Having a cup of tea is one of the most popular leisure consumption in the modern world. In the human life span, drinking tea is not only a healthy and instructive way but also the symbol of fashion. According to Sueoka (2006), based on epidemiological studies, drinking tea is one of the most effective cancer preventive and mitigating methods. This leisure activity is general accepted and favored by people in China and the United Kingdom. The purpose of this article is to discuss the similarities and differences regarding the tradition and history of drinking tea in these two countries.
The purpose of drinking tea is similar in these two different regions. They look tea-drinking as a leisure activity. Above all, the significant reason is that tea is considered as a health-promoting for human. According to Weinberger (2006), tea can reduce the probability of the heart disease as well as cancer, it also can control of growth and apoptosis. Drinking tea is much more like a healthy and popular method for the break time in China and the UK, both the old and the young consider that tea has a positive effect in their daily life. In terms of history, there are two different stories in China and Great Britain.
They have the distinguishing origin of tea. According to the Chinese history book , it points out that China is the earliest country which discovered the plant of tea leaf, and the behavior of drinking tea has been existed for 5,000 years. China has a long history of the tea and nowadays there are six basic types of teas, but the most popular choice is green tea. As for tea in the UK, according to Patricia (1987) , the tea-drinking habit is initiated and spread by Brag Anza to Great Britain around 1660, but it was not until the 19th century in Britain that tea became as widely consumed as it is today.
By now, the India has become the major introducer for Britain; many companies in India are serving for the main regions in Britain. And the most popular tea is Black tea which is one of the national cultures of UK. In another aspect, there have some specific different about the drinking styles in these two countries. In China, tea ceremony is a major way, especially popular in south of China, they may establish a lot of courses to teach people how to drink and complete the way to drink tea. People prefer to relax and wake themselves up with tea in the morning or in the evening.
For British, they may choose the way to drink in the afternoon. The custom of afternoon tea originated in Britain in the 1840s. (Pool, 1993:209). Afternoon tea filled a gap in the meals. The custom spread throughout the British Empire and beyond in succeeding decades. Traditionally, the British tea is served with milk and sugar. In addition, the sugar and caffeine provided physically demanding occupation most westerners today. To sum up, it is obviously that tea-drinking demonstrates the increasingly heavy role nowadays, this leisure activities are becoming widely accepted by people in many other countries.
It is because tea has variety positive features to health, such as prevent the disease and enhance consciousness recovery. By the comparison between China and Great Britain, there have some differences, especially the tea-time and drinking style. British prefer drinking afternoon tea with milk, while Chinese prefer to drink pure tea in the morning or when they feel tried. And Green tea and Black tea are the main choices by China and Britain respectively. Each country has its own behavior of drinking tea suited to its tradition.
Pool, Daniel (1993) What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew. New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster Lysaght, Patricia (1987) When I make Tea, I makes Tea: the case of Tea in Ireland . Ulster Folk life, Vol. 33 Jain N.K & Siddiqi M.A & Weisburger J.H (2006) Protective Effects of Tea on Human Health .India: International society of tea science Sueoka, N., Suganuma, M., Sueoka, E., Okabe, S., Matsuyama, S., Imai, K., Nakachi, K. and Fujiki, H. (2001), A New Function of Green Tea: Prevention of Lifestyle-related Diseases. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, [online] 928: 274–280. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.2001.928.issue-1/issuetoc [Accessed 22 Mar 2012]