Black tea is a bold, flavorful and energizing way lots of people begin their day across the world. Since its' discovery in the 17th century in China and subsequent popularity, people in different cultures, cities, and villages in almost every country consume tea on a regular basis. Black tea is the backbone of many global drinks, such as Tibetan Po cha, bubble tea or milk tea. In certain regions of the world, black tea is the foundation for cultural events, such as tea ceremonies! The process of preparing black tea in Russian tea ceremonies are far different from a Chinese tea ceremony. The difference lies in the preparation and history of the ceremony itself, with Russian ceremonies strictly using strongly brewed loose and large leaf black tea, while Chinese ceremonies involve the usage of literature and art into the ceremony process. Preparing and serving black tea has always been the perfect complement to ceremonies or just a simple night at home.
Ninety percent of all tea sold in the U.S today is black tea. Most of the black tea in the modern U.S. is produced primarily in China and India. In England, tea consumption per person is roughly 2 kilos or 4.4 pounds each year. Globally, tea sales are in the billions of dollars every year, and according to Statistica, "the global tea market was valued at nearly 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is expected to rise to over 73 billion dollars by 2024." No matter if you're a passionate tea drinker or a passionate tea avoider, there's no denying how valuable the tea industry has been and will continue to be for the world economy.
Because of its bold flavor and a caffeine boost similar to coffee, many Americans are drinking black tea as a morning "wake up" beverage. Popular favorites like Earl Grey and English Breakfast Tea have become a staple in millions of U.S. households. Tea itself has been around for a very long time, first mentioned in writing in a Chinese dictionary in 350 A.D. Originally acclaimed for its medicinal properties, tea became a popular recreational beverage during the Tang dynasty (618-907), with the process of steeping whole tea leaves in cups or teapots made popular during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). In 1589, Europeans first learned about tea when a Venetian author credited the lengthy lives of Asians to their tea drinking. At the end of the 1500's, Portuguese priests who spread Roman Catholicism through China tasted the new black tea and wrote about its medicinal uses and taste benefits. Shortly thereafter in 1662, Princess Catherine introduced drinking black tea to the British palace, then in 1690 Britain began selling tea publicly in Massachusetts, U.S. In England, Duchess Anna Telford introduced the concept of afternoon tea to the nation in 1840, who quickly embraced what is now; a favorite – and famous – British national pastime. No matter the country and the point in history, black tea has been the center of cultural growth.