Tea Trivia Day 2
Posted by Kimiko URIU on April 06, 2011 (0 Comments)
Do you know in which country they first discovered tea?
Japan, India or China.
It is said that China started using green tea more than 5000 years ago. There are many stories of how it was first discovered. The most widely accepted story is that of the Chinese emperor Shen Nong who liked boiling the water he would drink so that it would be clean. A servant boiled the water for him on a road trip and did not notice that a leaf from a wild tea bush had fallen into the cup. When tasting the water the emperor found it very refreshing and that is how "cha" (tea) was born.
Buddhist monks first brought tea to Japan in the eighth century. It was originally used for medicinal purposes for the upper class. In the 1500s the art of the tea ceremony was introduced by the Zen priest Sen No Rikyu and then became a drink for all levels of Japanese society. It was not until the 17th century that infusing leaves in hot water became fashionable.
In 1823 Robert Bruce discovered local tribesmen in Assam chewing leaves from trees that looked very similar to the tea trees he had seen in China. However nobody paid much attention to this discovery.
It was not until 1836 that the British tried cultivating tea, but it was not at all like the tea that was produced in China. The British soon realised they needed more knowledge and therefore brought Chinese workers in order to be able to launch the tea cultivation project. That is when the cultivation of tea in India took off.