It seems about time that I came to the subject of tea, as it is also an important facet of Jaho, where we carry about a hundred different types of loose leaf tea. Tea is coffee’s diverse counterpart, and the two of them have ruled the hot beverage market for hundreds of years. Because tea is an ancient beverage, it is surrounded by many myths and legends. The first tea plant is said to grow from the eyelids of an enlightened man, when he cut them off after falling asleep while meditating.
The question that I have always had is what caused people to put tea leaves in their water in the first place? It’s a strange leap to make, especially considering how tea has evolved and diversified in to what it is today, but when addressing this question all that we have to go on is legend. The legend states that in early china the emperor Shen Nung required all his subjects to boil their drinking water. Supposedly one day while traveling the country, his servants were boiling water when some leaves from a nearby bush were blown into the pot. The resulting brown liquid made the emperor curious and after trying some he found it to be revitalizing. Thus, tea was born.
After that, it doesn’t take legend to see how tea swept the country and the world. It became deeply imbedded into the culture and tradition of China, and a valuable tool in trading with world markets.
These days there are hundreds of varieties, from places all over the world; there is a tea for your stomach and a tea for your zodiac sign. There are teas that aren’t made from tea leaves, but instead are made from flowers, tree bark or roasted twigs. But, most of the different types of tea are created by what happens to the tea leaves after they are picked, by drying processes etc. With all that range in the tea world, there is something that is bound to please the palette of just about anyone, and a cup of tea is as rich in history as it is in flavor.