THE HISTORY OF TEA
According to Chinese legend, tea was invented accidentally by title Chinese Emperor Shen Nong when leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant drifted into a heated open pot of water.
Wang Bao wrote the first known Book with instructions on buying and preparing tea.
Famed physician and surgeon Hua Tuo wrote Shin Lunin which he describes tea's ability to improve mental functions.
The demand for tea rose steadily. Rather than harvest leaves from wild trees, farmers began to develop ways to cultivate tea.
Turkish traders bartered for tea on the Mongolian border.
During the Sui Dynasty, tea was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks.
During the T’ang Dynasty, powdered tea was produced. Caravans earned tea on the Silk Road, trading with India, Turkey, and Russia.
Poet Lu Yu wrote the first book of tea making him a living saint patronized by the Emperor himself. The book described methods of cultivation and preparation.
During the Yuan Dynasty, tea became an ordinary drink, never regaining the high status it once enjoyed in China. Marco Polo was not even introduced to tea when he visited.
In Japan, Eisai wrote a small book on tea, elevating its popularity further.
During the Ming Dynasty, Chinese people began to enjoy tea again. The new method preparation was steeping whole leaves in water.
The Japanese tea ceremony was created by a Zen priest named Mura Shuko, who haa devoted his life to tea. The ceremony is called Cha No Yu, which means, hot water for tea.
1600 - 1610
The Dutch brought tea to Europe from China, trading dried sage in exchange.
Tea became known in France.
Tea was first sold in England at Garway's Coffee House in London.
The Taiwanese began to drink wild tea.
Charles II took Catherine Braganza of Portugal as his wife. They both drank tea, creating a fashion for it. Its popularity among the aristocracy causes alcohol beverages to fall from favour.
Close to 150 pounds of tea were shipped to England.
Traders with three hundred camels travelled 11,000 miles to China and back in order to supply Russia’s demand. The trip sixteen months.
In Taiwan, settlers of Formosa's Nantou county cultivated the first domestic bushes. Dutch ships carried the tea to Persia, the first known export of Taiwanese tea.
1700 - 1705
The yearly importation of tea to England grew to approximately 800,000 pounds.
Wealthy American Colonists developed a taste for tea.
The Boston Tea Party, protesting high taxes that England levied on tea, began of the American colonies' fight for independence. Under cover of night colonists dressed as Native Americans boarded East India Company ships in, Boston Harbour. They opened chests of tea and dumped their contents into the water. This was repeated in other less known instances up and down the coast.
England sent the first opium to China. Opium addiction in China funded the escalating demand for tea in England. Cash trade for the drug increased until the opium wars began in 1839.
1800 - 1834
An Imperial Edict from the Chinese Emperor closed all Chinese ports to foreign vessels until the end of the First Opium
The East India Company established experimental tea plantations in Assam, India.
Clipper ships, built in America, sped-up the transportation of tea to America and Europe. livening the place of trade. Some ships could make the trips to Hong kong and London in ninety-five days. Races to London become commonplace, smugglers and blockade-runners also benefit from the advances in sailing speeds.
Tea was planted in many areas of Darjeeling
A deadly fungus wiped out the coffee crop in Ceylon, shifting preference from coffee to tea.
Tea plantations were started in Ceylon, though their tea would not be exported until the 1870’s.
The Suez Canal opened, making the trip to China shorter and more economical by steamship.
Twinings of England began to blend tea for consistency.
Richard Blechynden created iced tea for the St Louis World Fair.
Trans-Siberian railroad made transport to Russia cheaper and faster. Java became an important producer as well.
Thomas Sullivan invented tea bags in New York, sending tea to clients in silk bags which they began to mistakenly steep without opening.
Sumatra, Indonesia grows and exports tea. Soon thereafter, tea is grown in Kenya and other parts of Africa.
The Taiwanese government encouraged its population to drink tea, revitalizing tea culture on the island.
World’s first instant tea introduced.
An Indian multinational non-alcoholic beverages company set up a fully owned subsidiary, Tata Tea Inc., in the USA.
The American specialty tea market has quadrupled now being worth $6.8 billion a year.
Tea is grown and produced in more than 40 countries worldwide. Every year, more than 2.5 million tons of tea is produced around the world.