Tea in cultures

UniTea in DiversiTea

Tea is the second most popular drink of the human kind next only to water. Ever since the chance discovery of tea by a Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC tea has become intimately associated with numerous cultures of the world.

Tea came to be named so only in the 20th Century. In 1905, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature decided that the tea tree's correct name, no matter where it grows, is Camellia sinensis. The tea tree is native to the whole monsoon area of South and East Asia: India, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea and now also grown in parts of Africa etc. The Himalayan region produces some of the finest Teas of the world. Tea is intimately associated with varied cultures of the world. In East Asia the culture of Tea Houses has evolved over centuries along with Buddhism. In China, many regions celebrate International Tea Festivals. In Japan it is an integral part of Zen rituals. In India, with all its variety, it symbolizes the 'Spirit of India'. Darjeeling and Assam produce some of world's most aromatic teas. From here, the British introduced Tea to Europe. Ever since the Victorian times, Tea Rooms have flourished throughout Britain. In America, the Tea Lounges, with their modern settings, dot the entire culinary cultural space of the country.

In India, the tea is consumed throughout the length and breadth of the land by every strata of the society. But the manner in which it is prepared, served and consumed represents the cultural diversity of our country. In cultural sense, tea is the true representative of unity in diversity of India. Tea is truly a national drink of India. Besides, tea by itself symbolizes unity is diversity, because whatever may be the variety of tea, red, black, orange, white, oolong or green it originates from the same plant camellia sinensis.

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