Quick Recipes and Easy

All About Tea

Tea, the wonderful beverage we indulge in when we want to relax, wake up, cure a tummy ache, soothe an upset child and infuse our systems with anti oxidants has loved a rich, colorful and diverse history – a very, very long history that started more than 5,000 years ago in China. Legend has that an early emperor, Shen Nung was also a highly skilled ruler and a rather creative scientist. He was far ahead of his time in many respects, including insisting that all drinking water be boiled for hygienic purposes. The legend goes that he was traveling to far away region one summer day and he and his court stopped rest. The obedient servants started to boil the water, per the emperor’s ruling. As they boiled the water, but, some dried leaves from a bush that was nearby fell into the water. As the water boiled with the leaves, a brown liquid started to infuse the water. The Emperor, ever the scientist, was intrigued with the new, brown liquid and drank some. He found the new drink to be quite refreshing, thus tea was born. It should be noted that though this is largely regarded as a myth, many mythologists find that the tale is so practical that it likely is very closely related to actual events.

The Asian Inspiration
Tea was a very well loved beverage throughout China and every single aspect of their society embraced it and drew it into their culture. The first book written on tea, the Ch’a Ching, was written by Lu Yu in 800 A.D. His work on tea and how it is used in various cultures propelled him to a state that was nearly a sainthood in his own lifetime. In fact, the form of tea service that he described in his book, that showed strong ties in Zen Buddhism, is what the Zen Buddhist missionaries later introduced to Japan.

Buddhist priest, Yeisei, brought the very first tea seeds to Japan. He had witnessed the valuable role that the tea in China had played in enhancing religious mediation. Yeisei is know as the “Father of Tea” in Japan because of his introduction of tea to the Japanese culture which quickly elevated tea to an art form. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, a complex yet gorgeous art that requires years of training and practice. From there, tea houses were made and tea gained in popularity as the original Zen roots were eventually lost.

Europe Finds Tea
When tea was all the rage in Japan and China, news of this new sensation started to trickle back to Europe. Traders and caravan leaders mentioned it, but no one seemed to know how to serve it or even what it looked like. A Portuguese Jesuit Father Jasper de Cruz was the first European to experience tea personally and write about it in 1560. As Portugal had begun trading with China, they started shipping tea to Lisbon where Dutch ships would transport the tea to France, Holland and the Baltic countries.

Tea soon became high fashion in Hague, the Dutch capital. This was mainly due to the exorbitant price of more than $100 per pound. This meant the wealthy could delight in it – and the poor could not. Eventually, as the amount of tea that was imported increased, the price started to drop, making it more available to a wider variety of people, including apothecaries. It wasn’t until 1680 that there is any mention of adding milk to tea. Tea was well loved in France for about fifty years, until wine, chocolate and exotic coffees captured the French imagination and preference.

Tea Arrives in America
As the Dutch actively traded throughout the Western world, 1650 saw Peter Stuyvesant bring the first tea to colonists in the Dutch settlement called New Amsterdam which later became known as New York. Tea had found its way to America and America was hooked. In fact, when the English bought the colony they found that that one small settlement was consuming more tea at the time that the entire country of England.

England gets a Taste
Fantastic Britain was the first to venture into the Chinese trade and it was due to this that tea finally reached England sometime between 1652 and 1654. Its popularity skyrocketed. Nobility nodded in approval as they consumed the beverage and the future of tea in England was secured. As tea mania swept over England, all classes loved its refreshment. Soon, the English Afternoon Tea was born.

By 1670 English colonists residing in Boston became aware of tea. By 1720 tea was a trade staple between the Colony and the Mother country. The colonial particularly loved tea. Tea trade became centered in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, which, incidentally, were the future centers of the American rebellion. Tea was very heavily taxed, so smugglers would get contraband tea to the colonies from other ports. The John Company who held the monopoly on tea distribution in the area was quite disgruntled as they saw their profits plummeting. They place pressure on Parliament to take action and place an end to the activities. Then it happened.

The American Revolution and Tea
England had recently completed the French and Indian War and, in England’s viewpoint, it was meant to free the colony from French influence and give trade more stabilization. Parliament chose, then, that the brunt of the cost should go to the colony since it was for them. Suddenly, there were taxes for everything from newspapers to tavern licenses, marriage licenses and docking papers. When the colonists rebelled, Parliament levied even more, heavier taxes, including the 1767 tea tax. The colonists rebelled and buys imported tea openly and freely. The John Company was still slipping in profits.

When things finally came to a head, the well-known Boston Tea Party was born. The men of Boston dressed as Indians and threw hundreds of pounds of tea into the harbor. The Port of Boston retaliated by closing and royal troops went in to occupy the city. The colonial leaders met and declared revolution. Thus, a free nation was born.

Tea a Timeless Tradition
Today tea is even more well loved than ever. Americans delight in their tea iced, hot, in leaves, in bags, there are a wide variety of types and flavors available and one can access all they want by simply walking into the local market and picking out what they want. Additionally, tea has recently been proven to have health benefits as well as stress relieving properties. So, the beverage that has its origins in ancient China, went around the world, started a revolution and freed a nation is one of the most well loved drinks worldwide today.

Nicholas Hurd is the developer of tea-info-source.com The Tea Information Source. You’ll find anything you want to know about tea at this site.
copyright 2007 Nicholas Hurd all rights reserved

Tags: high blood pressure, restaurants food, simply recipes, Health Benefits, recipes snacks, Green Tea, food, food what, cookbook, simple recipes

About the Author

has written 10297 stories on this site.

Write a Comment

Gravatars are small images that can show your personality. You can get your gravatar for free today!

Copyright © 2018 Quick Recipes and Easy, Gourmet Food Recipes, Gourmet Food Blog. All rights reserved. Crawler and visitors tracking tool for webmaster-SEO script - Outil de suivi des visiteurs et des robots pour webmaster Google bot last visit powered by PrMania.Net
Powered by WordPress.org, Custom Theme and Free web submit and Health Clubs Fitness
Doctor consultation canada pharmacy %{^& buy viagra professional contact us or toll free.