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History of Tea
Tea is a magical thing. Being enjoyed the world over for nearly 5000 years, in much the same way now as it was then. As legend has it, tea was discovered purely by accident by a Chinese emperor when a leaf from a nearby tree dropped into his hot water. From this humble beginning, tea is now enjoyed in every country in the world and only water is drunk more –but only just!

Tea is a creative thing. Most people think of tea as simply a brown liquid, but it is so much more. From silver needle to dragon pearl, gunpowder to monkey –picked, there are quite literally hundreds of thousands of different shapes, sizes, colour and names of tea to capture the imagination. Go anywhere in the world and ask for a cup of tea –I bet it will be prepared differently than the last place you asked. Go to Morocco and you`ll probably get it in a glass with mint, go to China and the leaves could be hung round your neck in a jar all day, go to Japan and you may just find yourself drinking it in a ceremony that lasts from dawn to dusk.

Tea is an innovative thing. Did you know tea was the beginning of modern day yacht racing –when clipper ships were used to get the first crop of the season from China to England in the fastest time in order to fetch the best price in market? Or did you know tea was the catalyst of the American war of independence –when a cargo of tea was destroyed rather than paying taxes in what otherwise known as all have a special way of making our own cup of tea –some like it sweet, some like it weak, some like it served in their own special cup –but we all know, it rarely taste as good as when you make it yourself.

Tea is often thought of as being a quite essentially British drink, and we have been drinking it for over 350 years. But in fact the history of tea goes much further back. The story of tea begins in China. According to legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was a Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea.

Business at the speed of thought may be the order of the day but with it comes the stress of forever keeping the body going. Diets are the first casualty and the clock takes its toll. Tea should be drunk because it’s healthy. As simple as that. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers from five or six cups of tea a day will go a long way in keeping your cholesterol level down, lessen chances of a heart or cancer attack. It’s good for your eyes, teeth and your body over all. In the earliest treatise on tea called Cha Chung Chinese scholar Lu Yu says, “When feeling hot, thirsty, depressed, suffering from headache, eye ache, fatigue of the four limbs or pains in the joints, one should only drink four or five times a day. Tea pampers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude, relieves fatigue, awakens thought, prevents drowsiness and refreshes the body and mind.” The pre-Confucian scholars were united in extolling the virtues of tea as a health drink over wine and water.