tea tea

For centuries, tea drinking has been synonymous with female tittle-tattle — even though men drank just as much tea. Old dictionaries of English slang provide colorful proof of this association. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A view of Canton (Guangzhou), on the Pearl River in China, circa 1840. Canton was already a great trading port when the American ship Empress of China arrived in 1784 to fill up its hold with tea. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"For most of the 19th century, there was less concern about the perils of taking cocaine than there was about the negative side effects of drinking green tea," says author Matthew Sweet. The backlash against green tea was caused by a mix of baseless fears (that it triggered hysteria and insomnia) and genuine concerns about it being toxic as a result of widespread adulteration. McKay Savage/Flickr hide caption

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McKay Savage/Flickr

Make mine a venti: An example of a drinking vessel from the Grasshopper Pueblo archaeological site in central Arizona. Researchers tested shards of similar vessels found at various sites in the American Southwest and found evidence that people in the region were drinking caffeinated cacao and yaupon holly drinks 1,000 years back. Courtesy Patricia Crown hide caption

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Courtesy Patricia Crown

Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery. Joseph Severn/Wikimedia hide caption

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Joseph Severn/Wikimedia

Yaupon growing in the wild in east Texas. This evergreen holly was once valuable to Native American tribes in the Southeastern U.S., which made a brew from its caffeinated leaves. Murray Carpenter for NPR hide caption

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Murray Carpenter for NPR

Here's The Buzz On America's Forgotten Native 'Tea' Plant

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Christopher Day, the dining room manager at Eleven Madison Park, is also the man behind its tea program. "My goal has always been to put together a tea list with the same standard and rigor as you would with wine," he says. Kathy YL Chan for NPR hide caption

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Kathy YL Chan for NPR

A quartet of tea-infused treats. Clockwise from left: Pastry chef's Naomi Gallego's old-fashioned doughnuts, flavored with Earl Grey; chocolate custard infused with jasmine tea, topped with a whipped cream ganache with a bit of lemon; berry scones with a hint of black berry tea; and blue French-style macarons made with lapsang souchong. Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

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Allison Aubrey/NPR

Afternoon Tea, 1886. Chromolithograph after Kate Greenaway. If you're looking for finger sandwiches, dainty desserts and formality, afternoon tea is your cup. Print Collector/Getty Images hide caption

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Print Collector/Getty Images

Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi (right) receives a bowl of green tea from Japanese tea master Genshitsu Sen at a tea ceremony in Kyoto during a 2013 visit to Japan. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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STR/AFP/Getty Images

In the Blue Zone of Okinawa, Japan, locals drink green tea with jasmine flowers and turmeric called shan-pien, which translates to "tea with a bit of scent." David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones hide caption

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David McLain/Courtesy of Blue Zones