Green and black

A Story Of Tea

Authors: Desa Đorđević-Milutinović, Olja Vasić and Balša Đurić

If you are cold, tea will warm you.
If you are too heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you.
If you are excited, it will calm you.

These were the verses used in the 19th century by William Gladstone, famous British politician, to describe his favorite beverage as a universal cure for any uncomfortable situation. On the other hand, the Chinese philosopher Tien Yiheng believed that tea should be taken to silence the din of the World, which disrupts the thoughts. And according to a Japanese proverb, a man who does not drink tea is unable to understand truth or beauty. In any case, Tom Standage was right when in his book he stated that tea, together with water, beer, wine, coffee and coca-cola, is one of six drinks that had a profound effect on history of human civilization.

It is said that the first cup of tea was sipped in China, almost 5000 years ago, when a generous bush presented the Tzar with its treasure. These were the leaves of one type of camellia, known in science as Camellia sinensis, which are still the only main ingredient in all kinds of tea, regardless of various types or commercial names.

From its homeland China tea has started to conquer the world already in the first centuries A.D. It became a symbol of socializing in both community and family, but also an important factor of agriculture, trade and economy of many countries. With about 2.5 billion cups being sipped every day throughout the World, the tea is the second most consumed beverage after water.

This exhibition presents one new outlook on tea, as well as the roads that have brought tea from its homeland China to all sides of the World. It includes some of the best-known teas as well as both traditional and modern equipment necessary for preparing tea.

The Natural History Museum will be very glad to share the story of tea with you.

All the teas presented at this exhibition may be found at the small, delicate and fragrant shop Small Tree.

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