Tea contains flavonoids which are said to benefit your health due to the way they protect your cells from oxidative stress, along with their anti-inflammatory effects. The longer you steep your tea, the more flavonoids you will benefit from in each cup! Tea also contains polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits - green tea is said to contain the most polyphenols.
Some people (commonly the British) choose to add milk to black tea, commonly when making a cup with a tea bag. Some feel that this cools down the temperature of the tea and distributes the flavor, often also adding sugar to sweeten the taste. A strong cup of black inexpensive tea with milk in Britain is commonly known as “Builder’s Tea’’. However, in Britain, milk was actually first introduced to black tea in order to prevent the porcelain cups from cracking. It is said when tea was imported into Britain in the 18th century the crockery could not withstand the heat from the tea so milk was added first to cool the cups. It is also rumored that adding milk to tea was also introduced because tea was so expensive that most people would fill their cups with inexpensive milk and add a dash of valuable tea.
The world’s oldest tea leaves can be found in China and are over 2,000 years old. Remains of tea leaves were found in the Mausoleum of Jing Emperor Liu Qi. The tea found in the emperor's tomb was revealed by archaeologists to be of a very high quality, showcasing that tea traditions date back to around 141BC when he died.