Memoirs of Tea
The concept was slowly infused into the rest of Europe, followed by its introduction in North America by Dutch and English immigrants. Tea was also transported directly from China by land throughout Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Camel caravans would bring unaltered tea to Russia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin.
Many historical episodes and anecdotes are related to tea – the 1773 Boston Tea Party, part of USA’s independence war; the opium war in China in the 19th century; the speeding race of clippers in the sea transport which led to the invention of the steam boats; the 1848 industrial espionage by Robert Fortune, an English botanist that secretly spent three years in China studying tea, smuggling tea plants into India, and contributing to planting the famous Darjeeling gardens; the accidental discovery of the smoked tea in the 17th century; the creation of the tea bags around 1910; the closing down of tea houses in China during Mao’s regime under the accusation of tea-drinking being an “unproductive leisure”, but allowing the regime’s high class to enjoy the best teas of the country!