Pause and enjoy – little tea stories for a relaxed evening
What could be nicer than curling up with a steaming cup of tea after a stressful day?
For thousands of years people have been stimulated or calmed by it. A cozy tea evening is perfect for sinking into fairy tales and stories. Let yourself be enchanted – by tea and tea stories!
The origins – how the tea got into the cup
The best-known growing regions of China, Japan and India all claim the discovery of the oldest beverage in the world. Each country has different legends about its beginnings.
This is how the Chinese have been telling stories for 5,000 years about Emperor Shen Nung, who, according to tradition, walked through his garden with a cup of hot water. When a breeze blew the leaves of a tree into his mug, the contents began to color. It also gave off a pleasant scent. After the emperor tasted the “transformed” water, he was delighted by the delicious taste of the first tea.
In Japan there is a legend of a Buddhist monk named Daruma. During his meditations he fell asleep, which made him very angry. To stay awake, he ripped off his eyelids in anger and threw them away. Where they touched the ground, the first tea bush grew.
The – less gory – Indian version of the tea story also deals with the same topic. A monk would not sleep for seven years. However, after five years, fatigue threatened to overwhelm him. He chewed some leaves from a nearby shrub and felt instantly refreshed. This is how he reached his goal – and discovered tea.
Very British – the English tea rituals
Hardly any other nation celebrates their tea breaks as devotedly as the British. The kingdom imported the precious leaves from China as early as the 17th century. At first only the upper class could afford it. The “tea time” with its endearing peculiarities was considered a status symbol. Queen Anne, who ruled at the time, is said to have boosted the drink’s popularity. For breakfast, she preferred tea to the warm beer that was common at the time. Gradually, “tea gardens” opened, which – unlike the coffee houses – were open to women. Her visit made a welcome change, especially since there was soon musical entertainment: the “tea dance” was born. In addition to the “Early Morning Tea” and the “High Tea” (more of an evening meal), the “Afternoon Tea” is considered the epitome of this culture. Supposedly invented by a royal lady-in-waiting, the ceremony, also known as “Five o’ Clock Tea”, was a social event with its own rules. Fine table linen, the finest porcelain and selected accompaniments such as scones, orange marmalade and the famous cucumber sandwiches are part of it.
Some time ago, the anecdote of a craftsman who worked at Buckingham Palace caused amusement. The Queen herself asked him if he would like tea. However, he was turned away and did not recognize her at first. He accepted the offer, but not without pointing out that he wanted a mug of ‘artisan tea’ – ‘no china or such antics’. The Queen, well known for her sense of humour, left and brought what was requested. Now the poor man realized who was serving…
The rescue of the honorable Chung Hun Wing
A bittersweet story from China underlines the invigorating effect of tea on the human spirit.
Chung-Hun-Wing, the emperor’s personal physician, got caught up in a palace intrigue after the unfortunate death of a valued patient. Her husband, a high-ranking general, asked for his death sentence. The ruler granted him a last resort. The mandarin should hand him two silk handkerchiefs in a vessel: one with the sign of death, the other with the sign of life. If he chose the sign of life, the regent wanted to pardon him. However, Chung-Hun-Wing learned that his adversary had both cloths embroidered with the symbol of death. His fate seemed sealed. During teatime he pondered a solution. The following day the mandarin offered him the container. Chung-Hun-Wing reached out and swallowed one of the handkerchiefs in front of everyone. Now the rest had to be checked. Since it bore the death mark, the doctor could only have made the right choice. So the “good spirit of tea” saved his life.
About Wölkchen and Kluntjes – UNESCO heritage East Frisian tea ceremony
All of Germany drinks coffee? Not even close! The proud East Frisians live in the northwest. Their tea ceremony can definitely keep up with the British one. The custom is considered so important that the German UNESCO Commission included it in the list of intangible cultural heritage in 2016.
In the 17th century, the valuable tea came to the region with seafarers. The locals liked it and from then on they didn’t let anyone take away their enjoyment. After trade conflicts and allegations of smuggling, Frederick II tried unsuccessfully to wean the East Frisians off their drink. The clashes are what historians call the “tea war”. Finally, frustrated, the Prussian ruler gave up. The stubborn Frisians were allowed to continue consuming their “Chinese dragon poison”. Every East Frisian drinks around eleven times as much as the German average. For the “Teetied”, the strong mixture is poured into the previously warmed pot. In the cup it gets its fine sweetness from the typical Kluntjes. This rock candy is just as indispensable as the “cloud”, the spoonful of cream. Traditionally, Frisians drink their tea without stirring. Three cups is the minimum ration for everyone in such a group. Refusing beforehand is considered impolite.
Not only in East Frisia does tea symbolize harmony and hospitality. Long conversations and entertaining tea stories are part of it. Thus, across all cultures, tea has established itself as a warming and sociable drink to which each society could add its own subtle tones.
If you are now in the mood for a nice hot tea, then I recommend our great range of tea cups and teapots made of glass, so that you can also enjoy the full pleasure with your eyes. Of course, the right warming blankets are also available. I wish you a great time and lots of pleasure with your favorite type of tea.
Would you like to read more exciting articles about our winter tea campaign? Then click on this link: Teatime winter promotion. We hope you enjoy the posts!