Tea was introduced into the UK in the early 17th Century and became a rare luxury and a social nicety for the rich. Drunk primarily by men, it was first called Cha, from the Cantonese slang for tea. The name changed later to Tay, or Tee, when the British trading post moved from Canton to Amoy, where the word for tea is T'e. It has grown somewhat in popularity since then and according to the UK Tea Council, 165 million cups of tea are now drunk by Britons every day - that's 60.2 billion per year!
And... it grows here in the UK!
There are two main varieties of tea plant, both evergreen Camellias. The Camellia Sinensis variety from China is less showy than its ornamental cousins seen in many British gardens but does bear beautifully fragrant yellow-white flowers 1-1.5 inches in diameter in the Autumn. Its real asset however lies not in its flowers, but is locked away in its leaves! The Camellia Sinsensis plant thrives in the cool, high mountain regions of central China and Japan and according to an old Chinese saying, "superior tea comes from high mountains". Its origin in the mountains means that established tea plants are able to survive most British winters. Tea is indeed now grown commercially in Cornwall and a well known tea company has even recently planted a small plantation at its offices in Harrogate in Yorkshire.

One plant...many teas
The flavour and colour of your tea can be varied according to how you choose to prepare it. White, yellow, green, black, and oolong tea may look and taste quite different, but all come from the same plant! Green tea for example is produced when the leaves are allowed to wither a little and are then heated in the oven, destroying oxidation enzymes and retaining the fresh 'green tea' flavour. Black tea on the other hand is rolled in the hand first, starting an oxidation process which produces a darker colour and more familiar tea.

And now with even more flavours...
Additional flavours have been added to tea for centuries. Earl Grey is credited with introducing tea flavoured with oil from the bergamot orange and Jasmine tea which has long been popular throughout Asia, is made by adding jasmine flowers. In recent years there has also been an explosive growth in the herbal tea market. Throughout Northern Africa, sweet mint tea has long been served to guests, and peppermint tea is now the most popular 'herbal' tea in the UK. Dried mint tea is available in most supermarkets, whilst some of the best restaurants now make it from fresh Moroccan mint leaves.
Suttons Seeds
Preparing Black tea is easy too...
Exclusive offer
You could be one of the first in the UK to serve your home grown tea from your own tea plant! Hotter customers can now buy a tea plant from Suttons Seeds for just £14.99 with FREE post and packing, plus 3 Moroccan mint plants also provided absolutely free to flavour your tea!
Your tea plant will be supplied in a 1ltr pot and the mint plants as small plants ready to be planted straight into pots or direct into your garden. All will be supplied with full growing instructions and recipes of how to prepare tea to your own preference.

Hurry though, this offer closes 22nd June 2012 and plants will be dispatched during June/July.

To take advantage of this offer visit www.suttons.co.uk/hotters or
Telephone: 0844 922 0606 quoting H612
Suttons Seeds