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11 More Things You Absolutely Didn't Know About Tea - Part Three

To be completely frank with you, this is my favourite series on the blog. I LOVE finding out all of these random and rarely known tea tidbits and sharing them with y'all. Oh, how I yearn for the day when we all gather and yap about tea together.

1. First of all, when astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, he took with him the most important equipment known to man: a specially designed tube equipped with a valve to drink tea, sans spillage. Absolute icon.

2. There are two ways of referring to the Japanese tea ceremony. The first is "chanoyu" meaning "hot water for tea", and the second, "chado", carries arguably more weight; it means "the way of tea".

3. Korea has a teaware called tagwan, similar to Japan's kyusu. Kyusu is essential in Japanese tea culture for brewing green teas such as sencha and gyokuro, while Tagwan is used in Korean tea ceremonies for a variety of teas including green tea, herbal infusions, and famously, tisanes made from barley (and yes, they are delicious).

4. Morocco has an old proverb when talking about the tradition of serving tea three times. It says: the first glass is as gentle as life; the second glass is as strong as love; the third glass is as bitter as death.

5. Mao Zedong's favourite tea was Longjing green tea, served hot and thick. Apparently, he enjoyed this tea so much that he gave it as a gift to President Nixon when he visited China.

unusual facts about tea to know

6. The first European teacups were strongly influenced by China and its style (hence the material being referred to as 'fine china'). As a result, they didn't have handles. Handles were only added to teacups in the 1750s after ladies would constantly burn their fingers.

7. Lu Yu, the renowned and evidently incredibly wise Chinese tea master, wrote that to enjoy tea you first need:

1. A porcelain cup

2. A lily pond

3. A desirable woman

8. In China they call the last drip from the spout the 'golden drop' (金滴). This is because of its prized quality and concentration of flavour, embodying the essence and richness of the brewed tea.

9. Instead of the Chinese gaiwan, the Japanese use something called a hohin. This is because the hohin has a specialised design tailored for brewing delicate green teas, emphasising precision and control over temperature and steeping time.

Along with that, the hohin's minimalist form and intimate handling align with the refined aesthetics and meticulous practices of Japanese tea culture, particularly in traditional tea ceremonies (which we now know the name of, right?).

11 facts about tea you didn't know

10. The name 'Darjeeling' derives from the Tibetan words dorje and ling, which together mean 'Place of the Thunderbolt.' Ling is used to denote a place, whereas in Tibetan Buddhism, the dorje symbolises a thunderbolt or diamond, representing both indestructibility and powerful force. Together, it becomes a symbol used in rituals and ceremonies to invoke strength and wisdom.

11. In China they have a saying which goes, One year: Tea. Three years: Medicine. Seven Years: Treasure.

This means that in its first year, tea is primarily valued for its refreshing taste and immediate enjoyment. Then, after three years, tea is thought to acquire additional health benefits, such as improved digestion, enhanced immune support, and potential cardiovascular benefits.

By the seventh year, its flavour becomes more complex and nuanced, and it may acquire rare and sought-after characteristics. Especially when referring to pu'erh, well-aged tea is considered a valuable treasure.

Additional fact:

The great monk Myōan Eisai, wrote, “[Tea...] growing in the mountains and valleys, contains the very spirit of the earth.”

Myōan Eisai is actually the name inspiration behind Eisa Tea Co., due to him being an absolute legend. Now that you've finished this post, why not read all about Eisai and our thoughts on him HERE?

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