Over the last three weeks we have covered some fascinating uses for tea, in areas of skincare, food pairing and healthy sleep patterns. As we approach the beginning of Spring, we are going to take you on a Tea Journey, as we explore the origins of tea-making, and discover many more uses for this versatile organic product.
Tea has been around for as long as can remember, and stems through cultural roots and stories far back in our history books. So when was tea first originated?
According to many old stories, the origin of tea stems back all the way to 2737 BC in China. Chinese emporer at the time, Shen Nung, was enjoying some boiled drinking water while sitting beneath a tree, when a few leaves blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist bravely tasted the infused water, and was pleasantly surprised at the taste. The leaves of the tree were Camellia sinensis, and resulted in the first attempts of what we now fondly refer to as tea-drinking.
While we cannot know if this story has any truth to it, we personally love the idea of this, as it have given birth to the many experimental taste and flavor combinations tea has to offer.
Tea soon became a well-established custom in China, and only reached western civilization many centuries later. Under the rule of the Tang dynasty (618-906 AD), tea grew further in popularity and became firmly established as the national drink of China.
It was shortly after this that tea was introduced to Japan, by Japanese Buddhist monks who had travelled to China to study. Tea soon became deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, as can be seen from the development of traditions such as The Tea Ceremony. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also commonly known as ‘The Way of Tea’ is a cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of green powdered matcha tea.
Next week we will be sharing more on the journey of tea, and it’s growth in western cultures such as Europe.
Join us on our Tea Journey and you could WIN a tea hamper, to the valued of R500. To enter, simply share this blog article on Facebook, and tag @TheTeaMerchant in your post.
Green tea blends, like those mentioned above, can be purchased from The Tea Merchant stores nationwide and via our online store. To view the product online, click here: https://www.theteamerchant.co.za/collections/green-tea
To find a shop closest to you, visit our store locator here: https://www.theteamerchant.co.za/apps/store-locator