More than 100 million cups of tea are drunk every day in the UK. Needless to say, Brits – and the world – love tea.
And if you’re on a tea break reading this article, that’s a tradition that’s been with us for around 200 years.
The history of tea is incredibly long and complicated. It was first created more than 5,000 years ago in China, with the first book on tea written by Lu Yu in 800 AD. A 17th century queen – Catherine of Braganza – was partially responsible for tea coming to England, and it was an incredibly important commodity for the British East India Company.
In the 18th century, the popularity of this amazing product led to smuggling and even murders. Around the same time, tea also replaced ale and gin as the drink of the masses, to become the most popular beverage in the UK.
The Boston Tea Party sparked off the American Revolution in 1773, and 19th century tea rivalries between English and American tea traders led to exciting clipper races.
In more recent history, the humble tea boosted morale during both World Wars. Tea has factored in so many important historical events, across so many countries around the world.
Tea is still a key factor in many cultures, including Persia (Iran). Tea found its way to Iran along the Silk Road from India and quickly became the national drink. Quite a lot of the country has the perfect growing conditions for tea too.
Iranians have one of the highest per capita rates of tea consumption in the world, with most streets being home to a Châikhâne – Tea House.
Even today, Châikhânes are important social places for people to meet over a cup of tea.
The founders of Mèka tea (pronounced Meeka) have roots in Persian culture, and are incredibly passionate about tea. You can pick from a range of carefully sourced and expertly created tea blends which are sent in the post, in letterbox-friendly packaging.
All the bags are biodegradable (a lot of tea bags aren’t, which is crazy considering how many cups are drunk a day), so you don’t have to worry that your tea is hurting the planet either.
As Mèka have such a big range of teas: green, black and white, from China, Persia or India, we thought we’d pick out five of our favourites.
Prince of Persia
You’ll feel like royalty drinking this robust black tea with a rich, malty and thick flavour. Enjoy this blend with or without milk. Fit for a prince (or princess)!
Indian Assam black tea (88%), cardamom, safflower, saffron
The combination of cocoa and chilli in this black tea results in a sweet, rich brew with a warming finish – one for the chocolate lovers.
Sri Lankan black tea (80%), cocoa shells (10%), cocoa nibs (7%), chilli, natural flavouring
There’s nothing old-fashioned about this tea with its sweet, refreshing aroma and subtle smokiness. To be enjoyed without milk by all the family.
Chinese Pinhead Gunpowder green tea (37%), spearmint, ginger, aniseed, fennel, cardamom
A malty, sweet herbal blend with floral notes that can be enjoyed with or without milk. You’ll get a buzz out of this tea.
Rooibos, honeybush, chamomile, bee pollen (5%), calendula petals, natural flavouring *Naturally caffeine-free
Life is rosy when rosehip and rose petals combine in this light, delicate white tea with floral undertones. Its pale yellow appearance is as fresh as its aroma and it’ll leave you wondering why you didn’t try it before.
Chinese Pai Mu Tan white tea (50%), rosehip (30%), rose petals (20%)
Or if you can't decide, you could always get your hands on one of Mèka tea's selection boxes and try them all...