It really is their cup of tea

By on November 8, 2001

Some like it hot. Tea that is. Served black or with milk it always seems to warm you up, from the inside out. Tea drinking has become the trend, coming in many varieties. It might even be putting coffee on the back burner.
In the 1700’s tea was invading America with the British sipping tea in the afternoons, and then taxing the colonists to drink it. Tea was soon replaced by coffee, but now in the year 2001, the trend has reversed, causing tea to be the drink of choice in America.
Herbal, green, or fruit flavored? Hot or iced? With or without milk? No matter the variation, new tea products are being introduced daily.
Tea drinking goes far back in history. In the year 2737 B.C. a Chinese Emperor accidentally discovered tea when he was boiling water. The wind blew different herbs and tealeaves into his kettle, and curiosity caused the emperor to taste his concoction. He loved both the taste and the soothing smells of the tea, so he passed his discovery throughout the Far East, from where it later was brought to the west.
The new generation of coffee drinkers have a more natural, soothing mentality about life, their health, and their bodies. Therefore, this has caused them to turn heel and order a spot of tea rather than a “large coffee extra-extra.”
“I drink tea over coffee because it’s not as sweet,” said Vincent Sousa. “It is better for you and it’s soothing down your throat. Like when I am sick, it always makes me feel better.”
Jill Jolley, a nursing major at Quinnipiac, had a different view.
“I don’t drink either, but if I had to choose I would pick tea because I really despise the taste of coffee and can drink tea,” she said.
At Brewed Awakenings, a coffee shop in Hamden, teas are lined up on the counter for the customers to pick and choose.
“Most of our teas are served plain with just sugar,” said one of the counter attendants.
Flavors range from ginger peach, vanilla almond, raspberry and mango to green or ginseng.
“Ginger peach and raspberry seem to be the most popular flavors here, but generally it seems that any fruit variety is a crowd-pleaser,” said the woman behind the counter.
A number of studies have shown that green, oolong and black tea (not herbals) can prevent digestive cancers, and may ward off heart disease, because they contain powerful polyphenols. Polyphenols are chemicals with antioxidant properties that neutralize tissue-damaging free radicals and deactivate potential cancer-causers.
Other teas are said to relieve stress and minor sore throats, and some may even sharpen one’s awareness.
With the increased demand of tea in this and other coffee shops and cafes, tea comes in many different forms. One example is the iced tea. Simply chilled and mixed with ice, this summer drink has become a year round favorite.
“We have iced teas here, but if someone needs a bottle on the go, we have Snapple brand Iced Tea chilled in the cooler,” she explained.
The new tea craze is Chai tea drinks. It is mostly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and can be served hot, iced or frozen. Chai come in flavors such as mocha and raspberry. This herbal treat is working its way into many cafes and restaurants. So to all of you coffee lovers out there, make way for the tea generation!


About Erica Morello- Staff Writer