You can have it hot or cold, black or green, herbal or lemon; yes what we are talking about is tea. Tea is the most popular beverage worldwide. The discovery of tea was done in 2700bc by a Chinese emperor, also a scientist, Shen Nung. In the Indian and Japanese legend tea was supposedly discovered by a Buddhist missionary monk Daruma.
Shen Nung had discovered tea when some leaves from the garden fell into his pot of boiling water resulting in a refreshing drink where as it is believed Daruma on being disappointed of himself for not being able to complete his nine year meditation had cut off his eyelids and thrown it on the ground from which originated the tea plant. It was the monkeys who were first trained to pick tea leaves.
Tea slowly gained popularity among the French and the Dutch, but due to its high cost remained a drink for the wealthy. With the passage of time and the increasing popularity different processes of brewing, preparing and drinking tea was evolved. Marquise de seven was the first to have mentioned the addition of milk to tea giving the drink a new dimension.
Tea was first taken to Europe by the Dutch in the 1600bc. In the 1700bc tea was first sold in a fashionable coffee house by Thomas. John Dorniman was the first to sell tea in nett weighed packets. The first European to write about tea was father Jasper De Cruz, in the year 1560, who tasted the drink at a missionary. The duchess of Bedford originated the custom of afternoon tea but the credit turning it into a pastime should be given to Queen Victoria.
Tea was originally grown in china and exported to Europe and other parts of the world. china emerged as the trader of tea . Due to the steep rise in demand and also to keep a check on the balance of trade the Europeans started looking for other places where tea could be grown .this search gave birth to the tea fields of India . Later Europe imported tea from India followed by Ceylon.
The history of tea also enhances our general knowledge. When we move back in time, we learn that the practice of tipping was developed in the tea gardens of England where a small wooden locked box labeled tips (to insure prompt service) was kept for its customers. Customers came and went by, years and centuries passed by, only to take to new heights the refreshing drink called Tea.