Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tea for Two: The Stories and History of Tea

The Tea Kettle
by Warwick Goble, 1910
The History of Tea
Legend has it that tea was discovered in China in 2737 BC by the Emperor Shen Nung, when the leaves of a wild tea bush accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. By the time of the Tang Dynasty tea had become China’s national drink.
Tea was first brought to Portugal and Holland by missionaries and sailors returning from China. By the early 17th century, as China slowly opened up to trade with the outside world, regular cargoes of tea began to arrive in Europe and eventually Britain.
At first, only royalty could afford to drink tea, then the nobility acquired a taste for it. Servants were introduced to tea by drinking the ’dregs’ – using leaves left over from their masters’ brew.
The first record of tea trading with Chinese merchants is dated 1644.
Tea became popular in refined British society during the reign of King Charles II, when his Portuguese wife, Catherine Braganza, introduced tea to the Court
Tea was first planted in Africa in 1687 but did not spread to East and Central Africa until the end of the 19th century. Today Africa is one of the world’s largest producers of tea.
It is believed that tea was first brought to the colony of New Amsterdam (which later became New York) by the Dutch around the middle of the 17th century.
Boston, Massachusetts  is also the site of the famed Tea Party in 1773, when angry colonists took a stand on English–imparted tea taxes.
Iced tea debuted in 1904 at the Louisiana State Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Mo. The temperature was soaring and the staff in the Far East Tea House couldn’t get any fair–goers to even look their way, let alone sample their tea. So they poured the hot tea over ice cubes and the drink quickly became the exposition’s most popular beverage.
For more information please visit http://theteaspot.com/tea-history.html


The Accomplished and Lucky Tea-Kettle - Japan
The Ancestor of Tea – Chinese Folktale

Chinese Tea Stories
The Ghost’s Tea Kettle – Yupik
Learning to Act - India
The Samurai and the Tea Master – Japan * You can listen to the audio or read the story at this link.
The Tea-Kettle – Japan


From the great Irish Storyteller Eamon Kelly: The Tea Man

A Cup of Christmas Tea by Thomas Hegg – This is an original poem so copyright is in effect. Please contact Mr. Hegg for permission to tell this poem.


Dà Hóng Páo – Great Red Robe oolong teahttp://www.tealegends.com/da-hong-pao-great-red-robe-oolong/

In Pursuit of Tea: The Legend of Tieguanyin and The Legend of Bodhidharma

I’m a Little Teapothttp://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/grandparents/mteapot.html Salt Dough Tea Set

Tea Party Puppets

I'm a little teapot,
Short and stout,
Here is my handle (one hand on hip),
Here is my spout (other arm out with elbow and wrist bent).
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out! (lean over toward spout)
Karen Chace 2013 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.