Tea In America – Boston Tea Party

At the beginning of the 18th century, tea arrived in Northern America, quickly becoming a desirable drink there as well. In New York and Boston, London-style teahouses started developing, where the drink was sold to the general public. At around that time, the British Empire decided to place taxes on the tea supply to the colonies of North America who were under their power. This decision greatly angered the American settlers who decided to boycott the taxed products in protest.

Whenever the British ships arrived at the harbours laden with tea, the settlers would start demonstrations which forced the ships to leave without unloading their wares. The most famous occurrence in this regard was named “The Boston Tea Party", during which a group of settlers boarded one of the ships anchored in the Boston harbour and started throwing hundreds of crates of tea from its deck into the sea. England retaliated to this by sending military forces to the harbour and shutting it down. This event marked the beginning of the American War of Independence.

Tea in the 20th Century

A significant rise in tea consumption resulted from the appearance of tea bags at the beginning of the 20th century. The inventor of tea bags, a New York tea merchant by the name of Thomas Sullivan, had a custom of sending tea samples in white silk bags to his customers, and they were intrigued by this new ground-breaking product. Upon the appearance of tea bags, the price of tea was lowered. The possibility of drinking tea without special brewing utensils made tea suitable for mass consumption, turning it into the world's most prevalent hot beverage.

Another Origin Story – Buddha

Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who was responsible for bringing Buddhism from his native India to China and eventually to Japan.

 The story goes that Bodhidharma had taken a vow to spend nine years staring at a wall in constant meditation. Five years into his meditation he experienced extreme tiredness. One day he fell asleep during meditation. Angry on his failure he cut off his eyelids and threw them to the ground. The story goes on that where Bodhidharma's eyelids landed, the first tea plant grew. Committed never to fail again after this incident and thanks to the tea plant extract he had successfully completed the meditation.

Therefore, tea has long been an important part in Japanese Buddhism and drinking tea is an aid in staying awake and alert during lengthy meditations

Origin Story – China

Yet another story recounts the origin of a popular tea in China, Ti Kuan Yin. According to the legend, Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, presented tea as a gift to a devout farmer who diligently maintained her old, dilapidated temple. Inside the temple was Kuan Yin's elegant iron statue to whom followers prayed for enlightenment. One day, however, the iron statue appeared to come alive. Shocked, the farmer fell to his knees and the goddess whispered, "The key for your future is just outside this temple. Nourish it with tenderness; it will support you and yours for generations to come." Unable to contain his curiosity, he went outside and found a withered, straggly bush.

After much care, the bush grew rich and full, with thick green leaves. Experimenting, the farmer dried the leaves in a stone wok. They soon turned a smooth charcoal black, just like the statue of Kuan Yin. The nectar produced from leaves fired in this way was ambrosial and fragrant, like the finest blossoms. It was more delicious than any other drink that ever touched his lips. Thus, The Magical Ti Kuan Yin - "The tea of Kuan Yin" - came into being.