- "Thank God
for tea! What would the world do without tea! How did it exist? I am glad
I was not born before tea."
-William Gladstone, British Prime Minister.
- (Famous Tea
Indeed it is hard to picture a world without tea because it has in many
ways defined the world and the way that we define ourselves in this world.
It exists as a bridge through both time and space, connecting cultures and
markets: spinning the web of globalization. Tea began in China some 4700
years ago and was quickly adopted into the Asian culture. From the various
ceremonies that center around tea in Asia, tea became a sought-after
commodity throughout Europe soon after it was introduced in the 17th
century. It spread throughout Europe and even the early American colonies
as it replaced almost every European national drink. Tea trading companies
rose up as Europe demanded more and more of the beverage. These companies
made fortunes trading in tea with China and India. Ever sine tea has
become a part of many European societies and entire colonies were
established in order to generate another source for tea export. Today,
companies such as The Stash Tea Company cater to a fast-growing American
tea market that is slowly turning to tea as an exotic, healthy, and convenient
alternative to carbonated beverages and coffee.
can see a large web of interconnectedness developing through companies
such as The Stash Tea Company. The specialty teas that it purchases come
from high quality tea plantations in various parts of China, Japan, India,
and Sri Lanka. There the tea cultivation industry approaches an art in
both its efficiency and the quality of tea that it produces, after all it
is a way of life for the people that work at these plantations. After
initial processing, the tea is bought and blended. At this point clever
marketing spins are put on the product in the form of fancy packaging and
displays. The teas are also described as natural, exotic, and healthy, and
are eagerly bought up by consumers who are earning for more of this wonder
brew. Thus every time that you buy a package of Stash Tea you are in fact
connected to people that have been cultivating tea for generations. In a
way by drinking this tea you become connected to more than just a bag full
of leaves and chemicals: you are connected to an ancient culture and
tradition. It is exactly this notion that powers many people living in the
US to buy some exotic tea, because it frees their imagination and gives
them a chance to visualize something other than the troubles of a busy
life. Perhaps this is why tea consumption is on the rise, even if its
still mostly in the bottled form in the US. In addition, the proven health
benefits of tea drinking help develop a global understanding for tea and
its global role in the well being and health of humanity. Lastly, when you
drink tea you become a part of the tea-drinking world culture, which spans
the globe .
When you drink that cup of tea,
regardless of the packaging and the buzz words, and the form of the tea
itself, you are in fact partaking in a journey through both time and
space... back to the roots of civilization... back to the Middle East...
back to the trading ships of Europe... back to the plantation in Sri
Lanka, and back through the very biochemistry of existence. This
realization is perhaps what underlies the whole notion of globalization:
the realization that even though you might have never been to ancient
China, or a Darjeeling plantation you can still relate to those places and
those times by partaking in a "ceremony" known and practiced by
a major part of the world.