During the Qing dynasty (清朝) people believed that westerners needed to drink tea and rhubard in order to stay healthy. It was not just a matter of liking, chinese people believed it was an actual need.
An article published on the Huabei Jiebao (华北捷报) newspaper, on the 15th of March 1851, read as follow:
“来自西方的外国人都天然爱好牛奶和奶油，耽于这种奢侈嗜好的结果造成了结便的毛病，这毛病只有靠大黄和茶才可洗他们的肠胃，恢复他们的精神; 一旦把这些东西给予剥夺，他们便会马上病倒……如果我们停止了与夷人通商，他们的国家里边会发生骚扰和混乱; 这就是他们为什么必须要我们的货物的第一个理由。”
“Foreigners that come from the west are naturally inclined to liking milk and butter. By indulging in this king of extravagant habits, they end up with conspitation problems. This problem can only be solved by consuming tea and rhubard which cleans the stomach and intestines, restoring their vitality. Once deprived from these things, they immediately fall ill… If we stop trading with the foreigners, chaos will emerge in their countries. This is the first reason why they need our products.”
I just wanted to apologize for not having posted anything for so long. The thing is that I moved to China over a month ago and up untill now, even though the VPN server that I use on my computer allows me to access tumblr, the internet in my dorm is too slow to upload anything, even text posts. Fortunately, I recently acquired a new VPN service on cellphone that allows me to post on tumblr with the internet connection on my phone. I hope I can continue posting more tea related posts for all of you! Thank you for your understanding.
Gorreana Tea Factory, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
The only tea plantation in Western Europe is found on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. No doubt the tea bushes feel at home at Gorreana on the humid north coast. The close-cropped tea bushes run in dense rows across the hills of the plantation. The old machines in the factory are mostly of English provenance. You can visit the factory and, before you leave, you can buy freshly fermented, green or black tea with its superb flowery flavour. You will only be able to watch all stages of tea processing from April through September, when the leaves are being picked.
Video and text by Andy Stieglitz
According to an acient legend, tea owes its origin to Bodhidarma (菩提达摩 pútídámó, in chinese), founder of Zen Buddhism (禅宗 chánzōng).
After meditating in front of a wall for nine years, he accidentally fell asleep. When he woke up he felt so repulsed by his own weakness that he cut off his eyelids and threw them away so they would never close again.
They fell on the ground and started growing roots, originating a plant never seen before and with which leaves one could prepare a beverage that would ward off drowsiness: the tea bush.