Tea: East and West

Tea: East and West


Tea"Legend has it that tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung in the third millennium before the birth of Christ.  The Divine Healer, as he was called, had learned that those who boiled water before drinking it were less likley to fall ill.  On a fateful day is 2737 BCE, while the emperor's servants were feeding a fire with branches of wild camellias and tea trees, some tea leaves fell into the boiling water -- and thus the first tea was brewed.  The golden liquor was given the name ch'a.

"Since its beginnings, the infinitely complex and variously flavored brew has been a source of endless fasciation.  Hailed by the Taoists as "the exilixer of mortality," it was elevated to almost mystical heights by Chinese nobles, its first champions, who drank it from exquisitely crafted procelain bowls."  From French Tea by Carole Manchester.

In Tea: East & West, Henry Hobhouse credits tea with being a drink that sustained the health of residents of large cities such as Canton and London.  It was one of the few safe drinks available to people in areas where the water was infested with a myrias of waterborne diseases.  Apart from the practical use of tea as a safe source of fluids, tea has also played a role in the social and cultural identities of nations.  We need only to think of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to be reminded of the role tea played in our nation's history.  From the complex Japanese tea ceremony to the tradition of afternoon tea in England, tea in plays a major role in the food and drink culture of the world.  

Tea 3 Tea 4 Tea 5



Books in this Exibit:



All the tea in China / by Kit Chow and Ione Kramer
San Francisco : China Books and Periodicals, Inc., 1990
TX415 .C45 1990


Antioxidant food supplements in human health / edited by Lester Packer, Midori Hiramatsu, and Toshikazu Yoshikawa
San Diego : Palgrave Academic Press, 1999
RB170 .A573 1999


The book of coffee & tea : a guide to the appreciation of fine coffees, teas, and herbal beverages / by Joel, David, and Karl Schapira ; illustrated by Meri Shardin
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1975
TX415 .S28 1975


French tea : the pleasures of the table / by Carole Manchester ; photographs by Juliette d'Assay
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
TX817 .T3 M29 1993


Liquid pleasures : a social history of drinks in modern Britain / by John Burnett
London : Routledge, 1999
TX815 .B87 1999


Tea basics : a quick and easy guide / by Wendy Rasmussen and Ric Rhinehart
New York : John Wiley & Sons, 1999
TX817 .T3 R37 1999


Tea : east & west / edited by Rupert Faulkner
London : V&A Publications, 2003
TX817 .T3 T43 2003


The world of caffeine : the science and culture of the world's most popular drug / by Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K. Bealer
New York : Routledge, 2001
QP801 .C24 W45 2001




Additional Books in this Exhibit:

  • An account of the cultivation and manufacture of tea in China / by Samuel Ball (late inspector of teas to the hon. United East Inida Co.)
    Originally published: London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1848. 
    SB272 .C5 B34 1980
  • The culture and marketing of tea / by C. r. Harler.
    London : Oxford University Press, 1964.
    SB271 .H37 1964

  • Tea soils / by Harold H. Mann.
    Harpenden, England : Imperial Bureau of Soil Science, 1935.
    S590 .I55 no.32 1935

This exhibit was created May 2012 and designed by Carla Arbagey.

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Last modified: 5/18/2012 11:01 AM by C. Arbagey

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