Tea is a part of many social rituals. In the southern U.S., an iced, cold tea which was sweetened before cooling (sweet tea) is the standard. While in northern areas of the U.S., by default, tea is served hot and unsweetened for the drinker to sweeten. In Britain, "tea" is often used to indicate a small meal in the afternoon. It includes hot tea with biscuits (cookies), small sandwiches or other snacks.
Tea is commonly served with a sweetener (sugar or honey) and sometimes a condiment like slices of lemon or sprigs of mint, which are not eaten, but add flavor.
Small girls play "tea party", imitating the social aspects of drinking tea together.
Many teas have caffeine or other stimulants; while other teas have soothing ingredients (like chamomile).
Teas can be made from tea leaves or from herbs. Teas from tea leaves may have additional flavorings, like jasmine in Earl Grey. Herbs may be mixes with traditional tea leaves or brewed without tea leaves. Mint tea is an example of a tea that may be made with only dried mint leaves or a mix of mint and tea leaves.
The main types of tea are black, green, white, red and herbal.
- bit of information excerpted from Kendra H. Wilhelm's Vassar College thesis: A Different Cup of Tea: The Culture of Tea in Britain and Sri Lanka. It includes an article about the development of Afternoon Tea in Britain.
- Afternoon Tea by Maryland Public Television
- Tea wikia