Tea culture in the United States: History, popularity, and types of black tea

Tea is a popular beverage in the United States with a long-standing tea culture that has led to the development of various tea traditions. The history of tea in America dates back to the 1600s when Dutch settlers first introduced tea to North America. The tea culture grew greatly after the colonies came under British control and English tea drinking customs were adopted in various places such as Boston and Philadelphia. Tea was an important product of trade between the colonies and the British East India Company, leading to heavy taxation that caused the colonists to protest against the injustice and the monopoly on tea imports, famously known as the “Boston Tea Party.” It was only in 1834 that the British East India Company lost its monopoly, allowing Americans to enter the world of tea trade, making the United States one of the largest importers of tea.

Popularity of tea in the United States and the types of tea

Around 85% of Americans prefer their tea cold, making iced tea or cold brew tea the most popular tea in the United States. Black tea is the most commonly consumed tea in the US, followed closely by herbal and fruity teas, green tea, and even oolong tea. The tea market in the US has always been open to experiments, making it a good place for the tea industry to launch new products.

Types of black tea popular in the US

While Americans do not have the affinity for adding milk to their hot black tea, tea lattes are increasingly becoming popular, especially with the younger generation. English breakfast tea, Earl Grey, Darjeeling black tea, Assam black tea, and Nilgiri “winter frost” black tea are some of the most popular types of black tea consumed in the US. English breakfast tea is a classic staple in many households around the world and goes well with sugar and milk. Earl Grey tea is a quintessentially British flavored tea with a black tea base and is flavored with oil from the rind of the Bergamot orange. Darjeeling black tea is sought out by tea connoisseurs because of its fragrant aroma and unique taste, making it a treat for the senses. Assam black tea has two main types, CTC and Orthodox, both grown in the state of Assam in North-East India, with the former having a full-bodied strong flavor that goes perfectly with milk, while the latter is mostly harvested manually and has a strong, full-bodied, tart flavor with slight notes of astringency. Nilgiri “winter frost” black tea is a delicate amber colored tea grown in the cold winter months, lending it a unique flavor.

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