Origin of tea

Friday, 05 January 2018 00:00 Chankuu Shree Shrestha

We call it “Chiya”, Indians call it “Chai”, Chinese call it “Chha” and rest of the world commonly call it “Tea”. Regardless of season, tea has always on the bucket list. Even in summer, tea is not forgotten and in winter, a cup of tea is never enough. Nothing is as soothing as a hot cup of tea in the chilling winter morning. Waking up to the cold air and starting the day with a tea is more than just a necessity. Having tea is probably the first thing that might strike in the mind of tea lovers. So, when you are reading this article about tea, drinking tea- you might probably be thinking about how the trend of tea might have started and the like. The same thoughts provoked my mind and thus, I ventured in the world of information i.e. Internet to find the secrets of tea, with a cup of warm black tea beside me.

Tea is definitely the most loved drink in Nepal. Be it an elderly person, an adult or a youngster, tea has been a favorite of all. Turning the history pages, tea production is stated to have started in 1863 in Nepal. The then prime minister, Jung Bahadur Rana was presented with tea seeds by the Chinese emperor and they were planted in Ilam Tea Estate. The same year, tea production was commenced in Darjeeling. Nepali tea industry could not break the international tea market like the Darjeeling tea during the Rana regime. In 1950, along with the political change, Nepali tea started gaining international exposure. In 1982, five districts namely Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta and Terathum were declared Tea Zones of the nation. Today, tea produced in these districts has established their own market in the universal arena.

There is a really extensive history related to the trend of drinking tea. Scanning the pages of history, the tea is said to have originated in the gardens of southwest China. Tea started out as a medicinal drink in China during the 3rd century and only during the 16th century, tea was presented to the Portuguese priests and to the Chinese merchants and then onward, tea slowly gained recognition to the world beyond the Great Wall. In the 17th century, the British were on a campaign to rule the world and when they were on the verge of winning over India, they introduced tea planting and consumption in the Indian society. Then onward, the tea movement rapidly spread across the globe.

Among many other tea-tales, there is this interesting legend related to tea consumption. One time, a different plant was discovered in a farm. The farmers were not sure about what that was neither were the experts. So as to know if it is edible or not, the ruler decided to experiment them on the prisoners. After the decision, one prisoner was made to drink a cup of juice extracted from the plant every day. The prisoner went on living a healthy life. Then, the ruler decided the plant is not harmful for consumption. Thus, the trend of drinking tea was initiated.

Looking back to these legends, I heartily thank to whoever started the tea drinking phenomenon. Because the mornings would not have been the same without a cup of tea and the frosty winter mornings would not have been less bearable.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 January 2018 16:54 )