The perfect time for a cup of tea is National Hot Tea Day, on January 12 every year. Tea has been in our cups since as far back as the 2nd century B.C. Originating in China, tea has grown to become the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water. This delicious blend of spices energizes, detoxifies, relaxes, and does so much more.
History of National Hot Tea Day
Tea has been consumed for almost 5,000 years. In 2737 B.C., during the Tang Dynasty, legend has it that some tea leaves fell into a pot of water that was being boiled for Chinese emperor Shen Nung. He drank the brew and found it delicious and relaxing.
In 2016, the earliest known physical evidence of tea was discovered in the mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han in Xi’an, indicating that tea, from the genus Camellia, was drunk by Han dynasty emperors, as early as the 2nd century B.C. The Han dynasty work, “the Contract for a Youth,” written in 59 B.C., contains the first known reference to boiling tea. The first record of tea cultivation is also dated to this period, during which tea was cultivated on Meng Mountain.
Tea was first introduced to Western priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. The first recorded shipment of tea by a European nation was in 1607, when the Dutch East India Company moved a cargo of tea from Macao to Java. Tea was sold in a coffee house in London in 1657, Samuel Pepys tasted tea in 1660, and Catherine of Braganza took the tea-drinking habit to the English court when she married Charles II in 1662.
Tea smuggling during the 18th century made tea accessible to the public. The British government removed the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade, in 1785. The popularity of tea played a role in historical events — the Tea Act of 1773 provoked the Boston Tea Party that escalated into the American Revolution. By the late 19th century, tea had become an everyday beverage for every social society.
The Tea Council of the U.S.A. was founded in 1950, and National Hot Tea Day was created by the council in 2016.
National Hot Tea Day timeline
Tea leaves fall into a pot of water being boiled for Chinese emperor Shen Nung.
The Han dynasty work, "The Contract for a Youth," contains the first known reference to boiling tea.
The first shipment of tea to Europe is recorded by the Dutch East India Company.
The Sons of Liberty destroy an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, in opposition to the violation of rights in the Townshend Act.
National Hot Tea Day FAQs
What is the ideal temperature for your tea?
The ideal temperature for your tea is below 150° F (65° C).
Is hot tea good for you?
Tea contains multiple health benefits, some of which include improved digestion, deoxidants, reduced stress, and pain relief.
Does tea have to be hot to work?
The colder something is, the harder it is for taste buds to pick up on the subtleties of the flavor. Science agrees that hot tea is better.
How to Celebrate National Hot Tea Day
Brew a cup of tea
There is no other way to celebrate National Hot Tea Day besides brewing yourself a nice warm cup of tea. There's tea for literally any and every time of day, so don’t hold back. Have as many cups of tea as you want throughout the day, in celebration.
Celebrate on social media
Sip some tea and post a beautiful photo of it on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NationalHotTeaDay, #HotTeaMonth, or #TeaTime in your posts.
Host a tea party
Today is the perfect day to gather family and friends around for a good, old-fashioned tea party. Pull out your best table cloths, biscuits, and finest tea sets to celebrate the day.
5 Interesting Facts About Tea
There are 3,000 different types
The flavor of teas depends on where they grow as well as the type of bush, and are sometimes made up of different blends.
It’s great for your health
Among other things, it contains polyphenols, which help our bodies fight off cardiovascular diseases, cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, and other maladies.
Don’t use boiling water to make it
You should never use boiling water for tea because you'll burn the leaf.
They weren’t always in bags
Teabags were invented in the early 1900s.
There used to be a tea auction
The London Tea Auction ran for 300 years, and according to the B.B.C., by the 1950s a third of all the world's tea was bought through the auction.
Why We Love National Hot Tea Day
There’s no such thing as too much
National Hot Tea Day is the perfect opportunity to drink as much tea as you want. With tea, there is no such thing as too much.
There’s a tea for everything
With the variations of tea, such as green tea, black tea, tea has become more than just medicinal. If you need to relax, there's tea for that; if you need a detox, there's also tea for that. There’s pretty much tea for anything you want.
The flavor palette is wide
Just like the blend, the method of cultivation also varies. This leads to different types of tea variations, and ultimately different flavors as well.
National Hot Tea Day dates