Tea not only has an incredibly rich history, but it also happens to be the number two drink in the world. It comes in second only to water.

Tea, in some form, has been around for more than four thousand years. As you can imagine, it has engendered a myriad of traditions across many cultures.

In China, when you visit someone’s home you will most assuredly be offered tea. In Japan, there are thousands of people that attend special tea schools to learn how to perform the very intricate Tea Ceremony called “Chanoyu.”

Tea in Tibet is regarded as a sacred offering, while in Britain, afternoon tea is considered an essential part of British life.

All of these tea rituals have a way of bringing people together which is why tea is so magical. How is this possible? Here are five reasons to ponder:

Welcome Guests

Tea is a way in which guests are welcomed. Tea is considered the supreme form of hospitality in a variety of cultures. It greets people and always brings a smile.

Relaxation

Tea provides a time of day to rest and pause. The simple, yet crucial steps to making a good cup of tea require us to take a few minutes for ourselves. It allows us to take a break from the craziness of life and enjoy something healthful and pleasurable.

A Social Event

Tea is a social event and sets the standard for group gatherings. It can be as fancy as a royal garden party or as simple as something shared between friends.

Tea parties can be themed, are used as fund raisers, can be used as a tool to teach etiquette and are celebrated at birthdays for little girls.

A Light Meal

Tea is a light afternoon meal. It was originally introduced to the British court by the Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s and quickly gained popularity in many social classes.

Afternoon Tea can now be enjoyed in many places all over the world. Do not confuse it with “High Tea” however, which refers to the hearty evening meal eaten by workers coming home and served at a high table.

A Comfort

Tea can offer comfort to someone in distress. Nothing, in my opinion, is more reassuring, soothing and cheering in difficult times than a hot cup of tea. The person offering will feel better for it – and the person receiving will feel better for it.

There are countless reasons why people are drawn to tea over other types of beverages, but the opportunity to participate in some of its many rituals plays a huge part.

This simple yet mysterious drink we call tea really does bring people together. It is unique in that it can be offered to friends and when needed, can even become a friend.

Do you have a special memory of a time in which tea played a part? Have you held a tea party with friends? Please share your best tea experiences.

Shawn GeitnerShawn Geitner is the founder and owner of Beleave Teas. She is a certified tea sommelier and a tea educator. Shawn is passionate about tea and aspires to share all that it has to offer the mind, body and soul.

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