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Dian Hong 滇红茶 -- Yunnan's simplest tea

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It's certainly historically fascinating, abcdefg. But just the idea of drinking a brew made with gloppy additives turns me off.


The other two popular hot beverages...coffee and cacao...have similar odd beginnings. Coffee was originally drunk as thick as mud, grounds and all, with cardamon seeds that gave it a particularly sharp taste. Chocolate was prepared in a comparable thickness, with no sweetening agents of any kind; indeed, hot chili peppers were mixed with it.


Wasn't it in the Song Dynasty that tea began to be drunk more or less in the way that it is enjoyed in the Orient today?

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Hello again abcdefg,


In your synthesis of Montgomery's work, you mention that ingredients such as ginger, orange and onion were sometimes added to the tea rectangles to improve their flavour. The first two ingredients I can understand...but ONION? The resulting drink must have been a cross between dishwater and French soupe à l'oignon.


Yes, the mountain people who lived to the north of China most enjoyed tea made with fat and mare's milk...They put these ingredients into most of their food, too. I wonder if the Chinese ever imitated them...The Indians may have derived their custom of "milking up" tea from the Tibetans.


No tea exotica for me...The most extravagant version I would ever try would be rose petal tea, and that's normal enough.

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Wasn't it in the Song Dynasty that tea began to be drunk more or less in the way that it is enjoyed in the Orient today?


Not until late Ming.

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