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Archives for posts tagged ‘literature’

Dive Into History With An Ancient Book And Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea book

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a cup of Bigelow Tea while reading a classic. And a book that is over 800 years old is definitely a classic—especially one about something as timeless as tea. Grab a mug of your favorite Bigelow flavor, settle in and learn about one of the oldest books about tea. According to the book, it is the “elixir of life,” after all…

Long ago—in 1211 to be exact—a famous Buddhist priest by the name of Eisai wrote what is known to be the oldest book on tea in Japan: Kissa Yojoki (“How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea”). Prior to writing the two-volume book, Eisai had brought tea seeds from China to Kyoto in 1191 and had given the seeds to a priest named Myoe Shopin, who made them into Uji tea.

The book begins by saying, “Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy, and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete,” and outlines the positive effects that tea has on the vital organs, particularly the heart. It praises the value of tea as a medicine in curing indigestion, quenching thirst, avoiding fatigue, working as a stimulant, undoing the effects of alcohol, and improving brain and urinary function. The book also explains the parts of the tea plant and the appropriate dosages and administration for specific ailments.

In 1214, legend holds that Eisai introduced tea to the Samurai in an effort to help Shogun Minmoto no Sanetomo curb his alcohol habit. Armed with his writings on the benefits of drinking tea, Eisai allegedly helped to wean Saneomo from imbibing alcohol to drinking tea. Following that, tea drinking became popular among the Shogun and the Samurai.

Whether you’re craving a taste of history or want to spend the evening in with a book and a mug of tea like @Glam_Butterfly, Bigelow Tea is a great way to carry on the tradition of tea-drinking that stretches back centuries and across the globe!

Image via Flickr by A Girl With Tea

Tea Time in Wonderland

You may enjoy tea, but do you enjoy riddles without answers?

We’ve taken time to note literary works about tea, Bigelow Tea’s impressive performance in the United Way Book Drive, and have given mention to those who enjoy a book and a good cup of tea. There are also many wonderful works of fiction which rely on tea time as a literary device.

One piece of fiction which may come to mind is, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. While his work falls under the genre of “literary nonsense”, it makes perfect sense that Alice happens upon a tea party during her adventures.

It is always six o’clock at the home of the March Hare, and therefore perpetually time for High Tea. In the 1800’s, when Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published, High Tea was not considered a mid-afternoon meal for socialites, but a full dinner for the common people.

The Mad Hatter, a common citizen of Wonderland, was sentenced to death by the Queen of Hearts for “murdering time” (a fate he narrowly escaped) after performing in her honor. Due to his malady, he concludes time has literally been murdered, trapping him and his companions in an endless, six o’clock tea party.

“What about that riddle?”

“Why is a Raven like a writing desk?” said the Hatter to Alice.

This question and many other inane inquiries add to the atmosphere of the most brilliantly absurd tea party ever portrayed in British literature. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been interpreted by film makers since the silent film era, and a few clips of the Mad Tea Party can be found here, here, and here.