History UsefulNotes / TeaAndTeaCulture

23rd Jan '16 8:38:02 PM karstovich2
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Tea first appeared in Russia in the early 17th century, given as a gift to the embassy of the Tsar Mikhail I. The ambassador didn't like it, and actually didn't even present it to the Tsar for fear of angering him. The second attempt, now by the Qing embassy to Mikhail's son Alexei I, was more successful, and the court loved the drink. Still, for much of the 17th century it remained an expensive import affordable only to nobility. The fact that Peter The Great, Alexei's son, didn't care for the drink (associating it with Moscow, which he hated) and was an avid coffee fan (coffee was all the rage in 17th-century Western Europe, and Peter wanted Russia to be more Western), didn't help, nor did competition from Russia's traditional warm drink sbiten', [[labelnote:*]]сбитень in Cyrillic[[/labelnote]] a hot herbal brew sweetened with honey and/or jam.
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Tea first appeared in Russia in the early 17th century, given as a gift to the embassy of the Tsar Mikhail I. The ambassador didn't like it, and actually didn't even present it to the Tsar for fear of angering him. The second attempt, now by the Qing embassy to Mikhail's son Alexei I, was more successful, and the court loved the drink. Still, for much of the 17th century it remained an expensive import affordable only to nobility. The fact that Peter The Great, Alexei's son, didn't care for the drink (associating it with Moscow, which he hated) and was an avid coffee fan (coffee was all the rage in 17th-century Western Europe, and Peter wanted Russia to be more Western), didn't help, nor did competition from Russia's traditional warm drink sbiten', [[labelnote:*]]сбитень in Cyrillic[[/labelnote]] a hot herbal brew sweetened with honey and/or jam. jam.[[note]]Incidentally, sbiten' may be prepared with wine rather than water to produce Russia's answer to mulled wine. It's considered to be more festive than the water-based sbiten'.[[/note]]
23rd Jan '16 8:34:05 PM karstovich2
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** In response to shortage fears, in 1942 the British decided to buy the tea. [[AllOfThem As in all of it]]. ''In the world.'' That's right: in 1942, to fuel her soldiers, sailors, and airmen, Britannia bought the entire world crop of tea (except for the part of it under Japanese control, of course) - and it was as vital to her armies as bullets and tanks.
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** In response to shortage fears, in 1942 the British decided to buy the tea. [[AllOfThem As in all of it]]. ''In the world.'' That's right: in 1942, to fuel her soldiers, sailors, and airmen, Britannia bought the entire world crop of tea (except for the part of it under Japanese control, of course) course[[note]]They probably didn't get any of the tea under Soviet control, but that production, limited to a few plantations around Krasnodar, was rather small, and anyway the Russians ''really'' needed that tea.[[/note]]) - and it was as vital to her armies as bullets and tanks.
23rd Jan '16 8:30:35 PM karstovich2
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'''How They Drink It:''' British-style with milk and sugar, and in a variety of Indian preperations involving various combinations of spices and herbs. Of those, ''masala chai'' is the best known, including black tea and a variety of spices among which cardamom, ginger and sometimes black pepper feature prominantly, but there's also ''kahwah'', green tea with almonds and spices originating in the Kashmir region, and ''noon chai'', also from Kashmir, featuring cardamom, pistachio, a pinch of salt and a pink color produced by adding baking soda. However it's mixed, the Indian customs differ from the British in that they make tea by boiling everything - milk, tea and sugar - in the same pot. (An exception: Darjeeling tea, though sold as black, actually tends to be less oxidized and technically an oolong. This "champagne of teas" in its pure form needs no adulterations; do note however that a lot of what is sold as "Darjeeling tea", especially cheap stuff, is either not actually from Darjeeling or blended with a lot of cheaper tea.)
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'''How They Drink It:''' British-style with milk (although unlike the UK and rather like Hong Kong, the milk is often evaporated milk) and sugar, and in a variety of Indian preperations involving various combinations of spices and herbs. Of those, ''masala chai'' is the best known, including black tea and a variety of spices among which cardamom, ginger and sometimes black pepper feature prominantly, but there's also ''kahwah'', green tea with almonds and spices originating in the Kashmir region, and ''noon chai'', also from Kashmir, featuring cardamom, pistachio, a pinch of salt and a pink color produced by adding baking soda. However it's mixed, the Indian customs differ from the British in that they make tea by boiling everything - milk, tea and sugar - in the same pot. (An exception: Darjeeling tea, though sold as black, actually tends to be less oxidized and technically an oolong. This "champagne of teas" in its pure form needs no adulterations; do note however that a lot of what is sold as "Darjeeling tea", especially cheap stuff, is either not actually from Darjeeling or blended with a lot of cheaper tea.)
23rd Jan '16 8:25:44 PM karstovich2
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Added DiffLines:
Also: as you might have understood from the above, British patterns of tea consumption are largely replicated in Ireland, with some minor differences. Indeed, the Irish are, if anything, even ''more'' tea-crazy than the British, consistently consuming more tea--by weight--per capita than the British do.
23rd Jan '16 8:21:08 PM karstovich2
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By elasticity of demand, we mean to point out that people are more willing to buy more of certain things than others. You can only buy and maintain so many cars, for instance. But there really is no upper limit, comparatively, to the number of music-recordings you might amass (especially these days). What this means in economic terms is that a small change in the price of a product with a high elasticity of demand will change the amount demanded a lot--reduce the price a bit, and a lot more people will start buying it (and/or people already buying the product will start buying more), but if you raise prices, the reduction in quantity demanded by consumers will be just as drastic. Because small reductions in price lead to large increases in quantity sold, a producer of a product with a high elasticity of demand will tend to try to maximise profits by selling more stuff at a lower price (if you can sell 10000 pounds of tea for 3 [[UsefulNotes/OldBritishMoney shillings]] per pound, or 30000 pounds of tea for 1 shilling sixpence per pound--which is three times the quantity at half the price--which would you prefer?). That is what the East India Company did with tea. What happened as the supply of Tea increased and the prices of it dropped is that it appealed to an ever broader (and relatively poorer) base of people. Consequently, the East India Company tentatively tried to see just how much Wulong tea they could flood Britain with before it became unprofitable. They were not disappointed. In Britain at least, by the 1750s it was already a recognized national drink. Interestingly, a significant upswing in health followed as people began boiling their water before drinking it. However, it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that people commonly took their tea with milk. This is because Wulong tea was cheaper, more widely available and highly regarded until about this time - when British investment in Indian plantations (which produced darker and more astringent teas) began to pay off. The transport and investment networks (i.e. railways and banks with the money and willingness to invest in pithy local business ventures) required to transport fresh milk to the Metropolises simply didn't exist before then anyway.
to:
By elasticity of demand, we mean to point out that people are more willing to buy more of certain things than others. You can only buy and maintain so many cars, for instance. But there really is no upper limit, comparatively, to the number of music-recordings you might amass (especially these days). What this means in economic terms is that a small change in the price of a product with a high elasticity of demand will change the amount demanded a lot--reduce the price a bit, and a lot more people will start buying it (and/or people already buying the product will start buying more), but if you raise prices, the reduction in quantity demanded by consumers will be just as drastic. Because small reductions in price lead to large increases in quantity sold, a producer of a product with a high elasticity of demand will tend to try to maximise profits by selling more stuff at a lower price (if you can sell 10000 pounds of tea for 3 [[UsefulNotes/OldBritishMoney shillings]] per pound, or 30000 pounds of tea for 1 shilling sixpence per pound--which is three times the quantity at half the price--which would you prefer?).prefer?[[note]]Assuming that your costs per pound of tea don't increase, which for the East India Company they did not in any significant way.[[/note]]). That is what the East India Company did with tea. What happened as the supply of Tea increased and the prices of it dropped is that it appealed to an ever broader (and relatively poorer) base of people. Consequently, the East India Company tentatively tried to see just how much Wulong tea they could flood Britain with before it became unprofitable. They were not disappointed. In Britain at least, by the 1750s it was already a recognized national drink. Interestingly, a significant upswing in health followed as people began boiling their water before drinking it. However, it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that people commonly took their tea with milk. This is because Wulong tea was cheaper, more widely available and highly regarded until about this time - when British investment in Indian plantations (which produced darker and more astringent teas) began to pay off. The transport and investment networks (i.e. railways and banks with the money and willingness to invest in pithy local business ventures) required to transport fresh milk to the Metropolises simply didn't exist before then anyway.
23rd Jan '16 8:18:07 PM karstovich2
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By elasticity of demand, we mean to point out that people are more willing to buy more of certain things than others. You can only buy and maintain so many cars, for instance. But there really is no upper limit, comparatively, to the number of music-recordings you might amass (especially these days). What this means in economic terms is that a small change in the price of a product with a high elasticity of demand will change the amount demanded a lot--reduce the price a bit, and a lot more people will start buying it (or start buying more), but if you raise prices, the reduction in quantity demanded by consumers will be just as drastic. Because small reductions in price lead to large increases in quantity sold, a producer of a product with a high elasticity of demand will tend to try to maximise profits by selling more stuff at a lower price (if you can sell 10000 pounds of tea for 3 [[UsefulNotes/OldBritishMoney shillings]] per pound, or 30000 pounds of tea for 1 shilling sixpence per pound--which is three times the quantity at half the price--which would you prefer?). That is what the East India Company did with tea. What happened as the supply of Tea increased and the prices of it dropped is that it appealed to an ever broader (and relatively poorer) base of people. Consequently, the East India Company tentatively tried to see just how much Wulong tea they could flood Britain with before it became unprofitable. They were not disappointed. In Britain at least, by the 1750s it was already a recognized national drink. Interestingly, a significant upswing in health followed as people began boiling their water before drinking it. However, it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that people commonly took their tea with milk. This is because Wulong tea was cheaper, more widely available and highly regarded until about this time - when British investment in Indian plantations (which produced darker and more astringent teas) began to pay off. The transport and investment networks (i.e. railways and banks with the money and willingness to invest in pithy local business ventures) required to transport fresh milk to the Metropolises simply didn't exist before then anyway.
to:
By elasticity of demand, we mean to point out that people are more willing to buy more of certain things than others. You can only buy and maintain so many cars, for instance. But there really is no upper limit, comparatively, to the number of music-recordings you might amass (especially these days). What this means in economic terms is that a small change in the price of a product with a high elasticity of demand will change the amount demanded a lot--reduce the price a bit, and a lot more people will start buying it (or (and/or people already buying the product will start buying more), but if you raise prices, the reduction in quantity demanded by consumers will be just as drastic. Because small reductions in price lead to large increases in quantity sold, a producer of a product with a high elasticity of demand will tend to try to maximise profits by selling more stuff at a lower price (if you can sell 10000 pounds of tea for 3 [[UsefulNotes/OldBritishMoney shillings]] per pound, or 30000 pounds of tea for 1 shilling sixpence per pound--which is three times the quantity at half the price--which would you prefer?). That is what the East India Company did with tea. What happened as the supply of Tea increased and the prices of it dropped is that it appealed to an ever broader (and relatively poorer) base of people. Consequently, the East India Company tentatively tried to see just how much Wulong tea they could flood Britain with before it became unprofitable. They were not disappointed. In Britain at least, by the 1750s it was already a recognized national drink. Interestingly, a significant upswing in health followed as people began boiling their water before drinking it. However, it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that people commonly took their tea with milk. This is because Wulong tea was cheaper, more widely available and highly regarded until about this time - when British investment in Indian plantations (which produced darker and more astringent teas) began to pay off. The transport and investment networks (i.e. railways and banks with the money and willingness to invest in pithy local business ventures) required to transport fresh milk to the Metropolises simply didn't exist before then anyway.
18th Jan '16 3:52:13 PM DavidDelony
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* People who bother to drink tea in North America at all will most likely make it from tea bags, as that's all that's available on most grocery store shelves. There are a number of small companies selling loose-leaf tea by mail order for serious tea aficionados. That said, specialty tea stores, such as David's Tea and Teavana are expanding now so that in any major urban area of Canada and the U.S. you are guaranteed to find around half a dozen stores. There is even one in Toronto's international airport.
to:
* People who bother to drink tea in North America at all will most likely make it from tea bags, as that's all that's available on most grocery store shelves. There are a number of small companies selling loose-leaf tea by mail order for serious tea aficionados. That said, specialty tea stores, such as David's Tea and Teavana are expanding now so that in any major urban area of Canada and the U.S. you are guaranteed to find around half a dozen stores. There is even one in Toronto's international airport. You can also find loose leaf tea in the better grocery stores with a bulk natural foods section.
15th Dec '15 1:16:57 PM DavidDelony
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'''How they drink it''': Green tea is, of course, king, though oolong is also popular and black tea, usually served as "milk tea"[[note]]with milk and sugar, similar to the British "builder's tea"[[/note]], is sometimes drunk in cafes and in bottled form. Tea ceremony aside, the most common form of tea served in Japan is brewed loose-leaf ''sencha'', though tea bags and instant tea are also increasingly popular for their convenience and cheapness after the economic bubble burst. Even though Japan is famous for its tea ceremony, as with the Brits, everyday tea drinking is a much humbler affair there. Having been isolationist for the greater part of its history and having limited space for farmland, the Japanese came up with a variety of inventive ways to stretch the green tea supply, including ''genmaicha'' (tea mixed with toasted rice), ''kukicha'' (a nutty-tasting tea that includes the stems and twigs from the leftovers of ''matcha'' and ''sencha'' production) and ''hojicha'' (lower grade tea than ''sencha'', called ''bancha'', that has been roasted over charcoal for flavor). Nowadays, Japan supplements their local supply with Chinese imports as well.
to:
'''How they drink it''': Green tea is, of course, king, though oolong is also popular and black tea, usually served as "milk tea"[[note]]with milk and sugar, similar to the British "builder's tea"[[/note]], is sometimes drunk in cafes and in bottled form. Tea ceremony aside, the most common form of tea served in Japan is brewed loose-leaf ''sencha'', though tea bags and instant tea are also increasingly popular for their convenience and cheapness after the economic bubble burst. Even though Japan is famous for its tea ceremony, as with the Brits, everyday tea drinking is a much humbler affair there.there, with loose-leaf sencha or tea bags served in mugs. Having been isolationist for the greater part of its history and having limited space for farmland, the Japanese came up with a variety of inventive ways to stretch the green tea supply, including ''genmaicha'' (tea mixed with toasted rice), ''kukicha'' (a nutty-tasting tea that includes the stems and twigs from the leftovers of ''matcha'' and ''sencha'' production) and ''hojicha'' (lower grade tea than ''sencha'', called ''bancha'', that has been roasted over charcoal for flavor). Nowadays, Japan supplements their local supply with Chinese imports as well.
17th Nov '15 4:17:02 PM JamesAustin
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->''This is the biggest, most important thing to know: '''For a black tea, you pour boiling water on tea leaves.''' That's ninety percent of the art of making a decent cup of tea. (...) It's the final ten percent of the cup of tea that you'll get people calling each other heretics for adding the milk (not cream) first, or whether to use teabags or loose tea and whether burning in effigy or a nice box of chocolates was the correct reward for whoever decided adding bergamot oil to tea was a good thing, or all the other tea things that people like to argue about.''\\
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->''This is the biggest, most important thing to know: '''For a black tea, you pour boiling water on tea leaves.''' That's ninety percent of the art of making a decent cup of tea. (...) It's the final ten percent of the cup of tea that you'll get people calling each other heretics for adding the milk (not cream) first, or whether to use teabags or loose tea and whether burning in effigy or a nice box of chocolates was the correct reward for whoever decided adding bergamot oil to tea was a good thing, or all the other tea things that people like to argue about.''\\''
17th Nov '15 4:16:50 PM JamesAustin
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--'''Creator/NeilGaiman''', [[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/06/last-tea-post.asp blog post]].
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--'''Creator/NeilGaiman''', -->-- '''Creator/NeilGaiman''', [[http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/06/last-tea-post.asp blog post]].
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