Art of Tea
Introduced by the Buddhist monk Ta Mo, it is believed to have first appeared around 543 AD in China. This Indian monk was of imperial birth and headed a Buddhist Patriarch. The imperial court in China summoned him. The emperor however was not impressed by his knowledge and sent him back. On his return, he halted at the Shaolin temple and retired to a cave for nine years to meditate. He created the Siem-Buddhism (Zen or Chan). Siem Buddhists believe in internal meditations of the heart, in understanding things and living in harmony with everything (instant enlightenment). One day, he almost fell asleep during meditation. To prevent that from happening, he cut off his eyelids. When they fell to the ground, they immediately rooted and germinated fairly quickly. It grew into the very first tea plant, the symbol and cause of eternal watchfulness.
So far the legend. Now let’s return to reality.
In 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor-god Chen-Nung was taking a nap under his favourite tree when a little breeze blew some leaves in his cup of warm water. After drinking it, he felt fit and good-natured. It was the first tea-infusion!
- During the Tan Dynasty (618-907 AD), a former Buddhist monk wrote the first book about tea, the ‘Cha-King’.
- It became a kind of bible for all tea-lovers and it popularised the general use of tea.
- By the ninth century, it had become a national drink.
- It wasn’t until the sixteenth century the Dutch introduced tea in Europe.
How to make a good cup of tea?