Good Tea ?nly shift?d from f?od to drink 1500

evening! Today I want to tell you about the history of tea.

An old Chinese
leg?nd says that during a l?ng d?y sp?nt r?aming the forest in
s?arch of ?dible gr?ins ?nd h?rbs, a farmer Shannong (Shennong) ?ccid?ntally p?isoned
hims?lf 72 times. But bef?re the pois?ns could end his lif?, a
leaf drifted into his m?uth. He chewed ?n it and it reviv?d him, and th?t is
h?w we disc?vered tea.

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Or so the
anci?nt leg?nd goes at least. Arch?ological evidenc?s sugg?st that tea w?s
first cultiv?ted as early as 6000 years ago. At that time, it was consumed very
diff?rently. It w?s e?t?n as a veg?table or co?k?d with gr?in porrdge. Tea ?nly
shift?d from f?od to drink 1500 years ago, when people realized that a
c?mbination of heat and m?isture c?uld create a c?mplex taste ?ut of the leafy
green. That is h?w the Chinese cre?te a beverage called Mu? Cha or Matcha.

Matcha became
s? p?pular that a distinct Chin?se t?a culture
emerged. Tea w?s the subj?ct of b?oks and p?etry, the favorite drink of
emperors. But how tea was spread around the world?

First of
all, in the 9th c?ntury during Tang Dynasty, a Jap?nese m?nk br?ught
the first te? pl?nt to Japan. The Japanese devel?ped their ?wn unique ritu?ls
ar?und te?, le?ding t? the cre?tion of s? p?pular Japanese tea ceremony.

But the re?l
spread began at the beginning of the 16th century when Dutch traders
br?ught tea to Europe in large qu?ntities. Later at
17th century, Great Britain was exp?nding its col?nial influ?nce and
bec?ming the new dominant w?rld power. And as Gr?at Britain grew, inter?st in
t?a spre?d around the world. By 1700, t?? in Eur?pe sold for ten tim?s the
pric? of c?ffee and the plant w?s still ?nly gr?wn in China.

At first,
Brit?in paid f?r all this Chinese te? with silver, but when it bec?me too
expensive, they suggested tr?ding te? for ?nother subst?nce – opium. This
triggered ? public he?lth problem within Chin? ?s people bec?me ?ddicted to the
drug. Then in 1839, a Chinese offici?l ?rdered to destroy massiv? British shipm?nts
of ?pium as a statem?nt against Brit?in’s influ?nce ?ver China.

This act
trigg?red th? First Opium W?r betw?en two n?tions. In 1842, Qing Dyn?sty l?st
the war, g?ve the p?rt of H?ng Kong to th? British, and r?sumed tr?ding on
unfav?rable terms.

L?ter the
British E?st India Comp?ny also w?nted to be able to gr?w tea themselv?s and
further c?ntrol the m?rket. So they c?mmissioned bot?nist Robert F?rtune to
ste?l tea fr?m China in c?vert op?ration. And he r?ached succ?ss. More?ver, he
r?cruited exp?rienced te? work?rs and th?n moved with them into Darjeeling,
India. From th?re the pl?nt spread furth?r still, h?lping drink t?a’s rapid gr?wth
as an ev?ryday commodity.

T?day tea
is the sec?nd most c?nsumered bev?rage in the w?rld aft?r water, and fr?m
sugary Turkish Riza tea, to s?lty Tibetian butt?r tea, there ?re almost as m?ny
ways of prep?ring the bev?rage as ther? cultures on the gl?be.

For today
that is all. Thank you for your attention! Good Bye!