When is tea really tea?
These days people call all kinds of concoctions steeped in water "tea." But we know better. True tea is only made from the dried leaves of the tea plant, which originally grew wild in India. Even if you stick only with tea made from tea plants, you still have a lot of choice — there are over 3000 varieties today. We're particularly proud of the top quality black tea leaves we use for McAlister's World Famous Sweet Tea™.
The legend of tea: Fact or Fiction?
According to myth, some 5000 years ago the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nong commanded that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. On a summer journey to a distant part of his realm, he and his court stopped to rest and the servants boiled water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from a bush fell into the boiling water, turning it brown. The Emperor drank some of this intriguing mixture, and proclaimed it very refreshing. And tea was born. Unlike most myths, this one sounds so logical, some mythologists think this could be close to what really occurred. What do you think?
Iced tea is All-American
Delicious, refreshing ice tea was born right here at home during the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904. Tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden planned to give away free samples of hot tea, but summer heat made people turn up their noses at his brews. He cooled things down by adding a load of ice to his brew and became the hit of the fair.
What's up with afternoon tea In England?
Before tea invaded Britain, the English ate only breakfast and dinner. A typical breakfast was ale, bread and beef. Dinner was a massive meal at the end of the day. With a lot of very empty hours in between. No wonder Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, felt a distinct "sinking feeling" in the late afternoon and decided to invite friends over for an additional meal at five o'clock. She served small cakes, delicate sandwiches, and tea. Anna turned out to be quite a trend setter and soon all of fashionable London followed her example.
Can tea leaves tell the future?
In the 1800s, predicting the future by reading tea leaves was a popular activity. But that was before practical teabags did away with those loose tea leaves floating around in the bottom of your cup. The idea was to swirl around the last bit of tea in a cup, let the leaves settle, then pour off the liquid to see what sort of picture the remaining leaves formed. Then you interpreted what that picture meant. We predict you would be much happier coming to McAlister's for our World Famous Sweet Tea™.