An Animated History of Tea

Self pro­claimed tea geek, Shu­nan Teng’s knowl­edge of her cho­sen sub­ject extends well beyond the prop­er way to serve and pre­pare her best-loved bev­er­age.

Her recent TED-Ed les­son on the His­to­ry of Tea, above, hints at cen­turies of blood­shed and mer­ce­nary trade prac­tices, dis­creet­ly masked by Steff Lee’s benign ani­ma­tion.

Addic­tion, war, and child labor—the last, a grim ongo­ing real­i­ty…. Med­i­tate on that the next time you’re enjoy­ing a nice cup of Dar­jeel­ing, or bet­ter yet, matcha, a prepa­ra­tion whose West­ern buzz is start­ing to approx­i­mate that of the Tang dynasty.

Even die-hard cof­fee loy­al­ists with lit­tle patience for the rit­u­al­is­tic niceties of tea cul­ture can indulge in some fas­ci­nat­ing triv­ia, from the inven­tion of the clip­per ship to the pos­si­ble health ben­e­fits of eat­ing rather than drink­ing those green leaves.

Test your TQ post-les­son with TED-Ed’s quiz, or this one from Tea Drunk, Teng’s authen­tic Man­hat­tan tea house.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

George Orwell Explains How to Make a Prop­er Cup of Tea

10 Gold­en Rules for Mak­ing the Per­fect Cup of Tea (1941)

“The Virtues of Cof­fee” Explained in 1690 Ad: The Cure for Lethar­gy, Scurvy, Drop­sy, Gout & More

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. She’ll be appear­ing onstage in New York City this June as one of the clowns in Paul David Young’s Faust 3. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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Comments (7)
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  • Alex Kim says:

    Thank You for such infor­ma­tion. I real­ly like the video through which you have informed us.

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  • paraffineteashop says:

    I real­ly liked the infor­ma­tion you have pre­sent­ed through this video. Thank you for shar­ing.

  • paraffineteashop says:

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  • paraffineteashop says:

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  • paraffineteashop says:

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  • paraffineteashop says:

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