“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dried leaves and flowers souped in boiling water, so simple, so down to earth, so uniquely human. This is gonna be a bit of a mini-series where we explore some of the History, usage, and (most importantly) health benefits of herbal teas.
So what are the origins of this wonder soup? According to Chinese legend whilst out wandering searching for herbs a farmer by the name of Shennong found himself poisened before the poisons could kill Shennong a tea leaf supposedly fell into his mouth causing him to miraculously heal. Agricultural evidence suggests that tea was cultivated in China around 6000 years ago, 1,500 years before the construction of the pyramids of Giza! Originally tea was consumed as a vegetable and cooked into porridge and only shifted into a Beveridge around 1,500 years ago, the Beveridge was found to be best up and mixed into boiling water called Muo cha or Matcha. Matcha’s popularity grew causing the emergence of Chinese tea culture. It became highly regarded and was often the subject of music and poetry also becoming a favourite amount emperors. During the 9th century, a Japanese monk brought the plant to Japan eventually causing Japan to develop its own tea rituals and culture. During the 14th century, a Chinese emperor shifts the standard of drinking tea in cake form to loose leaf form. Dutch traders bring tea from China to europe which causes the tea to become popular in Great Britain and eventually tea becomes global. Brittish botanist Robert fortune then travels to China on a covertive mission to steal tea, he travels through china’s mountain rich tea region and subsequently smuggles tea into india, from there tea becomes even more popular worldwide.
At present tea is the second most consumed beverage after (you guessed it) water.
The tea I referred to here is the OG of tea coming from the Camellia sinensis plant, it typically comes in the form of Black, green and white tea. Over the next couple of weeks I will be covering a variety of teas (and there are a fair few) giving a brief history but mostly health benefits of each. Hope you enjoyed this little chunk of history, definitely stay tuned for more tea related jargon. Until next time. 🙂