When composing and/or discussing tea in Burma, or any other nation for that issue, it is inescapable to leave on the trip right into the realm of tea in China – in south-west China to be specific – for that is as I will certainly describe in the following certainly where tea is originally originating from.
The discussion on whether or not the background of Burmese tea and also the alcohol consumption of tea in Burma have come from China has probably extra to do with at the very least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ unwillingness to admit that the beginning of tea is China which the drinking of tea was taken on by them later from the Shan, than with tea, tea drinking as well as tea culture itself. The realities are that tea both as plant as well as beverage was found and also had actually become important part of Chinese and later Shan culture currently at a time when no Bamar/Burman had ever set foot into what is nowadays Burma (because 1989 additionally called Myanmar).
Simply put the very first kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was actually founded by the Pyu, as well as while we are at it, Anawrahta, the 42nd king of Pagan that is by the Bamar/Burman considered the creator of the 1st Burman kingdom was a Pyu, not a Bamar/Burman) did back then not exist what is already the precise solution to the inquiry of the origin of tea, tea alcohol consumption and tea culture in Burma; Burma or any precursor of it just didn’t exist in or during the age in question, period. Yet why are there still people (not a lot of them, though) that when faced with all realities as well as reasoning claim that Burmese tea, tea alcohol consumption as well as tea society are not originated in China? Short answer: Due to the fact that the location that was in pre-Bamar time occupied by the Shan is now laying partly within the much north eastern of Burma. However, that these locations are nowadays located within Burma’s boundaries does not always suggest that the exact location in which Camellia sinensis was at first located and also from where it after that spread to India, with every one of south-east Asia as well as, lastly, throughout the globe exists within north-east Burma. It is possible yet it is additionally feasible that Camellia sinensis – converted from Latin into English the name indicates ‘Tea blossom’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – contends a later time extended into the location now covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.
Guide of tea is a book with lots of web pages and phases starting shrouded in the mist of myth and also tale time back in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete date 2725 BC mentioned what is connecting the (unexpected) exploration as well as the later drinking of tea to the Chinese emperor Fe-acc18 Shen Nung regarding that I will certainly tell you much more a bit later on. Nobody truly understands when it was that the drinking of tea (what back then was always green tea due to the fact that it was unfermented likewise called unoxidised) started to become part of Chinese society. That is why it can not be within the range of this write-up to (as fascinating as this might be) handle associated myths, tales as well as folklore in order to disclose tea history’s secret of when and also where this was and exactly how it happened. The solution to this inquiry will certainly never ever be discovered anyhow what means that it will for always continue to be covert behind the curtain of legend. Therefore we have to discover realities in the form of composed records and historical locates that will certainly give us tea relevant details we are seeking. And regarding that is concerned we do not need to search for long.
We are given the initial trusted information in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was begun to be put together and also written during the Han Empire sometime around 325 BC as well as additional broadened from then on: its name is Erya also meant Erh-ya. The writer of the Erya is unidentified but it is among scholars approved that this have actually been devotees of Confucius. Below we discover documents allowing us understand that tea was already known and drunken at least at the start of the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC, possibly previously. Nonetheless, it is not specified whether it was tea brewed from camellia sinensis leaves as well as drunken for enjoyment or some herbal probably not very tasty tea drunken for clinical purposes only.
From later records we know that brewing as well as drinking tea was currently part of the Chinese individuals’s everyday life at the beginning of the Han Empire in 206 B.C. and even previously. That the drinking of tea has so reasonably fast penetrated the Chinese society would definitely not have actually been feasible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not only spread the drinking of tea among the populace however that had additionally taken over the growing and also handling of tea. Soon after tea as beverage had been introduced during the Han Empire, Buddhism was related to tea. The Buddhist monks have really early identified that tea was a cheap and also refreshing drink with good taste and also fragrance that kept them awake.
From the by Lu Yu throughout the Flavor Dynasty written and also at concerning 760 advertisement released book ‘The Classic of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that eco-friendly tea was recognized and drunken throughout every one of China for pleasure from 618 AD, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the sign of consistency and mystical unity of deep space where we can see exactly how extremely he considered tea.
A sensational exploration would (at the time of this writing in 2016) 1255 years later verify Lu Yun incorrect in up until now as environment-friendly tea was already a preferred drink in south and also west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. mind-blowing exploration was that it was proven that leaves located in the burial place of the sixth Emperor of the western Han Empire, Emperor Jin of Han (Liu Qi), where actual (Camellia sinensis) tea leaves that were offered him together with countless clay soldiers and also many other points as major great for the trip right into his immortality. To stay clear of confusion, the emperor’s burial place was currently discovered in the 1990s throughout road building work, which in itself (not the roadway building but the exploration of the Emperor’s burial place) was a world sensation. Nonetheless, relative to the contents of this post the finding of the tea leaves was much more spectacular due to the fact that these tea leaves are one of the most ancient and finest tea leaves ever before discovered what has earned them an entry in the Guinness Publication of Globe Records as ‘The globe’s oldest tea leaves’.
Similar to so many various other things the beginning of alcohol consumption tea is soaked in legend. There are different tales about just how the first phase of the book of tea begins as well as having reviewed them I have actually involved the conclusion that 99.99 percent of them belong into the world of tales. One of one of the most preferred Chinese legends is the with terrific satisfaction again and again informed tale regarding an emperor’s pot of hot water that happened to be placed precisely under a tea tree where tea leaves were sure to drop right into the pot. Normally, oh marvel (how could it be any different) tea leaves came under the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor got of inquisitiveness a sip of the formerly unidentified now somewhat yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the tale goes, so thrilled regarding the fragrance as well as preference that from then on he made tea his preferred beverage as well as the alcohol consumption of tea became part of Chinese culture. The emperor in this tale is the mythological emperor Shen Nung likewise spelled Shannong, Shen Nong who is by the Chinese worshipped as the ‘Divine Farmer’ as well as the ‘Father of Chinese Herbal Medication’. He was what is nowadays called ‘pharmacologist’, and also it is believed that he has actually ‘lived’ 140 years, from 2838 BC to 2698 BC. This is no doubt all pure legend however its origin may be seen against the backdrop of the truth that Shen Nung was herbalist which tea was at the beginning used as organic medicine in both solid (as veggie or salad) and/or liquid kind (as tea).
What is tea and also where is it originated? Quickly placed, tea is a beverage typically including water as well as all-natural (uncured) and cured tea fallen leaves of the species camellia sinensis. This is, as formerly said, an evergreen bush native to Asia that can when it stays untouched expand in the wilderness into a tree with an elevation of some 55 ft/ 17 m. By the way, why do we call tea, tea? Let me quickly describe where the name ‘tea’ stemmed as well as from where it spread around the world. The name ‘tea’ has its origin in China where 2 names are utilized for the exact same drink. It is called ‘Cha’ in Chinese dialect and ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese dialect. In 1644 the British established a trading post in Xiamen and also anglicised the Xiamenese ‘tay’ what, consequently, came to be ‘tea’ a name that in the following time rapidly spread out with and also was approved by the English talking world.
Where exactly is Camellia sinensis originated? As unbelievable as it sounds and whatever we may think about it, extensive as well as in-depth research has brought about the result that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or could have progressed as well as expanded independently in several parts of the world but astonishingly sufficient only within a reasonably little location situated in and constrained to a region that does consist of parts of what is nowadays the Shan state (as north and north-eastern part of the back then not existing Burma) and also the Chinese districts Yunnan and Sichuan.
But whether ‘Burmese’ tea has its origin in China (what it has) or otherwise, or whether the drinking of tea entered into the Burman’s society only after it was introduced to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether the popular ‘Burmese milk tea is in fact Indian tea presented by the Indian – as well as NOT British – individuals during British early american times (what it was and is) does really not matter much – if anything – due to the fact that the truth remains that ‘tea’ has over time (trough all the Bamar/Burman kingdoms, the British colonial times and the past-independence time) became an indispensable part of the so-called ‘Burmese drink as well as food society’ what it continues to be to be to this particular day and also will always be wherewith I have now ‘beamed’ us from the old past into the here and now.
Before our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – seriously, they are actually at every corner, what holds true for every place with greater than two residences in all of Burma – to delight in a cup or two of the popular ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ as well as one of the scrumptious Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this article allow us start at the start, by briefly addressing questions such as, where tea is growing within the boundaries of contemporary Burma, what kind of tea it is, just how it is processed after being plugged, of what top quality Burmese tea is contrasted to the qualities of e.g. China, India and also various other Eastern nations, and so forth.