When writing and/or discussing tea in Burma, or any other nation for that matter, it is inescapable to depart on the journey into the world of tea in China – in south-west China to be accurate – for that is as I will certainly discuss in the adhering to most definitely from where tea is originally originating from.
The conversation on whether the background of Burmese tea and also the drinking of tea in Burma have actually come from China has probably much more to do with at least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ unwillingness to confess that the beginning of tea is China which the drinking of tea was taken on by them later on from the Shan, than with tea, tea alcohol consumption and also tea society itself. The realities are that tea both as plant and drink was found and had actually come to be fundamental part of Chinese as well as later Shan society currently each time when no Bamar/Burman had ever established foot into what is nowadays Burma (considering that 1989 likewise called Myanmar).
In other words the first kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was actually established by the Pyu, and also while we go to 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 at that time not exist what is already the guaranteed solution to the concern of the origin of tea, tea drinking and also tea culture in Burma; Burma or any type of precursor of it merely didn’t exist in or throughout the period concerned, duration. However why are there still people (not so many of them, though) who in the face of all realities and reasoning state that Burmese tea, tea drinking and tea society are not come from China? Short answer: Due to the fact that the location that was in pre-Bamar time lived in by the Shan is now laying partially within the much north east of Burma. Nevertheless, that these locations are nowadays situated within Burma’s boundaries does not necessarily suggest that the specific area in which Camellia sinensis was at first located and from where it then spread to India, through every one of south-east Asia and, lastly, throughout the world exists within north-east Burma. It is feasible however it is likewise feasible that Camellia sinensis – translated from Latin into English the name indicates ‘Tea flower’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – has at a later point in time expanded right into the area currently covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.
The book of tea is a book with lots of web pages and phases beginning shrouded in the mist of myth and tale time back in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete date 2725 BC mentioned what is connecting the (unintended) exploration as well as the later drinking of tea to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung concerning that I will inform you more a bit later. No person actually knows when it was that the alcohol consumption of tea (what back then was constantly green tea due to the fact that it was unfermented additionally called unoxidised) started to enter into Chinese society. That is why it can not be within the range of this short article to (as intriguing as this may be) deal with relevant myths, legends and mythology in order to disclose tea history’s key of when as well as where this was and also exactly how it happened. The answer to this inquiry will never be found anyway what means that it will for always continue to be surprise behind the curtain of tale. Consequently we need to locate realities in the form of written records and also historical finds that will certainly provide us tea related information we are trying to find. And as for that is concerned we do not need to search for long.
We are provided the initial trustworthy feshop details in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was started to be compiled as well as created during the Han Empire at some point around 325 BC and further expanded from then on: its name is Erya additionally spelled Erh-ya. The writer of the Erya is unknown but it is among scholars approved that this have been disciples of Confucius. Right here we discover records letting us recognize that tea was already known and drunken at the very least at the start of the Zhou Empire in 1046 BC, most likely earlier. However, it is not specified whether it was tea brewed from camellia sinensis leaves as well as drunken for enjoyment or some herbal most likely not extremely scrumptious tea drunken for clinical purposes only.
From later records we know that developing and alcohol consumption tea was already part of the Chinese individuals’s everyday life at the beginning of the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C. and even previously. That the alcohol consumption of tea has so reasonably fast permeated the Chinese society would definitely not have been possible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not just spread out the drinking of tea amongst the populace yet that had likewise taken over the planting as well as processing of tea. Soon after tea as drink had been introduced during the Han Dynasty, Buddhism was associated with tea. The Buddhist monks have extremely early identified that tea was a low-cost and rejuvenating drink with good taste as well as scent that maintained them awake.
From the by Lu Yu during the Flavor Empire written as well as at about 760 advertisement released publication ‘The Standard of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that environment-friendly tea was understood and drunken throughout every one of China for satisfaction from 618 AD, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the symbol of harmony as well as mysterious unity of deep space where we can see how extremely he thought of tea.
An astonishing discovery would (at the time of this writing in 2016) 1255 years later on show Lu Yun wrong in so far as eco-friendly tea was currently a preferred beverage in south and west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. spectacular exploration was that it was shown that leaves discovered in the burial place 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 in addition to countless clay soldiers and also several other points as major helpful for the journey into his afterlife. To prevent complication, the emperor’s tomb was currently discovered in the 1990s during road building and construction work, which in itself (not the road building and construction but the discovery of the Emperor’s tomb) was a globe feeling. Nevertheless, relative to the contents of this post the finding of the tea leaves was a lot more thrilling due to the fact that these tea leaves are one of the most old as well as finest tea leaves ever discovered what has earned them an entry in the Guinness Publication of Globe Records as ‘The world’s oldest tea leaves’.
As with so many other things the start of drinking tea is soaked in tale. There are different stories regarding just how the initial phase of guide of tea starts and having read them I have come to the conclusion that 99.99 percent of them belong into the realm of legends. One of the most popular Chinese tales is the with wonderful enjoyment over and over told tale concerning an emperor’s pot of warm water that occurred to be put specifically under a tea tree where tea leaves were certain to go down into the pot. Normally, oh marvel (exactly how could it be any kind of different) tea leaves fell into the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor secured of curiosity a sip of the formerly unknown now somewhat yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the legend goes, so excited about the fragrance and preference that from then on he made tea his favourite drink and also the drinking of tea entered into Chinese society. The emperor in this tale is the mythical emperor Shen Nung additionally spelled Shannong, Shen Nong who is by the Chinese worshipped as the ‘Divine Farmer’ and the ‘Dad of Chinese Herbal Medication’. He was what is nowadays called ‘pharmacologist’, and also it is believed that he has ‘lived’ 140 years, from 2838 BC to 2698 BC. This is no doubt all pure tale yet its origin could be seen versus the backdrop of the truth that Shen Nung was herbalist and that tea was at the beginning made use of as natural medicine in both strong (as veggie or salad) and/or liquid form (as tea).
What is tea and also where is it stemmed? Briefly put, tea is a drink generally consisting of water and all-natural (uncured) and also treated tea leaves of the types camellia sinensis. This is, as formerly said, an evergreen hedge belonging to Asia that can when it remains unblemished grow in the wild into a tree with a height of some 55 feet/ 17 m. Incidentally, why do we call tea, tea? Let me quickly describe where the name ‘tea’ come from and from where it spread around the globe. The name ‘tea’ has its origin in China where 2 names are used for the very same beverage. It is called ‘Cha’ in Chinese language and also ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese dialect. In 1644 the British established a trading post in Xiamen as well as anglicised the Xiamenese ‘tay’ what, subsequently, became ‘tea’ a name that in the list below time promptly spread via as well as was approved by the English speaking world.
Where specifically is Camellia sinensis stemmed? As astounding as it appears as well as whatever we may think of it, extensive as well as in-depth study has actually led to the outcome that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or could have evolved and expanded separately in a number of parts of the world however astonishingly sufficient just within a relatively little location situated in as well as restricted 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.
Yet whether ‘Burmese’ tea has its origin in China (what it has) or not, or whether or not the alcohol consumption of tea became part of the Burman’s culture just after it was presented to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether the well-known ‘Burmese milk tea is in fact Indian tea introduced by the Indian – and also NOT British – people during British colonial times (what it was and is) does actually not matter much – if anything at all – since the reality continues to be that ‘tea’ has over time (trough all the Bamar/Burman kingdoms, the British colonial times and also the past-independence time) turned into an indispensable part of the supposed ‘Burmese drink as well as food culture’ what it stays to be to today and will always be wherewith I have actually currently ‘beamed’ us from the old past into today.
Before our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – seriously, they are essentially at every corner, what holds true for every single place with more than 2 residences in all of Burma – to enjoy a cup or 2 of the famous ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ and also among the delicious Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this write-up allow us start at the start, by briefly responding to inquiries such as, where tea is expanding within the limits of contemporary Burma, what sort of tea it is, just how it is refined after being plugged, of what quality Burmese tea is compared to the high qualities of e.g. China, India as well as various other Asian countries, and more.