Since the Chinese emperor 5000 years ago the wondrous herbs of tea was blown into the drinking cup, tea has made politics and history is written. Our lives, and also the maritime economy and trade were decisively shaped by the tea drinking, starting with said legend: 2737 BC, Emperor Shen Nung was in his garden, in his hand a drinking cup of hot water. A sudden gust of wind blew sheets of a wild tea bush in his bowl. The emperor immediately noticed the pleasant scent, he tasted, and felt pleasantly refreshed. As far as the legend of the discovery of the tea plant, and the “preparation” of the first tea.

The origins of tea production

The first written mention of tea dates back to the third century BC A respected Chinese surgeon then recommended tea as an effective way to increase alertness and concentration. tea was finally up to the third century AD as a medicine or tonic from the leaves of wild won tea bushes. To meet the increasing demand, farmers planted to tea bushes. Written evidence report of the first tea bushes from agricultural cultivation in the hilly area Szechwan in China 350 AD. Growing, harvesting, drying and processing were removed due to a productive and profitable agricultural system. In the fourth and fifth centuries, the popularity of the tea increased rapidly in China and new plantations were built along the legendary Yangtze River. Moreover kings tea was offered as a gift and served as a valuable Tauschgut in trade with other countries. Worth the precious spices very close, which were ultimately more expensive than gold.

The history

Specialty Green Tea
Over time the Chinese developed the green tea. In contrast to the black in the green tea leaves are not fermented (fermentation and oxidation of the tea leaves in a humid environment), so it tastes slightly and quenches thirst.

Other developments were the red tea (oolong), which is partially dried and black tea, which is fermented completely and therefore has more color and sharpness. The black tea is also more durable, which was given the time-consuming long sea passages, later on, especially in Europe, of great importance. Golden Age & triumph to Japan is currently in the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) was not more tea exclusively for medical purposes drunk, but also as a beverage consumed – began the “golden age” of the tea. The preparation and serving of the beverage have been an elaborate ceremony, closely monitored during cultivation and processing of the plant and were subject to strict rules. Very strict rules! The pickers was about forbidden to eat garlic, onions or hot spices. This was done to avoid that odors can contaminate at the fingertips of the delicate leaves. During the 9th Century reached the tea Japan. A well-traveled Buddhist monk who imported tea seeds, and gradually became extinct during the elaborate tea rituals of ancient China, the Japanese developed parallel to the Buddhist faith an elaborate ceremony called cha-no-yu. It is celebrated today and is at the heart of Japanese culture. Development of China porcelain The first Chinese tea leaves were brewed in open vessels. It was recognized, however, during the legendary Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) that pulling the tea leaves in boiling water gave the best flavor results. They therefore used vessels with hinged lid to stow the heat inside. What was originally used for brewing wine, proved to be suitable also for making tea. For this prototype of a teakettle gradually developed after the precious china porcelain in its present shape manifold. Finally tea in Europe! The Portuguese and Dutch merchant fleet brought the herbs of tea in the 16th Century for the first time to Europe. France, Germany, Portugal, Holland and Italy imported tea time though, still sat in these countries at the end of the 17th Century as a popular drink coffee through.

In England and Russia on the other hand drew from a growing market for the hot beverage from China. Tea came mainly by sea to Europe. Russia, however, was provided by camel caravans of up to 300 animals by road. tea as dowry The fate of tea in the UK took a turn in 1662, when King Charles II by the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza married. England’s new queen was a passionate tea drinker, long before they arrived in their new home. As part of her dowry she brought a chest with precious Chinese tea they served their aristocratic friends at court. Soon word spread of the new drink and more people wanted to taste it, but at high prices was the tea drinking preserve of the rich. Cause of the high prices were immense import taxes, which were collected for the rehabilitation of severely strained British Exchequer. The American colonies were put out, especially on the tax policy, since they had no influence on the legislation. Smuggling and the trade boycott against the British East India Company was the result.

The most famous Boston Part y
The conflict escalated with the “Boston Tea Party” from 1773. It urged townspeople in Boston Harbor and threw three charges of the English East India Company tea overboard. This act of violence was the starting signal for American independence in history. From the end of the 18th Century, tea was the most popular drink in England and dissolved the Ale (British beer) from a breakfast drink. The sharp rise of the tea consumption founded in degradation of various trade barriers. On the one hand was then reduced with the adoption of the Commutation Act of 1784, the tax on tea drastically (from 119% to 12.5%). On the other hand, the market opened with the end of the China trade monopoly of the East India Company and the repeal of the Navigation Acts. 100 days at sea! latter allowed only British ships, the importation of tea to British ports. The opening of the market helped the Americans quickly thanks to their fast merchant ships to success. With a narrow fuselage and huge sails needed the so-called “Tea Clipper” for the voyage from China to England just 100 days instead of one year. It also races were held and bets on the “Tea Clipper ‘finished. An era in the 1860s ended with the introduction of steamships and the opening of the Suez Canal again. The route was shortened by about 7000 kilometers. By 1900, the annual tea consumption in Britain rose to over 100,000 tons. Tea drinking was the afternoon tea “Afternoon tea” – a light meal between lunch and dinner -. An important ritual to this day in the British daily tea trade and tea consumption today in England is one of the tea consumption of everyday life as nowhere else in Europe. With 3.2 kg per capita per year in England is the European ranking of Teeverbrauchs only in seventh place. The Irish drink is in first place. The world’s highest per capita tea consumption Paraguay has a roughly per capita consumption of 11.7 kilograms (value of 1998). This corresponds to about 15 cups of tea a day. To meet the global demand for tea, every year about 3 million tons of tea are harvested. From 1952 to 1998 the regular auctions of the London Tea Exchange was the largest trade center for tea in Europe. Today tea is traded on exchanges in the producing countries. Among them are cities such as Calcutta, Colombo, Mombasa.