full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Shunan Teng: The history of Tea

Unscramble the Blue Letters

During a long day spent roaming the forest in search of elibde grains and herbs, the weary diinve farmer Shennong accidentally poisoned himself 72 times. But before the posnois could end his life, a leaf dtfired into his mtuoh. He chewed on it and it revived him, and that is how we discovered tea. Or so an ancient legend goes at least. Tea doesn't actually cure psigoonins, but the story of Shennong, the mythical Chinese inventor of agriculture, hilhtihggs tea's importance to ancient China. acoghleacioral evidence suggests tea was first cultivated there as early as 6,000 years ago, or 1,500 years before the prahhoas built the Great Pyramids of Giza. That oriagnil Chinese tea plant is the same type that's grown around the world today, yet it was originally consumed very dnffrleteiy. It was eaten as a vegetable or cooked with grain porridge. Tea only shifted from food to drink 1,500 years ago when people realized that a ciobtioanmn of heat and moisture could create a complex and varied taste out of the leafy green. After hundreds of years of variations to the pprtiroaaen method, the standard became to heat tea, pack it into pbtrloae cakes, girnd it into powder, mix with hot water, and create a beverage called muo cha, or matcha. Matcha became so paloupr that a distinct Chinese tea culture emerged. Tea was the subject of books and poetry, the ftoirvae drink of emperors, and a medium for artists. They would draw extravagant pciuerts in the foam of the tea, very much like the epsrsseo art you might see in coffee shpos today. In the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty, a Japanese monk bhugort the first tea plant to Japan. The Japanese eventually developed their own unique rituals around tea, leading to the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony. And in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese eepromr shifted the stdnraad from tea pressed into cakes to loose leaf tea. At that pinot, China still held a virtual moonoply on the world's tea teers, making tea one of three essential Chinese export gdoos, along with porcelain and silk. This gave China a great deal of power and ecioomnc influence as tea drinking spread around the world. That spread bgean in esearnt around the early 1600s when Dutch traders brought tea to Europe in large quantities. Many cidret Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese noble woman, for making tea popular with the English aristocracy when she married King Charles II in 1661. At the time, Great Britain was in the midst of expanding its colonial influence and becoming the new dnoainmt world power. And as Great Britain grew, itrneset in tea srpead around the world. By 1700, tea in Europe sold for ten times the price of coffee and the plant was still only grown in China. The tea trade was so lucrative that the world's fastest saabiolt, the clipper ship, was born out of ietsnne competition between Western trading cpnimoeas. All were racnig to bring their tea back to eopure first to maximize their profits. At first, Britain paid for all this Chinese tea with silver. When that pervod too expensive, they suggested trading tea for another substance, opium. This triggered a public health pbeorlm within cnhia as people became adicetdd to the drug. Then in 1839, a Chinese official ordered his men to destroy massive British shipments of ouipm as a statement against Britain's influence over China. This act triggered the First Opium War between the two nations. Fighting raged up and down the Chinese coast until 1842 when the defeated Qing Dynasty ceded the port of Hong Kong to the btsiirh and resumed trading on ufvolnarabe terms. The war waeekned China's global standing for over a cutenry. The British East India company also wanted to be able to grow tea themselves and further control the market. So they commissioned botanist Robert fnorute to steal tea from China in a covert operation. He disguised himself and took a pluieros journey through China's mountainous tea regions, eventually smuggling tea trees and experienced tea workers into Darjeeling, India. From there, the plant spread further still, helping dvire tea's rapid growth as an everyday commodity. Today, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the wolrd after water, and from srgauy Turkish Rize tea, to salty Tibetan butter tea, there are almost as many ways of preparing the bavergee as there are cultures on the globe.

Open Cloze

During a long day spent roaming the forest in search of ______ grains and herbs, the weary ______ farmer Shennong accidentally poisoned himself 72 times. But before the _______ could end his life, a leaf _______ into his _____. He chewed on it and it revived him, and that is how we discovered tea. Or so an ancient legend goes at least. Tea doesn't actually cure __________, but the story of Shennong, the mythical Chinese inventor of agriculture, __________ tea's importance to ancient China. ______________ evidence suggests tea was first cultivated there as early as 6,000 years ago, or 1,500 years before the ________ built the Great Pyramids of Giza. That ________ Chinese tea plant is the same type that's grown around the world today, yet it was originally consumed very ___________. It was eaten as a vegetable or cooked with grain porridge. Tea only shifted from food to drink 1,500 years ago when people realized that a ___________ of heat and moisture could create a complex and varied taste out of the leafy green. After hundreds of years of variations to the ___________ method, the standard became to heat tea, pack it into ________ cakes, _____ it into powder, mix with hot water, and create a beverage called muo cha, or matcha. Matcha became so _______ that a distinct Chinese tea culture emerged. Tea was the subject of books and poetry, the ________ drink of emperors, and a medium for artists. They would draw extravagant ________ in the foam of the tea, very much like the ________ art you might see in coffee _____ today. In the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty, a Japanese monk _______ the first tea plant to Japan. The Japanese eventually developed their own unique rituals around tea, leading to the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony. And in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese _______ shifted the ________ from tea pressed into cakes to loose leaf tea. At that _____, China still held a virtual ________ on the world's tea _____, making tea one of three essential Chinese export _____, along with porcelain and silk. This gave China a great deal of power and ________ influence as tea drinking spread around the world. That spread _____ in _______ around the early 1600s when Dutch traders brought tea to Europe in large quantities. Many ______ Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese noble woman, for making tea popular with the English aristocracy when she married King Charles II in 1661. At the time, Great Britain was in the midst of expanding its colonial influence and becoming the new ________ world power. And as Great Britain grew, ________ in tea ______ around the world. By 1700, tea in Europe sold for ten times the price of coffee and the plant was still only grown in China. The tea trade was so lucrative that the world's fastest ________, the clipper ship, was born out of _______ competition between Western trading _________. All were ______ to bring their tea back to ______ first to maximize their profits. At first, Britain paid for all this Chinese tea with silver. When that ______ too expensive, they suggested trading tea for another substance, opium. This triggered a public health _______ within _____ as people became ________ to the drug. Then in 1839, a Chinese official ordered his men to destroy massive British shipments of _____ as a statement against Britain's influence over China. This act triggered the First Opium War between the two nations. Fighting raged up and down the Chinese coast until 1842 when the defeated Qing Dynasty ceded the port of Hong Kong to the _______ and resumed trading on ___________ terms. The war ________ China's global standing for over a _______. The British East India company also wanted to be able to grow tea themselves and further control the market. So they commissioned botanist Robert _______ to steal tea from China in a covert operation. He disguised himself and took a ________ journey through China's mountainous tea regions, eventually smuggling tea trees and experienced tea workers into Darjeeling, India. From there, the plant spread further still, helping _____ tea's rapid growth as an everyday commodity. Today, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the _____ after water, and from ______ Turkish Rize tea, to salty Tibetan butter tea, there are almost as many ways of preparing the ________ as there are cultures on the globe.

Solution

  1. europe
  2. world
  3. shops
  4. pharaohs
  5. mouth
  6. beverage
  7. began
  8. opium
  9. brought
  10. sugary
  11. monopoly
  12. goods
  13. unfavorable
  14. economic
  15. edible
  16. racing
  17. differently
  18. companies
  19. addicted
  20. poisonings
  21. credit
  22. problem
  23. weakened
  24. drifted
  25. combination
  26. drive
  27. intense
  28. spread
  29. preparation
  30. standard
  31. china
  32. interest
  33. portable
  34. trees
  35. perilous
  36. archaeological
  37. proved
  38. british
  39. original
  40. century
  41. sailboat
  42. favorite
  43. espresso
  44. dominant
  45. divine
  46. fortune
  47. pictures
  48. highlights
  49. point
  50. grind
  51. popular
  52. emperor
  53. poisons
  54. earnest

Original Text

During a long day spent roaming the forest in search of edible grains and herbs, the weary divine farmer Shennong accidentally poisoned himself 72 times. But before the poisons could end his life, a leaf drifted into his mouth. He chewed on it and it revived him, and that is how we discovered tea. Or so an ancient legend goes at least. Tea doesn't actually cure poisonings, but the story of Shennong, the mythical Chinese inventor of agriculture, highlights tea's importance to ancient China. Archaeological evidence suggests tea was first cultivated there as early as 6,000 years ago, or 1,500 years before the pharaohs built the Great Pyramids of Giza. That original Chinese tea plant is the same type that's grown around the world today, yet it was originally consumed very differently. It was eaten as a vegetable or cooked with grain porridge. Tea only shifted from food to drink 1,500 years ago when people realized that a combination of heat and moisture could create a complex and varied taste out of the leafy green. After hundreds of years of variations to the preparation method, the standard became to heat tea, pack it into portable cakes, grind it into powder, mix with hot water, and create a beverage called muo cha, or matcha. Matcha became so popular that a distinct Chinese tea culture emerged. Tea was the subject of books and poetry, the favorite drink of emperors, and a medium for artists. They would draw extravagant pictures in the foam of the tea, very much like the espresso art you might see in coffee shops today. In the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty, a Japanese monk brought the first tea plant to Japan. The Japanese eventually developed their own unique rituals around tea, leading to the creation of the Japanese tea ceremony. And in the 14th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese emperor shifted the standard from tea pressed into cakes to loose leaf tea. At that point, China still held a virtual monopoly on the world's tea trees, making tea one of three essential Chinese export goods, along with porcelain and silk. This gave China a great deal of power and economic influence as tea drinking spread around the world. That spread began in earnest around the early 1600s when Dutch traders brought tea to Europe in large quantities. Many credit Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese noble woman, for making tea popular with the English aristocracy when she married King Charles II in 1661. At the time, Great Britain was in the midst of expanding its colonial influence and becoming the new dominant world power. And as Great Britain grew, interest in tea spread around the world. By 1700, tea in Europe sold for ten times the price of coffee and the plant was still only grown in China. The tea trade was so lucrative that the world's fastest sailboat, the clipper ship, was born out of intense competition between Western trading companies. All were racing to bring their tea back to Europe first to maximize their profits. At first, Britain paid for all this Chinese tea with silver. When that proved too expensive, they suggested trading tea for another substance, opium. This triggered a public health problem within China as people became addicted to the drug. Then in 1839, a Chinese official ordered his men to destroy massive British shipments of opium as a statement against Britain's influence over China. This act triggered the First Opium War between the two nations. Fighting raged up and down the Chinese coast until 1842 when the defeated Qing Dynasty ceded the port of Hong Kong to the British and resumed trading on unfavorable terms. The war weakened China's global standing for over a century. The British East India company also wanted to be able to grow tea themselves and further control the market. So they commissioned botanist Robert Fortune to steal tea from China in a covert operation. He disguised himself and took a perilous journey through China's mountainous tea regions, eventually smuggling tea trees and experienced tea workers into Darjeeling, India. From there, the plant spread further still, helping drive tea's rapid growth as an everyday commodity. Today, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and from sugary Turkish Rize tea, to salty Tibetan butter tea, there are almost as many ways of preparing the beverage as there are cultures on the globe.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
chinese tea 3
tea plant 2
making tea 2
great britain 2

Important Words

  1. accidentally
  2. act
  3. addicted
  4. agriculture
  5. ancient
  6. archaeological
  7. aristocracy
  8. art
  9. artists
  10. began
  11. beverage
  12. books
  13. born
  14. botanist
  15. braganza
  16. bring
  17. britain
  18. british
  19. brought
  20. built
  21. butter
  22. cakes
  23. called
  24. catherine
  25. ceded
  26. century
  27. ceremony
  28. cha
  29. charles
  30. chewed
  31. china
  32. chinese
  33. clipper
  34. coast
  35. coffee
  36. colonial
  37. combination
  38. commissioned
  39. commodity
  40. companies
  41. company
  42. competition
  43. complex
  44. consumed
  45. control
  46. cooked
  47. covert
  48. create
  49. creation
  50. credit
  51. cultivated
  52. culture
  53. cultures
  54. cure
  55. darjeeling
  56. day
  57. deal
  58. defeated
  59. destroy
  60. developed
  61. differently
  62. discovered
  63. disguised
  64. distinct
  65. divine
  66. dominant
  67. draw
  68. drifted
  69. drink
  70. drinking
  71. drive
  72. drug
  73. dutch
  74. dynasty
  75. early
  76. earnest
  77. east
  78. eaten
  79. economic
  80. edible
  81. emerged
  82. emperor
  83. emperors
  84. english
  85. espresso
  86. essential
  87. europe
  88. eventually
  89. everyday
  90. evidence
  91. expanding
  92. expensive
  93. experienced
  94. export
  95. extravagant
  96. farmer
  97. fastest
  98. favorite
  99. fighting
  100. foam
  101. food
  102. forest
  103. fortune
  104. gave
  105. giza
  106. global
  107. globe
  108. goods
  109. grain
  110. grains
  111. great
  112. green
  113. grew
  114. grind
  115. grow
  116. grown
  117. growth
  118. health
  119. heat
  120. held
  121. helping
  122. herbs
  123. highlights
  124. hong
  125. hot
  126. hundreds
  127. ii
  128. importance
  129. india
  130. influence
  131. intense
  132. interest
  133. inventor
  134. japan
  135. japanese
  136. journey
  137. king
  138. kong
  139. large
  140. leading
  141. leaf
  142. leafy
  143. legend
  144. life
  145. long
  146. loose
  147. lucrative
  148. making
  149. market
  150. married
  151. massive
  152. matcha
  153. maximize
  154. medium
  155. men
  156. method
  157. midst
  158. ming
  159. mix
  160. moisture
  161. monk
  162. monopoly
  163. mountainous
  164. mouth
  165. muo
  166. mythical
  167. nations
  168. noble
  169. official
  170. operation
  171. opium
  172. ordered
  173. original
  174. originally
  175. pack
  176. paid
  177. people
  178. perilous
  179. pharaohs
  180. pictures
  181. plant
  182. poetry
  183. point
  184. poisoned
  185. poisonings
  186. poisons
  187. popular
  188. porcelain
  189. porridge
  190. port
  191. portable
  192. portuguese
  193. powder
  194. power
  195. preparation
  196. preparing
  197. pressed
  198. price
  199. problem
  200. profits
  201. proved
  202. public
  203. pyramids
  204. qing
  205. quantities
  206. queen
  207. racing
  208. raged
  209. rapid
  210. realized
  211. regions
  212. resumed
  213. revived
  214. rituals
  215. rize
  216. roaming
  217. robert
  218. sailboat
  219. salty
  220. search
  221. shennong
  222. shifted
  223. ship
  224. shipments
  225. shops
  226. silk
  227. silver
  228. smuggling
  229. sold
  230. spent
  231. spread
  232. standard
  233. standing
  234. statement
  235. steal
  236. story
  237. subject
  238. substance
  239. sugary
  240. suggested
  241. suggests
  242. tang
  243. taste
  244. tea
  245. ten
  246. terms
  247. tibetan
  248. time
  249. times
  250. today
  251. trade
  252. traders
  253. trading
  254. trees
  255. triggered
  256. turkish
  257. type
  258. unfavorable
  259. unique
  260. variations
  261. varied
  262. vegetable
  263. virtual
  264. wanted
  265. war
  266. water
  267. ways
  268. weakened
  269. weary
  270. western
  271. woman
  272. workers
  273. world
  274. years