It’s impossible to say just how or exactly when the leaf of the Camellia Sinensis plant ended up in a cup of boiled water but it was definitely in BC times and we’re exceedingly glad it did. Tea is celebrated around the world under different monikers: Cha, Chai, Ocha, tsái, tè, thé, trà and the. No matter what you call it, tea is the universal imbibe that is sure to find its way into your life at one point or another. If you know a little something of its history we’re sure you’ll appreciate it even more.
Chinese Emperor Shen Nong first tasted tea by accident. A leaf falling into boiling water created a golden liquid, and Shen Nong, the brave soul, decided he would give it a taste. The Emperor declared it delicious and tea quickly became the national drink of China
Tea was introduced into Japan by Buddhist priests returning from study in China. During the 8th and 9th centuries its use was widespread in courtly and monastic circles but did not become widely used in Japan until the 15th century
Tea was first introduced to Europe by Portuguese missionary – Jesuit Father Jasper de Cruz. After the introduction of tea into Portugal, tea was shipped to Lisbon; and Dutch ships transported it to France, Holland and the Baltic countries.
Dutch traders start bringing tea to Europe where it was sold mainly through pharmacies as a therapeutic imbibe.
Peter Stuyvesant serving as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of “New Netherland”, known today as New York, introduces tea to America.
Tea docks in England and is an immediate success. The British form the East India Trading Company building a fleet of ships and begin importing huge quantities of tea from China, making it accessible for wealthy and poor alike.
In protest against taxes levelled against tea, over 300 chests of the product were dumped into Boston harbour. This famous action became known as the Boston Tea Party and was a precursor to the American Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence.
Grown and produced in more than 40 countries worldwide, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water.