The ancient Chinese drink spurred on an English habit, faster ships, and a serious opium problem.
In the video entitled “The History of Tea” Shunan Teng takes us back 6,000 years to the first recorded use of tea in China (it was eaten as a vegetable, not sipped as a drink).
Along the way, we learn:
- That modern coffee baristas weren’t the first to draw pictures in foam
- That it was a Portuguese who introduced tea to the English aristocracy
- That lightning fast clipper ships were invented for the tea trade
- That the British introduced opium (and the Opium Wars) to China to pay for their tea habit
- And the English sent a botanist (in disguise) to smuggle tea trees (and tea workers) to India
Afterwards you can take this Ted-Ed quiz, possibly with a greater respect for the world’s second most consumed beverage after water.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!