The Art of Drinking Tea

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  • Topic: Tea, Tea culture, Black tea
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  • Published : March 15, 2008
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The ART of Drinking Tea

Tea and its History

A cup of tea is a vital part of everyday life for the majority of people all over the world. In fact, tea is so integral to may people's routine that it is very difficult to imagine life without it. Imagine going to a Chinese restaurant and ordering dim sum without serving the hot tea that goes along with it. But this common practice was not that enjoyed by the majority before. Tea was a luxury product that only the rich could afford, and at one time there was a discussion if it is good or bad for ones health. It was over the course of several hundred years that tea gained its place as a familiar drink among many household. Also, its health-giving properties were relatively recognized by the world.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, drinking tea did not originate in Britain but in China. The true story begun in ancient china over 5,000 years ago. According to legend, Shen Nung, an early emperor was a skilled ruler, creative scientist and patron of the arts. His far-slighted edicts required, among other things, that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One summer day while visiting a distant region of his realm, he and the court stopped to rest. In accordance to his ruling, the servants begun to boil water for the court to drink. Dried leaves from the near by bush fell into the boiling water, and a brown liquid was infused into the water. As a scientist, the Emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing. And so, according to legend, tea was created. Mythologists thought the narrative was so practical that they believe that it was closely related to actual events.

Late in the nineteenth century, tea became a very popular activity especially for women. It became a popular pastime back then. But tea remained a beverage that was mostly drunk at home. Tea was drunk at breakfast by all social classes. Among the rich, it would typically accompany a vast spread of bread or toast, cold meats and pies, eggs or fish. Poor families usually began the day with a cup of tea, as well as bread and butter and perhaps porridge. Tea was then drunk at regular intervals throughout the day. This shows how versatile tea is since it can be partnered with almost any dish for meal times.

History would attest that back in the day tea was the most popular beverage served in coffee houses, but tea were so named because coffee arrived in Britain years before tea did. It used to be as expensive as the market for tea was controlled by England. Only rich people were able to enjoy its luxury. It was only when the Chinese learned the art of growing these herbs that the market for such beverage was made available to its growing public. Tea became a witness to the revolution that was happening around it. The birth of free speech brought about by these coffee houses. Even the black market was used to be controlled by tea merchants because of its value. This popular beverage served as an observer for the events that was happening around it. Its growing public caused it to evolve and many people engage themselves into developing and innovating the art of drinking tea. Thus, different kinds of tea emerged.

When a growing number of merchants compete for their own tea markets a number would send small bag of samples to coffee houses. Later, they saw that coffee houses used these bags to boil tea so that mess would not be made inside the kitchen. And also leaves would not mix with the water while drinking. This gave birth to the art of using tea bags when drinking tea.

Different concoctions also emerged as these coffee houses are competitive among its market. Thus, chai tea and iced tea became popular among the masses. This kind of concoctions varies from place to place and weather as they often played a vital role for its consuming public. Like in the Philippines, a tropical country, iced tea was a more popular...
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