cups a year for every man, woman and child in Great Britain … and because of this figure, they are considered the most tea drinkers in the world. Interestingly, the tea additives such as milk and sweeteners, which we have never thought of how they came about, are determined by their rules.
Anthropologist Kate Fox writes in her book, ‘Watching the English’, “Taking sugar in your tea is regarded by many as an infallible lower-class indicator: even one spoonful is a bit suspect (unless you were born before about 1955); more than one and you are lower-middle at best; more than two and you are definitely working class.”
We dedicate this information to our readers who are addicted to tea and add sugar without thinking about its origin or why people drink tea the way they do.
Tea is seen as a classical routine drink. If it is not harmful, it is neither beneficial although adding sugar causes harm unless it is an indicator of your social status as it is believed by our British uncles.
We keep on discovering day after day how far the British infiltrated all aspects of our modern lives, including our extreme routine of drinking tea. We have discovered that we have no credit even when it comes to tea, our favorite ‘Halal’ drink.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil