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A Cup of Tea

Tea has been around for centuries and has found itself in the household of every family. It has become as essential as water. It doesn’t end there, This warm cup of delight has not only provided us with a great remedy to many illnesses but has also caused many incidetns in history.

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Hasan Nadeem |

Tea is one of the oldest beverages in the world, still used today after centuries. Tea is the only beverage which shares almost equal importance with water. Yes, the popularity of tea is almost equal to that of water. You can imagine the importance of tea with an example of a police constable, who, after he  stops a person riding a motorcycle, generally says – after the ‘Mukmuka’ between the rider and the police constable – ‘kuch chaye pani kay paisay tu dejao,’ you can distinguish that tea holds a high importance than water in this statement.

The Philadelphia Tea party was a similar incident in which the British tea ship was intercepted by American colonists and forced to return to its cargo in Great Britain. 

This statement is just a slip of tongue and is very common – so common, in fact, that no one takes notice of the statement when saying it. Therefore, it is a fact: tea is as essential as water.

Tea was discovered in 10th B.C in China when a leaf of tea fell in boiling water, after which the color and the taste of water was transformed into something very refreshing and elegant. Tea was used as a beverage in 3rd B.C during the Qin Dynasty and became a very popular beverage in the Tang Dynasty. However, tea was discovered in Europe quite late, it was imported to Europe in the 16th century during the Portuguese expansion. Tea became popular in the 18th century in Europe. With this in mind, Great Britain did not widely consume the beverage until the 19th century.

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In the modern age, Ireland is the biggest consumer of tea with an average of 4 cups per person a day, some people drink 6 or more in this region – they prefer milk tea above others.

Tea has many kinds, of which Black tea and Green tea are widely preferred; both kinds are suggested to be effective for health –  it is good for patients battling of liver and colorectal cancer. Moreover, tea is said to protect from cardiovascular diseases.

China, India, and Kenya are the major exporters of tea. The smaller the leaf, the greater the expense.

A ‘Tea Dance’ culture was then originated from the afternoon tea, having its origin in the French colonies of Morocco in which several dances were performed like Waltzes, Tangos and by the late 1920s, the Charleston.

In Pakistan, tea is the most famous beverage and is served at many occasions and places. Of these places, the ‘Chaye kay hotel’ – or ‘Pathan kay hotel’ specifically called in Karachi – are the most famous spots for drinking tea. Tea is the ultimate beverage that brings families and friends together, fostering conversations and nurturing bonds. Chaye kay hotels are mostly visited by laborers, small jobs oriented persons, college and school students. The discussion held between the laborers, while they are taking a sip of their tea, can be mostly found to be about leaving their jobs due to their salaries.

The conversation further moves to other possible job opportunities, other contracts and so on… Similar discussions are held betwen the job oriented persons but they are also found discussing their seniors (usually backbiting) and friends who are not present there. Whereas the third category, which belongs to the students, usually have discussions about their friends and teacher’s behavior,  combined studies, planning for an outing or even planning another ‘bunk.’ There is one more personality often present at these hotels who are free from any worries and are here just to have tea, but a discussion is also held between these people, usually about the politics and the present situation of the government.

These people are not capable of an exact analysis on such matters but try to convince their friends otherwise. Further to this, these type of people are also present in the above-mentioned categories. At these hotels; there are two types of tea, one is ‘Doodh patti Chaye,’ which is most widely preferred for its rich taste and the other one is ‘ saadah Chaye,’  which is mostly preferred for being cheaper than the ‘Doodh patti Chaye.’ Another fact about these hotels is that the people coming in drink tea often at ‘Udhaar.’

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Now, there is one more kind of person who likes to have tea at their own comfort – at their house or office. The morning tea comes along with a newspaper. This category is capable of making an accurate and critical analysis of the news. These involve business men, journalists, analysts, and politicians. Such types are the policy makers or are able to at least understand the policies of any organization or system.

Their tea is often placed on the table where big decisions, during meetings.. The decisions are then encouraged with the sip of tea. Some decisions cannot be made in a large gathering as they are critical, hence these decisions are made in luxury hotels along with friends and other personnel who are concerned with the decision, and the final decision is not made until the tea has been finished. As the tea is finished, the friends shake hands with each other and bid each other good bye.

Tea was used as a beverage in 3rd B.C during the Qin Dynasty and became a very popular beverage in the Tang Dynasty.

Tea is not absent at the table of manipulation when two friends meet each other to plot against a third friend or any other person, they both are served and the manipulation is proceeded by tea. People think that tea sharpens their mind and that’s why tea is present on such tables or in other gatherings or meetings overall…

Tea is a part of almost every culture in the world and hence is present on many occasions such as weddings. Table talk shows are also a part of our culture, and these talk shows are also preceded by serving tea to guests – as you might have often seen, at any talk show, there is a mug place in front of each guest along with the host. This mug is not empty or filled with water; it is filled with tea.

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In some cultures, as in Pakistan, tea is the first thing that is offered to the guests. Green tea is widely consumed in Pakistan after every meal, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtun Khua (KPK). In the Khyber belt as well as all over in Pakistan, green tea is popularly known as ‘Kahwah,’ but the word is originated from Pushto language. At some occasions such as wedding parties and special occasions, a special tea called ‘Kashmiri Chaye’-  a pink, milky tea with pistachios and cardamom – is served during winter seasons.

You can now imagine how tea is the most popular word on the tongue of every person. Some people even think that they cannot live without tea. But on the other side, there are a few people who have never tasted the tea. Yes, never tasted tea – Would you believe a person such as Nawab Akbar Bughti has never tasted tea?

With so many tea lovers throughout the world, how can it possible that this beverage has never caused any trouble? In different parts of the world, during different periods, tea has caused serious chaos and troubles. The ‘Boston Tea Party’ is the most famous incident which gathered large protesters against the British government for their implementation of the tax on tea. These protests were filled with immense enthusiasm and patriotism that they led to the ‘Great American Revolution’ and forced the British to pull out of North America.

The ‘Boston Tea Party’ was led by the ‘Sons of Liberty’ (a group of American Patriots in the Pre-Independence North American British colonies) which took place on 16th December 1773, two months after the ‘Philadelphia Tea party.’ The Philadelphia Tea party was a similar incident in which the British tea ship was intercepted by American colonists and forced to return to its cargo in Great Britain.  The ‘Tea Party Movement’ in America has derived its theme from the ‘Boston Tea Party’ of anti-tax protestors.

Tea parties have become a part of almost every culture. They were generally referred to as ‘the afternoon tea’ in the olden times. A ‘Tea Dance’ culture was then originated from the afternoon tea, having its origin in the French colonies of Morocco in which several dances were performed like Waltzes, Tangos and by the late 1920s, the Charleston. By 1880, the afternoon tea dances were practiced by the officers of the Royal Navy in their mess rooms.

Hence, Tea is the only beverage in the world which has not lost its popularity since its discovery, and today it is sipped as a part of everyday life. Tea serves as a friend when a person is alone and encourages a person to think…

Hasan Nadeem is a Metallurgical Engineer by Qualification and an academic writer by profession. He is currently working as a Senior Business Development Engineer in a Petroleum Testing Laboratory. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.


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