Friday Fun: Your cup of tea?

Tea is one of those magical substances that can perk you up, calm you down, soothe, and rejuvenate. Drinking a cup of tea can be a simple affair or an elaborate ritual. Here are a few fun facts about one of the world’s favorite beverages:

1. Tea is a natural source of fluoride that can help protect against tooth decay and gum disease, and has health benefits that help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer.

2. Anna, Duchess of Bedford, is thought to have established the British tradition of afternoon tea. She would become hungry during the afternoon, and asked her servants to bring her sweets and a cup of tea to tie her over between breakfast and supper. She began sharing this ritual with her friends, and afternoon tea soon became popular among the aristocratic class and eventually the working classes.

3. The Japanese tea ceremony, or the Chanoyu, is a time honored tradition that is dictated by the concept of hospitality. The bowl of tea is meant to be prepared “from one’s heart,” and everything from the host’s physical gestures to the placement of tea utensils is directed at the guest.

4. In Tibet, it’s common practice to mix yak butter and salt with your tea. The people of Tibet are known to drink up to 40 cups of this butter tea a day!

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