When creating and/or mentioning tea in Burma, or any other nation for that matter, it is unavoidable to leave on the journey right into the realm of tea in China – in south-west China to be exact – for that is as I will certainly describe in the following absolutely where tea is originally originating from.
The conversation on whether the background of Burmese tea and also the alcohol consumption of tea in Burma have actually originated in China has most likely extra to do with at least some Bamars’/ Burmans’ reluctance to admit that the beginning of tea is China and that the alcohol consumption of tea was embraced by them later on from the Shan, than with tea, tea alcohol consumption as well as tea society itself. The facts are that tea both as plant and also drink was uncovered as well as had become vital part of Chinese as well as later Shan culture already each time when no Bamar/Burman had actually ever before set foot into what is nowadays Burma (since 1989 also called Myanmar).
Simply put the first kingdom of the Bamar the ‘kingdom of Pagan’ (that was really started 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 creator of the 1st Burman kingdom was a Pyu, not a Bamar/Burman) did at that time not exist what is already the precise solution to the concern of the beginning of tea, tea drinking as well as tea society in Burma; Burma or any predecessor of it merely really did not exist in or during the age concerned, period. However why exist still people (not a lot of them, though) that despite all truths as well as reasoning claim that Burmese tea, tea drinking as well as tea society are not come from China? Short answer: Due to the fact that the area that remained in pre-Bamar time lived in by the Shan is now laying partially within the far north eastern of Burma. Nonetheless, that these locations are nowadays located within Burma’s borders does not always suggest that the precise location in which Camellia sinensis was initially located as well as from where it after that infected India, through every one of south-east Asia and, finally, throughout the globe exists within north-east Burma. It is feasible yet it is likewise possible that Camellia sinensis – translated from Latin right into English the name means ‘Tea blossom’ (camellia) ‘from China’ (sinensis) – contends a later point prolonged into the location currently covered by the north-eastern part of Burma.
Guide of tea is a publication with several pages as well as chapters beginning shrouded in the mist of myth and legend some time back in 3000 BC. There is even the concrete day 2725 BC stated what is linking the (accidental) exploration and the later alcohol consumption of tea to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung regarding who I will certainly inform you more a little bit later on. No person actually recognizes when it was that the alcohol consumption of tea (what back then was constantly green tea since it was unfermented likewise called unoxidised) started to become part of Chinese culture. That is why it can not be within the extent of this article to (as fascinating as this may be) handle relevant myths, legends as well as folklore in order to disclose tea history’s trick of when and also where this was as well as exactly how it occurred. The response to this concern will never ever be found anyhow what indicates that it will for always stay surprise behind the curtain of legend. As a result we need to locate facts in the form of created records as well as historical finds that will provide us tea associated info we are searching for. And also regarding that is worried we do not need to search for long.
We are given the first reliable info in a Chinese encyclopaedia that was begun to be compiled as well as composed throughout the Han Empire at some time around Fe-acc18 325 BC and further increased from then on: its name is Erya additionally spelled Erh-ya. The writer of the Erya is unidentified yet it is amongst scholars approved that this have been adherents of Confucius. Right here we find documents allowing us understand that tea was already known and also drunken at least at the start of the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC, probably earlier. Nonetheless, it is not specified whether it was tea brewed from camellia sinensis leaves and drunken for enjoyment or some organic probably not really scrumptious tea intoxicated for medical functions just.
From later records we know that brewing as well as drinking tea was currently part of the Chinese people’s day-to-day life at the beginning of the Han Empire in 206 B.C. and even previously. That the alcohol consumption of tea has so fairly fast permeated the Chinese society would certainly not have actually been feasible without Buddhist monks. It was the Buddhist monk orders that have not only spread the drinking of tea among the population however that had additionally taken over the growing as well as processing of tea. Right after tea as drink had actually been introduced during the Han Dynasty, Buddhism was related to tea. The Buddhist monks have really early identified that tea was a cheap as well as refreshing beverage with good taste as well as scent that kept them awake.
From the by Lu Yu during the Tang Dynasty written and at about 760 advertisement published publication ‘The Classic of Tea’ (Cha Jing in Chinese) we can take that environment-friendly tea was known as well as drunken throughout all of China for pleasure from 618 AD, or earlier on. For Lu Yu tea was the icon of consistency as well as mysterious unity of deep space from which we can see exactly how extremely he thought of tea.
A mind-blowing exploration would (at the time of this writing in 2016) 1255 years later on prove Lu Yun wrong in so far as green tea was already a preferred drink in south as well as west China earlier than 141 BC. The a.m. sensational discovery was that it was shown that leaves located in the tomb of the 6th Emperor of the western Han Empire, Emperor Jin of Han (Liu Qi), where actual (Camellia sinensis) tea leaves that were provided him together with countless clay soldiers and also several other things as severe good for the journey right into his afterlife. To avoid complication, the emperor’s tomb was currently discovered in the 1990s during roadway construction job, which by itself (not the road construction yet the discovery of the Emperor’s burial place) was a globe experience. Nevertheless, relative to the components of this short article the finding of the tea leaves was even more thrilling due to the fact that these tea leaves are one of the most old and also finest tea leaves ever before uncovered what has actually earned them an access in the Guinness Publication of World Records as ‘The world’s earliest tea leaves’.
Just like many various other points the start of alcohol consumption tea is steeped in legend. There are various stories concerning exactly how the very first phase of guide of tea begins as well as having actually read them I have actually come to the conclusion that 99.99 percent of them belong right into the realm of legends. Among the most popular Chinese tales is the with excellent pleasure time and again told legend about an emperor’s pot of hot water that occurred to be positioned precisely under a tea tree where tea leaves were certain to drop into the pot. Naturally, oh marvel (just how can it be any different) tea leaves fell under the pot with boiling water whereupon the emperor took out of curiosity a sip of the formerly unidentified now slightly yellowish-brown coloured water. He was, as the legend goes, so ecstatic about the fragrance and also preference that from then on he made tea his much-loved beverage as well as the alcohol consumption of tea became part of Chinese culture. The emperor in this tale is the mythical emperor Shen Nung additionally led to Shannong, Shen Nong who is by the Chinese venerated as the ‘Divine Farmer’ and the ‘Papa of Chinese Herbal Medicine’. He was what is nowadays called ‘pharmacologist’, and it is thought that he has actually ‘lived’ 140 years, from 2838 BC to 2698 BC. This is no doubt all pure legend but its origin could be seen versus the background of the fact that Shen Nung was herbalist which tea went to the beginning made use of as organic medication in both strong (as veggie or salad) and/or fluid form (as tea).
What is tea as well as where is it stemmed? Quickly put, tea is a beverage typically including water and also natural (uncured) as well as cured tea fallen leaves of the species camellia sinensis. This is, as formerly claimed, an evergreen shrub belonging to Asia that can when it stays unblemished grow in the wild into a tree with a height of some 55 feet/ 17 m. By the way, why do we call tea, tea? Let me quickly describe where the name ‘tea’ come from as well as from where it spread around the globe. The name ‘tea’ has its origin in China where 2 names are used for the very same drink. It is called ‘Cha’ in Mandarin chinese language and ‘Tay’ in Xiamenese language. In 1644 the British developed a trading post in Xiamen and also anglicised the Xiamenese ‘tay’ what, subsequently, ended up being ‘tea’ a name that in the list below time promptly spread via and also was accepted by the English talking world.
Where precisely is Camellia sinensis come from? As extraordinary as it sounds and whatever we could consider it, considerable as well as comprehensive study has actually resulted in the outcome that this tea plant – the Camellia sinensis – was not a plant that had or can have developed and also grown independently in numerous parts of the globe yet astonishingly enough just within a fairly tiny location situated in and also restricted to an area that does include parts of what is nowadays the Shan state (as north and 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 not, or whether or not the drinking of tea entered into the Burman’s culture just after it was presented to them by the Shan (what it was) or whether or not the popular ‘Burmese milk tea is actually Indian tea introduced by the Indian – and NOT British – people during British colonial times (what it was and also is) does actually not matter much – if anything – due to the fact that the truth remains that ‘tea’ has more than time (trough all the Bamar/Burman kingdoms, the British colonial times and also the past-independence time) became an integral part of the supposed ‘Burmese drink and also food culture’ what it continues to be to be to this particular day as well as will constantly be wherewith I have currently ‘beamed’ us from the old past into the present.
Before our arrival at one of the many Burmese tea shops in Yangon – no joke, they are literally at every edge, what is true for every single area with more than 2 houses in all of Burma – to take pleasure in a mug or more of the well-known ‘Burmese Milk Tea’ as well as among the delicious Burmese tea leave salads called ‘Lahpet Thoke’ at the end of this article let us begin at the start, by briefly answering inquiries such as, where tea is expanding within the limits of contemporary Burma, what sort of tea it is, exactly how it is refined after being connected, of what quality Burmese tea is contrasted to the high qualities of e.g. China, India and also other Eastern countries, and so on.