Tea is the origin of the word and not only

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Tea is the origin of the word and not only
Tea is the origin of the word and not only

How many meanings does the word "tea" have? When we pronounce it, we can mean completely different concepts and objects. Tea can be called an evergreen shrub, the leaves of which are collected and specially processed. Tea is a drink made by brewing tea leaves. And not only them. Today, when brewing various herbs, flowers, berries, fruits, and so on, they also say: “tea”. Chamomile, ginger, hibiscus, etc. During the heat, bottled drinks, iced teas reminiscent of lemonade, have recently become very popular. We leave the waiter money for service - for a tip. The origin of the word "tea", the stories and legends associated with it - this and much more will be discussed in the article.


tea bush

Where did tea come from, what is the origin of the word "tea"? According to legend, there was such an ancient Chinese emperor Shen Nong. He lived about five thousand years ago. Apart from othersstudies, his interests included the study of the beneficial properties of various plants and their parts. One day he went on another trip around the country. He drank only boiled water for hygiene purposes. During a h alt, they put water to boil. And several leaves fell into it from the tree under which the emperor was resting. They were tea leaves. He liked the random drink very much. It energized, toned and refreshed. Shen Nong began to study the properties of miraculous leaves. Perhaps this is how a culture was born that conquered the world and has been used for thousands of years.

Emperor Shen Nong

"Tea": the origin of the word

In Russian and some European languages, the word "tea" first appeared in the seventeenth century. It was at this time that economic relations between China and Russia arose and developed rapidly. From there they brought tea, silk and cotton fabric, porcelain, cane sugar. Furs, woolen fabrics, glass, manufactory, etc. were imported back. Presumably, the origin of the word "tea" in Russian is associated with the name of a medicinal plant, which was part of the recipes for the preparation of medicinal decoctions.

In China itself, tea has hundreds of names. It depends on the dialect of the province, on the place of growth, on the variety or species. But, the hieroglyph for tea is the same throughout the country. Trade with Russia began with northern China. Here the sound of the word is closest to Russian. Only harvested green leaves from tea bushes are called "cha". Processed, crushed dry leaves (whatwe call black tea) - "u-cha", and brewed ones - "ch'a-i".

hieroglyph tea

History of tea in Russia

For the first time in Russia, tea was tasted in 1638. Among the gifts of the Mongolian Altyn-Khan to the Russian Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich was Chinese tea. A decoction of the leaves was used at the royal court as a medicine. By the end of the 17th century, it began to be sold in pharmacies as a tonic medicine.

Gradually, the volume of tea imported from China increased exponentially. And by the end of the 18th century, the drink became an obligatory attribute of the royal table. Moreover, it gained popularity among the upper strata of society - nobles and merchants, despite its high cost. A pound of tea leaves in those days cost as much as two or even three cows.

Tea "came" to the people gradually. In broad layers, the drink became popular first in the cities of Siberia, then the Volga region, and there already in Moscow. After the release in 1821 of the imperial decree on the permission to sell tea in taverns and restaurants, a “tea boom” began in Russia. During the reign of Nicholas I, everyone drank tea: from the richest aristocracy to the poorest peasantry. Such distribution of the product leads to the emergence of tea allowances, in particular in the Russian army.


photo of a samovar

It is tea that should be grateful for the appearance of the "most Russian device" - the samovar. In the middle of the 18th century, a rather complex technological device appeared in the Urals, and then its production was transferred to Tula according to production and economicreasons.


The origin of tips is attributed to coachmen. Their work was difficult, associated with many risks and dangers. Simply paying for the work of a coachman was considered bad manners among passengers. Before the advent and widespread use of "tea" terminology in Russia, only vodka had such popularity. Frozen and tired coachman, who asked for an additional reward to keep warm and rest, received it. At first they asked for vodka, then they switched to a more correct one: for seagulls, for tea.

The German scientist Goering in his monograph created a certain classification of tips:

  1. Additional payment for services, work, etc. These are modern tips for the waiter, maid, taxi driver, etc.
  2. Pay for work, but not agreed in advance. Something made at the request and paid for in banknotes.
  3. Particular bonus money, holiday payouts, events.

Triumphal procession

tea ceremony

The meaning of the word "tea" according to Dahl's explanatory dictionary looks like this: "a tree, its dried leaves, the very infusion of these leaves, a drink." Tea spread more and more throughout Russia, becoming more than just a culinary dish. I. G. Kol writes that it “is the morning and evening drink of Russians just like“Lord, have mercy! - their morning and evening prayer. Tea was offered both “on the way” and “off the track.”

It happened to notice that when drinking tea, a person becomes softer, more complacent. The ceremony itself, with a hissing samovar filled with a cup of fragrant broth, made itparticipants are calmer, more peaceful. Tea was drunk several times a day.

At this time, the verb "tea tea" was born, proverbs and sayings appeared:

  • Drink a cup of tea - you will forget longing.
  • We don't miss tea - we drink seven cups each.
  • Don't drink tea, you can't live like this in the world.
  • Tea is not intoxicated - will not understand.

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