by Sam Cosentino
- The history books say that over 3000 years ago the Chinese discovered tea as a wild plant and started drinking it as a beverage.
- Apparently a Buddhist monk introduced tea into Japan. The Japanese today drink green tea and include it as a part of a traditional ceremony.
- The first mention of tea in the Western world is noted in the writings of Marco Polo.
- In the early 16th century the Dutch East India Company exported the first shipment of tea from China.
- By the late 18th century, tea had become a beverage in most parts of the world.
- American Thomas Sullivan is credited with the invention of the first tea bag for commercial use.
- In 1959 Dr Maruff of Calcutta introduced the first tea plantation into Australia. It later became known as the Nerada plantation and is situated near Innisfail, Queensland.
- Today a very small amount of tea is grown in Australia, only 10% of the amount consumed by Australians.
- The three leading commercial tea growers in Australia are Nerada, Dilmah and the fully Australian owned Madura tea.
- Most black (high quality) teas have a higher percentage of caffeine than espresso coffee.
- The only tea that Italians regularly drink, especially in Italy, is camomile tea.
© Sam Cosentino T/As Prima Via Consultants.