Global Traditions of Tea

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by Danielle Beaudette (pages 22-23)

A tea ceremony is a communion of feeling, when good friends come together at the right moment, under the best conditions.
~Yasunari Kawabata

With winter months comes cooler weather and we find ourselves reaching for that hot cup of tea to warm us. People often refer to the ‘way of tea,’ meaning the aspects of tea production and tea brewing along with its history, health benefits and ceremonies.

The aesthetics surrounding tea drinking led to formal ceremonies in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures, all consuming primarily green tea, with some white and black tea in China. Tea was first discovered by Emperor Shen Nong in China over 5,000 years ago when legend states as he was boiling water, leaves from a tree fell into his pot. The aroma enticed him while the flavor made him feel good. This led to the harvesting of the leaf and tea becoming entrenched in almost every aspect of their culture.