And in exploring National Hot Tea Month, I discovered that you can cook with tea, you can bake with tea, and you can make alcoholic tea. There are all sorts of sites that talk about trying out new teas, keeping track of your teas, and having tea parties. Wow... silly me, I just drink it plain, or with a little bit of lemon and sweetener.
But then I got to wondering. Just who declared January National Hot Tea Month? And Why? and When? I know that real national holidays need a presidential proclamation... and I'm pretty sure that no president has ever taken that great an interest in tea. I know there's a Tea Council of the United States, and a Tea Association of the United States, but neither of them are taking credit for this holiday. I checked Wikipedia, but there's no page for National Hot Tea Month, there's no page for Hot Tea month, and there's not even a page for Hot Tea. There is a page for Tea... but it makes no mention of a Tea Month... national or otherwise, hot or cold. I asked Siri on my cell phone... but she didn't know what I was talking about. The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science held its Second Annual Tea Party in 2009, in honor of National Hot Tea Month, but it seems to have replaced that with a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party, which it holds in November.
Hmm... this deserves further exploration.
Ah, wait.. there's a World Tea Expo! But that's typically been held in June, although it's been moved to May for this year. Well, that's not very helpful.
June 10th is National Iced Tea Day... and I was able to find information about this. In 1904, at the World's Fair, Richard Blechnynden was serving hot tea.. but it was a hot day, and he had very few customers. So in a fit of inspiration (or frustration!) he dumped in a bunch of ice, and - Voila! - we have National Iced Tea Day.
Hmmm... I can't even find a reference to National Hot Tea Month prior to 2001.
I did come across a claim that people who drank 3 cups of black tea per day produced 5 times more germ-fighting cells than those who drank coffee. While that's very interesting, I'm now rather skeptical, and I'm not sure if I believe that or not. On the other hand - why take chances?
Yep.. I think I'll go have another cup of tea.