The Chinese have many legends on the mysterious origins of tea. It is said that the Emperor Shen Nung discovered the fragrant leaf in the third millennium B.C. Others say it was Buddha who introduced tea to China. Lao Tzu was offered tea when he traveled through Szechwan in the sixth century B.C.; Confucius is said to have taken tea. These narratives are shrouded in the mists of time, yet we know for certainty that tea, in all its glory, originated in China.
As I drink my afternoon tea and feel the warmth return to me after a brisk walk, I decided that this week would be about tea. With autumn upon us, most of us have our teapots and kettles ready to go. What better time to talk about a history that is full of danger, conflict and espionage. Join me as we explore the many and varied people who have made tea famous.
“I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of tea.”
“Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.”