Page 10 - preparation of tea
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V. List of Resources to Call Upon
A. TheTeaAssociationoftheU.S.A. 362 5th Avenue, Suite 801
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 986-9415
Fax: (212) 697-8658
Email Address:
B. National Restaurant Association 175 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1500 Chicago, IL 60604-2814
Tel: (312) 715-5388
Fax: (312) 566-9729
Email Address:
C. LocalRestaurantAssociation
D. YourLocalTeaSupplier
VI. Background Information
A. History and Tradition
Far more than just a beverage, tea has a rich and important history that goes back nearly 5,000 years. A tradition that can be credited with everything from opening trade from the East to the West, to being the impetus for freeing America’s colonies.
The discovery of tea was something of an accident. According to legend, the year was 2737 B.C., and Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was boiling drinking water over an open fire, a regimen he followed because he believed those who drank boiled water were healthier. A few leaves from the burning branches of a Camellia Sinensis plant fell into the pot of water. The emperor, known as the “Divine Healer”, drank the mixture and from then on, declared it gave one “vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose.”
And thus, the belief in tea’s mysterious healing powers was established, and tea became popularly known, as it is today, as a healthy, soothing beverage for all occasions.
The first documented reference to tea came in 350 A.D. when Chinese scholar Kuo P’o wrote about “k’ut’u”, a medicinal beverage “made from the leaves by boiling”. By the fifth century A.D., tea became a major bartering tool for China, along with vinegar, rice, noodles, cabbage, fruits, and dried meats.
It also became a popular social custom for China’s elite, with the imperial house and Buddhist priests enjoying royal blends and coveting a special “white” tea, considered the rarest and most delicate of teas.

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