Contributed by: News Canada
The power of tea through the ages (NC) - Did you know that tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water? It is said to have been discovered in 2737 BC by a Chinese emperor, Shen Nung, when some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water. Tea consumption spread throughout the Chinese culture and became China's national beverage during the Tang Dynasty. In 800 AD, Lu Yu wrote the first book on tea. This book is said to have influenced the Buddhist priests who created the Japanese tea ceremony, elevating tea to an art form. As Buddhist priests moved around China and Japan the spread of cultivation and tea drinking followed them. The word tea comes from the Chinese words Cha and Tay.
The Portugese were the first Europeans to develop a trade route to bring tea to Europe from China. The Portugese then exported the tea to Holland and France. When tea first arrived in Holland it was a drink for the wealthy due to the high cost - nearly $100 a pound. As tea imports increased, the price of tea dropped and could be found at apothecaries. Tea reached England between 1652 and 1654 and quickly replaced ale as the national beverage of England. Tea was exported to America in 1650 and in 1716, the first tea in Canada was imported by the Hudson's Bay Company.
In 1880, Sir Thomas Lipton, a Scottish-born entrepreneur, decided he would make tea more accessible at lower prices and with high quality. At the time, tea was a beverage for the wealthy and its taste varied because of improper packaging and transportation. To ensure a high quality, consistent tea, Lipton became the first tea manufacturer to own his own estates. Lipton has since been an innovator in tea manufacturing. Lipton was first to use printed tags with brewing instructions and introduced the flow-through double chamber tea bag. Today, Lipton tea is enjoyed in more than 80 countries by about half of the world's population and is the largest tea brand in the world. In Canada, seven billion cups of tea are consumed each year.
Tea is enjoyed in many different ways. In England, people enjoy afternoon tea daily, a meal that consists of hot tea and food, such as sandwiches and pastries. Russians prefer strong tea sweetened with sugar, honey or jam. In the southern United States, tea is primarily served cold.
Tea has been served cold since 1904 when a British businessman first served iced tea at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Iced tea has become increasingly popular in North America. In fact, 80% of the tea consumed in the United States is iced tea.
Lipton, for its recent innovation, has introduced a premium quality iced tea in a convenient can, made with a high level of real tea and rich in antioxidants. This new product speaks to the consumer who is looking for a great tasting beverage that is a healthier beverage choice.
Granita (also called Italian water ice) is a frozen dessert that consists of shaved ice, sugar and juice or other flavours. Frequently, it is sold from street stands and is an inexpensive treat.
Pour tea into two shallow pans (13" x 9" x 2")/(33cm x 23cm x 5cm).
Place pans with the tea in freezer.
Stir with a large fork or strong whisk every half an hour until entirely crystallized, typically about 2 hours.
The texture should resemble that of snow.
Pour gently into chilled storage containers in the freezer, quickly so it doesn't melt, and scoop out some on a hot summer's day and share with your friends.
The Lipton Iced Tea Granita may be made two days in advance and kept covered and frozen.
Scrape the granita with a fork to lighten the texture.
Serving Size: Makes 2 Servings As A Dessert Or 6 As A Refresher
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