When composing and/or mentioning tea in Burma, or any other country for that issue, it is inevitable to leave on the journey into the realm of tea in China – in south-west China to be exact – for that is as I will certainly discuss in the following definitely from where tea is initially coming from.
The conversation on whether the background of Burmese tea and the alcohol consumption of tea in Burma have actually come from China has probably much more to do with at the very least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ reluctance to admit that the origin of tea is China and that the alcohol consumption of tea was adopted by them later from the Shan, than with tea, tea drinking and tea society itself. The facts are that tea both as plant as well as beverage was found as well as had actually come to be important part of Chinese as well as later Shan society already at a time when no Bamar/Burman had actually ever before set foot into what is nowadays Burma (since 1989 also called Myanmar).
In other words the initial kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was in fact established by the Pyu, and also while we are at it, Anawrahta, the 42nd king of Pagan that is by the Bamar/Burman took into consideration the owner of the 1st Burman kingdom was a Pyu, not a Bamar/Burman) did at that time not exist what is already the guaranteed answer to the concern of the origin of tea, tea drinking as well as tea society in Burma; Burma or any kind of precursor of it just didn’t exist in or during the age in question, duration. Yet why are there still individuals (not a lot of them, though) that despite all realities as well as reasoning claim that Burmese tea, tea drinking as well as tea society are not come from China? Short answer: Because the location that remained in pre-Bamar time occupied by the Shan is now laying partially within the far north east of Burma. Nevertheless, that these locations are nowadays located within Burma’s boundaries does not necessarily suggest that the precise area in which Camellia sinensis was originally found and also from where it then spread to India, through all of south-east Asia as well as, ultimately, throughout the world exists within north-east Burma. It is feasible yet it is also possible that Camellia sinensis – converted from Latin right into English the name indicates ‘Tea blossom’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – has at a later point in time expanded into the area currently covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.
Guide of tea is a book with many web pages and also phases beginning shrouded in the haze of myth as well as tale some time back in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete day 2725 BC stated what is connecting the (unintentional) exploration and the later alcohol consumption of tea to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung about that I will tell you more a bit later. No one truly knows when it was that the alcohol consumption of tea (what at that time was always green tea due to the fact that it was unfermented additionally called unoxidised) began to become part of Chinese culture. That is why it can not be within the Fe shop scope of this article to (as intriguing as this might be) handle related myths, legends and folklore in order to reveal tea history’s trick of when and also where this was as well as exactly how it occurred. The response to this inquiry will never ever be located anyhow what implies that it will for always continue to be concealed behind the curtain of legend. For that reason we have to locate facts in the form of composed documents and also historical locates that will provide us tea relevant details we are looking for. And also as for that is concerned we do not have to search for long.
We are provided the first trusted info in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was started to be put together as well as composed during the Han Dynasty sometime around 325 BC as well as additional expanded from then on: its name is Erya also led to Erh-ya. The writer of the Erya is unidentified however it is among scholars accepted that this have actually been devotees of Confucius. Below we locate documents letting us recognize that tea was currently understood and also drunken a minimum of at the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC, probably earlier. However, it is not specified whether it was tea brewed from camellia sinensis leaves as well as drunken for enjoyment or some organic probably not extremely tasty tea inebriated for clinical functions only.
From later documents we understand that developing and also alcohol consumption tea was currently part of the Chinese individuals’s day-to-day life at the beginning of the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C. and even previously. That the alcohol consumption of tea has so fairly quick penetrated the Chinese culture would certainly not have actually been feasible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not only spread out the drinking of tea amongst the population however that had likewise taken control of the growing as well as handling of tea. Not long after tea as drink had actually been presented throughout the Han Dynasty, Buddhism was connected with tea. The Buddhist monks have actually really early identified that tea was an economical and also revitalizing drink with good taste as well as scent that kept them awake.
From the by Lu Yu during the Tang Empire created as well as at about 760 advertisement released book ‘The Standard of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that environment-friendly tea was understood and drunken throughout all of China for pleasure from 618 AD, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the symbol of harmony as well as mystical unity of the Universe from which we can see how extremely he thought about tea.
A sensational discovery would (at the time of this writing in 2016) 1255 years later on prove Lu Yun wrong in so far as environment-friendly tea was already a preferred beverage in south and also west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. marvelous discovery was that it was shown that leaves found in the tomb of the sixth Emperor of the western Han Empire, Emperor Jin of Han (Liu Qi), where actual (Camellia sinensis) tea leaves that were given him together with hundreds of clay soldiers and also numerous other points as grave good for the journey into his afterlife. To avoid complication, the emperor’s tomb was already uncovered in the 1990s throughout roadway building job, which by itself (not the roadway building yet the exploration of the Emperor’s burial place) was a world feeling. Nevertheless, relative to the components of this write-up the finding of the tea leaves was even more marvelous due to the fact that these tea leaves are one of the most ancient and finest tea leaves ever before discovered what has actually gained them an entrance in the Guinness Publication of World Records as ‘The world’s earliest tea leaves’.
As with numerous various other things the start of drinking tea is soaked in legend. There are different tales regarding exactly how the initial chapter of guide of tea begins and also having reviewed them I have actually involved the conclusion that 99.99 percent of them belong into the world of legends. One of the most prominent Chinese tales is the with terrific enjoyment over and over informed legend about an emperor’s pot of warm water that took place to be positioned exactly under a tea tree where tea leaves were sure to go down into the pot. Normally, oh wonder (how can it be any various) tea leaves came under the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor got of inquisitiveness a sip of the formerly unknown currently slightly yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the tale goes, so excited about the fragrance and preference that after that he made tea his much-loved drink and also the drinking of tea entered into Chinese society. The emperor in this tale is the mythical emperor Shen Nung likewise spelled Shannong, Shen Nong who is by the Chinese worshipped as the ‘Divine Farmer’ and also the ‘Dad 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 yet its beginning might be seen against the background of the truth that Shen Nung was herbalist and that tea was at the beginning made use of as organic medicine in both solid (as vegetable or salad) and/or liquid form (as tea).
What is tea and where is it originated? Briefly placed, tea is a drink frequently comprising of water as well as natural (uncured) and also cured tea fallen leaves of the types camellia sinensis. This is, as formerly claimed, an evergreen shrub native to Asia that can when it stays untouched expand in the wilderness into a tree with a height of some 55 feet/ 17 m. By the way, why do we call tea, tea? Let me briefly clarify where the name ‘tea’ come from and where it spread around the globe. The name ‘tea’ has its origin in China where 2 names are utilized for the very same beverage. It is called ‘Cha’ in Mandarin dialect and ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese language. 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 through as well as was approved by the English speaking globe.
Where exactly is Camellia sinensis come from? As incredible as it appears as well as whatever we may think about it, substantial as well as comprehensive research has resulted in the outcome that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or can have advanced and expanded individually in a number of parts of the globe but tremendously enough just within a reasonably little area located in as well as confined to an area that does consist of parts of what is nowadays the Shan state (as north as well as north-eastern part of the back then not existing Burma) and the Chinese districts Yunnan as well as Sichuan.
Yet whether ‘Burmese’ tea has its origin in China (what it has) or otherwise, or whether or not the alcohol consumption of tea entered into the Burman’s society just after it was presented to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether the famous ‘Burmese milk tea is actually Indian tea presented by the Indian – and also NOT British – individuals throughout British colonial times (what it was as well as is) does actually not matter much – if anything – due to the fact that the fact continues to be that ‘tea’ has over time (trough all the Bamar/Burman kingdoms, the British colonial times and the past-independence time) became an integral part of the so-called ‘Burmese beverage and also food society’ what it stays to be to now and will certainly always be wherewith I have now ‘beamed’ us from the old past right into the here and now.
Prior to our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – seriously, they are actually at every edge, what holds true for every single place with more than 2 residences in all of Burma – to appreciate a mug or 2 of the well-known ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ as well as one of the delicious Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this write-up allow us start at the beginning, by briefly answering concerns such as, where tea is expanding within the limits of present-day Burma, what type of tea it is, how it is processed after being connected, of what quality Burmese tea is compared to the high qualities of e.g. China, India and various other Oriental countries, and so on.