The History of Tea August 13 2014

Little did Chinese Emperor Shen Nung realize that in 2737 B.C., when dried leaves blew into his cup of hot water, the beverage he discovered would cause sensations around the world. The pleasant aroma and refreshing taste enchanted him and soon everyone in the realm was drinking tea.

Tea continued to travel throughout the Orient and it was during the time of the European explorers tea made its cultural broad jump. The East India Tea Company brought tea into Holland but its prohibitive cost of $100 per pound kept tea as a rich man's beverage.

In 1650, Peter Stuyvesant brought tea to the American colonists in New Amsterdam, later called New York. Soon the colonists were drinking more tea than all England. Today, Americans drink 180 million cups and glasses of tea per day.

In England, tea gardens, ornate outdoor events with fancy food and tea, fireworks and gambling, seemed to sprout up overnight as entertainment centers of the day and many British enjoyed the festivities offered there. To recover extensive expenses from the French and Indian War, England levied a huge tax on tea imported to the colonies, mistakenly believing the colonists were so hooked on it they'd pay anything to keep their supply coming in. One night, the men of Boston dressed as Indians, crept aboard the ships docked in the Boston harbor, and threw the expensive tea cargo overboard. England reacted by having a raging fit, closing Boston's port and sending Royal troops into occupation of Boston. Because of this, colonists met to discuss these events and declared a revolution. They say you want a revolution? Now that's what we call a Tea Party!