Over the last few hundred years, black tea has become inextricably associated with the English. Tea is also a popular drink in the Indian subcontinent and China where it naturally grows, but England's role in promoting it is undeniable. The traditional English teatime may be less widespread than it was fifty years ago, but most people continue to view tea as a social drink rather than a substance with potential medical benefits. It comes as a surprise to look back a few hundred years and see how the early tea publicists stressed the curative value of tea drinking. Now the wheel has turned a full circle with this health-conscious generation again interested in tea's health benefits.
One of the key arguments of the early advocates of tea drinking was its value as a non-alcoholic thirst satisfied. People often drank beer or gin as a safer alternative to polluted water supplies in these times, but excessive consumption of alcohol brought its own health and social problems. Even though water is safe to drink in most western countries today, black tea continues to offer an attractive and completely safe drink with no need to warn people about drinking and driving!
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