Tea and Coffee
Tea is the dried leaves of the tea plant. It is grown in China, Japan, India, and Ceylon. The leaves are gathered from the bushes four times a year after the plants are three years old. The green leaves are first dried in the sun; then they are rolled and roasted in iron vessels. Afterward, they have dried again over charcoal fires.
Coffee is the ground-up berries of the coffee plant. Coffee is grown in India, Ceylon, the West Indies, and Central America. After the berries are gathered, they are dried in the sun and then roasted.
Tea and coffee were unknown in England before the 7th century. But long before that tea was the national drink in China, and coffee, which came at first from Abyssinia in Africa, has been a favourite drink in Arabia and Turkey since the 15th century. Both tea and coffee are very popular now in most countries. Tea is a favourite with the British people, and coffee with the French, Italians, and Turks. Tea is becoming a favourite drink with the Indians now.
Both drinks are wholesome and harmless if taken in moderation, and they are refreshing and revive us when we are tired. But if they are drunk too often and too much, they do harm the nerves. The English and the Indians take their tea with milk and sugar, the Russians mix it with lemon juice, but the Chinese take it neat. Coffee, too, is generally drunk with sugar and milk, but many like it better without them.
Both tea and coffee are often spoiled by not being made properly. Both must be made with really boiling water, and just at the moment, the water boils. If the water is not really boiling when it is poured on the tea leaves, the tea will taste flat. When the boiling water has been poured into the teapot, the tea must stand for a few minutes (not more than five), and then it is ready to be poured into the cups. If it does not stand long enough, it will be weak; if it stands too long, it will be black and bitter. In making coffee, boiling water must be poured on the coffee, and then it must stand until all the coffee powder has sunk to the bottom. When the liquid is quite clear, it must be poured off and drunk.