Why a Tea Blog?


Tea. Compared to many other beverages, it seems simpler, cheaper and healthier. But as I mindfully drink my tea I become aware that there is much more than meets the eye.

TeaEye

Tea has served as a medicine and tonic and it has helped monks stay alert during long hours of meditation. Friendships have been forged and tempered through the sharing of this humble drink. Cultures have developed both casual and intricately codified ceremonies around the drinking of tea.

Kanō_Osanobu_71_utaiawase
An open tea house serving matcha (right) and a peddler selling extracts (left) in Muromachi period. (See source). {{PD-Japan}}

Tea has been and continues to be a product of immense commercial importance. It has been exchanged as currency and demanded by kings as tribute. The tea trade helped build the largest corporation in the history of the world. The “opium wars” of the 19th century were certainly “tea wars” as well.

The tea trade so enriched the British East India Company that it even minted its own coins!
The tea trade so enriched the British East India Company that it even minted its own coins! (See image source){{PD-India}}
371px-L陆羽茶经
A page from a copy of The Classic of Tea (茶经; pinyin: chájīng), written by Lu Yu during the Tang Dynasty and believed to be the first book about tea.

Consider some of the various factors involved in creating a cup of tea: sunshine, rain, soil; often fertilizers and pesticides; the dexterous hands of tea pluckers toiling away at subsistence wages; the oil needed to transport tea from Asia to Europe or North America. We tea drinkers find ourselves at one end of a vast and complex supply chain.

But the end is also the beginning. Sharing a cup of tea, we begin a new friendship. Our spent tea leaves, as compost, transform into new buds, flowers and fruits. And since it’s the beginning, the best is yet to come.

There you have it. So much to explore in that simple cup of tea!


Sources

Mair, Victor H., & Erling Hoh. 2009. The True History of Tea. New York: Thames & Hudson.

Rose, Sarah. 2011. For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. New York: Penguin Group.

Martin, Laura C. 2007. Tea: The Drink that Changed the World. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.


4 thoughts on “Why a Tea Blog?

  1. Sharad, so happy that you made a choice to hang with the Menon trio. It was a pleasure to share many cups of tea with you this past week and go down memory lane.

    Thinking of all the things you have taught me since I came to this country. Here is a list.

    You taught me how to shop at Kroger after you told not to take the cart home with me as so many UC students were doing. 😂

    You taught me how to drive a stick shift and to drive it well. You shared your car so generously so I could practice and let me use it twice for the driver’s test. ( failed the first time remember). And then you came to Indianapolis to help me buy my first car.

    Now you are teaching me about tea and how to enjoy it, revere those to strive to make it better and learn the subtleties of its taste.

    And you taught me how to blog!! Grateful for the experiences, enjoyed all of it.

    Loved the pictures in this post! They go so well with your thoughts!

    Like

  2. Hi, Sharad Mama!

    I know I’m late, but I’ve read this so many times and finally got around to leaving a comment!

    The first thing that came to mind after reading this is how it reflects the person that you are. It’s adorable, to say the least. I loved how simply you’ve explained everything and how you’ve given us greater insight into what could just be another beverage (with an ancient history).

    Also, you indirectly inspired me to finally create a blog by teaching Mythri Atte how to blog, so thanks for that! (Don’t forget to check my blog out and leave some comments #shamelessadvertising)

    I’m really excited to read your next posts because I know what an adventurous life you lead and how many new things you see, learn and experience on a daily basis. You should make it a travel blog of sorts!

    Waiting to read more!

    Lots of love~

    Sanchita xx

    P.S. loved the insightful pictures and their added relevance.

    Liked by 1 person

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