Let’s Talk about tea: tea traditions of different countries

Except water, tea is the most popular drink in the world. Daily entire population of the Earth consumes about 3 billion cups of tea. Although, in terms of per person is not too much — a little less than half a Cup. Do you know where was brewed the largest Cup of tea . Today I’m inviting you on a journey through the tea world map where each country has its own traditions. And what is interesting — many of them tea is considered the national drink.

The birthplace of tea is China. About the origin of tea there is a strange legend. One monk (according to other sources, it was the Prince) gave a five-year vow of wakefulness, but in the fourth year could not resist and fell asleep once. Waking up, in the hearts he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. On this place grew the first tea Bush, the leaves of an infusion which possessed the ability to banish drowsiness.

Legend legend, but the Chinese drink tea for over 5000 years, along with supplying tea in different countries of the world. According to another legend, the first taster of tea was the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC He noticed how the tea leaves accidentally dropped into a Cup of boiling water, imparted a pleasant aroma and color. Already in 1608 in China producing and exporting 6 types of tea: green, white, Oolong, yellow, red and Puer.

The first book about tea was written in China in the year 800 a philosopher named Lu Yu.

Japan has the oldest tea ceremony, which dates back to the XII century. Gradually it became an official public event, and in the sixteenth century tea master Senno Rikyu formulated the rules of this ceremony.

The first European country where tea was brought, became Portugal. It happened in 1560. In 1662 the Portuguese Princess Catherine Braganza married king Charles II of England. As part of the dowry, the new Queen brought to England a chest of tea.

James Tissot. In the greenhouse, 1875-1878.

Over time England formed the tradition of drinking tea twice a day. The first time is afternoon tea, described Carroll. At this time of day, tea is served on a small table along with light snacks — sandwiches and scones. Second Seating is more substantial, the famous British five o’tuft, or “high” tea. It is served for the dining table. At this time, eating hot food, cakes, biscuits. And, of course, tea. A lot of tea.

Another English tradition — the tea dance. Since 1732, and until the beginning of world war II in gardens across the country on Saturdays and Sundays there were the holidays, in a program where afternoon tea was accompanied by dancing. Somewhere in Britain, tea dances still exists today.

In the USA there is the custom of drinking iced tea — more than 80% of tea consumed by Americans today is such a refreshing and cooling drink. Hot tea and Americans drink only caught cold and fell ill.

In the USA were invented and also the tea bags. As often happens, it happened accidentally. Exporter of tea from new York Thomas Sullivan looked for a cheaper packaging than tins, to send tea samples to his customers. Paper packing seemed the most suitable solution. But the recipients were small-minded and instead to release the tea from the package, began to brew it right into her. So, without knowing it, Sullivan has revolutionized the tea business.

Boston tea party December 16, 1773, 1846 Lithograph

Here in 1773, was the so-called “Boston tea party”. The colonists in protest against the decision to grant the British East India company the right of duty-free importation of tea to America threw tea imported on English ships at sea. Only in the waters of Boston Harbor was “brewed” about 45 tons of tea. This event was one link in a chain of causes that led eventually to the revolutionary War.

In Russia tea was introduced in the XVII century. According to the chronicle, the Ambassador of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Vasily Starkov brought it back from Mongolia in 1638. But the introduction of the Royal court with a new drink and could not take place (at least in that year) — the Ambassador did not really want to carry four pounds of dried marijuana incomprehensible. However tea in Russia, came to the court, and in 1855 established constant trade between it and China.

Boris Kustodiev. Merchant’s wife at tea, 1918

However, in Siberia (which, incidentally, even at that time was part of the Russian state) tea appeared much earlier — when the Russians first appeared over the Urals, they found that the TRANS-Baikal Buryats drink tea every day, which they store in the form of brown tiles. In Siberia in the XIX century brick tea often played the role of money.

In Russia, tea was a national drink and drank it in the Royal chambers, and in the peasant houses. It could be bought in the shops along with other food products. And with the advent in the eighteenth century, the samovar tea has become established as the “true Russian drink”.

Russian folklore and the proof:

Do not drink tea — so strong”

“Tea — not to chop wood”

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