Udemy Lecture one Brief TEA History

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CTC lecture one Udemy


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Brief History of Tea:

Brief History of Tea In preparation of studies to become a Certified Tea Consultant

Origins of tea drinking:

Origins of tea drinking Exact origins of drinking tea is a mystery in time Chinese legend place tea with Emperor Shen Nung about 2737 BC Emperor was a scholar and herbalist who knew drinking boiled water was healthy

The Breeze of Tea:

The Breeze of Tea It is said a breeze blew a leaf from the Thea sinensis (member of the Camellia family) into the Emperors boiling water. He found the flavored water refreshing. Drinking tea became promoted for health and wealth.

Tea as a commodity for health and wealth:

Tea as a commodity for health and wealth Water soaked with tea leaves was promoted as a remedy for depression, to aid concentration, and for a general feeling of well-being. Written history records references to tea drinking by the third century BC (about the time of Moses in the Middle-East)

Commercialization of Tea:

Commercialization of Tea By the Third Century AD , tea leaves were cultivated as a crop primarily for medicine or tonic promoting well-being. The tea bush was grown in mountains of China on small land-holdings. The plant was kept trimmed from 15 feet to 4 feet tall for ease of harvest.

Tea as Wealth:

Tea as Wealth Dried tea leaves were pressed into bricks and used in exchange for trade. It became “money.” Artisans created tea-wares of great value that further elevated the status of tea.

Tea drinking was elevated to general use in Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD):

Tea drinking was elevated to general use in Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) Was no longer only medicinal Became central for hospitality and ceremonial purposes. Rules of worker selection and hygiene of the women who plucked the leaves became superstitious and rigid. Virgins were selected to pick and process the best teas. Workers must avoid spicy foods and “bad” personal habits or morals.

Up until the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD (Note: Columbus discovered Americas in 1492):

Up until the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD (Note: Columbus discovered Americas in 1492) Only green tea was used in China Tea leaves became processed in various ways, including a powder. Green tea was delicate and had a short (one year) life for use and flavor. Commercial travel required another process to extend the use and value of the leaves… The Black Tea leaf and processing was born!

Tea went to Japan:

Tea went to Japan It is thought that a Chinese monk brought tea to Japan about 700 AD. For a time tea growth, harvesting, and processing was abandoned in China. The Japanese Monks religiously harvested and protected tea drinking as a means to increase concentration in meditation. A complicated, rigid tea ceremony evolved that continues today. Japanese ceremony requires a life-time of learning. We will not discuss this ceremony further.

Tea goes to Europe:

Tea goes to Europe Both the Dutch and Portugues e merchant sailors traded with China in the 17 th century. Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1601 and never tasted tea.

Tea required with each ship:

Tea required with each ship Business men controlling imports of silks, brocades, and spices from China and Japan found tea was equally desirable by customers. Tea was re-shipped to other areas of Europe such as France, Italy, Germany, and Russia. Remains popular in England, Northern Germany, Russia, and France in addition to Portugal and Holland.

Tea comes to England:

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth I and the wars for control of the English throne, Charles II was asked to retake the English crown. Charles II had been living in exile during Cromwell’s era of the Republic and the execution of his father, Charles I. Charles II married Catharine of Broganza , a Portuguese Princess. The Princess brought tea as a part of her dowry in the marriage. The Court learned to steep tea. Tea comes to England

An aristocratic drink because…:

An aristocratic drink because… Charles II imposed high levels of taxation on tea, coffee, and chocolate. Taxed amount equaled the earnings of almost a week’s labor for average Englishman. Tax burden was later reduced for all products except for tea imports. Growing demand for tea gave rise to the underground bootleg system for distributing tea along the Thames river.

Next class:

Assignments Review the history given in Teatime Together Prepare and practice a 5 minute talk about the history of tea. Next class Terminology for tea and tea activities. In the US and generally in European societies. You should have received samples of tea leaves that demonstrate gradation and processing. Notify your instructor if you have not received your leaves.

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