January 24, 2022

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When writing and/or mentioning tea in Burma, or any other nation for that issue, it is inevitable to depart on the trip into the realm of tea in China – in south-west China to be specific – for that is as I will certainly explain in the complying with certainly where tea is originally coming from.

The discussion on whether the background of Burmese tea and also the drinking of tea in Burma have actually originated in China has probably much more to do with at the very least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ hesitation to confess that the origin of tea is China and that the alcohol consumption of tea was taken on by them later on from the Shan, than with tea, tea alcohol consumption and tea culture itself. The truths are that tea both as plant and also drink was uncovered and had actually come to be important part of Chinese as well as later Shan culture currently each time when no Bamar/Burman had ever established foot into what is nowadays Burma (given that 1989 likewise called Myanmar).

Simply put the initial kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was actually started by the Pyu, and also while we go to it, Anawrahta, the 42nd king of Pagan who is by the Bamar/Burman considered the owner of the 1st Burman kingdom was a Pyu, not a Bamar/Burman) did at that time not exist what is currently the definite response to the concern of the origin of tea, tea drinking and also tea society in Burma; Burma or any kind of predecessor of it merely really did not exist in or throughout the era in question, duration. Yet why exist still individuals (not numerous of them, though) that when faced with all facts and logic claim that Burmese tea, tea drinking and tea culture are not come from China? Short answer: Due to the fact that the location that remained in pre-Bamar time inhabited by the Shan is currently laying partially within the far north east of Burma. Nevertheless, that these areas are nowadays situated within Burma’s borders does not necessarily indicate that the exact area in which Camellia sinensis was at first found as well as from where it then infected India, through every one of south-east Asia as well as, finally, throughout the globe lies within north-east Burma. It is feasible but it is likewise feasible that Camellia sinensis – translated from Latin right into English the name means ‘Tea flower’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – has at a later point extended right into the location currently covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.

Guide of tea is a book with several web pages as well as chapters beginning shrouded in the mist of misconception and also legend a long time back in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete date 2725 BC discussed what is linking the (unexpected) exploration and the later drinking of tea to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung regarding that I will certainly tell you more a bit later on. No one truly recognizes when it was that the alcohol consumption of tea (what back then was constantly environment-friendly tea because it was unfermented additionally called unoxidised) started to become part of Chinese culture. That is why it can not be within the extent of this write-up to (as fascinating as this might be) take care of relevant Fe-acc18 misconceptions, tales as well as mythology in order to disclose tea background’s key of when as well as where this was as well as just how it occurred. The solution to this inquiry will certainly never ever be found anyhow what means that it will for always continue to be concealed behind the curtain of legend. As a result we have to find realities in the form of composed records and archaeological finds that will certainly offer us tea associated info we are searching for. And as for that is concerned we do not have to search for long.

We are offered the initial trustworthy details in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was started to be assembled and also written throughout the Han Empire at some time around 325 BC as well as more expanded after that: its name is Erya additionally meant Erh-ya. The writer of the Erya is unknown however it is among scholars approved that this have been disciples of Confucius. Right here we find documents allowing us recognize that tea was already understood and drunken a minimum of at the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC, probably earlier. Nevertheless, it is not defined whether it was tea made from camellia sinensis leaves and also drunken for enjoyment or some herbal probably not really tasty tea drunken for medical functions only.

From later documents we understand that brewing and also drinking tea was already part of the Chinese individuals’s day-to-day life at the beginning of the Han Empire in 206 B.C. or even earlier. That the drinking of tea has so relatively quick penetrated the Chinese culture would absolutely not have actually been feasible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not only spread out the drinking of tea among the populace but that had actually likewise taken over the planting and handling of tea. Soon after tea as drink had been introduced throughout the Han Dynasty, Buddhism was associated with tea. The Buddhist monks have really early recognised that tea was a cheap and also rejuvenating beverage with taste and also scent that kept them awake.

From the by Lu Yu throughout the Tang Dynasty composed and also at concerning 760 AD published book ‘The Classic of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that eco-friendly tea was known and also drunken throughout all of China for pleasure from 618 ADVERTISEMENT, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the symbol of consistency and strange unity of the Universe where we can see just how extremely he thought of tea.

An astonishing discovery would (at the time of this writing in 2016) 1255 years later on verify Lu Yun incorrect in up until now as eco-friendly tea was already a preferred drink in south as well as west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. thrilling exploration was that it was confirmed that leaves discovered in the tomb of the sixth Emperor of the western Han Empire, Emperor Jin of Han (Liu Qi), where real (Camellia sinensis) tea leaves that were given him in addition to hundreds of clay soldiers and numerous various other things as severe great for the journey right into his afterlife. To prevent complication, the emperor’s tomb was currently uncovered in the 1990s during road building and construction job, which in itself (not the roadway building and construction yet the discovery of the Emperor’s burial place) was a world experience. However, with respect to the components of this article the searching for of the tea leaves was even more thrilling since these tea leaves are one of the most ancient and also finest tea leaves ever found what has gained them an entrance in the Guinness Book of World Records as ‘The world’s oldest tea leaves’.

As with so many other things the beginning of alcohol consumption tea is soaked in tale. There are different tales regarding how the initial chapter of the book of tea begins as well as having actually read them I have pertained to the verdict that 99.99 percent of them belong into the realm of tales. Among the most popular Chinese legends is the with fantastic enjoyment repeatedly informed tale about an emperor’s pot of hot water that happened to be placed specifically under a tea tree where tea leaves were sure to drop into the pot. Naturally, oh wonder (exactly how might it be any different) tea leaves fell into the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor obtained of interest a sip of the formerly unknown now slightly yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the tale goes, so ecstatic regarding the scent and taste that after that he made tea his much-loved drink as well as the drinking of tea entered into Chinese culture. The emperor in this legend is the mythological emperor Shen Nung additionally spelled Shannong, Shen Nong that is by the Chinese venerated as the ‘Divine Farmer’ as well as the ‘Papa of Chinese Herbal Medicine’. He was what is nowadays called ‘pharmacologist’, as well as it is thought that he has ‘lived’ 140 years, from 2838 BC to 2698 BC. This is no doubt all pure legend yet its origin might be seen against the background of the reality that Shen Nung was herbalist which tea went to the beginning utilized as natural medication in both solid (as veggie or salad) and/or fluid type (as tea).

What is tea and also where is it stemmed? Briefly placed, tea is a beverage commonly comprising of water and all-natural (uncured) as well as treated tea leaves of the species camellia sinensis. This is, as previously said, an evergreen hedge native to Asia that can when it stays untouched grow in the wilderness right into a tree with an elevation of some 55 ft/ 17 m. Incidentally, why do we call tea, tea? Let me quickly describe where the name ‘tea’ stemmed and also where it spread around the globe. The name ‘tea’ has its beginning in China where 2 names are made use of for the exact same beverage. It is called ‘Cha’ in Chinese language and also ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese language. In 1644 the British developed a trading post in Xiamen as well as anglicised the Xiamenese ‘tay’ what, subsequently, ended up being ‘tea’ a name that in the following time promptly spread out via as well as was approved by the English speaking world.

Where specifically is Camellia sinensis stemmed? As astounding as it sounds and also whatever we could think about it, comprehensive and also in-depth research study has brought about the outcome that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or can have progressed and also expanded individually in a number of parts of the globe however tremendously enough just within a fairly tiny area situated in and constrained to an area that does include parts of what is nowadays the Shan state (as north as well as north-eastern part of the at that time not existing Burma) as well as the Chinese districts Yunnan and also Sichuan.

But whether ‘Burmese’ tea has its beginning in China (what it has) or otherwise, or whether or not the drinking of tea became part of the Burman’s culture just after it was introduced to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether the popular ‘Burmese milk tea is really Indian tea introduced by the Indian – and NOT British – individuals during British colonial times (what it was and is) does really not matter much – if anything – due to the fact that the truth continues to be that ‘tea’ has over time (trough all the Bamar/Burman kingdoms, the British colonial times as well as the past-independence time) developed into an integral part of the supposed ‘Burmese beverage as well as food culture’ what it remains to be to this particular day and will constantly be wherewith I have now ‘beamed’ us from the ancient past into today.

Before our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – seriously, they are literally at every edge, what holds true for every location with more than two houses in all of Burma – to delight in a cup or 2 of the popular ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ as well as one of the delicious Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this write-up let us start at the beginning, by briefly answering concerns such as, where tea is expanding within the boundaries of present-day Burma, what sort of tea it is, how it is refined after being connected, of what top quality Burmese tea is contrasted to the qualities of e.g. China, India and various other Oriental nations, and so on.