Starting a blog has been on my to do list for a long time, a bit to long obviously…how does one begin? Life has somehow evolved from the beginning of the year to the end with such speed that it seems we are left to reflect on the glorious days of summer, in a golden harvest haze of dust and beautiful red sunsets due to the lingering smoke from the vicious fires of the neighboring province of BC (some Alberta as well).
As by now you all know who we are i presume i don’t have to introduce ourselves to much, but as the owner of Siplicious and The Tea Shop in Linden i am excited to be able to provide you with an ever growing and changing supply of some of the freshest and best teas from around the globe! We are working on ordering in the fall/Christmas line up as we speak…. i am hoping you are as ready for some of the pungent spicy black and green teas that we have sourced as i am!
For many of you tea is a simple staple and you may just prefer to drink the tea bag style of tea that you buy at the grocery store. I don’t know what your preferences are, BUT this i can tell you that once you let yourself into the world of tea and immerse yourself in the history and the art of tea you will no longer be satisfied with the dust and fannings from off the floors of the factories!!!
If you think that its too pricey think again.. How many of you wine drinkers are satisfied with buying a bottle of wine at your local grocery store and settle for that for life? Or coffee connoisseurs do you settle for instant coffee because its supposed to give you the flavor? No we aren’t happy with that either….why settle for less? Enjoy real tea leaves and be surprised at the amount of flavor you will experience!
Did you know that tea is like wine? The essence of the tea itself is all in where it is grown regionally, as well as the altitude can greatly affect the outcome! And what is grown around it also contributes to the flavors, as well as when it is picked, hence we have the first flush or second flush..Darjeeling picked from the first flush is highly sought after.
Do you have a clue how much work, time & effort and goes into one tea leaf, before it lands in your cup? It should be sold at a much higher price!If each little leaf could tell of its journey it would indeed be well worth listening to. I think a future blog post on The journey of a tea leaf would be in place!!
We have teamed up with some great importers, people who are concerned about the ethical standing of the plantations from which our teas are sourced. We use teas that come from plantations where the grower gets his fair share of the profits.
I thought today i would start with some brief history for all you who enjoy that type of thing….. the beginnings of tea!
The History of Tea
There are two legends that the tea world has come to embrace as the beginnings of tea….believe them if you will….
Legend has it that the Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea in 2737 BC while boiling water in the shade of a tree. A light breeze caused a few leaves to fall into his boiled water, producing a delicate liquor and perfume. The legend says that when the Emperor tasted it he found it to be delicious. The tree was a wild tea plant. Tea was born!!
Bodhidharma was the first patriarch of Zen. He sat facing the Shaolin temple in China and was determined to meditate for nine years.At one point he drowsed off, and upon waking, angry at his own weakness he sliced off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. From the eyleids the first tea bush grew.
When Tea Was Discovered
Tea in China:
Tea was first discoverd in China and consumed largely for medicinal purposes until the Tang Dynasty(618-907 AD) becoming more of a popular pastime and a source of artistic inspiration. Painters, potters and poets created a sophisticated universe around tea filled with symbolism, then in (723-804 AD) was when LuYu created a treatise on tea–writing a book by 1107 defining and standardizing the methods of preparation for the first time!
Tea in Japan:
Tea first appeared in Japan in the 7th century, was brought into Japan by Buddhist Monks. Japan started to grow teas int he 15th century.
Europe and Tea:
The Portuguese were the first to encounter tea in China (due to their technologically advanced navy they had the first access to trade in China) by 1606 the first tea chests started to arrive in Europe with France and Holland being the first. England was the last to join in 1652 or so. Russia was introduced to tea in about 1618.You may have all heard of the Silk Road Spice Route> This came from the trade route that was 11 000 miles long. It took 16 months to complete with approx. 200-300 camels laden with goods.