The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

The air has just turned crisp enough for my breathe to fog the air around me, and I crave the warmth of the gentle tones of a cup of tea. I live off the subtle taste of my winter tea. Any type of tea is ok with me, but I decided to take a second look at one of my favorite commodities.

Earlier this year, I had the joy of visiting a tea shop in San Francisco, which I featured in Vital Tea Leaf: A Story of Tea. It started my journey into learning more about this popular drink. I read a wonderful book called The Tea Book, which showed me that the tea leaf we enjoy is steeped in history and culture. I released part of this in the exposé called Tea: More Than Just A Leaf. However, I decided to take another dive into exploring the culture of tea and how it has shaped the world by reading the book called The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss. 

Tea: More Than Just A Leaf

I recently visited Vital Tea Leaf  in the neighborhood of Chinatown in San Fransisco, California. There I started to discover that there was more to tea than just the simple package of leaves. I mean let’s be honest. How many of you have ever taken a break to contemplate the creation of tea?

So with my curiosity awakened, I went to the one place a broke college student can go to learn without a major price tag. The local library. I found a book that does a wonderful job capturing the complexity of the tea making processes, the benefits of tea, and how tea affects the world in various ways.  The books was The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard. I was fascinated by what I learned so I am sharing it with you. Here are the top 10 cool factoids about tea that I learned.

Vital Tea Leaf: A Story of Tea

Many places that produce tea have a specialized manor of extracting tea that requires water being the right temperature, how much water, how many times can you use the leaves, and so much more. Ceremonies and services have been developed over this drink and the perfect art of drinking it.Since I was in San Francisco with some of the greatest diverse and historic neighborhoods made up of immigrants, I decided to travel to Chinatown to talk to an expert and see what made their tea so special. So here is my dive into Vital Tea Leaf to learn more about the Chinese art of making tea during one of their tea services.