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 world of tea in China – in south-west China to be exact – for that is as I will certainly explain in the adhering to most definitely from where tea is initially originating from.
The conversation on whether or not the background of Burmese tea and also the alcohol consumption of tea in Burma have actually come from China has possibly much more to do with at the very least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ unwillingness to confess that the origin of tea is China which the drinking of tea was taken on by them later from the Shan, than with tea, tea alcohol consumption as well as tea society itself. The facts are that tea both as plant as well as drink was discovered and had actually ended up being vital part of Chinese and later Shan culture already each time when no Bamar/Burman had actually ever before established foot right into what is nowadays Burma (considering that 1989 additionally called Myanmar).
In other words the initial kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was actually started by the Pyu, and while we go to it, Anawrahta, the 42nd king of Pagan that is by the Bamar/Burman took into consideration the founder of the 1st Burman kingdom was a Pyu, not a Bamar/Burman) did back then not exist what is already the certain answer to the inquiry of the origin of tea, tea alcohol consumption and also tea society in Burma; Burma or any precursor of it just didn’t exist in or throughout the age in question, period. However why exist still individuals (not so many of them, though) who in the face of all facts and logic state that Burmese tea, tea drinking and also tea culture are not come from China? Short answer: Because the location that remained in pre-Bamar time inhabited by the Shan is now laying partially within the far north eastern of Burma. However, that these areas are nowadays situated within Burma’s limits does not always mean that the specific area in which Camellia sinensis was at first found and where it after that spread to India, via all of south-east Asia and also, ultimately, throughout the world exists within north-east Burma. It is possible however it is likewise possible that Camellia sinensis – converted from Latin right into English the name implies ‘Tea blossom’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – has at a later point in time extended into the location now covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.
The book of tea is a publication with numerous web pages and also chapters starting shrouded in the mist of misconception as well as tale a long time back Fe shop in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete date 2725 BC mentioned what is linking the (accidental) discovery and the later alcohol consumption of tea to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung concerning who I will certainly tell you much more a bit later on. No one actually knows when it was that the drinking of tea (what at that time was always environment-friendly tea because it was unfermented likewise called unoxidised) began to enter into Chinese culture. That is why it can not be within the range of this write-up to (as fascinating as this may be) deal with associated misconceptions, legends and folklore in order to disclose tea history’s secret of when and where this was as well as exactly how it took place. The answer to this inquiry will certainly never ever be discovered anyhow what means that it will for always remain covert behind the curtain of tale. For that reason we have to discover facts in the form of created documents and also historical finds that will certainly offer us tea associated info we are trying to find. And also as far as that is worried we do not need to search for long.
We are provided the very first reputable information in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was begun to be assembled and created throughout the Han Empire at some point around 325 BC as well as more broadened after that: its name is Erya also meant Erh-ya. The author of the Erya is unidentified but it is among scholars accepted that this have actually been adherents of Confucius. Here we locate documents letting us recognize that tea was currently understood as well as drunken at the very least at the start of the Zhou Empire in 1046 BC, most likely earlier. Nevertheless, it is not defined whether it was tea brewed from camellia sinensis leaves as well as drunken for pleasure or some organic probably not very scrumptious tea inebriated for clinical purposes just.
From later documents we know that developing and also drinking tea was currently part of the Chinese people’s everyday life at the start of the Han Empire in 206 B.C. or even previously. That the drinking of tea has so reasonably fast penetrated the Chinese culture would absolutely not have actually been feasible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not just spread out the alcohol consumption of tea amongst the populace yet that had likewise taken control of the growing and handling of tea. Not long after tea as beverage had been presented throughout the Han Empire, Buddhism was connected with tea. The Buddhist monks have extremely early acknowledged that tea was an inexpensive and also revitalizing drink with taste and scent that maintained them awake.
From the by Lu Yu during the Flavor Empire created and at concerning 760 AD published publication ‘The Classic of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that eco-friendly tea was understood and drunken throughout all of China for satisfaction from 618 AD, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the symbol of consistency and mystical unity of the Universe from which we can see exactly how highly he thought of tea.
A thrilling discovery would certainly (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 currently a preferred beverage in south as well as west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. spectacular discovery was that it was proven that leaves discovered in the tomb of the sixth Emperor of the western Han Dynasty, Emperor Jin of Han (Liu Qi), where real (Camellia sinensis) tea leaves that were given him along with hundreds of clay soldiers and also several various other points as grave helpful for the trip right into his immortality. To avoid complication, the emperor’s burial place was already discovered in the 1990s during roadway building work, which in itself (not the roadway building and construction but the exploration of the Emperor’s tomb) was a globe sensation. Nevertheless, with respect to the contents of this write-up the searching for of the tea leaves was even more astonishing since these tea leaves are one of the most ancient and finest tea leaves ever uncovered what has actually made them an access in the Guinness Book of Globe Records as ‘The world’s oldest tea leaves’.
Similar to many other points the start of alcohol consumption tea is soaked in legend. There are different stories regarding just how the very first phase of the book of tea starts as well as having read them I have actually concerned the final thought that 99.99 percent of them belong right into the world of legends. One of the most preferred Chinese tales is the with fantastic pleasure repeatedly told legend regarding an emperor’s pot of warm water that happened to be placed specifically under a tea tree where tea leaves were sure to drop right into the pot. Naturally, oh marvel (just how could it be any kind of different) tea leaves fell under the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor obtained of inquisitiveness a sip of the formerly unknown now slightly yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the tale goes, so fired up about the scent and also taste that from then on he made tea his favorite beverage and also the alcohol consumption of tea became part of Chinese culture. The emperor in this tale is the mythological emperor Shen Nung also led to Shannong, Shen Nong who is by the Chinese worshipped as the ‘Divine Farmer’ and 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 question all pure legend yet its origin might be seen versus the backdrop of the fact that Shen Nung was herbalist which tea was at the beginning utilized as natural medication in both solid (as veggie or salad) and/or liquid form (as tea).
What is tea and where is it come from? Briefly placed, tea is a drink frequently including water and also all-natural (uncured) and healed tea leaves of the species camellia sinensis. This is, as formerly said, an evergreen shrub native to Asia that can when it continues to be untouched grow in the wilderness into a tree with a height of some 55 ft/ 17 m. Incidentally, why do we call tea, tea? Let me briefly explain where the name ‘tea’ stemmed and where it spread around the globe. The name ‘tea’ has its beginning in China where 2 names are utilized for the very same beverage. It is called ‘Cha’ in Chinese dialect as well as ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese language. In 1644 the British developed a trading post in Xiamen and anglicised the Xiamenese ‘tay’ what, consequently, ended up being ‘tea’ a name that in the following time promptly spread via as well as was accepted by the English speaking world.
Where precisely is Camellia sinensis come from? As astonishing as it seems and whatever we may think of it, comprehensive and detailed research has caused the outcome that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or can have developed as well as expanded individually in several parts of the globe but remarkably sufficient just within a relatively small location located in and constrained to a region that does include parts of what is nowadays the Shan state (as north as well as north-eastern part of the back then not existing Burma) and also the Chinese districts Yunnan and Sichuan.
But whether ‘Burmese’ tea has its beginning in China (what it has) or not, or whether the alcohol consumption of tea entered into the Burman’s culture just after it was introduced to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether the well-known ‘Burmese milk tea is in fact Indian tea presented by the Indian – and NOT British – people during British early american times (what it was and is) does actually 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 and also the past-independence time) developed into an important part of the so-called ‘Burmese drink and also food culture’ what it remains to be to now as well as will always be wherewith I have now ‘beamed’ us from the ancient past right into the present.
Prior to our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – no joke, they are actually at every corner, what is true for every single area with greater than 2 residences in all of Burma – to appreciate a cup or 2 of the popular ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ as well as one of the tasty Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this write-up let us begin at the start, by briefly answering questions such as, where tea is expanding within the boundaries of contemporary Burma, what kind of tea it is, just how it is processed after being plugged, of what high quality Burmese tea is compared to the top qualities of e.g. China, India and other Oriental countries, and so forth.