Published By: Nibandh Vinod

Last Updated: December 15, 2023, 07:00 IST

International Tea Day 2023: Several ingredients can enhance the flavour of tea. (Image: Shutterstock)

International Tea Day 2023: From origins to inspiration, discover the world of chai! Celebrate Tea Day with fascinating history, uplifting quotes and tips to elevate your brew.

Tea is a beverage cherished across cultures for centuries and takes centre stage on International Tea Day. Tea – crafted from the Camellia sinensis plant, ranks as the second most consumed beverage globally, following water. Though its origin is believed to be in northeast India, north Myanmar, and southwest China, the precise birthplace remains elusive.

With a history dating back 5,000 years in China, tea was initially prised for its medicinal qualities until the 17th century when it found its way to the United Kingdom. Tea encompasses various types, such as black, green, white, herbal, oolong, pu’erh and more.

While its celebration dates back to 2005, the United Nations introduced a new International Tea Day in 2019. Embracing both occasions is a delightful nod to the world’s beloved beverage, consumed the most, after water.

International Tea Day Date

The has been a lot of confusion over the exact date of International Tea Day. The United Nations General Assembly declared December 15 as International Tea Day, however, it is to be noted that May 21 was also designated as International Tea Day.

The occasion of December 15 honours the cultural and economic significance of tea internationally even as highlights its influence on livelihoods and sustainability. May 21, on the other hand, has its roots in the tea-producing nations of the World Tea Conference. It is at this event that the date was proposed to commemorate the signing of the First International Tea Agreement in 2005.

International Tea Day History

The historical narrative of tea traces back approximately 5,000 years to China, where legend has it that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung encountered tea by happenstance. Taking refuge under a tree with his soldiers, they were in the process of boiling water when serendipitously, windblown tea leaves descended into the concoction, marking the accidental discovery of tea.

Over time, tea has evolved into a cultural cornerstone, extending its influence globally. It serves not only as a popular beverage but also as a significant element in medicinal practices and religious ceremonies, particularly within various Asian cultures. In India, key tea-producing regions include West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, and Karnataka, contributing to the nation’s rich tapestry of tea cultivation.

International Tea Day Significance

The observance of International Tea Day carries profound importance. It serves as a platform for recognising the pivotal role of the tea industry in addressing crucial global challenges.

From combating hunger and reducing poverty to safeguarding livelihoods and preserving natural resources, International Tea Day underscores the multifaceted impact of tea on both local and global scales. This annual celebration fosters awareness and cooperation, emphasising the interconnectedness of the tea industry with broader socio-economic and environmental objectives.

International Tea Day 2023 Quotes

  1. ‘There is hope when there is tea.’ – Arthur Wing Pinero
  2. ‘Some individuals will claim that a cup of tea has a lot of poetry and lovely feeling.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. ‘Like tea, we don’t really understand our own strength until we are submerged in hot water.’ – Sister Busche
  4. ‘For the English, tea is just an indoor picnic.’ – Alice Walker
  5. ‘Tea will always be the preferred beverage of the cerebral, despite being mocked by people who are inherently course in their anxious sensitivities.’ – Thomas de Quincey
  6. ‘Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.’ – Sydney Smith

Ingredients That Can Improve The Taste Of Tea

Several ingredients can enhance the flavour of tea, allowing for a personalised and delightful experience. Some popular additions include:

  1. Citrus ZestAdding a twist of citrus juices from lemon, orange, or lime to your black tea or cold tea can bring a zesty and refreshing new element.
  2. HerbsFresh herbs such as mint, basil, or rosemary can impart a unique and aromatic flavour, especially in herbal or green teas.
  3. SpicesSpices like cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger can add warmth and complexity to your tea, creating a comforting and flavourful blend.
  4. Honey or Agave SyrupFor a touch of sweetness, natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup can complement the tea’s profile.
  5. Milk or CreamIn black teas, adding milk or cream can provide a creamy and rich texture, altering the tea’s overall taste.
  6. Vanilla ExtractA drop of vanilla extract can add a subtle sweetness and depth to your tea.
  7. Edible FlowersEdible flowers can impart a delicate and floral essence to certain tea varieties. Add flowers like lavender, chamomile, or rose for better aroma and taste.
  8. Liquorice RootKnown for its natural sweetness, liquorice root can be a healthy and delicious sweetening alternative with a hint of herbal flavour.
  9. Coconut Milk or Coconut WaterFor a tropical twist, coconut milk or water can add a subtle coconut flavour to your cold, creamy tea.

Experimenting with these ingredients allows you to tailor your tea to suit your taste preferences, creating a customised and enjoyable tea-drinking experience on this year’s International Tea Day.