The story of the discovery of teas
There are many legends that revolve around the discovery of this much-loved drink, but the most acceptable legend goes back to ancient times in China. About five thousand years ago, Emperor Sheng Nong, known as the “Divine Healer”, was trying to resolve a constant incidence of epidemic outbreaks in his realm. With this, a law was created: everyone should boil water before consuming.
One day, when he was resting under a tree with its boiled water, waiting for it to cool down to drink, he noticed that some leaves had fallen into the water, giving it a different shade, more brownish. He decided to try it and found it had a pleasant taste. With that, he ended up spreading consumption among his subjects.
The traditional drink prepared by Buddhist monks until the present day was made with the camellia sinensis plant , widely cultivated in the Himalayas. At the time when Buddhists began to consume this drink, the Tang Dynasty was in power, between the years of 618 and 906, approximately.
During this period, the Chinese Buddhist monk Lu Yu produced (in the 8th century) an important work on tea, which became known as the Ch’a Ching. The work described the ways in which the plant used for tea was grown, and the best ways to prepare the drink.
Some Japanese monks, in the middle of the ninth century, took some seeds of this plant to their country, starting the cultivation and the habit also in Japan. others.
In Japan these days, the tea ceremony is quite serious. Participants must disconnect from everyday concerns and then follow the Path of Tea, achieving a stage of soul awareness. The habit of drinking tea was improved by Sen Rikyu, a master who turned it into an existential philosophy, into a ritual that is a way of transmuting existence into art.
tea in europe
In Europe, the arrival of tea came through Central Asia, but also Russia. However, it was the Portuguese who spread consumption across the continent at the end of the 15th century. The goods were transported by Portuguese ships to Lisbon, from there to Holland and France.
The Portuguese, however, shortly after, lost the privilege and gave way to the Dutch and French freighters. Marco Polo, famous adventurer, recorded references to tea in his reports and travels.
The habit of consuming teas, from the 19th century, spread in England and became traditional, passing to the United States, Australia and Canada, taking more and more space around the world.