National Tea Day
There is nothing more classically British than afternoon tea, which makes National Tea Day, April 21, a wildly popular occasion in the country. This love of tea dates back centuries and this fondness seems to only get stronger with time! National Tea Day’s slogan is “Brew More. Do More.” The vision is to inspire special moments with tea. Working with a variety of partner companies throughout the year, they desire to bring tea drinkers, tea servers, and the entire tea industry together. So, grab your cuppa and settle in for a read on how to celebrate this truly brilliant holiday. If you want to celebrate in style, check out our guide to gifts for tea lovers.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL TEA DAY
National Tea Day is more than simply a holiday. It’s a movement providing opportunities for future generations of tea drinkers to understand and appreciate the world of tea. Founded in 2016, the date of April 21 was chosen because it is also Queen Elizabeth’s birthday! Could the day be any more British?
It’s relatively common knowledge that we have the Chinese to thank for tea, but it was a Portuguese woman named Catherine of Braganza who popularized the beverage in England. In 1662, Catherine married King Charles II. Her dowry included several crates of loose-leaf tea, which she continued drinking every day in the U.K. The royal court quickly adopted the tea-drinking process, including aristocrats.
While the goal of National Tea Day is to inspire the world to drink more tea and to drink it throughout the year, we can’t help but immediately think of the famous British afternoon tea. “Tea” can be both a drink and a meal. The Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, introduced afternoon tea during the late 1840s out of her hunger pains between the two daily meals at the time, which she shared with friends.
Many forms of tea exist around the world. Green tea is popular in countries such as China and Japan, whereas South Asian countries often prepare ‘chai’ with spices, boiled in both milk and water. There is even a pink tea, commonly known as ‘Kashmiri tea,’ served in many parts of the Himalayan regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan during the winter months at weddings. In the UK, the perfect British cuppa is usually served as a variety of black tea with boiling water and a little milk.
Henry James, author and nominee for a Nobel Prize in Literature, once said, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” National Tea Day celebrates the world’s second favorite drink — only water — so heavily stemmed in an everyday culture so each of us can learn and revel in its drinking experience!
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