2017年9月11日月曜日

A Nice Cup of Tea

Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century, at which time it was termed chá.[7] The earliest European reference to tea, written as Chiai, came from Delle navigationi e viaggi written by a Venetian, Giambattista Ramusio, in 1545.[38] The first recorded shipment of tea by a European nation was in 1607 when the Dutch East India Company moved a cargo of tea from Macao to Java, then two years later, the Dutch bought the first assignment of tea which was from Hirado in Japan to be shipped to Europe.[39] Tea became a fashionable drink in The Hague in the Netherlands, and the Dutch introduced the drink to Germany, France and across the Atlantic to New Amsterdam (New York).[40] 
The first record of tea in English came from a letter written by Richard Wickham, who ran an East India Company office in Japan, writing to a merchant in Macao requesting "the best sort of chaw" in 1615. Peter Mundy, a traveller and merchant who came across tea in Fujian in 1637, wrote, "chaa — only water with a kind of herb boyled in it ".[41][42] Tea was sold in a coffee house in London in 1657, Samuel Pepys tasted tea in 1660, and Catherine of Braganza took the tea-drinking habit to the British court when she married Charles II in 1662. Tea, however, was not widely consumed in Britain until the 18th century, and remained expensive until the latter part of that period. British drinkers preferred to add sugar and milk to black tea, and black tea overtook green tea in popularity in the 1720s.[43] Tea smuggling during the 18th century led to the general public being able to afford and consume tea. The British government removed the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade by 1785.[44] In Britain and Ireland, tea was initially consumed as a luxury item on special occasions, such as religious festivals, wakes, and domestic work gatherings. The price of tea in Europe fell steadily during the 19th century, especially after Indian tea began to arrive in large quantities; by the late 19th century tea had become an everyday beverage for all levels of society.[45] The popularity of tea also informed a number of historical events – the Tea Act of 1773 provoked the Boston Tea Party that escalated into the American Revolution, and the need to address the issue of British trade deficit caused by the demand for Chinese tea led to a trade in opium that resulted in the Opium Wars.[46]Tea was introduced into India by the British in an attempt to break the Chinese monopoly on tea.[47] In 1841, Arthur Campbell brought seeds of Chinese tea from the Kumaun region and experimented with planting tea in Darjeeling. The Alubari tea garden was opened in 1856 and Darjeeling tea began to be produced.[48] In 1848, Robert Fortune was sent by the East India Company on a mission to China to bring the tea plant back to Great Britain. He began his journey in high secrecy as his mission occurred in the lull between the Anglo-Chinese First Opium War (1839–1842) and Second Opium War (1856–1860).[49] The Chinese tea plants he brought back were introduced to the Himalayas, though most did not survive. The British had discovered that a different variety of tea was endemic to Assam and the northeast region of India and that it was used by the local Singpho people, and these were then grown instead of the Chinese tea plant. Using the Chinese planting and cultivation techniques, the British launched a tea industry by offering land in Assam to any European who agreed to cultivate it for export.[47] Tea was originally consumed only by anglicized Indians; however, it became widely popular in India in the 1950s because of a successful advertising campaign by the India Tea Board.[47]





20 September 2013
Pistol, teapot, soap, and satin doublet: an East India Company merchant’s possessions
East India Company merchant Richard Wickham was the son of William Wickham a Bristol merchant. He was appointed in December 1607 as a factor for the Company’s Fourth Voyage. In early 1609 he was taken prisoner by the Portuguese and taken to Goa and then Lisbon. Wickham managed to escape and returned to England. He was re-employed for the Eighth Voyage led by John Saris and sailed for the East Indies in 1611 on board the Clove. He went to Japan with Saris and remained as a member of the newly-established factory at Hirado from 1613 to 1617 when he left for Bantam. He died at Bantam on 12 November 1618 and a detailed inventory was taken of his possessions, a copy of which survives in the India Office Records.


From the list of his clothing, it appears that Wickham must have been a very snappy dresser! He was also a keen collector of books and his will states that the proceeds from the sale of his books in Bantam were to be paid to the library in his home town of Bristol.
The value of Wickham’s estate from the inventory was £1,400 - a vast sum in 1618. The East India Company was outraged, convinced that Wickham had gained his fortune by using its money to finance his own ventures or even by theft. Wickham’s mother had to fight to have the estate made over to her by the Company but eventually won her case.
Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records











"A Nice Cup of Tea" is an essay by English author George Orwell, first published in the London Evening Standard on 12 January 1946.[1] It is a discussion of the craft of making a cup of tea, including the line: "Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden."[2][3]Orwell wrote that "tea is one of the mainstays of civilisation in this country and causes violent disputes over how it should be made", and his rules cover such matters as the best shape for a teacup, the advisability of using water that is still boiling, and his preference for very strong tea.[2] He also considers what he calls "one of the most controversial points of all" – whether to put tea in the cup first and add the milk after, or the other way around, acknowledging, "indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject".[3] Orwell says tea should be poured first because "one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round".[4] "I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable", he writes.[3]


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Cups and Saucers - Wikipedia
Cups and Saucers is a one-act "satirical musical sketch" written and composed by George Grossmith. The piece pokes fun at the .... in Japan, and make cups and saucers as fast as we can" ("We'll Give Up Old China and Live in Japan")