Tea's Role in History

There have been many influences that shaped the development of mankind and our history. One of the greatest of these has been- believe it or not- tea. It has been used as currency, medicine, celebrated in religious rights, and in some cultures been a status symbol of wealth and power all around the world.

While early man had to follow streams of water as he roamed the area finding food, once he learned how to boil water, he was eventually able to brew grains and leaves and produce nutritional drinks that were far healthier and safer to drink than surface water. 

Mankind could now brew beer and consume ‘liquid bread’ that could be stored and traded, and allowed him to put down some roots in order to cultivate his land. This development was a giant milestone for mankind on many fronts, but not as much as the development and trading of tea.

Originating in China, thousands of years ago, tea didn’t become widely traded until about the mid-17th century. But once it did, it spurred a trade industry like nothing else had before it. Sailing the world was the new sport of kings, and discovering other cultures opened a myriad of doors for all people around the world. The desire and quest for tea created the 1st truly global industry that mankind ever really knew.

Trade routes between Britain and East India made sea travel a common occurrence in its day, and played a great role in making Britain the world leader at that time. Because they were so used to traveling the seas in search of tea; they ruled the oceans; and consequently the world for hundreds of years. Setting colonies up around the world gave Britain an ever present position that few could escape from. It was believed that the British East India Trading Company made far more money than the British government, and employed countless more people as it influenced the daily lives of individuals around the world.

Since teas have caffeine, this stimulated the population in ways that provided support to the industrial revolutions each culture experienced. People were then able to work longer and harder, with more energy than before. As the value of tea went up and up, it made more than just the kings and monarchs rich; tea had become the drink of the common man, and remains so to this day. 

The influences and symbolism tea has had on the world as a whole seemed to be limitless. Looking at our own U.S. history it is interesting to note that our Independence was embodied by throwing of all things- TEA; into the Boston Harbor. This one event triggered the Revolutionary movement that eventually gained us our Independence. These days, it is beginning to seem plausible to stage another, similar event in order to make a point.

Tea is not only a healthy, delightful drink; it has played a huge role in the development of mankind over the centuries, and helped to make us who we are today. With the rising costs of medical benefits, tea is now experiencing a renewed interest for those who are looking for a more natural way to treat illness. Once you know the history of tea, and the vital role is has played in each of our lives, you will undoubtedly never look at tea the same way again. 

Check out my friend's webstore Unity Teapots, which sells an assortment of Asian teapots.  He has porcelain teapots, glass teapots, cast iron teapots, and Yixing teapots