How do you drink your tea? The tea, the whole tea, and nothing but the tea? Or do you prefer to sweeten things up a bit with some sugar? Depending on who you ask, it may be sacrilegious to add anything to the tea, or (if you’re in the south like we are) you might add some tea to your sugar.
Adding sugar to tea was not a Chinese idea; as you might imagine, it was a very European thing to do! Yes, there were some areas of China where yellow rock sugar was used in tea, but these were rare cases. The Europeans, and especially the British, took it to a whole new level. By the end of the 1600s, the Europeans were running rampant with sugar from their colonies sweetening everything, including tea. By the end of the next century, England was using ten times the amount of sugar that its continental neighbors used. Frankly put, the British loved their sweetened drinks! That’s why you see tea spoons, sugar bowls, and other tea accessories as a natural part of tea-drinking; it all came from our Anglo-Saxon cousins!
Today, the Brits don’t use sugar quite like they used to, but it’s still quite popular. If you were to ask a tea connoisseur whether sugar was good or bad for tea, they’d almost certainly tell you it’s a bad thing. It can kills the subtle flavors that would otherwise be noticeable. But! CoffeeAM suggests that you enjoy tea in whatever way you love it most!