The History of Tea

    The History of Tea

    According to Chinese legend, tea was first discovered in 2727 BC, when the Emperor Shen Nong was purifying water in the shelter of a tea tree, and several leaves blew into the pot. Having tasted the resulting brew, of superb fragrance, color and taste, the emperor rejoiced. He introduced the hot beverage to his people, but until roughly 618AD, the beverage was used mostly for medicinal purposes. It was then, during the Tang Dynasty, that tea became a popular household beverage for everyday use. The spread of tea to the western world started in 1517 when Portuguese trade ships first docked in China. The tea drinking custom was introduced to France in 1638, then to England in 1645, and subsequently to other European countries and North America in the middle of the 17th Century.

    Chinese Tea Culture

    As the country from which tea as a beverage originated, the Chinese lifestyle is strongly associated with tea which forms a part of almost every meal. One particular belief is that tea is one of the seven necessities to begin your day and is often described with a personal character in

    China, reflecting a kind of personal bond with tea as a part of the everyday lives of the Chinese. Tea drinking and tea tasting China have two very different meanings, where the latter has more of a cultural connotation and which requires a considerable amount of effort. With tea tastings, particular focus is given to matching the tea and tea ware to the surroundings. Factors such as the weather, moon and physical surroundings are considered in these events. Different areas in China are also associated with particular tea drinking habits with black tea being popular in Fujian Guangdong, scented teas being more popular in the north and a preference for green tea in the east.

    Russian Tea Culture

    Tea was introduced to Russia in 1638 and is today considered to be one of the most popular beverages in the country. Traditionally, tea was enjoyed only as an afternoon drink, but over time, the Russian people started enjoying their tea all through the day, especially after meals or with dessert. Tea now forms a major and essential part of Russian culture and the Russian samovar, a tea brewing device, has become a symbol of hospitality.

    English Tea Culture

    Tea was originally introduced to England in the mid 1600's and was soon available in every street in London. Although it was widely accessible, tea was originally consumed mainly by the Rich and famous and it was Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, who introduced the custom of tea parties which were common occasions for fellow aristocrats to enjoy a hot cup of tea. After the Revival of the Tea Culture, tea was exported to North America from England, where it was widely consumed as well. However, as a result of heavy taxes, the colonists started objecting to consuming tea and raided a major shipment of the East India Company, preventing any tea from being unloaded from the ship. This rebellion, called the Boston Tea Party, greatly reduced the popularity of tea in North America and a coffee drinking culture was adopted which soon became commonplace in many other countries. This trend has, however, reversed in the last few years as more people have become health conscious and recent studies have shown a strong correlation between tea consumption and increases in cardiovascular health, increased metabolic rate and the prevention of a variety of cancers. In what seems to be a strategic move to capitalize on the revival of tea culture globally, the global coffee giant, Starbucks, recently spent US$620 million in purchasing the specialty tea retailer Teavana and in October 2013 opened its first Tea Bar. Bringing this revival to the Middle East, The Hamptons Café, in partnership with Avantcha Tea, aims to reintroduce the tea culture to the UAE. The Hamptons Café's Tea Salon level will be the base from which Russian, Chinese and British Tea culture will be promoted through various themed events such as tea tastings. No expense was spared in sourcing the finest teas and tea accessories, such as traditional Russian Samovars, available only in The Hamptons Café. This Café has developed a London blend for bespoke tea use, providing visitors with a unique tea experience which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In addition to the bespoke blend, there is also a variety of carefully selected

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