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180 Tea Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Tea? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Tea (Hobbies). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
1 The most well-known smoked tea comes from the Wuyi region in China's Fujian province. Do you know the name?
Answer: Lapsang souchong

Lapsang souchong is the most well-known smoked tea. It has a very distinct flavor that is not everybody's "cup-of-tea". Black tea is dried over a pinewood fire that gives it a smoked pine aroma. The commercial name Lapsang souchong means Pinewood souchong tea, souchong being a category of tea leaves, usually the broader ones. Because of its potent flavor and aroma, it is often used in small quantities in tea blends, such as in Russian Caravan or Icelandic Moss blend.
  From Quiz: So You Want to Be a Magical Tea
2 Striking out on his own, this man would start a trade for generations?
Answer: Thomas Twining

Thomas Twining migrated with his family to London during a recession. Though he originally learned the family trade of weaving, he then learned the tea trade from Thomas D'Aeth of the East India Company.

"It seems in some cases kind nature hath planned
That names with their callings agree,
For Twining the Teaman that lives in the Strand,
Would be "wining; deprived of his T."
-T. Hook (1778-1841)
  From Quiz: Ten Tan Tin Teas
3 Tea made its way from Asia to Europe via the Dutch East India Company in the early 17th century. First it was a novelty, then a luxury item, and it finally became widely available and affordable during which British monarch's reign?
Answer: Victoria

It makes sense that a beverage so steeped in tradition should become popular during an era preoccupied with manners and etiquette. Once everyone discovered tea's refreshing benefits, it quickly became so ingrained in everyday life that a "cuppa" is considered a solution to any personal problem. It's not a bad start!
    Your options: [ Elizabeth I ] [ George III ] [ Victoria ] [ Edward VII ]
  From Quiz: Please Pass the Sugar
4 All types of genuine tea come from the same plant. What is the name of this plant?
Answer: Camellia Sinensis

Camellia Sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub native to Asia whose leaves and buds are used to produce tea. There are four major tea types which are black, green, white and oolong but they all come from this plant. It is how the the leaves are treated after they are harvested that creates the different teas. All the leaves are withered, rolled and heated and then the different teas are created using different processes.
  From Quiz: A Storm in a Teacup
5 Tea has been widely consumed in China for thousands of years, but during what Dynasty did it spread to Japan?
Answer: Sui Dynasty

Tea grows spontaneously in the wild only in China, India, and Burma. Its origin is a stretch of land around Northern Burma and Southern China. When it was first consumed in China, it was quickly spread to other countries in Asia. Eventually, Buddhist monks travelling to Japan brought tea with them and spread it to the island nation.
  From Quiz: Polly Put the Kettle on
6 Produced in a region of India that is nestled between Bangladesh and Bhutan, what is the name of the typically malty black tea often consumed at breakfast in the UK and Ireland?
Answer: Assam

The tropical Indian areas that border Bangladesh produce some of the world's most popular teas and Assam is one such location. The malty flavour that characterises Assam tea leaves (Camellia Assamica) makes it a popular choice for consumption at breakfast, particularly in the UK. Assam tea leaves differ from Darjeeling tea leaves, which are grown nearby, in terms of the physical geography of their respective plantations; Assam leaves are harvested from the lowlands of northeast India whilst Darjeeling leaves flourish in the highlands.
  From Quiz: Tea: A Global Refreshment
7 What is Rooibos more commonly referred to as?
Answer: Red Tea

Rooibos is a South African bush from which tea-like leaves are collected. Its name literally means "Red Bush" in Afrikaans. While rooibos tea undergoes a similar treatment process to black and green tea and also shares some of the important flavor-gving substances, the plant itself is not related to the tea plant. Rooibos tea has a sweet, nut-like aroma and is treasured by many health-conscious tea lovers for its high content of antioxidants and low tannin levels.
  From Quiz: Tea or Coffee?
8 "Teh Tarik" is another form of tea drinking created by the Indian Muslims from Singapore and Malaysia, whereby air is introduced into a cup of milk tea to create foam on the surface. How is it done ?
Answer: Using two mugs, pour a mug of milk tea into another mug and pour it back again.Continue till you see foam.

"Tarik" means to pull in Malay or Indonesian. A mug of milk tea is poured into an empty mug and poured back again. This requires skills from the person who prepares the tea as the mug of hot tea is lifted above the height of his shoulders and pour into an empty mug that is held below the height of his waist, without being scalded. There are two purposes : To create a light tea and also to cool the tea sufficiently for drinking. Only tea dust is used to prepare such teas.
  From Quiz: My Cuppa Tea
9 The rejuvenating properties of green tea were first discovered in which country?
Answer: China

China claims to have first used green tea more than 5000 years ago. There are many versions of how the discovery was first made but one widely accepted version relates the story of how a Chinese scholar was boiling water for his evening meal when some leaves of a tea plant fell into the water as he was replenishing the fire. On tasting the water he found the drink so refreshing he further refined the process and passed the knowledge on to subsequent generations. The tradition of tea drinking became established over the years and it is thought the practice was first introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks in the eighth century. Here it was first used as a medicine in upper class social circles and when the art of the tea ceremony was introduced in the 1500s the custom of tea drinking was introduced to the common people.
    Your options: [ Korea ] [ Japan ] [ China ] [ India ]
  From Quiz: Green Tea
10 Everyone knows that tea is made from the leaves of a plant. What's the name of the plant?
Answer: Camellia sinensis

Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis, more commonly called the tea bush. It is indigenous to south east Asia. Nowadays it is cultivated in various tropical and sub-tropical countries, including Kenya, Iran, Australia and Argentina.
  From Quiz: Everything Stops for Tea
11 What ancient Chinese figure is said to have discovered the use of tea?
Answer: Shen Nong

Shen Nong was later deified as the god of he was considered the first farmer!
  From Quiz: Questions on Tea
12 What is the botanical name for the plant from which tea is derived?
Answer: Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis means 'the Chinese camellia' in Latin. It is related to garden camellias. Theobroma cacao is where cocoa and chocolate come from, and Arabidopsis thaliana is a little weed that is often used in biological experiments.
    Your options: [ Camellia japonica ] [ Camellia sinensis ] [ Theobroma cacao ] [ Arabidopsis thaliana ]
  From Quiz: Tea
13 What is the humble, small, white and yellow, daisy-like flower that produces an aromatic herbal tea with numerous health benefits?
Answer: Chamomile

Chamomile tea is made with the dried flowers of the chamomile plant which belongs to the Asteraceae family of plants, the same family as daisy, aster and sunflowers. It is not a tea, per se, since it does not contain the plant camellia sinensis, but an infusion, made by steeping the flowers in hot water for a period of time. The health benefits of the infusion are known for thousands of years. It helps in a variety of medical conditions such as menstrual pains, digestive discomfort, mild infections of the eyes and mouth. It also lowers the levels of blood sugar and improves sleep quality.
  From Quiz: So You Want to Be a Magical Tea
14 Which shop bought on the Strand would be the Twinings home in London fair?
Answer: Tom's Coffee House

Men would gather at coffee houses and drink most anything but the contaminated water. Thomas Twining began to sell tea. Though women were discouraged from coming inside, they could wait in a carriage while their footman purchased from the coffee house.
    Your options: [ The Three-Legged Mare ] [ The White Horse ] [ Tom's Coffee House ] [ The Red Lion ]
  From Quiz: Ten Tan Tin Teas
15 What is the name of traditional Japanese teapot used for brewing tea?
Answer: Kyusu

Kyusu are traditional Japanese teapots which are usually made from porcelain. They are specifically designed to brew green tea (tea that has not been as highly processed as teas such as Oolong or black teas). The word "kyusu" literally translates from the Japanese language as "teapot" although it is generally used to refer to a teapot with a side handle.
  From Quiz: A Storm in a Teacup
16 Tea is typically broken down into five large categories, of which black, green, white and oolong are four. Which earthy Chinese tea makes up the fifth category?
Answer: Pu-erh tea

Named for the town of Pu'er in Yunnan province in China, pu-erh tea is typically fermented, and can undergo ageing for several years. This makes it even earthier than typical black tea, although it is known as 'hēichá' in China, which does translate as 'black tea'. The tea known in the West as 'black tea' is usually called 'hóngchá', or 'red tea' in China. Pu-erh tea is usually sold as a single large piece and can be purchased in various different shapes, including square, disc and mushroom.
    Your options: [ Jasmine tea ] [ Pu-erh tea ] [ Kenilworth tea ] [ Ceylon tea ]
  From Quiz: Drink It Up!
17 In the world of Chinese tea, what exactly is a "gaiwan"?
Answer: A lidded bowl for brewing and drinking tea

A gaiwan is a special device that is used to both brew and drink Chinese tea. The special cup (which means "lidded bowl" in traditional Chinese) consists of a small bowl, a lid, and a saucer. The tea is brewed in the bowl, sometimes with the lid and sometimes without, depending on the type of tea being brewed. Then, traditionally, the gaiwan is used to drink the tea as well. All three parts are held while drinking from the vessel; which can be difficult to master, especially with the liquid being so hot. The lid also provides a means of keeping the leaves from entering the mouth while drinking the tea within. The gaiwan has been around since the Ming Dynasty, though modern gaiwans are much smaller and use more leaves to brew than when it was first invented.
  From Quiz: What's Brewing in the Teapot?
18 Robert Fortune can be attributed to transporting tea from China to what country in 1848 in order to help the British Empire?
Answer: India

Britain badly wanted to cultivate tea in India, as they wanted to sell it to India for a profit. In order to do so, they sent Robert Fortune on a secret mission to collect tea plants and bring them to India. The mission had to be secret because China was in between its Opium Wars with Britain and didn't want foreigners. Despite his mission being a success, plants native to the Himalaya region in India were more successful than the plants Fortune brought from China, and were used by the British instead.
  From Quiz: Polly Put the Kettle on
19 What type of coffee bean is said to have been the first cultivated for mass consumption?
Answer: Coffea arabica

Regarded as the "coffee shrub of Arabia", Coffea arabica is commonly found in parts of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Ethiopa and Yemen, where it's been grown for more than 1000 years. The plants typically take 7 years to mature fully, bloom with white flowers, and bear red or purple fruits that normally contain two beans for harvesting. Other types of the plant are grown in the Java region of Indonesia along with multiple countries in Central and South America.
  From Quiz: Tea or Coffee?
20 Which Asian country enjoys their cuppa of tea with milk ?
Answer: All of these countries mentioned

Interestingly, these countries were part of the British Empire. The locals took on tea-drinking habits from the British. There are variations with interesting names.In Hong Kong, you can "panty-hose milk tea" or in Singapore and Malaysia, you can find "pulled milk tea". In Malaysia, some parts of India or Singapore, you may find rows of empty condensed milk tins on the shelf. They are not thrown away. Instead, they are reused to carry takeaways.
    Your options: [ All of these countries mentioned ] [ Hong Kong ] [ Myanmar ] [ Malaysia/Singapore ]
  From Quiz: My Cuppa Tea
21 The spicy, milky tea from India is called what?
Answer: chai

Chai usually contains spices such as nutmeg...very delicious!
  From Quiz: Questions on Tea
22 Which tea gets its distinctive flavor from being smoked over a fire?
Answer: Lapsang Souchong

I've tried to like Lapsang Souchong, but it's just too disgusting.
    Your options: [ Earl Grey ] [ Lapsang Souchong ] [ Keemun ] [ Irish Breakfast ]
  From Quiz: Tea
23 Which herb is added to gunpowder tea to make the characteristic Moroccan tea?
Answer: Mint

Moroccan tea is made with gunpowder tea, water, sugar and fresh mint leaves. Gunpowder tea is a green tea whose leaves are rolled and shaped like pellets. Traditional Moroccan tea is ceremonially poured from a height into a glass and not a cup and this creates foam. The process cools the tea, mixes the ingredients and helps digestion. Moroccan tea can also be called Maghrebi tea since it is consumed in the Greater Maghreb Region of Northern Africa.
    Your options: [ Star anise ] [ Mint ] [ Coriander ] [ Marjoram ]
  From Quiz: So You Want to Be a Magical Tea
24 Which Twining heir was able to convince Pitt to reduce tea taxes?
Answer: Richard Twining (1749-1824)

Richard Twining would take the helm of Twining in 1771, after his mother's death (she was Mary Twining, married to Thomas Twining's son, Daniel). He was able to persuade William Pitt, Prime Minister, to reduce the taxes on tea. This would make tea more available to everyone, not just the rich.
    Your options: [ Edward Twining (1899-1967) ] [ Thomas Twining (1675-1741) ] [ Richard Twining (1749-1824) ] [ Louisa Twining (1820-1912) ]
  From Quiz: Ten Tan Tin Teas
25 Tea is an essential part of many morning routines, but afternoon tea is an important social custom that can be highly ritualized. What food would not typically be seen at a traditional afternoon tea?
Answer: Sausage rolls

Afternoon tea foods are formally served in order: sandwiches, then scones, then sweets. If a cake stand is used, the sandwiches are on the bottom tier, the scones in the middle, and the sweets on the top.

The addition of heartier foods such as sausage rolls transforms afternoon tea into high tea, which is a less formal occasion.
  From Quiz: Please Pass the Sugar
26 What is the name of the traditional Russian container that is used to make tea?
Answer: Samovar

A samovar is a Russian device that is used to heat water to make tea. Its name derives from the Russian words for "self" and "meaning to boil" and can be loosely translated into English as "self-boiler". Traditionally the samovars were heated with coal or charcoal but the more modern ones are heated by electricity. In Russia the most common kind of tea prepared is called "Zavarka". This drink tends to be quite strong and drunk with milk and sweeteners. Some of the more traditional drinkers of zavarka place a sugar cube in their mouths while drinking it.
  From Quiz: A Storm in a Teacup
27 Black tea is by far the most popular in terms of worldwide consumption. As a result of its light flavour, which black tea is sometimes called the 'champagne of teas'?
Answer: Darjeeling

Darjeeling tea is named for a town in the northern section of the Indian state of West Bengal, close to the border of the other state of Sikkim to the north and the country of Nepal to the west. The tea produced in Darjeeling is often subdivided depending on the time of year that it was harvested. For example, 'first flush' is harvested in mid-March, and has a lighter flavour than the 'second flush' that is harvested in June.

Finding authentic Darjeeling tea is somewhat troublesome, with almost four times as much 'Darjeeling tea' sold annually than produced on the tea estates in Darjeeling that are allowed to brand their tea as such. While Darjeeling tea is typically prepared black, it is also available in green and oolong varieties.
    Your options: [ Masala chai ] [ Darjeeling ] [ Yunnan ] [ Dimbula ]
  From Quiz: Drink It Up!
28 The caydanlik is a special double-boiler type tea kettle used for a specific type of tea. Which kind of tea, popular in one of the world's foremost tea drinking countries, is made with this special kettle?
Answer: Turkish tea

Turkish tea is traditionally prepared in a caydanlik, a two-kettle type instrument. The caydanlik contains water in the larger lower kettle, and tea is brewed with a small amount of water in the upper chamber. When serving, the strong, concentrated black tea from the top portion is poured into special glasses, and the lower half of hot water can be used to weaken each individual cup of tea to the drinker's desire. Cubes of beet sugar are used to sweeten the tea, which is typically drunk without milk of any sort.
    Your options: [ Bolivian tea ] [ Spanish tea ] [ Chinese tea ] [ Turkish tea ]
  From Quiz: What's Brewing in the Teapot?
29 Brooke Bond launched what tea brand in 1930 by marketing its tea as a pre-meal drink to help you digest your food?
Answer: PG Tips

PG Tips used to be called Pre-Gest-Tee, which meant you were supposed to drink it before your meal to aid digestion. Marketing tea as able to aid digestion was banned after World War II, so the name was changed to PG Tips. In 2007, Unilever, the owner of PG tips, made a promise to only use sustainable teas, and by 2012 they had achieved their goal.
  From Quiz: Polly Put the Kettle on
30 Some teas are known for their subtle flavours whilst others, such as Earl Grey, divide opinion with their full-bodied taste. What is the predominant flavour of this variety of tea that shares its name with a former British Prime Minister?
Answer: Bergamot

Earl Grey (named after the 19th century British Prime Minister), with its full-bodied nature, is not for everybody. Hints of the citric Bergamot tempers the strength of the black tea to a certain extent yet simultaneously adds an aromatic element to the blend; the result is a beverage that is perhaps best described as an acquired taste.

One fictional fan of Earl Grey tea was Captain Jean-Luc Picard from 'Star Trek'; he could often be heard requesting "tea, Earl Grey, hot".
  From Quiz: Tea: A Global Refreshment
31 What type of tea is Bai Hao Yinzhen?
Answer: White Tea

Commonly referred to as just Yinzhen or Silver Needle, Bai Hao Yinzen is considered to be the most expensive type of White Tea. The tea is derived from the most tender buds of the Da Bai or Great White tea tree in the Fujian province of China. When steeped, the tea creates a lightly caffeinated, yellowish colored beverage whose flavor is considered almost buttery. Some advertise Bai Hao Yinzhen as being an anti-carcinogenic, a claim that has yet to be confirmed scientifically.
  From Quiz: Tea or Coffee?
32 Which country has the culture of putting a cube of sugar in the mouth before sipping their hot tea ?
Answer: Iran

This is one tea-drinking culture that does not require a spoon. The Iranians have a sweet tooth too. Together with a pot of tea, dates are also served.
    Your options: [ Iran ] [ Japan ] [ Tibet ] [ Sri Lanka ]
  From Quiz: My Cuppa Tea
33 The earliest recorded tea drinkers are the Chinese. Just how long have they been brewing up the lovely stuff?
Answer: At least 3000 years

The earliest references to tea drinking in China date back to the year 1000 B.C.E. During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E to 220 C.E.), tea was widely regarded as a medicinal potion. By the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) tea drinking was widespread in China. In 760 C.E., the Chinese writer Lu Yu wrote the 'Cha Jing', a comprehensive book about tea, in which he describes how the tea plants were grown, harvested, and processed, and how tea was prepared. It even rates different teas, and describes where the best teas were grown. Back then tea was very different from the tea we drink today. The processed tea leaves were compressed into brick-like form. In order to make tea, one had to grind the tea brick into powder with a pestle and mortar. Either hot water was added to the powdered tea, or the powdered tea was boiled in earthenware kettles. It was then whisked and served in large, shallow bowls resembling soup plates.
  From Quiz: Everything Stops for Tea
34 What Chinese priest was called 'the tea maniac' because he devoted his entire life to tea?
Answer: Lu Dong

Lu Dong, a Daoist priest of 8th century Tang China, was so inspired by a poem by Chinese poet Lu Yu (called the 'Chajing') that he decided to spend his entire life looking for the perfect tea preparation!
  From Quiz: Questions on Tea
35 What is the traditional South American caffeine-rich infusion that is drunk from a special container?
Answer: Mate or Yerba mate

The Guarani and Tupi people used the leaves and stems of yerba mate, a plant of the holly family found in South American rainforests, to make mate, an infusion that became the traditional drink of Latin America. It is made by filling a hollow calabash gourd 3/4 of the way with yerba mate, adding hot water and then using a silver or stainless-steel straw called bombilla to drink the liquid. It is very bitter, caffeine-rich and it is supposed to boost energy, improve physical performance and help in losing weight.
  From Quiz: So You Want to Be a Magical Tea
36 Store entrance adorned with lion, men and new logo during which year?
Answer: 1787

Richard Twining had the commercial logo created, and it was mounted on the front of the coffee house. In addition to the logo, a lion (The Golden Lyon was the name given to the tea house in 1717) and two Chinese men (representing the tea trade with China) were also added to the storefront.
    Your options: [ 1899 ] [ 1902 ] [ 1787 ] [ 1612 ]
  From Quiz: Ten Tan Tin Teas
37 During the Second World War (1939-1945) Britain introduced food rationing due to shortages of food supplies brought in from abroad. What was the weekly allowance of tea that an adult was entitled to during this time?
Answer: 2 oz

After war was declared in September 1939 the British government were worried that attacks by German submarines on ships bringing food from abroad would lead to food shortages so they introduced rationing to ensure that people would get an equal amount of food each week. Tea rationing was introduced in July 1940 and the adult allowance of tea was 2oz (equivalent to 50g) per week which was enough to make about three cups a day. Rationing lasted in Britain from 1940 to 1954.
  From Quiz: A Storm in a Teacup
38 Chai tea is a popular drink in India and around the world, but what part of the tea is the Karha?
Answer: The spices

The Karha of Chai tea can be composed of many different ingredients. Cardamom is usually the dominant flavor, but cinnamon, anise seeds, ginger, and cloves are all also used. Generally, milk and water are boiled together, and then the black tea leaves are infused, followed by the spices. Chai tea was invented when the British refined teas that already existed in India.
  From Quiz: Polly Put the Kettle on
39 What is the average productive life of a green tea plant?
Answer: 30-40 years

Cultivated tea plants reach their maximum production level after about 4-5 years and then have a productive life of about 30-40 years. They are usually harvested about 4 to 5 times per season and then in autumn are given a heavy pruning to cut them back in preparation for the first flush the following spring. Every 5 years they are given a severe pruning back to bare wood to rejuvenate the plant and produce new branches. After 40 or so years of this treatment the accumulation of dead wood and associated diseases makes them uneconomic to harvest so they are ripped out and replanted with newer varieties. I have heard of plants up to 120 years old still being harvested but this would not be normal practice.
  From Quiz: Green Tea
40 When did the British start drinking tea?
Answer: Around 1662

When the Portuguese princess Catherine, daughter of the Duke of Braganza, married Charles II in 1662, she introduced the English to the enjoyable tradition of a cuppa (only tea was drunk out of small bowls back then). Portuguese explorers had brought back tea from Japan as early as 1560. While Catherine never gave England an heir, she gave them tea, and somehow, that seems much more worthwhile!
  From Quiz: Everything Stops for Tea
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