Tea Time

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Tea Time
Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.
~Author Unknown

When you think of drinking a hot cup of tea, you can’t help but feel rather British. Although tea did not originate in Britain, it certainly found a home there. At a time when the world was speeding up, the shuffle of the Industrial Revolution was embraced by some, avoided by others, and left some scrambling to find their place. Tom Standage’s A History of the World in Six Glasses, cleverly explains tea’s journey across the world and back and its lasting impact on all. As the Lipton tea company so perfectly claims, “Tea can do that”.

Tea’s roots in China stem from the Himalayan jungles on the border of India and China. The Buddhist monks of this region found the tea bush to have “invigorating and healing effects”(177) and it was helpful with meditation, concentration and fatigue. When they began migrating to China in the 6th century BCE, they brought tea with them (178). The Chinese claim that the first cup of tea was brewed around 2737-2697 by Emperor Shen Nung (177). Tea would not become a domestic drink in society until the 1st century BC and cultivation for mass quantities didn’t occur until the 4th century. During this period, known as the Tang Dynasty, China found itself the wealthiest and most populated nation in the world, in part due to their openness to outside influence. It was also during this time that tea found itself as the drink of choice by the nation (179). There were many reasons why tea was such a preferred choice. It was safer to drink then water of this time, which was filled with bacteria. These bacteria caused Cholera, Typhoid, and Dystery. The Chinese found by drinking tea they could greatly avoid their risk to such illnesses. In addition, tea greatly reduced infant mortality since the health properties of tea could be passed on to newborns with breast-milk (179). The health benefits of tea certainly gave it a popularity boost while...
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