Continuing our journey to explore tea cultures and traditions in different countries of the world, today we are going to discuss about American tea culture.
Tea has infiltrated most Americans’ everyday routine. Some 80 percent of U.S. households have tea in their kitchens, and more than half of the American populace drinks tea on a daily basis, according to the U.S. Tea Association.
Americans are, for instance, much fonder of iced tea than they are of hot tea—more than 85 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. is chilled. They’re also partial to ready-to-drink tea bags, which make up the vast majority of tea consumed in the U.S.
History of tea in America
The American tea culture is a part of the history of the United States, as this beverage appeals to all classes and has adapted to the customs of the United States of America. In the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now known as New York, tea was served with the best silver strainers, the finest porcelain cups and pots, and wooden tea caddies. Tea became a very popular drink in the colonies, and tea ceremonies were common among all classes. In Salem, MA, tea leaves were boiled to create a bitter brew, then served as a vegetable side dish with butter. By the time of the American Revolution, tea was drunk everywhere from the backwoods to the cities.
Tea culture in America
Tea has played an important role in the United States, as families tend to gather around the kitchen and tea is often served here. Although many may equate tea to grandmothers, tea drinking is popular with all ages. Tea parties can be celebrated for many occasions, from the very small and intimate to the large family gatherings and celebrations.
In the U.S. south a regional favorite called sweet tea – which is brewed, sweetened, and chilled in advance of consumption – may be served at all meals and throughout the day as an alternative to other beverages. In the United States, about 85% of the tea consumed is served cold, or iced. Iced tea is more frequently consumed during periods of hot weather or in lower latitudes, and hot tea is likewise more common in colder weather. Any confusion when one is visiting different parts of the country can easily be solved by explicitly asking for either “hot tea” or “iced tea.” Afternoon tea, as a meal, is rarely served in the U.S. except in ritualized special occasions such as the tea party or an afternoon out at a high-end hotel or restaurant, which may also offer cream tea on their menu.
Two important facts have helped to stimulate the resurgence of tea consumption in America. First was the creation of iced tea, and second was the invention of the tea bag.
Popular types of tea
America’s favorite kind is black tea, which accounts for more than half of all tea consumed in the country. Other than that, green tea, which accounts for just over 11 percent of the tea Americans drink, has been growing much faster. However, teas from all origins and elevations, made in all methods of manufacture, are popular in the USA, a tea market which has traditionally been more flexible and willing to try new types of drinks than tea markets throughout the old world.