Tea In Royal France --

Did you know that tea was actually more popular at one point in France before ever reaching England? It’s true, back in the 17th Century, tea was introduced to Europe and became a huge hit in France. Tea actually arrived in Paris about 22 years before ever entering England. In the year 1636 tea wandered into Paris, first becoming popular with the nobles.

In those times, King Louis XIV (14th) was in power, and the most powerful man under him was Cardinal Mazarin, and he drank tea regularly. Cardinal Mazarin was said to have started drinking tea thinking it would help his gout, as did King Louis XIV (16th) many years later in 1665. He had been told that the Chinese and Japanese never suffered from heart problems, and reasoned that tea was responsible for it.

At those times, Madame de Sévigné recorded the doings of King Louis XIV and his associates in what would later be a famous series of gossipy letters to her daughter. Madam Sévigné often mentioned in her letters about tea. She even wrote in her letters (roughly translated into English):

               “Saw the Princess de Tarente who takes 12 cups of tea every day…which she says, cures all her ills. She assured me that Monsieur de Landgrave drank 40 cups every morning. ‘But Madame, perhaps it is really only 30 or so.’ ‘No, 40. He was dying, and it brought him back to life before our eyes.’”

French doctors got excited about tea seeing it as a possible medicine. As early as 1648, a Monsieur Morisset published a treatise claiming that tea was mentally stimulating. When bringing up the concept before the faculty of medicine at the University of Paris, some enthusiastic defenders of another medicinal plant – sage, had the treatise burned.

In 1657, the scientist Jonquest praised tea as the “divine herb”. By 1685, Philippe Sylvestre Dufour published the ‘Traites Nouveaux et Curieux du Café du The et du Chocolat’ (New and Curious Treatises on Coffee, Tea and Chocolate) which was one of the first books in French to address tea. It praised the leaf for its ability to cure headaches and aid digestion as well as offering prescriptions and such.

However, popularity among the upper classes may have been the kiss of death for tea in France. In 1789, a screaming mob, enraged by a noble class that did nothing but levy crippling taxes and make war, attacked the notorious Bastille prison. By the time the violence stopped, the king and queen had lost their heads and so had a good amount of counts, dukes, and those in high positions.

Tea, once a symbol of royalty, died with those royals. Tea’s story was not over in France, however. Only 50 years after the Revolution, and Anglo-mania swept the country. Everything English was all the fashion and it again became stylish to take tea, often in the evening after dinner and accompanied by small pastries.

If the royals and nobles had shared tea more openly from the beginning, tea may have survived through the French Revolution giving tea a much more powerful effect in France now opposed to what it is today.

 

Worlds Top 10 Tea Loving Countries

Hello out there. If you don’t know by now, I am a HUUUUUGE tea lover, and everybody involved with My Moya can say the same =).

Now that I got that out there, I just need to say it again, that tea is the 2nd most drank beverage in the world right behind water. When people ask me why I can almost always be found with a bottle of fresh tea with me, I’m finding myself telling people how water is the only thing better than tea (usually in a joking manner). That had me thinking – ‘if tea is really that popular around the world, then which countries actually drink the most?’

Before looking into it, I thought it would be a safe guess that China would be on the top of the list considering it is the birthplace of tea. After that I placed a wild guess on England being 2nd, or at least close to the top. I was surprised to see that China doesn’t even rank in the top 10, let alone the top 20 list. China is actually ranked 32nd.

Apparently the top list of countries consuming tea is measured by the annual per capita consumption for tea. Per capita is Latin for “by head,” basically meaning ‘average per person’. So that would mean the average number per person in the country.

This top 10 list actually has a tie for the 3rd place spot, and comes from a list of about 156 countries. This information is based from the end of 2014. The style of tea is measured separately from something called ‘Mate’ tea which is a style of tea that is usually drank with a long metal straw, more about that later. So let’s see if your country made the top 10 tea list. Good luck =)

Rank        Country                        Tea Consumption (per person)
1st             Turkey                              7.54 kg (266 Oz)
2nd            Morocco                           4.34 kg (153 Oz)
3rd             Ireland                             3.22 kg (114 Oz)
3rd             Mauritania                        3.22 kg (114 Oz)
4th             United Kingdom                2.74 kg (97 Oz)
5th             Seychelles                        2.08 kg (73 Oz)
6th             United Arab Emirates        1.89 kg (67 Oz)
7th             Kuwait                              1.61 kg (57 Oz)
8th             Qatar                               1.60 kg (56 Oz)
9th             Kazakhstan                       1.54 kg (54 Oz)
10th            Malta                               1.45 kg (57 Oz)
 

 

Tea as Art?

I’ve been told to be a free spirit, and often found with a smile on my face. Maybe it’s this reason that allows me to see the world as it should be instead of how it’s actually seen. My journey has brought me to the magic forces and energies China has to offer… and of course I can’t forget the lovely Chinese Tea =).  

Tea has been popular in China for more than a thousand years. Now, it is considered as being the world's most popular drink after water. During the past few decades, teashops have opened their doors in major cities all over the world and the habit of drinking Chinese tea has become more and more popular. Most people drink tea because of its health benefits but more frequently people are beginning to drink it just for the pleasure of it.

Drinking tea can have a much deeper meaning than a hot healthy beverage. After being in China for years now, I’ve learned that drinking tea is more of an art, with a very long history (I’ll get into the history of it another time). A small piece of what I’ve taken from my tea experience in China is this:

‘Just like any other art, tea can’t be rushed. It needs to seep and run its course into becoming the tasteful art it should be. As all things in life worth treasuring, enjoy it in the moment as it should be.’

There are cultures and ceremonies in China revolving around tea, really making you slow down to soak it in. Experiencing it is really amazing, and in time I will discuss much more about why tea is so amazing.

This isn’t just an opinion of mine, there is a long proven history behind it as well. I won’t go into it now, but did you know that when tea was first discovered way-back-when it was actually introduced as a medicine? More about that later.

Just think about the so many different ways we can mix and match juice or other drinks. If you didn't already know, you can mix teas in so many different ways and flavors. More about that later too.

Until next time, look at your tea like an art form...that just so happens to taste awesome. ;)

Cheers everybody. (I’m saluting with a cup of tea right now by the way)