Tea and tea culture began from China that silently traveled, integrated in different cultures through human migration. The different selections for the first step have created different tones in tea cultural journeys in the West.
In five thousand years China history, Chinese have been using tea to bridge cultures through trading, tolerate and encourage cultural integration without imposing, encourage the simple concept of sharing for mutual prosperity, solidarity and friendships; it has been further cultivated into Chinese culture when tea eventually embedded in Chinese daily living culture without emphasizing cultural hierachy but the sharing of common wealth, self cultivation and good social behaviours.
However, the West started their tea journey from totally different angles. The initial ideas from those who brought tea to the West from China meant to make money and profit for their own but not for the common wealth. The high tea concept did encourage the growth of afternoon tea culture in England which further influences the tea culture in the world,
The western tea journey did not start as a social drink to promote common wealth of average people but more for rich and selected high society, just like how tea and tea culture were before the 7th century in China. Even though today became a social drink, but the hidden shadow of hierarchical show-case and comparative behaviors are not yet whitened out after the past two decades.
Under the horrified threats from Corona virus pandemic, it is not clear about potential impacts to the global economy, let’s hope the growth of tea drinkers and awakened awareness for solidarity can continue. Perhaps slowly, but let’s make sure it grows surely.