And then there was tea....

Legend has it that one fine day in 2737 B.C., as Chinese Emperor Chen Nung sat in the shade of a tree, a few leaves fell into his pot of boiling water. In tasting the infusion that resulted, the Emperor discovered tea! The first teas were green or semifermented tea. Buddhist priest Yeisei is said to have brought tea to Japan, where it became associated with Zen Buddhism.

Luk Yu, scholar and politician of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) is known as the immortal of tea of China. He devoted his life to tea after becoming disenchanted with politics. He wrote the famous "Tea Classic".

Tea began being imported to Holland and England in the beginning of the17th century, The English coffee houses were chiefly for Men. Tea was introduced as a genteel drink, which both men and women could enjoy. Public sale of tea began at London as the East India Company undercut Dutch prices and advertised tea as a panacea for apoplexy, catarrh, colic, consumption, drowsiness, epilepsy, gallstones, lethargy, migraine, paralysis, and vertigo.

China mostly imported black tea, Some say that the Western taste for black tea is the result of an error. The story goes that Europeans received a cargo of tea that had fermented because of thelong boat crossing. The recipients believed that they were emulatingthe Chinese, and developed a taste for this kind of tea. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861) introduced tea as a light meal between breakfast and lunch in England. Needless to say, it really caught on. Opium/Tea Wars

Hong Kong was a British Colony because of Tea:
The Emperor K'ang Hi imposed restrictions on the exportation of tea, letting only the Cantonese Co Hong merchant monopoly export. The Emperor tried in vain to regain control of trade and to stop the imports of opium from Britain to China. In 1839, a high commissioner of Canton burned the contents of 20,000 cases of opium, engendering heavy losses for the protesting British merchants. Not long afterwards, an Imperial decree closed China to foreigners. The English replied by blockading Canton(1840), and so began the first Opium Wars. The 1842 Treaty ofNanking awarded the British excellent conditions, including the freedom to trade in opium, the end of the obligation to deal exclusively with the Co Hong and above all the concession of Hong Kong, on which to establish their commercial base. It wasn't untill 1997 that Hong Kong was returned the Chinese.

Tea was responsible for the American Revolution

In 1767: The Townshend Revenue Act passed by Parliament June 29 imposed duties on tea, glass, paint, oil, lead, and paper imported into Britain's American colonies in hopes of raising £40,000 per year (for England!). This led to the Boston Tea Party.

In 1820 Britain began growing tea in it's colony of India ....The popular story is that the British chose India as a suitable area to raise and harvest tea. England was nervous about losing Chinese tea supplies due to unrest in China. Some native tea plants were found in Burma and the forests of Assam were destroyed to create tea fields.

In 1904 Iced Tea was first introduced at the Saint Louis World Fair. In the Victorian times, "Tea Dances" became a fashionable way to meet a "respectable mate".

The rest is history!

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