Posts Tagged ‘national hot tea month’

Celebrate National Hot Tea Month With Pacific Merchants!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Price & Kensington Teapot Set

Enjoy Hot Tea with Price & Kensington and Pacific Merchants

Happy National Hot Tea Month!

January is the Tea Association of the United States’ National Hot Tea Month. Lucky for us we just happen to be experiencing quite a cold snap, which may just cause more Americans to stop and take notice of this national celebration. Obviously, we’re big fans of tea around here at Pacific Merchants (take a look at our Price & Kensington line of tea pots, tea mugs, and tea caddies if you don’t believe us), but we stumbled upon some pretty encouraging health facts that make us want to drink even more.

Tea and Health

Both the green and black varieties of tea are believed to play an important role in fostering good health in those who regularly consume it. Not only does tea promote good cardiovascular health, but has also been found in many studies to have a positive relation to the instance of cancer in many cases. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, tea has also been found to positively impact the function of the immune system as well as incidence of obesity.

Tea and Cardiovascular Health

In a Dutch study, researchers found that participants who drank between one and two cups of Black Tea per day were at a 46% lower risk for aortic artheriosclerosis which is often a major indicator of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, subjects who drank four or more cups of Black Tea per day were at an average of 69% less risk.

Tea and Cancer

A study conducted by the University of Arizona found that participants who drank iced black tea with citrus were 42% less likely to develop skin cancer. Studies have found that individuals who drink hot black tea are at a lower risk of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).

Tea and the Immune System

Recently, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, along with Harvard University, discovered that L-theanine, which is found in tea, is a key component in helping the body fight bacteria, fungi, infections, and viruses. The study supports the idea that drinking black tea helps the human body fight microbial infection.

Tea and Obesity

If your New Year’s Resolution involves losing weight and gaining overall health, you’re in luck. Research suggests that green tea extract helps increase the expenditure of energy and oxidation of fat in healthy men over a 24 hour period. Furthermore, three months of consumption of green tea extract by moderately obese individuals showed a 4.6% decrease in body weight as well as an average loss of 4.48 inches in the circumference of the waist.

Enjoy Hot Tea This Month!

Whether you drink tea for its flavor or more for its potential health benefits, we hope you’ll join us in enjoying a cup of hot tea this month. Black, Green, Oolong, or White, you can’t go wrong when hot tea is in your cup!

The Intricacies of British Tea Time

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Price & Kensington's Cobalt Teapot

In honor of January, America’s “National Hot Tea Month,” we at Pacific Merchants would like to take an opportunity to educate our readers with a little history lesson centered around the background of England’s love affair with “tea time.”

Before the British began taking ‘tea’ in the afternoon, they really had only two meals daily- breakfast and a very heavy dinner. While we in America often refer to an afternoon teatime as “high tea,” that is actually an incorrect usage of the term. High tea, also known as “meat tea,” is actually dinner. An afternoon tea is widely known as “low tea,” due to the fact that it is often served in a sitting room, around low tables (tables that most people would call coffee tables).

Tea can be served in three different sizes- the lightest meal being “cream tea,” which includes tea and scones, “light tea,” which offers just a little more with tea, scones, and sweets, and “full tea,” which is essentially an entire meal and includes tea, savories (little sandwiches or appetizers), scones, and sweets.

A few historical events contributed largely to the development of tea culture within England. First, in 1600, Queen Elizabeth the First granted permission to the John Company to develop trade routes with India, the Far East, and Asia. Although tea trade didn’t become very large until 1670, it was the development of these trade routes that eventually helped build up England’s consumption of tea.

Secondly, in 1662 King Charles the II married Infanta Catherine de Braganza. While most modern people may not know this, Catherine came with the largest dowry on record, giving King Charles (and England) posession of Tangiers, Morocco, and Bombay, as well as use of all Portuguese ports worldwide. Use of the Portuguese ports opened up England’s trading abilities unlike ever before.

It also didn’t hurt that both Charles and Catherine were tea lovers; bringing this “foreign” tradition to England had a direct effect on the upper classes, as everyone strived to be as much like royalty as possible.

When Queen Anne chose tea as her breakfast accompaniment (rather than ale), the public took notice, again causing interest in tea to skyrocket. The creation of an afternoon tea time, however, would be credited to one of Queen Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Anna Maria Stanhope. Stanhope, the Duchess of Bedford, began taking tea in the afternoon (around four o’clock) as she had experienced a “sinking feeling” in her stomach. Initially, she had her servants sneak a pot of tea along with small amounts of food to her, but over time, she began to invite friends to partake in this very “European” approach to tea.

Over time, this afternoon tea time would become a well-loved custom, one that still stands to this date with many Brits. Pacific Merchants’ Price & Kensington line of Tea Pots, tea (and coffee) mugs and cups, and other tea accessories are the perfect addition to any tea time– morning or afternoon. Stop by our e-store and check it out for yourself!

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