Tea Time

From Your Magazine Vol. 1 Issue 8: April 2012

“If you are cold, tea will warm you, if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you.” -- Gladstone (1865) Victorian Prime Minister of Britain

In a world that is generally too busy to sit down and sip a cup of tea, one may wonder what is so special about teatime. Not only is it a place where you can sit down and relax after a hard day, but also, it’s a way to rejuvenate, reflect upon your day, and socialize with those around you. Teatime in America today may be becoming a lost art, but it wasn’t always that way. Colonists used to drink a lot of tea, and when the British government harshly taxed tea, they revolted against them resulting in the Boston Tea Party incident. Ever since, Americans seem to have moved towards coffee as their significant drink. Even though America is mostly viewed as a

Teatime in America today may be becoming a lost art, but it wasn’t always that way. Colonists used to drink a lot of tea, and when the British government harshly taxed tea, they revolted against them resulting in the Boston Tea Party incident. Ever since, Americans seem to have moved towards coffee as their significant drink.

Even though America is mostly viewed as a coffee-drinking nation, tea drinking is on the increase and its sales are growing around the nation. According to The State of the U.S. Tea Industry by Joseph P. Simrany, the President of the Tea Association, the tea industry has survived a lot better than other industries during the recession, and the U.S. has actually seen a dramatic increase in tea imports. Versus last year, the estimated increased has been roughly of 10%, creating a new record of 274 million pounds of tea being imported into America.

Now, where is all this tea going if Americans drink coffee? Well, if you take a trip down to your nearby grocery store you might notice more products have tea as an ingredient. These products include soft beverages that are easy to drink on the go, medicines that include tea products, an increased availability of exotic teas, and now, even coffee shops are offering tea.

People are learning about the health benefits of tea and are moving back to drinking it for these benefits. Tea contains a lot of antioxidants that kill off free radicals within your body. Free radicals are free floating in your body and can cause your body to become weaker, making you more prone to sickness.

Brian, the store manager at Teavana a nearby teashop said, “Loose leaf tea is healthier than bagged tea and people realize that.”

Loose-leaf tea is better because of the size of the leaves, according to Loose Tea Vs. Tea Bags by Sean Paajanen. Tea leaves contain chemicals and essential oils, and when they are broken up, such as in a tea bag, many of the oils can evaporate leaving the tea drinker with a dull and less beneficial cup of tea.

Many who do go for the loose-leaf tend to stay with hot tea because it is easier to make. “It’s all about instant gratification,” said Brian, who had to keep his last name anonymous. People just don’t have time anymore to sit down and have a good cup of tea.

In fact, many of the historic hotels in Boston no longer have a designated teatime. “The restaurant got rid of it around August or September because of change in ownership,” said Carlos Wilson, an employee of the catering service at the Boston Park Hotel. “It was one of the things they decided under the new direction.”

The same thing happened at the Ritz-Carlton on the Boston Common. They changed management and the restaurant decided to eliminate teatime.

Izan Gonzalev a worker at the hotel’s restaurant said, “We still serve tea, just without the pastries and stuff.” The hotels in the area that do still have tea time only serve it on the weekends and require reservations to get in. The Four Seasons Hotel has teatime from 3:15 to 4:15 and the Lounge at Taj Boston also has teatime, but only on the weekends from 2:00 to 4:00. In both places teatime is very popular and can tend to be a bit pricey for the average college student. At the Lounge at Taj Boston, the price of teatime is 37 dollars.

As well, most people today no longer follow the designated times to drink tea. In Britain there are two times a day where you can potentially have tea. There is afternoon teatime at around three to five that is served with small scones and other sweet pastries. There is also high tea time that is served with dinner and has heavier foods served along with it.

If you’re living on a budget like most college students are and still want to enjoy teatime, YourMag is hosting a cotillion that will include a tea party and dance. This will include etiquette lessons and dinner sometime in early April. But if going to an expensive hotel is not for you, and you seem to always be in a rush, tea is always a to-go option at nearby coffee shops. If you bring your own tea bag to the EmCafe, they will give you free hot water to put in your mug. Before you grab that next cup of Joe why don’t you think about trying a nice hot cup of tea

But if going to an expensive hotel is not for you, and you seem to always be in a rush, tea is always a to-go option at nearby coffee shops. If you bring your own tea bag to the EmCafe, they will give you free hot water to put in your mug.

Before you grab that next cup of Joe why don’t you think about trying a nice hot cup of tea instead.

Photo credit to Gabriel Jorby from Flickr Creative Commons.