Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tea and Buddhism

Chinese Buddhist monks pick green tea leaves in field (

Tea and Buddhism: More Than Just Contemplation

They are marked by what may be called The Great Sugar Divide. Basically, Buddhism drove the methods of producing great teas pre-sugar, giving us the legacy of mainly green teas and oolongs [oxidized and fermented].

It’s hard to put dates on the 4,000 or more years of tea in China, but by 800 CE, it was a mature agricultural activity in China, and had been introduced into Japan and Korea. At that stage, it was in essence Buddhist-driven.
Buddhist monks and British merchants: two great traditions
The British created the later tea culture of the West, but their role was very much that of trading: building the global supply chains, blending, packaging and branding that have made tea a consistent, cheap and convenient commodity, now mostly in tea bags.
This was built on scale and integration: the consolidation of small growers’ harvests through centralized auctions, the magnificent tea clipper ships that raced the Pacific to cut weeks off the many months of journey, the monopoly control of the East India Company, and the creation of large farms in Assam [India] and Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. More

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