Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tea - A Rather English Tradition

Tea is generally deemed as a thing quintessentially British, and the British have absolutely consumed large quantities of this celebrated brew in reality tea has been part of the British heritage for more than 350 years. But if the truth is told the origins of the infamous British "cuppa" lie somewhere else and go back way beyond a mere 350 years.

The widely accepted story of the origins of the very first cup of tea begins in China, in 2737 BC, the then emperor Shen Nung was relaxing beneath a tree in his garden while his man servant boiled drinking water, by chance some leaves from an more than hanging tree fell into the water. Emperor Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist of the time, decided to taste the drink that his servant had accidentally made. The tree was a Camellia sinensis and the resulting drink was what we know these days and for at least the last 350 years as tea.

Drinking tea remained a Chinese and later a Japanese custom for hundreds of years, the consuming of tea more than time became ritualized, i.e. the Japanese tea ceremony. It is not doable to know regardless of whether this quaint story of Emperor Shen Nung is reality or fiction, but drinking tea became well-liked in China hundreds of years just before the very first tea cup was ever washed in the west. Tea containers have been discovered in Chinese tombs dating back as far as (206 BC - 220 AD) and the Han dynasty but it was not until later under the Tang dynasty in between 618-906 AD, that tea became totally recognized as the national drink of China.

Shortly soon after this, tea was introduced to Japan, It arrived in Japan with some Japanese Buddhist monks who had been studying in China tea drinking soon became a vital part of Japanese culture, as can be witnessed by the famed Japanese Tea Ceremony.

So at this stage in the history of tea, Britain and the rest of the western world had been lagging rather far behind the orient. It is only in the later half of the 16th century that we very first start out to hear of tea as a drink with in Europe. It was The Dutch, in 1606 that very first shipped tea from China to Holland. Tea soon became a fashionable drink among the Dutch high society, and from there spread to other nations in continental Europe, but due of its high cost it remained a drink only for the rich upper classes.

Britain, historically renown for its reticence in adopting continental fads and trends, had yet to become the nation of tea drinkers that it is famed for becoming these days. According to the UK Tea council "the very first dated reference to tea in Britain is from an advert in a London newspaper, of 1658. It announced that 'China Drink, named by the Chinese, Tcha, by other Nations Tay alias Tee' was on sale at a coffee home in Sweeting's Rents in the City. Coffee had for a few years been drunk in Britain the very first coffee home had becoming established in London in 1652, and the terms of this advert recommend that tea was nonetheless somewhat unfamiliar to most readers, so it is fair to assume that the drink was nonetheless a thing of a curiosity."

But definitely as time was to shortly tell The British took to tea like ducks take to water and produced it their own. Not getting visited Manchester England the town of my birth for some time now as all family members members nonetheless reaming in GB have moved to other areas I can not assist but wonder how the rather conservative, set in their approaches, usually unreceptive of all items new Manchunians have accepted some of the new tea fads and trends that have in significantly more recent years gained reputation in most of England and rest of the western world. Such fancies as flowering or blooming tea, in case perhaps your a Manchunian and then you probably don't know what blooming teas are they are " a compact bundle of dried tea leaves and flowers bound together with cotton thread into a ball.

When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a procedure that emulates a blooming flower" I can hear my old neighbor in my head correct now as if he was in the space with me "if you can not place sugar and milk in it, it ain't tea and I don't want nothin' to do wi' it". Does Manchester have boba or bubble tea shops shooting up left correct and center as we have here in Canada but boba or bubble tea is a rather recent trend that is nonetheless to most, a nonetheless to be discovered pleasure." Bubble tea also named Boba tea or just Boba, is a tea beverage containing tapioca balls. It originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, spread to nearby East Asian nations, and migrated to Canada just before spreading to Chinatown in New York City, then to several spots all through the West Coast of the United States the literal translation from Chinese is pearl milk tea"

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