Chinese cuisine has been exported to the world very successfully. Tea is the one, singular item that has eclipsed all individual Chinese foodstuffs and even the cuisine itself in its influence on the wider world. A drink enjoyed in all its various forms by everyone from Japanese Emperors to Russian peasants.
Nearly three million tons of tea
are produced worldwide, according to the U.K.-based Tea Institute.
Tea drinkers consumed nearly three cups a day in 1999, or a million
more cups than the year before, according to the Institute.
Tea like coffee contains caffeine,
and no doubt the addictive qualities of that substance play a part
in the drink's popularity.
With the health benefits of tea
increasingly understood and touted, tea will continue to win new
adherents well into the future.