According to one educated guess from a fairly reliable source there may be as many as almost two million new web addresses registered every year. While web sites come and web sites go, every now and then you run across a golden oldie that probably should have fallen by the wayside by now.

Take Tempest in a Teapot: Tea & Politics & Health, for instance. It’s the online version of “An Exhibit held at the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland April 16, 2001 – October 30, 2001,” one that’s obviously still available for anyone who missed the event some eleven years ago or who would like to revisit it.

The online version of the exhibit is divided into six sections. The first of these looks at the Board of Tea Experts, an actual governmental body that was created in 1897 to set and enforce standards for tea. The group last almost a century until it was phased out during the Clinton administration, in 1995. From there it’s on to America’s Tea Craze, a section that puts to rest the fairly common notion that Americans gave up tea drinking after the Boston Tea Party. As the site notes, “Tea imports [into the U.S.] grew exponentially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”

From here, there’s a section on Tea Regulation, in which it’s further described how tea was regulated to make sure it was acceptable. Next, a section on Tea Types, which is a very brief (and not totally comprehensive) section that’s essentially another version of Tea 101. The title of Green Tea’s Medical Resurgence pretty much sums up what this section is about, with a sketch of how tea and especially the green type has come to be so much in the news in recent years, thanks to its alleged health benefits. Last up, a very brief and mostly pictorial segment about Green Tea’s Cultural Resurgence.

While some of these sections are rather informative, perhaps the most interesting part of this online “exhibit” is the wealth of packaging and advertising materials that accompany the text. And though the design of the site is quite dated, it’s worth a look nonetheless. Check it out here.

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