Camellia sinensis in flower.

I drink a couple of cups of tea a day and although I only have one shrub I always wish I had more to make my kitchen self sufficient. A beautiful shrub that has been used as a refreshing drink with the first authentic record dated to its mass production in China in A.D.780. But it is thought tea was consumed in China as early as 2737-2697 B.C. By A.D. 552 it had spread to Japan and Mongolia, from there it travelled to Russia. However, it was much later in the eighteenth century that tea replaced coffee drinking in Britain where the now notorious British East India Company had an almost complete monopoly on the tea trade. The Dutch first brought tea to Europe in 1610. At least when tea was introduced into Britain, workers drank less contaminated water for the first time due to it being boiled.
Tea shrub flower.
flower-of-the-tea-shrub.

garden-15th-January-2014

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