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Authors: Laura Martin

Tea

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Tea: The Drink That Changed the World

Tea

The Drink That Changed the World

by
Laura C. Martin

TUTTLE PUBLISHING
Tokyo
•
Rutland,Vermont
•
Singapore

Please note:
This book does not provide medical advice and its recommendations are not substitutes for medical care. The teas, tisanes, and infusions presented in this book are safe and healthy for most individuals. However, new or unusual foods and drinks may cause adverse reactions in some individuals. If you have any questions about potential food allergies or other adverse effects, you should consult your physician.

Published by Tuttle Publishing, an imprint of Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd., with editorial offices at
364
Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, Vermont
05759
U.S.A.

Copyright ©
2007
Laura C. Martin

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publisher.

Many of the decorative illustrations in this book are from the classic
All About Tea
byWilliam H. Ukers, which was published in
1935
by the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company.
www.teaandcoffee.net

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Martin, Laura C.
Tea : the drink that changed the world / Laura C. Martin.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN-13: 978-0-8048-3724-8
(hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-8048-3724-4
(hardcover)
1. Tea—History. 2. Tea—Social aspects. I. Title.
GT2905.M36 2007
394.1
'
2
—dc
22

2006037833

ISBN-13: 978-0-8048-3724-8
ISBN-10: 0-8048-3724-4

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First edition
11 10 09 08 07                   10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Printed in the United States of America

TUTTLE PUBLISHING
®
is a registered trademark of Tuttle Publishing, a division of Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.

This book is dedicated in loving memory to my parents,
Ken Coogle,
1907
–
2005,
and Lois Coogle,
1915
–
2006,
who both had an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

1 From Shrub to Cup: An Overview

2 History and Legend

3 Tea in Ancient China and Korea

4 Tea in Ancient Japan

5 The Japanese Tea Ceremony

6 Tea in the Ming Dynasty

7 Tea Spreads Throughout the World

8 The British in India, China, and Ceylon

9 Tea in England and the United States

10 Today and Tomorrow

APPENDICES

TEA-GROWING COUNTRIES

THE PROFESSIONALS' TERMS FOR DESCRIBING TEA

CHOICE TEAS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

TISANES, OR HERBAL “TEA”

TEA WITH FOOD

BEST TIMES OF DAY FOR SIPPING VARIOUS TEAS

HOW TO BREW A PERFECT CUP OF TEA

COOKING WITH TEA: THE POSSIBILITIES

TEA AND HEALTH

USEFUL WEB SITES

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION

I love tea and drink a lot of it. Part of my attraction lies in the simple act of making the tea, of stopping my daily routine to boil water and watch the tea steep until the clear water turns any number of colors, from pale gold to amber to deep brown, depending on the type of tea I'm preparing. And then there is the pleasure of the first sip! Tea is more delicate than coffee, infinitely more interesting than water, healthier and more subtle than soda. It is the perfect beverage—one that can be drunk frequently and in great quantities with pleasure and without guilt. Tea, in all its complexities, offers a simultaneous feeling of calm and alertness, of health and pleasure. It is no wonder these leaves, discovered in China so long ago, have changed the world.

There is a tea produced in almost every region of the globe, and one to suit every part of the day and every mood. I begin the morning with a brisk black tea such as Keemun or perhaps a stout Irish breakfast blend. When I'm feeling adventurous, I'll try a Pu-erh from China. Throughout the day, I sip on the Japanese green tea sencha, but sometimes vary it with a green tea mixed with an herb such as hibiscus. For a special occasion, I'll “uncork” something such as the Japanese gyokuro, “Precious Dew.” By late afternoon I'm ready for the clean, bright taste of a white tea, such as “Silver Needles.”

I'm not alone in my love of tea. The Turkish, ranked as the highest per capita consumers of tea in the world (based on
2004
statistics), drink an average of
2
.
5
kilograms (
5
.
51
pounds)—more than a thousand cups—a year per person! Turkey is followed by the United Kingdom, with
2
.
2
kilograms (
4
.
85
pounds) annually, and Morocco at
1
.
4
kilograms (
3
.
09
pounds). We in the United States are not even in the running, though I know I must personally help drive up the averages!

People around the world are serious about their tea, as well they should be, for tea is big business with a rich and diverse past. Since ancient times in China, when raw tea leaves were brewed to make a harsh, bitter concoction used for medicine, tea has played an important part in human lives—even though it would be centuries before processing methods were discovered that changed the taste of tea from bitter to delicious.

For many centuries, only the Chinese knew of the wonders of tea, but eventually the habit of drinking tea spread throughout Asia, and then throughout the world. Tea traveled with traders, who found it to be a popular commodity; with travelers, who appreciated the comfort of a daily cup of tea during a long journey; and, particularly in its early history, with scholars and monks. Because drinking tea soothed the mind but kept one alert and awake, Buddhist monks frequently used it as a tool for meditation. As monks traveled from one country to the next, teaching about Buddhism and meditation, they took tea with them, and so the habit of drinking tea flowed from China throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

Monks first introduced tea to Japan in the sixth century, but it wasn't until the eighth century that cultivation began and tea became an important part of Japanese life. During the fifteenth century, tea masters in Japan developed rituals and symbolism around serving tea that resulted in the Japanese tea ceremony, which is still practiced today with such grace.

The first European port city to experience tea was Amsterdam, during the first few years of the seventeenth century. At first tea was treated as nothing more than a novelty—though a very expensive one. Tea didn't make it to London for another half-century, but once the Brits found a taste for tea, they were never the same again. The British developed such a mania for tea (fueled by the British East India Company merchants who made vast fortunes selling tea) that it quickly became part of the national culture. Tea the drink and tea the social occasion became a part of British life, for everyone from lords and ladies to the men and women of the working class.

BOOK: Tea
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