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Tea, Coffee, Tisane & Hot Cocoa History & Culture

Learn about the histories and cultures behind coffee, tea, tisanes, hot chocolate and more from ancient times to modern day. Here, topics ranging from the mythical origins of tea and mystical origins of hot cocoa, to today’s coffee culture and tea in British culture and American politics, are addressed. Grab your favorite beverage and read on!
  1. Coffee & Tea Crafts (8)

Americans & Tea: Beverage of Independence & Hospitality
Learn about the politics of Southern tea rooms and women's independence in this fascinating article by tea room historian Miss Millie Coleman.

Bedside Tea
From ancient China to contemporary Commonwealth Nations, bedside tea is a tea tradition steeped in luxury and repose.

Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party is an important part of American history and tea history. Learn more about this historical event.

Coffee in the 20th Century
The recent history of coffee includes innovations (decaf coffee, instant coffee, new coffee-making gadgets), international trade agreements and price fluctuations.

Coffee Legends
Find coffee origin legends, and learn about coffee roasts and more, on National Geographic's website.

Cream Tea
Although commonly thought to refer to tea with added cream, "cream tea" is actually a type of afternoon tea meal. Learn more.

Espresso Timeline
Get an overview of the history of espresso with this handy espresso timeline.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
A major part of Ethiopian culture, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony involves roasting coffee beans and preparing boiled coffee in a vessel akin to the ibriks used to make Turkish coffee.

Ethiopian Coffee Culture
It's no wonder that Ethiopia's coffee culture is the world's most fascinating. Ethiopia is considered to be the birthplace of coffee, and its rich coffee culture reflects its long history.

European Coffee History
Coffee has played a large role in European history, fueling newspapers, revolution and more.

Full Tea
Full tea is a type of afternoon tea meal. Most Americans call it "high tea," but it's actually "low tea."

High Tea vs. Afternoon Tea
Do you know the difference between high tea and afternoon tea? It's a bigger difference than you might think!

History of Coffee Making
How we prepare coffee has changed drastically over the years, thanks in large part to inventions in the world of coffee.

History of Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate originated as a cold, unsweetened, spiced, wine-spiked drink during Aztec times. Learn how hot chocolate evolved to become the drink we consume today.

History of Red Rose Tea
Red Rose is a well known name in tea, especially in Britain and Canada. Learn about the history of this famous tea company.

History of Tea Inventions
From tea shredders to teabags, learn about the history of major inventions in the world of tea.

How to Say Coffee in Over 60 Different Languages
Ever wondered how to say 'coffee' in French, Spanish and other languages? Learn to say 'coffee' in over 60 different languages ranging from Afrikaans to Zulu.

History of the Coffee House
Learn about the evolution of the coffee house through history, from ancient Turkey to modern Starbucks locations worldwide.

International Tea Drinks
Tapioca Pearl Boba Tea. Cha Manao. Kashmiri Chai. Tibetan Yak Butter Puer. There are all kinds of traditional tea drinks from around the world. Learn about the types of tea-based drinks consumed in various parts of the world.

Italian Coffee History
Coffee is now an integral part of Italy's food culture, but it didn't arrive there until the 16th century. Learn more about the history of coffee in Italy.

Light Tea
"Light tea" is a type of British afternoon tea meal featuring various sweets.

Masala Chai History
The history of the “chai” you can now find in nearly any coffeehouse dates back thousands of years. Ancient “masala chai” (“spiced tea”) is steeped in tales of royalty and herbal medicine, and has evolved over the years to include countless variations and a worldwide fan base. Here’s the history of masala chai ("chai tea"), including how it made...

Romantic Teas
Teas can be a romantic alternative to alcohol for Valentine's Day, weddings, anniversaries and other romantic celebrations. From rose teas and chocolate teas to chrysanthemum flowers and blooming teas, these are my top recommendations for a romantic tea for your next special occasion your loved one.

South American Yerba Mate Ceremony
The yerba mate ceremony (a.k.a. "the yerba mate circle") is a long-standing tradition of mate consumption and male companionship. Although mate is popular across the board in Argentina, Peru and Paraguay, the ceremony is associated with "gauchos" or "cowboys" there.

Strawberry Tea
Strawberry tea can mean tea flavored with strawberry or blended with bits of strawberry, but it usually refers to a type of afternoon tea meal.

Tea & Coffee Collectibles
Find collectible coffee grinders, teapots and more with these coffee and tea collectibles resources.

Tea Books
Find tea books on tea culture, history and more with this list of tea books.

Tea Party Menus
Learn to plan a tea party menu and find afternoon tea recipes with this guide to tea party menus. It includes tips for selecting the best teas for afternoon tea, ideas for planning your tea party menu around a theme, and more.

The Origin of Coffee
Coffee plays major cultural and economic roles in Ethiopia and Yemen. Both countries claim to be the origin of coffee, and both have histories and myths which back up their claim. Learn more about the controversial and fascinating origins of coffee.

What's a Sally Lunn?
Learn about the history of the Sally Lunn, including its relationship with tea, where and how it originated, how it's enjoyed and how to make Sally Lunns at home.

Words for Tea Around the World
Want to know how to say "tea" in different languages? Check out this listing of word for tea in over 60 languages from around the globe, complete with listings of words for tea based on the phonetic groupings of "cha," "chai," "tea," "tay" and "te."

Coffee Reading
Also known as tasseography, coffee reading is a method of divination dating back thousands of years. Learn about the origins and practice of coffee reading with this article.

Tasseography Symbols
Common symbols in tasseography (coffee reading / tea leaf reading) include birds, apples, rings and lines. Learn what each of these symbols (and many more) mean, plus how to interpret them based on their placement in the cup.

What is a Chai Wallah?
Chai wallahs are an essential part of Indian tea culture, and Indian culture in general. Learn more.

Irish Coffee
Often considered to be the quintessential coffee cocktail, Irish coffee has a fascinating history spanning oceans and decades, and featuring a major recipe change over the years.

Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is a major part of Turkish culture. However, the same method of coffee preparation is used in Greece, former Yugoslavia and elsewhere. Learn about how to make Turkish coffee, the origins and history of Turkish coffee and more.

Incense for Tea
Incense and tea have long been used together in Japan, but they aren't always a good match. Find out when and how to use incense with tea sessions and tea ceremonies.

Ordering Coffee in France

Learn to order coffee in France with this guide from About.com French Language.

Ludwig Roselius, the Inventor of Decaf Coffee

The first commercially successful decaffeination process was invented in Germany by coffee merchant Ludwig Roselius 1903 (patented in 1906). Learn about the man behind decaf coffee and the history of decaf coffee on About.com.

Irish Coffee History (and Recipes)

Irish Coffee is so beloved, it even has a poem written in its honor. Learn all about the history of this popular coffee cocktail, plus check out recipes for making it at home.

Coffee in Spain

Learn about coffee drinks and coffee ordering in Spain with this article from Spain Travel.

How to Order & Drink Arabic Coffee

Get a glimpse into Arabic coffee culture with this informative article on ordering and drinking Arabic coffee.

Scandinavian Sun-Welcoming Coffee

In Scandinavian countries, a particular kind of spiced coffee is drunk to welcome the sun after a winter of twilight. Learn about this delicious tradition and get the recipe on About.com Scandinavian Food.

Etiquette for Freelancing From a Coffee Shop
In recent years, more and more freelancers and computer junkies have begun to use coffee shops as makeshift offices, complete with plenty of beverages and free WiFi. This has created a new kind of office culture by sparking all kinds of connections and innovations. But it has also led to some faux pas and other issues. Learn what to do (and not to do!) when making a coffee shop your office. 

Tea Ceremony Etiquette
Attending a tea ceremony? Learn what to do (and what not to do!) before you arrive.

Cha Chi
Cha chi (or cha qi) is an important aspect of tea drinking in Chinese tea culture, yet it is often misunderstood or overlooked entirely in the West.

Tea Towels
Learn all about the history and uses of tea towels in England and Australia, plus what differentiates a tea towel from a tea cloth.

Tea Time
What does "tea time" mean? When is "tea time", anyway?

Tea Cozy
Learn about the history of tea cozies, quotes and literary references involving tea cozies, and much more.

Tea Ceremonies
There are so many more tea ceremonies than just chanoyu (a.k.a. "the Japanese tea ceremony")! Learn all about tea ceremonies in China, Morocco and elsewhere with this guide to tea ceremonies.

The Senchado Ceremony
Similar to the Japanese matcha ceremony, senchado is a tea ritual steeped in culture, meaning and history.

Global Tea Hut
Global Tea Hut is a magazine, a tea of the month club and an international tea community all at once.

Tea Caddies
Learn about the origins, history, materials and benefits of tea caddies.

Tea Chests
Tea chests are wooden containers used to store tea, but they are very different in, say, India vs. Europe. Learn more.

Learn about wagashi, or Japanese sweets, and their roles in Japanese tea ceremonies, casual tea sessions and Japanese seasons / holidays.

Tea Ceremony Definition
Find out what differentiates regular old tea drinking from a ceremony, plus learn about different types of tea ceremonies.

British Tea Sets
What is (and what isn't) in a British tea set? What are most tea sets made of? What are tea sets used for? Find out here.

Get the basics of this Japanese tea term, including examples of famous historical chajin, the traits of a chajin and more.

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