A Short History of Tea

This post is written by Linus Hammarstrand:

Tea is the by far most popular drink in China, even though more and more Chinese are taking to drinking coffee, particularly as Starbucks and various native knock-offs are gaining in popularity. The origin of tea can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom and the Chinese have been drinking tea for close to 5 000 years. According to the legend, tea was invented as a drink by Shen Nong, the Divine Farmer, around 3 000 BC. According to legend, Shen Nong was very health-conscious and personally tested thousands of medicinal herbs to see which ones could benefit his people. Among these herbs, he found that the tea plant had numerous benefits, aside from its pleasant taste.

The tea plant is called Camellia Sinensis and is related to our own camellia, Camellia Japonica. In the wilds, the plant can grow to a height of up to 20 meters. In most plantations however, it seldom grows beyond two meters. The tea plant is evergreen and is currently grown in more than 40 countries. About 90% of all tea that is grown is grown in Asia and China is the oldest tea growing nation on the planet, with a tea tradition stretching back more than 2 000 years.

The Chinese word for tea, cha, is encountered in numerous languages. In Nepal, India and in the Middle East, it is typically referred to as Chai, whereas in Japan it still goes by its original name of cha. Etymologically, the English word tea can be linked to cha.

Tea drinking is typically something one typically connects with Japan, but it was not until the 8th century AD when it was introduced to Japan and the imperial court in Nara, from Tang dynasty China. In the 17th century, tea drinking spread to Europe through the care of Portuguese and then Dutch merchants. From Europe it spread to the New world and to the colonies.

England was one of the last seafaring nations to succumb to tea drinking and it was only through the influence of King Charles II, who grew up in Amsterdam and later married a Portuguese princess, that tea became introduced to the British nobility. From the nobles, tea drinking spread to the lower classes and it was mainly due to the commoners appetite for tea that the East India companies were founded. Some historians claim that the later Industrial revolution was fueled by the worker’s sumptuous consumption of tea with milk and sugar in it, which allowed them to work for long hours in the factories.

Tea can be divided into a number of types: green tea, Oolong and black tea. The difference lies in the degree of oxidation and fermentation. Oxidation happens when the tea leaves turn brown from lack of sap. Oxidation can be artificially induced by rolling the tea leaves so that the sap and the enzymes are freed. Through subsequent heating of the leaves, the oxidation process can then be stopped at any time. Tea, and especially green tea is known to contain copious amounts of antioxidants, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals. It thus constitutes a healthy drink of choice. Thus, next time you sit down to relax with a nice cup of tea, bear in mind not only that it is healthy, but also that it is a drink with a long history!

A Short History of Tea0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-25 15:06:57This post is written by Linus Hammarstrand:

Tea is the by far most popular drink in China, even though more and more Chinese are taking to drinking…

The Tea Party: Three Principles

Have you read Elizabeth Price Foley‘s book, The Tea Party: Three Principles?


The Three Constitutional Principles That Make the Tea Party Tick

The Tea Party: Three Principles0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-15 00:17:49Have you read Elizabeth Price Foley’s book, The Tea Party: Three Principles?

The Three Constitutional Principles That Make the Tea Party Tick…

Robinson Half Tea Chest

Here is an excerpt from Matt Woolbright‘s article, Boston Tea Party Museum and Old South Meeting House unveil rare tea chest artifact:

The chest, one of two remaining, was passed through a family after colonists retrieved it from the harbor the morning after the “party,” said Robin DeBlosi, director for marketing at the Old South Meeting House.

“Most artifacts from this treasonous event were buried in the mud so people wouldn’t keep them,” DeBlosi said, “which is what makes this so rare.”

The event is open to the public and many Boston officials are expected to attend. There will be a performance by a fife and drum corps and the chest will be marched from the Old South Meeting House to the museum’s replica Tea Party ship on the harbor. The museum, however, will not open to the public until June 26.

(The Boston Globe, June 13, 2012.)

Robinson Half Tea Chest0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-14 00:27:03Here is an excerpt from Matt Woolbright’s article, Boston Tea Party Museum and Old South Meeting House unveil rare tea chest artifact:
The chest, one…

Royal T-stick Tea Stick

I have now tested three different Royal T-sticks (Rooibos, Earl Grey and Lemon). I enjoyed the mild taste of the “red bush” plant, the aromatic flavor of bergamot oil, and the zestful citrus tang. I am interested in testing High Tea too. The tea package is designed in a pretty convenient way, so I think this product could be an alternative to the teabag.

Here is video clip on how I will stir up the tea industry!  ;-)


Royal T-stick tea stick


Making Special Tea Simple

Royal T-stick Tea Stick0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-13 09:50:34I have now tested three different Royal T-sticks (Rooibos, Earl Grey and Lemon). I enjoyed the mild taste of the “red bush” plant, the aromatic flavor…

Upcoming Post on Buddha Tea Shop

For your information, Linus Hammarstrand will write a post on Buddha Tea Shop in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal, in the near future.

Java Coffee House, Thamel, Kathmandu, Ne by shinyai, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  shinyai 

 

Upcoming Post on Buddha Tea Shop0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-12 00:23:19For your information, Linus Hammarstrand will write a post on Buddha Tea Shop in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal, in the near future.

  by  shinyai 

The Future of Tea Party Now

Please listen to my latest podcast on Cinch.fm. I will do a review of Royal T-stick‘s tea sticks next week. [Hat tip to S.J. at Tänk Profil & Design for the samples.]

T-stick Tea Sticks
T-stick Tea Sticks

The Future of Tea Party Now0Martin Lindeskog2012-06-10 23:40:41Please listen to my latest podcast on Cinch.fm. I will do a review of Royal T-stick’s tea sticks next week. [Hat tip to S.J. at Tänk Profil & De…