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It’s safe to say that tea has been sipped and savored for thousands of years. The oldest remains of tea leaves were recently unearthed by archeologists in the tomb of Chinese emperor Liu Qi, the fourth emperor of the Han dynasty, and date back to about 150 BC. Herbal teas including aromatic herbs, spices, and flowers (aka tisanes) have an even longer known history—dried peppermint leaves found in Egyptian pyramids have been carbon dated to 1,000 BC.
Today, tea is still popular—in fact, it’s the most popular nonalcoholic beverage (after water). And new healthy benefits of both true tea (from the Camilla senensis plant) and tisanes continue to be discovered. But why settle for a steeping a plain old tea bag in a cup of water? Step up your tea game with these brews by Rachel de Thample, from her new book Vital Tonics & Soothing Teas.
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