Tea culture in Azerbaijan
Use of tea to human health
Tea and beauty
Throughout the history of its evolution, tea, as product, has undergone numerous alterations ranging from the Chinese instant tea brand up to caffeine-free, even organic tea (tea planted in environmentally clean regions is still processed by using primitive methods of production) variations. Even more interesting event in that history of tea production had to come in 1908, when disposable tea bags had been invented USA.
China is believed to be the home country of tea. This is where people first discovered the tonic effect of the drink made from that plant and ever since set to cultivate it. The first memorials about tea are encountered in Chinese manuscripts that date back from 5000 year ago. The great “tractate of tea” was composed by Lu Yuy of China in the VIII century. According to him, Shen Nun, the forefather of all Chinese, was the first man who properly identified the specific nature of tea leaves. He set about studying the life of flora species, even some poisonous ones, and used tea as antidote to neutralize the effects of poison. The bitterly flavored tea he used to drink those days was later called green tea. The ancient Chinese believed that the plant had counteraction effects against 72 various types of poisonous substances and used it exclusively for curing the sick. Later on, the tea leaves were also used in religious rites. In the heydays of Buddhism tea became even more popular among the most ordinary people. Yet, it was further spread by Buddhist monks, when they got together with disciples at tea parties where the drink was served with wine. The sages has thus created the whole Tao-an’s tea philosophy. Taoists believed that tea brew would help get deeper understanding of the human inner world and realize the position of humankind in the crosslink of space and time, heavens and earth. Later, tea has become the favorite drink of more and more Chinese.
In early III-IV centuries AD, people began to grow tea trees at plantations. Later, as a result of selection process, they learnt how to cultivated tea bushes, yielding tea leaves closer to reach. .
The Chinese laws of VIII century set strict rules for making tea. For that purpose, the special chinaware was made with glazed inner surface used for brewing tea in it. It was possible to easily discern the tea color when looking in the cup and identify the extent to which the taste and odor of the drink depend on the color of infusion. In the process of tea production the Chinese would give heed to the color change of tea leaves. In the XVIII century more than 100 tea brands were known to the world, and in China it became the most popular drink. Today, at tea parties in China they say: “By tasting real tea, you perceive the pleasance of life”.
Tea, brought to Azerbaijan for the first time in 1912, was further cultivated in Lenkoran region, where the first ever tea plant in the country was built in 1937. Since then the Azerbaijanis have proceeded to mass production of the plant. Over the centuries, tea has become traditional drink in Azerbaijan, and a part of daily needs. As one of the main treats at public events and marriage festivities tea has become a sign of national mentality, which due to its pleasant odor and nice color tones turn out to be even better known in more and more countries on the globe.
The Chinese legend says that tea, inherited through many generations, has healing effects on human health such as:
- It is a good headache killer,
- It keeps you awake and helps get rid of alcohol addiction,
- It is believed to have nutritious qualities and helps eliminate the feeling of hunger (particularly if flavored with special curing and aromatic additives)
- It is a good refresher in hot weather,
- It cheers you up and makes you feel in good spirits,
- has soothing effect, alleviates body tension and palliates nervousness,
- helps food digestion,
- excretes toxins from the body,
- prolongs your life,
- stimulates mental activity, strengthens your brainpower,
- It contains fluorite, a vital tooth strengthener. Green tea kills bacteria that cause caries on teeth. Black tea alleviates severe headaches in those who suffer from migraine.
Tea compress has wholesome effects too. Injuries and wounds treated with tea compress heal very soon. Thus, bandage soaked with green tea brew, infused for 15-20 minutes, and dressed around sore place and then coated with polyethylene cloth will relieve a pain in few minutes. Moreover, Indian physicians believe that tea is a good medium for preventing sight impairment. Both black and green tea can contain the development of cataract; however, the black one produces even more effects.
In the period of menopause, females are recommended to consume more tea. In that specific period, drinking tea will prevent the emergence of osteoporosis, a disease that may result in bone fractures in the female body. Tea also contains cancer. Green tea stimulates the activities of respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Tea composition and its peculiarities
According to V.V. Poklebkin, tea storage conditions should proportionally fit to airtightness and micro-freezing qualities of the packaging. Improper packaging can soon cause deterioration of prime product quality and loss of useful properties. Keep your tea in tightly sealed chinaware for better preservation of its taste properties. Wash and clean it thoroughly after use.
The conditions of your dresser shelves may also affect the quality of tea. Keep your tea container in dry, cool and properly ventilated place to ensure longer persistence of taste qualities. Do not place a kettle of brewed tea next to other food products. If storage conditions are maintained properly, tea will preserve its best properties for many years and bring you more enjoyment of drinking it.
To ensure proper consumption of tea, one should know more about its peculiarities. Big leaf variety of tea will run out very soon; thus, a kilogram of such brand may make 300 cups of tea. It is the least decent one, because it takes a teaspoonful of dry tealeaves for making a cup of that drink.
If no leaf size is mention on the pack, it means you have bought medium size leaf tea. It can produce 500 cups of tea from a kilogram. Smaller grain tea brews faster, gives off lighter color and allows you to be more saving on it. However, a small oversight in making it may turn the brew bitter to taste.
Apart from its main qualities of slaking thirst and having benign effects on health, from time immemorial tea was used as a medium for preserving human beauty. Green tea is a good anti-oxidizing agent. This is why green tea is the main ingredient of suntan lotions, anti- cellulite and anti-aging remedies as well as toning creams. Through many centuries, the Japanese have used varieties of tea for treating skin disease and hair care.
Tea compress applied to swellings around your eyes will soon eliminate the source of inflammation, and rehabilitate skin appearance
. Yet, another useful quality of tea is its contribution to weight loss. It accelerates metabolism once in the body, or, more particularly, stabilizes that process. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea everyday will help lose 100 kilocalories, meaning that you will get rid of 4 kilograms a year without any need for special diets and tormenting attempts to loose weight. What causes loss of weight? The clue is that green tea stabilizes the assimilation of fat and butyric acids and regulates the balance of glucose in human body. Polyphenol catechine decelerates the penetration of glucose into fat. Drinking tea after eating will help subside the level of sugar in blood and normalize the balance of glucose. People suffering from diabetes and disease of internal secretory glands are recommended to drink green tea every day.
Green tea is not less tonic compared to coffee, while the content of caffeine in it is considerably low.