Category Archives for History

Tea and the Italian Renaissance

The earliest European accounts of tea were written in Italy during the late Renaissance when the spirited rebirth of art and culture in the sixteenth century was most evident in Rome, Venice, and Naples, all cities of great wealth, power, … Continue reading

23. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tea and Jesuits III

The earliest Western account of chanoyu 茶の湯 was written by the Jesuit João Rodrigues, a serious practitioner of tea in the late sixteenth century.  Born in Portugal, Rodrigues landed in Japan in 1577 at age fifteen and spent over thirty … Continue reading

18. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tea and Jesuits II

In 1561, Juan Fernández, a lay member of the Society of Jesus, recorded the adoption of tea at the Jesuit residence where Damien, a young Japanese convert, “has the task of always having a kettle of hot water ready, which … Continue reading

16. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tea and Jesuits I

The birth of the Jesuit mission in Asia was intimately linked to the Lisbon royal court and Portuguese ambitions for empire.  In the first voyage to the East Indies, Portugal sent a small fleet under the command of Vasco da … Continue reading

14. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Cha and Te

The character 茶 for tea was pronounced differently in different Chinese dialects.  Seafaring merchants sailing from their native ports in southern China spoke a number of local and regional languages, including the widely disparate Cantonese of Guangdong province and the … Continue reading

02. June 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tsia and Cha

Before the English term “tea,” the words “tsia,” “tcha,” and “chia” were all early Western attempts to replicate cha, the Chinese pronunciation of the written character 茶 meaning  tea.[1] As the first Europeans to sail to China in 1513, the … Continue reading

30. May 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tsiology and the OED

The term “tsiology” was introduced in the book title Tsiology; A Discourse on Tea in 1826.  For over one hundred years, the word remained obscure until 1933 when it was included in the Oxford English Dictionary. According to the OED … Continue reading

26. May 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

Tsiology

In 1826, a small book was published in London bearing the curious name Tsiology; A Discourse on Tea.  Like many previous treatises written in Europe, Discourse dealt with the nature of the exotic Asian plant Camellia sinensis and its leaf.  … Continue reading

25. May 2011 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: History |

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