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The Lost Art of Drinking Tea

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As the crisp autumn weather is slowly settling in, squashes, apples and pumpkin-flavored delicacies are cropping up everywhere. While it can hard to find something more satisfying than a slice of pumpkin bread, fall weather necessitates a hot beverage that may have been ignored during the warm summer months: tea.

According to teamuse.com, iced tea makes up 85 percent of the United States tea market. Iced tea originated early on in American history, when people needed something to cool themselves down during the sweltering southern summers. However, now that the temperature has significantly dropped, it’s the perfect time to exchange that icy-cool drink for a nice, warm ‘cuppa,’ as the Irish call it. Yes — the Irish love their tea almost as much as the English.

Of course, the Boston Tea Party is a great story from U.S. history. The men dressed as American Indians said, “Take your tea, and shove off,” clarifying their view of England, if anyone didn’t already know. It’s clear from the structure of U.S. government, and society in general, that any semblance to English culture is avoided if at all possible. But if the people of the Republic of Ireland, who fought for freedom much longer than the patriots, can accept that English tea culture is one good thing to adopt, then no U.S. citizen should hesitate to follow suit.

However, it was surely a good thing that rebels threw the tea overboard, otherwise the U.S. citizens might have been stuck drinking English Breakfast all the time. Unlike that of the English, American tea culture has many Asian influences, which adds not only variety, but also numerous health benefits to a well-rounded tea diet. Ginger tea is good for an upset stomach, green tea takes care of numerous health concerns, hibiscus tea can nip that high blood pressure in the bud and oolong tea can lower the levels of bad cholesterol.

Besides, in this individualistic culture, drinking tea could help us to take a break and to rebuild the community that is often forgotten. The United States, sadly, has lost the art of drinking tea. Here, tea is never served as an afternoon essential. The days of tea parties are long-gone, but tea dates and tea chats don’t have to be. There’s something so comforting about curling up with a cuppa and just talking and relaxing. Additionally, tea is very versatile drink. One can drink it alone or in a group, with a meal or by itself.

So next time you’re cramming for a test, curl up with a cup of tea. You’ll get just as much caffeine as from a cup of coffee, but when it comes to health benefits, tea’s got the win in the bag — literally.

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