A History of the World in 6 Glasses Tea

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According to Chinese tradition, the first cup of tea was brewed by the emperor Shen Nung. He was the second emperor of China and is known to have invented agriculture, the plow, and discovery of medicinal herbs. Tea was accidently discovered when Shen Nung was carrying wild tea brush to use as firewood when a gust of wind blew some tea leaves into his pot of boiling water. He found the mixture a delicate and refreshing drink. Tea evolved into an everyday drink in China. The Chinese used tea to heal the sick and to quench thirst. Tea was also a huge economic benefit to China. Tea blocks were even used as a currency, and still is used in some parts of central Asia. Japan was convinced about the benefits of tea when there military leader became ill, and a Buddhist monk named Eisai cured him with the help of some tea. In japan the ceremony of making tea was taken to a new level. Every step of the process is extremely complex and specific. Japan’s greatest tea master, Rikyu, once said “If the tea and eating utensils are of bad taste, and if the natural layout and planning of the trees and rocks in the tea-garden are unpleasing, then it is as well to go straight back home. Tea is first mentioned in European reports in the 1550’s. But the shipment of tea to Europe did not start until 1610.  The first tea in Europe was green tea.   In the beginning of the eighteenth century, almost nobody drank tea in Britain, and nearly everyone did by the end of it. Tea began as a luxury item, but when the British East India Company established trading posts in china the price began to drop and amount of tea began to rise. In factories the workers were even offered tea breaks. Tea also prevented disease in Europe. The tea act of 1773 gave the British government right to tax American colonists. This this caused the colonists to boycott British goods and eventually led to the Boston Tea Party. After the opium war, British botanist Nathaniel Wallich discovered that tea was indigenous in...
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