Fancy a cuppa?

It is the most popular manufactured drink in the world and is being consumed in quantities that equal the consumption of all other drinks, including coffee, soft drinks and alcohol, combined. It is an integral part of popular culture in many countries. It is the humble cup of tea.

21 May is International Tea Day. This event aims to raise awareness of the long history and the deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world. The goal of the day is to promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

What is tea and what is not

Tea is a beverage made from the plant Camellia sinensis. Physically speaking, it has properties of both a solution and a suspension. It is a solution of all the water-soluble compounds that have been extracted from the tea leaves, such as the polyphenols and amino acids, but is a suspension when all the insoluble components are considered, such as the cellulose in the tea leaves

The term herbal tea refers to infusions of fruit, leaves or other plant parts, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile or rooibos. These may be called tisanes or herbal infusions to prevent confusion with “tea” made from the tea plant.

The origins of the familiar teabag lie in a tale of accidental innovation. In 1907, an American tea merchant began distributing tea samples in small silk bags. Consumers noticed they could leave the tea in the bag to brew, thereby making it unnecessary to strain out the tea leaves, and then reuse the bag with fresh tea leaves. This led to new era of tea-brewing convenience and the widespread introduction of paper-based teabags. However, some recent teabag designs have been criticised as being environmentally unfriendly, as they contain microplastics and are not as biodegradable as loose tea leaves and paper teabags.

Why does tea matter to Creative RSK?

The answer is simply that the Creative RSK team runs largely on tea (and a little coffee). It is the fuel in the creative engine for most of our artists, designers, writers and editors and some of us will get through six or seven mugs of tea during the working day.

So, just one question for you: do you take milk and sugar?