No, the Boston Tea Party was not the start of the tea craze. Actually, it all began about 4,500 years ago – and that is a long time to hang around. Even for a tea bag. Actually it was only 400 years ago that the Western world was introduced to tea.
Because tea was first used in China, they have had a profound influence on unique ceremonies in various cultures and most parts of the world have social etiquette’s concerning the preparation and serving. Many myths, legends, poems and proverbs surround tea and maintain its mystique.
Tea was originally called it “Kia” and maybe because someone knew that someone would name a car Kia, the name evolved into “Cha”. On its arrival in the West it became known as Tea, which is still the name for tea in many countries. Originally, tea was primarily used as a remedy, due to the medicinal benefits attributed to it. And so it remains popular today for the same reason.
Tea arrived in Northern America at the beginning of the 18th century and quickly became a very desirable drink, with London style tea houses developing where the drink was sold to the general public. When the British decided to place taxes on the tea supply to the colonies of North America, Americans were greatly angered and decided to boycott the taxed products in protest. Whenever British ships arrived at the harbors lade with tea, the settlers would start demonstrations, which forced the ships to leave without unloading their wares. The most famous occurrence in this regard was name the “Boston Tea Party”, during which a group of settlers boarded one of the ships anchored in the Boston harbor and started throwing thousands of crates of tea from its deck into the sea. England retaliated to this by sending military forces to the harbor and shutting it down. This event marked the beginning of the American War of Independence.
A significant rise in tea consumption resulted from the appearance of tea bags at the beginning of the 20th century. With the appearance of tea bags, the price of tea was lowered and the possibility of drinking tea without special brewing utensils made tea suitable for mass consumption, turning it into the world’s most prevalent hot beverage.
There are three primary reasons for the international popularity of tea.
- The desire to lead a healthy, simple life. Tea, as a natural drink with evident health benefits, fits in perfectly with this lifestyle.
- Immigration of Asians to the west, bringing with them their strongly based tea cultures.
- Western travelers to the east brought back with them tidings of tea upon their return.
Today the scope of the tea industry’s worldwide activity stands at more than three billion dollars a year. Tea is grown and produced in more than 40 countries worldwide. Every year, 2.5 million tons of tea is produced around the world.
Stop by Sweetea’s for a fresh brewed cup of hot tea or iced tea and learn about the history of tea.
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