Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tea, Not Just For the English



Everyone relates tea to the English, and rightfully so since everyone knows the famous story of how the Americans rejected the English by dumping their tea into the harbor. The other country famous for their tea is China. China was the first place to discover tea almost 3,000 years B.C.! An emperor was drinking hot water and some leaves blew off of the tree and into his cup! It instantly started to brew and he decided to try it. Thankfully for society, he did! Tea has grown to be a favorite drink and art among many. If China discovered tea, did they start the tradition of ‘having a tea’? Well, they are famous for having tea ceremonies. But, who started the social gathering of the Tea, with elegant little snacks? Was it the English? Well, it started in England, but not by and Englishman! The custom of tea parties was started by a Portuguese woman. When (Portuguese) Catherine of Braganza married English Charles II, she brought some teas with her that she enjoyed drinking. She invited ladies to drink it with her and she served some snacks. Tea parties started out as a thing for just ladies and they kept themselves in their chambers. The custom changed a little later on when the gatherings were moved outdoors and entertainment was brought in. The men attended some of these social events. Today, tea is enjoyed by many men and women alike. Interestingly, the afternoon tea was started by Anne, Duchess of Bedford because she could not go the full time without eating between lunch and dinnertime. She would eat little things in between meals and she would invite ladies to join her and it became a social custom! So it seems, all one needs is to be influential and their habits can become customs and loved traditions! Another interesting and not well known fact is how the custom of raising the pinky at a tea came about. The wealthy and elite ate their food with only three fingers while the peasants ate with all five. Thus, the raising of the pinky became a sign of elitism and is now a rule of etiquette for a tea party. So, now that you have learned a little more about tea, you may ask “What can I do to share in this tradition?” There are tea houses that are run by those who love the art of tea and they want to share it with everyone. You can look them up and try to find one close to you to enjoy and unique experience! Another way is to have a tea of your own! There is a magazine called Tea Time which has stories, recipes, china, table settings, events, and merchandise. It is an excellent magazine with many ideas to help you! This month my mom is celebrating her birthday and to commemorate it, my sister and I threw her a surprise tea. We made a potato and onion soup, turkey sandwiches, white BBQ chicken bites, and mini chocolate raspberry tarts. I have shared some pictures to show you. It is so much fun to do! So, I hope you are inspired to have a tea and experience a beautiful tradition! And Happy Birthday
Everyone relates tea to the English, and rightfully so since everyone knows the famous story of how the Americans rejected the English by rejecting their tea when they dumped it into the harbor. The other country famous for their tea is China. China was the first place to discover tea almost 3,000 years B.C.! An emperor was drinking hot water and some leaves blew off of the tree and into his cup! It instantly started to brew and he decided to try it. Thankfully for society, he did! Tea has grown to be a favorite drink and art among many. If China discovered tea, did they start the tradition of ‘having a tea’? Well, they are famous for having tea ceremonies. But, who started the social gathering of the Tea, with elegant little snacks? Was it the English? Well, it started in England, but not by and Englishman! The custom of tea parties was started by a Portuguese woman. When (Portuguese) Catherine of Braganza married English Charles II, she brought some teas with her that she enjoyed drinking. She invited ladies to drink it with her and she served some snacks. Tea parties started out as a thing for just ladies and they kept themselves in their chambers. The custom changed a little later on when the gatherings were moved outdoors and entertainment was brought in. The men attended some of these social events. Today, tea is enjoyed by many men and women alike. Interestingly, the afternoon tea was started by Anne, Duchess of Bedford because she could not go the full time without eating between lunch and dinnertime. She would eat little things in between meals and she would invite ladies to join her and it became a social custom! So it seems, all one needs is to be influential and their habits can become customs and loved traditions! Another interesting and not well known fact is how the custom of raising the pinky at a tea came about. The wealthy and elite ate their food with only three fingers while the peasants ate with all five. Thus, the raising of the pinky became a sign of elitism and is now a rule of etiquette for a tea party. So, now that you have learned a little more about tea, you may ask “What can I do to share in this tradition?” There are tea houses that are run by those who love the art of tea and they want to share it with everyone. You can look them up and try to find one close to you to enjoy and unique experience! Another way is to have a tea of your own! There is a magazine called Tea Time which has stories, recipes, china, table settings, events, and merchandise. It is an excellent magazine with many ideas to help you! This month my mom is celebrating her birthday and to commemorate it, my sister and I threw her a surprise tea. We made a potato/onion soup, turkey sandwiches, white barbeque chicken bites, and mini chocolate raspberry tarts. I have shared some pictures to show you. It is so much fun to do! So, I hope you are inspired to have a tea and experience a beautiful tradition! And Happy Birthday mom!








Here are some links for more information on the history of tea and etiquette! Read more to find out more! (Did you know that in Japan, a woman was required to know how to perform a perfect tea ceremony before she could get married?) 
1.https://www.afternoontoremember.com/learn/etiquette
2.http://www.coffeeteawarehouse.com/tea-history.html



2 comments:

  1. Lovely post! Tea is definitely my favorite warm beverage...it makes one feel relaxed and refined all at the same time! :)

    I have been enjoying your blog posts! I am also a young Catholic lady tired of living in a society of unladylike women and effeminate men. Your posts are always refreshing and inspiring. Keep up the great work - you can't post too often for me!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much @AllisonFunk! Glad to hear the responses! It is great to hear that there are more people who think the same way!

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