India at one time led the world in the total amount of tea used each year (about 650 million pounds.) But Ireland, Great Britain and New Zealand in that order, consume the most tea per person. Tea is a beverage made by pouring boiling water over dried leaves. It has a yellowish brown colour and a slightly bitter taste. To obtain the best flavour the tea should soak for three to five minutes of being served. Iced tea is popular in the United states.
The habit of drinking made from the roasted and ground beans of the coffee plant. It is a hot favourite drink in almost every country. The United States ranks as the largest consumer. Americans drink about 400 million cups every day. Other leading coffee consuming countries include Brazil, Italy, Japan and West Germany. Brazil produces about 30 per cent of the world’s coffee crop. It is drunk more in South India. Coffee is vital to the economies of many Latin American countries. It was firs discovered in Ethopia, when goatherds noticed that their flocks stayed awake all night after feeding on coffee leaves and berries. It moved from Arabia known as Kahwah to Turkey and in 1600’s to Italy. It was introduced in Brazil in 1700.
Many get up in the morning after a stimulating cup of tea. Most people cannot imagine their life without a cup of hot tea or coffee. It is the cheapest and readily available beverage in any home. A person who does not drink tea or coffee seems to be an odd man. My teacher of biology in the school, a lean person with thick glasses, was chain tea drinker. He did not seem to be inspired if a cup of tea was not before him. He imbibed 30-40 cups a day. Even in his private room of the biology department, water was always kept boiling. He began his class with a cup of tea and sought to have another immediately after. The learned man remarked that, in his body, tea instead of blood was circulating and he would not survive if the hot cup of tea was taken away his life.
Coffee or tea are drunk for the stimulating effect they produce. It is equally favoured by the rich as well as the poor. Generally, people take 2 cups of tea one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Many drink many cups during the working day may be upto 20-30 cups. In middle East countries they have kaffa very hour or so in a small glass may be 2-3 ounces at a time. It is strong, liquor of coffee beans without milk or sugar.
Sturdy Russians who came for setting up the Gujarat refinery had a general complaint of insomnia. They went to their physician Dr. Neve. After studying their habits he traced it to their liberal use of coffee. The caffeine content in the tea leaves (2 per cent) is higher than that in the coffee seeds (0.7 to 1.5 per cent), but the finally prepared concoction contains an equal amount of caffeine. A 10 oz coke bottle contains 70 mgs. Of caffeine and an average cup of tea or coffee contains 100mgs. A cup of coffee made from instant coffee contains around 150 mgs. Of caffeine . caffeine stimulates the brain and a person feels wakeful and mentally alert. These effects are described as pleasant by most persons.
A person may not realise the stimulating effect of the tea and coffee if he drinks it every day. Only when he misses his favoured beverage, he may realise it. The stimulating effect varies from person to person. Some person may like to have a cup of tea or coffee before going to bed. Others may suffer the toxic effect of caffeine after even a single cup. Many isomnia patients do not realise the ill-effect of caffeine. All they have to do is to stop drinking tea or coffee. They will slowly realise that their sleep improves.
Coffee and tea are known to stimulate gastric secretion. Patients with peptic ulcer restrict their use, drink fewer cups and avoid having it strong. They add more milk or cream to their beverage. Heart patients and those with high blood pressure should avoid or reduce the frequency and strength of their drink. Caffeine stimulates cardiac muscles, increases the cardiac output and a deleterious effect on blood vessels. Cerebral vessels are constricted by caffeine. There is a risk of an increase in blood pressure if tea or coffee is taken in excess.
Expected mothers and those breast feeding the new born should cut down on their coffee, according to child specialists. The caffeine in the coffee drunk by the mother is ingested by the faetus in the womb and by the suckling child through milk. The infant goes on accumulating the caffeine in the body as it lacks the ability of an adult to break it down.
A strong link between the consumption of coffee and pancreatic cancer was indentified in a study of 369 patients with pancreatic malignancy. It was found that more cups of coffee carried more risk.