The fine and delicate spring harvest is now being picked in China. Unfortunately, the earthquake that hit Sichuan province last Saturday – on April 20, 2013 – has even affected the tea production in areas nearby.
High quality imperial tea has been produced in the Mengding mountain since the Tang dynasty. And this region is situated only some 10–15 kilometres south-east of the epicentre in Lushan county, Sichuan province.
China Daily reported yesterday that about 40 factories was forced to close as a result of the earthquake. This according to Jiang Weiming who owns a tea company in the Mengding mountain.
Many buildings have been destroyed by the earthquake, but none of the tea bushes in the plantations appears to have been damaged. Jiang Weiming furthermore told the state-controlled newspaper that some of the factories are now beginning to open up again as the fear of aftershocks has subsided.
A recent study reveals that 166 million cups of tea are consumed every day in Britain. And Britons drink 3.5 cups on average.
Coffee is far behind with its mere 70 million daily cups. This means that tea is still the hottest drink in Britain, and has been since the first half of the 18th century.
One in three (30 per cent) claim to be so addicted to tea that they must have a cuppa every morning to be able to function during the day. And one in four (24 per cent) say that they drink more than five cups a day.
The survey was conducted by ICM Research for the charity organization WRVS that helps elderly people. ICM interviewed 2,000 adults during the period March 8–10, 2013.
The British comedienne Victoria Wood has produced a documentary about tea and its history. This two-part programme was broadcast on BBC One last week.
In part one Victoria Wood visits China and India in order to learn more about tea, and to try to find out why the British love tea so much. And in part two she learns how to slurp and spit tea.
It is quite an interesting programme for anyone who is interested in tea. And those who don’t have access to BBC One, or BBC iPlayer, can probably still find the programme on Youtube. The documentary is called ”Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea”.