If you're like most Brits than there's nothing like a good cuppa to get the day started, or indeed to unwind with in front of the box. But what most people don't realise is that the tea they're drinking has a remarkable history.
Tea has been used to symbolise everything from politic dissent, to a tool to suppress women's rights and, even at one point, was thought to cause over heating of the internal organs.
Thankfully, those ill-informed days are behind us and today tea is enjoyed by billions around the world. But while the doom-sayers failed to put Britons off their cuppas, we are in fact not the biggest consumers of tea.
The history of tea
The history of tea
Woman pouring traditionally prepared Chinese tea into cups
Afternoon tea in a garden
Chinese afternoon tea still life textured moody black background. hand holding tea cup.
Glass of Longjing tea on wooden railing against rolling landscape,Hangzhou,Zhejiang,China
The tea ceremony
Woman enjoying a quiet time with a fresh cup of tea
Aerail view Tea farm with sea of mist, green tree, blue mountain and sunlight beam in the morning at Doi Ang Khang, Chiangmai, Thailand.
Sun rays bursting through thick clouds.
Close up of human hands of woman pouring tea
Longjing tea fields with sky
Teapot, cup and saucer and food for a high tea or morning or afternoon tea - elegant
Black tea, green tea, fruit tea, tea assortment over wooden background
Gathering tea in Asia engraving illustration
Chinese tea Ceremony, it is about Chinese culture. Chinese oolong tea on a bamboo tray. There are tea cup and teapot. The drink is hot. And the color are yellow,brown,green and blue. And there is highlight reflection on the water surface.
Loose ripe puerh in round shape isolated above view
Hands holding green tea in basket
'Kettles on stove in old tea house, Chengdu, China'
Organic Green Matcha Tea
Ice black tea in a glass jar with fresh mint on a wooden table.
Young hipster woman drinking from a mug in her kitchen
Traditional hot steaming Turkish tea in tulip glasses with copper pot in vintage tray
Red hot hibiscus tea in glass mug and teapot on wooden table
Woman pouring water into tea cup with chopped fresh ginger, close-up
English Tea with Milk on wooden table
Ginger tea,Asian herbal hot drink made from ginger root. It has been widely use as a herbal medicine in Asia,also usually used to prevent cold and help with digestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea.
Trendy dirnk called golden milk, turmeric latte or golden latte made of tumeric and vegan organic almond milk
A cup of dandelion tea with fresh flowers and leaves
Hot herbal mint tea drink in glass mugs over wooden tray with fresh garden mint, selective focus
Asia worker women were picking tea leaves for traditions at a tea plantation in the garden nature. Lifestyle Concept
Dried herbal flower tea leaves over white background
Cornish Cream Tea (Jam on the bottom Cream on top)
High tea bridal shower place setting pink and blue vintage teacups plates gold cutlery flatware on lace tablecloth - wedding party
Pouring Black Tea into Cup
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Turkey tops the list of the biggest tea-drinkers (by personal consumption per kg) and our Celtic neighbours, Ireland, come in as the second biggest consumers. American's are also partial to a brew - but they prefer it on the rocks with a sugary iced concoction. But no nation can beat China for the shear numbers that enjoy putting the kettle on.
Tea forms a big part of the Chinese cultural identity, with everything from wedding ceremonies to sharing endless refills with friends and family during mealtimes. And this love along with the rest of the world makes tea the most popular beverage on the planet.