Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 07, 2012

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Tea And Its Legends

It all began in 2737BC in China.

According to legend, whilst the emperor Shen Nung was boiling water to slake his thirst in the shade of a tree, a light breeze rustled the branches and caused a few leaves to fall.

They mixed with the water and gave it a delicate colour and perfume.

The emperor tasted it and found it to be delicious. The tree was a wild tea plant: This is how tea was born.


In India, another legend tells of how Prince Dharma was touched by Divine grace and went out to preach the teachings of Buddha in China. To make himself worthy, he vowed never to sleep during the nine years of his journey. At the end of the third year, however, he was overcome by drowsiness and was about to fall asleep when by chance he plucked a few leaves from a wild tea plant and began to chew them. The simulating qualities of tea immediately had their effect; Dharma felt much more alert and thereafter attributed the strength he found to stay awake during the six remaining years of his apostolic mission to these leaves.


In Japan the story goes a little differently; after three years Bodhi Dharma, exhausted, ended up falling asleep while he prayed.

On awaking, infuriated by his weakness and devastated by his sin, he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground.

Some years later, on passing the same spot, he saw that they had given birth to a bush that he had never seen before.

He tried the leaves and discovered that they had the property of keeping a person awake. He told the people around him about his discovery and tea began to be cultivated in those places through which he traveled.

Legends aside, it seem that the bush was originally from China, probably from the region around the border between the North Vietnam and Yunnan province, and that the drinking of this beverage was first developed by the Chinese.

Since the invigorating and energizing qualities of tea were very soon noted, it was the first used for medicinal purposes, either externally in the form of a paste to combat rheumatism or internally as a purifying soup. 

The first recipes for the preparation of tea were not too far from this idea: the leaves, which had been softened by steam, were ground with a mortar and pestle and compressed into flat cakes which were then brought to the boil with rice, milk, spices and sometimes even onions!


I have no idea if you have found this entry interesting or not. You tell me…..

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derrick241 on

On my trip there were many types of tea and they seemed to give it all these mystical things and uses for it, some of the tea was 30 years old and over $300 a cake, not the sort of thing to use every day, but I think it was the English or the Indians had it with milk, in parts of India it is still drank black

The same as Pakistan, green tea is drank a lot in China (with all the mystical properties they say it has)

They drink gren, white and black tea there

when we were in Sri Lanka we visted a tea plantation and factory, its hard work picking, sorting, grading and packing the tea, the majority of their tea is sold to the UK, a small amount goes to the US

Only the best tea is exported, they keep the poorer stuff for themselves,

derrick241 on

ooops, forgot to mention the tea leaves are used more than once in India and Pakistan, they use leaves, not tea bags, tea bags contain the poorer tea, simply because grade A tea doesnt work in tea bags, it has to be fine tea

So if anyone ofers you a cup of tea, make sure they have a tea poy, and it always tastes better in fine porceline cups and saucers, with digestive biscuits

But I still prefer my coffee

greekcypriot on

I truly appreciate Derrick alll this useful information you give below my entry.
And yes, I agree with you that tea bags contain the poorer tea. There are times when I love a cup of tea....usually I have it with milk, but the majority of times I have coffee -which has to be very strong!!

derrick241 on

I know where to come for my coffee then :-)

greekcypriot on

Sure...and I have it with no sugar, no milk...really strong!

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