The Culture of American Tea
The culture of American Tea is comprised of the preparation methods as well as the consumption means of Tea within the United State's culture. Many American cafes, restaurants, and workplaces usually default to using the traditional drip brew coffee by machine method and hot tea brewed by teabag in cup method. Tea has played a large role within America, as many families will gather around the kitchen table to sip tea together. Some may view tea as their grandmothers drink preference, however the consumption of tea is popular throughout many age groups. Additionally, Tea can be utilized at parties as a celebratory drink for several different occasions. Tea parties can range from small, intimate gatherings to large family celebrations. Tea is also perfect to serve at any time of day! It can be severed early in the morning, around midday or honestly anytime one is craving tea.
One regional classic tea brewed in the Southern United States is known as Sweet Tea. Sweet tea is brewed, chilled, and sweetened before it is served and consumed. It can be served with any and all meals as an alternate to many other beverages. Almost eighty five percent of the United States prefer to drink their tea cold or iced. Iced tea is preferably consumed in hot weather months and in lower latitude regions. Hot tea is preferred during periods of cold weather. The activity of afternoon tea is not as popular in the United States as it is in other countries. Afternoon tea is typically only served in the United States at tea parties, high-end restaurants or hotels (see page "Classes of Tea").
There is a lot of history found within the culture of American Tea. Tea is a beverage that appeals to every class, and custom within the United States of America. Before New York was a state, it was first a New Amsterdam Dutch colony, and tea there was only to be served with the finest silver strainers, the best china cups and pots, and served on beautifully carved wooden tea caddies. Tea was a highly popular drink within the colonies and tea ceremonies were highly popular throughout all social classes. In Salem, Massachusetts, tea leaves were often boiled creating a very bitter brew that was usually served alongside a dish of vegetables and butter. By the time the American Revolution rolled around, people were found everywhere consuming tea in cities as well as the backwoods.
A combination of tea and taxes even caused a rift between Great Britain and the American Colonies. The feud led to the 1773 Boston Tea party event. The event encompassed many angry colonists whom destroyed three British Ship's tea cargo by throwing all traces of tea into the Boston Harbor. The event consequently made the act of drinking tea unpatriotic. Many areas went so far as to boycott tea, which increased the consumption of other beverages, like coffee and herb teas made with sage, peppermint, or dandelions. Presently, coffee remains the drink of choice in the United States. Although, the United States does continually consume over seven gallons of tea per capita every year.
Black tea brewed hot is tea's comparison to coffee, it can be enjoyed with meals as well as on its own. It is popularly enjoyed by much of the United States population. Similarly, ice tea is very popular throughout the United States. While Sweet tea is highly popularized within the Southern States of the U.S. Instant Tea, Fine Teas, Sun Tea, and the alcoholic Long Island Ice Tea are a few other styles of tea that can be found within the United States as well. America's specialty tea market has not only doubled but quadrupled from 1993 to 2008. Tea now cultivates over six billion annually. Specialty tea became more popular as the demand for craft coffee and artisan wine arose. Specialty tea houses followed suite and now many house are found throughout America. Plus, The ATMA or American Tea Masters Association was founded, providing many great Mastery level education and training courses as well as professional certification to individuals who desire to establish themselves as tea sommeliers and tea masters.
Presently, a revival of interest in the black tea and exotic tea varieties has come about within the United States. Not only has brewing tea from Africa, Asia, and South America become popular but utilizing different brewing styles are becoming highly common at specialty tea sellers. Teas from every elevation, origin and manufacturing style are now being demanded and distributed throughout the U.S. The United States tea market is growing and willing to try every cup of the tea the world can offer. However, the U.S. preference is single origin tea with an actual factory's registered export trademark from the produced teas origin. The U.S. consumer is highly fascinated by exoticsounding factory and garden tradmarks as well as enthralled by their colorful histories.
Decaffeinated tea can be found just about anywhere in the United States as a substitute for those who do not prefer the physiological effects caffeine can have on the brain. Although, decaffeinated tea sales have been on a decreasing curve over the last twenty years, for two reasons. it is quite expensive and the process of decaffeinating tea unfortunately depletes a great amount of the teas flavor. People simply prefer to purchase better quality tea rather than a lessened flavoring decaf tea. However, if you are caffeine intolerant, rest assured that the invention of decaffeinated tea is a very refreshing alternative to caffeinated tea.