Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

tea is a beverage made from the dried leaves of the evergreen plant Camellia sinensis. From its legendary beginnings in China to the present day, it has become the second most popular drink in the world, after water, and is enjoyed by millions across the globe. The Chinese drink fragrant teas from delicate bowls, the Japanese whisk it, Tibetans churn it with butter, Russians serve it with lemon, and North Africans add mint. Indians boil tea with condensed milk, the British and Irish drink it strong with milk, while Americans prefer it iced. Tea is very often sweetened with sugar or honey.