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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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tea produced from the bush Camellia sinensis, is primarily important as one of the all-time great beverages of the world, a role which it first fulfilled in China and adjacent areas but which it has subsequently played (to packed tea houses one might say) in the rest of Asia, Europe (especially Britain), N. America, and Australia. Because of this role it has given its name to institutions such as afternoon tea, high tea, and the japanese tea ceremony.

Tea made as in tibet, with butter, may be said to constitute a food; and of course nourishment is obtained from tea drunk with milk, as it often is in Britain. For an example of the eating of tea leaves as a sort of relish, see lepet under burma.