Ceramics - A History of Teapots The Need for Teapots The...

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A History of Teapots The Need for Teapots The story of teapots begins with their necessity -- the development of tea and its regular consumption required an efficient, and later an aesthetically pleasing, vessel for brewing and drinking. There are two legends about the invention of tea. Some attribute the discovery of tea to Shen Nung, a Chinese Emperor in the 3rd century BCE, who sat under a tree while boiling his drinking water. When the leaves of Camellia sinensis fell into his bowl, the agreeable taste prompted the genesis of tea drinking. An alternative account gives credit to a Dharuma Buddhist monk who travelled to China from India in the 5th century CE. During his fifth year of a seven year meditiation undertaken to prove his faith, he became sleepy. In an effort to remain focussed he cut off his offending eyelids and threw them onto the ground, whence sprang the tea plant. He decided to make a drink from the leaves and discovered it kept him awake, allowing him to pursue his spiritual studies. Camellia sinensis, the common tea plant, was first cultivated in the 4th century CE, after wild specimens were brought to China from India. Actually an evergreen tree which may grow up to 50 feet, the domesticated plant is pruned to a bush-like state and kept at a height of five feet. After three to five years of growth, its leaves may be harvested to make tea. Today, women
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Ceramics - A History of Teapots The Need for Teapots The...

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