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I’ve been drinking tea for years…
Posted on Dec 20, 2014 in Chinese Tea
... but it's only relatively recently that my tea journey has really taken off. Tea is a fascinating subject, good to drink, good for health and it's been around for years! Quite honestly, coffee is not my cup of tea! It makes me thirsty, not like tea.
China is the worlds largest producer of tea, over 2 million tons annually. That's a lot of tea! And it was in China that tea was discovered over 4000 years ago. According to legend, Shennong, whose name means “The Divine Farmer”, is accredited with the discovery of tea. The story goes that one autumn afternoon, the farmer stopped to take a well earned break under a camellia tree. He boiled some water to drink and some dried leaves from the tree fell into the water, infused and created the first pot of tea. Shennong took a sip and found it refreshing. Just like millions of us do today.
In traditional Chinese culture, tea drinkers were always considered to be elite and highly respected by society. Not much has changed today, apparently. The Royal China Club in Central London has just added the world’s most expensive pot of tea to its menu. A tea fit for Billionaires! A pot of this tea serves 4 small cups and costs £180! The tea leaves can retail for £650,000 a kilo and come from just three tea bushes in the Fujian province. These bushes, or so the story goes, cured the illness of a Ming Dynasty Emperor. Like pu erh tea, which is much more affordable, this tea is left for up to 80 years to gain flavour.
And if by chance, you should be lucky enough to be poured a cup of this ‘elite’ tea, don't forget to show your gratitude by tapping 2 fingers on the table.