Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Origins of Tea and How It Can Bring Vitality to Your Life

The Origins of Tea and How It Can Bring Vitality to Your Life
By []Roofus Twist 

Tea has a long history and is a cultural staple in many countries across the world. It can relax your senses, clear your digestive tract and provide a wonderful smelling aroma. Tea ceremonies and traditions have been practiced worldwide for many years and learning about the history can help you to understand its origins and provide great insight into the history of the world around us. Tea is one of the most popular and healthy beverages in the world. Due to it's popularity and the benefits it provides tea houses have become a hot new craze. Tea is served in every corner of the world and this article will help you better understand a tradition "steeped" in history.

China and Japan-the origins:

China has been popularly credited with the discovery of tea in 2737 BC. During the Western Zhou Dynasty the beverage was used as a religious offering. During the Han Dynasty, between 202 BC-220 AD, tea plants were quite limited and scarce, and therefore only royalty and high-class citizens were able to enjoy the taste to maintain good health. During the Tang Dynasty, from 618-907 AD, more extracts were discovered and, as a result, tea drinking became more common among all social classes.

Around the time of the Tang Dynasty, the beverage was brought over to Japan, where it was consumed for its medicinal properties. Zen Buddhism developed a major correlation with tea and soon after Buddhists developed the Japanese Tea Ceremony, a sacred and now ancient tradition.

The English tradition:

Tea first arrived in England during the 17th century when the Portuguese bride of King Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, introduced the trend of consuming the warm beverage to England's elites. It came to be known as the unofficial drink of England when Anna, Duchess of Bedford, introduced the custom of afternoon tea. The purpose of afternoon tea was to satiate the hunger between lunch and dinner. It quickly became a popular happening and social gathering.

Two popular English varieties are English Breakfast and Earl Grey. These well-loved teas are generally served with sugar and milk and can be enjoyed at any point in the day--not just during the afternoon. 

Tea Blends of the World:

China and England are two of the most popular places that come to mind when we think of tea, however, many other destinations around the world practice and enjoy tea rituals. For example, in Morocco, traditional tea contains a mixture of green tea and mint sweetened with sugar and refusing to accept tea when offered is considered extremely rude in this North African culture. In Tibet, tea is notorious for being mixed with yak butter and salt. This high fat tea blend is considered to be a lifestyle essential in the cold altitudes of the Himalayas. In Taiwan, a modern and tasty tradition is pearl milk tea, also known as bubble tea.  It is a cold tea mixed with fruit or milk with a spoonful of tapioca balls. In the southern states of the US, cold teas made with ice and sweetened with sugar are a staple during the blazing hot summers. However, of all the tea drinking nations in the world, India is the country that consumes the most tea. Here, it is known as chai and is often sold from chai stalls, which can be found almost anywhere. Pakistan is another location where black and green teas are popular, Noom Chai being unique to this region. This specialty tea is light pink in colour and made with milk, pistachios, almonds and spices from the Kashmir area.

Tea has soothing effects and is one of the most consumed beverages on the planet. As the weather starts to cool down this is the perfect time to embrace the health benefits and lovely of aromas of teas from around the world with a warm cup of tea, or two. 

Cha Yi is a tea house in Ottawa that celebrates many traditional tea gatherings as well as offering workshops. There are many different varieties of hand-selected teas to sample from many tea-producing regions of the world that are available to sample and purchase. Visit Cha Yi for an upcoming tea workshop or visit []online to view the collection of over 200 loose teas.

Article Source: [] The Origins of Tea and How It Can Bring Vitality to Your Life

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