A History of Beverages: Tea Makes a Comeback
Tea is a drink that has been passed down from generation to generation, adapting itself to new lands, new flavors, and the rising demands for caffeine-filled drinks. Although most of you are better acquainted with coffee, tea is a tradition that has weathered the tests of time. It has many forms, biscuits, custard, even jelly (which of course does not exist)! But one thing has remained the same, our love of deliciousness in a cup!
Shenkuu, 300 BN
Before Anshu was the primary doctor of Shenkuu, his Great-great-great-(you get the picture)-uncle ran Remarkable Restoratives. Like Anshu, he was a brown Ruki, skilled in both medicine and botany. His discovery of the crumble fungus and cobrall root are considered miracles of modern medicine, and his contributions to Neopian society are the stuff of legends.
But that is not all he did; oh no, it was just the beginning. While strolling through the valley one day, he discovered another new plant, with leaves of the darkest green. Intrigued, he brought them to his workshop, where he boiled the foliage of the plant until it became liquid, and poured it into a cup. His assistant, (whose identity is not known) had been complaining of head aches and sore sinuses for days, and the doctor believed this would help, due to its similarities to other herbs he had been working with at the time.
The drink did the trick, his assistant's spirit was brightened immediately, and his head aches had disappeared. The doctor named his concoction 'green tea', after the color of the plant's leaves, and soon every one began to drink it. Soon green tea became a regular beverage at meal times, and it is a Shenkuuvian custom to serve tea to guests, as a sign of wishing them well.
The doctor did more experimenting, due to the massive success of his green tea, and found that black cherry tea was almost a miracle, curing headaches with record amounts of success. It was a prized addition to his list of accomplishments.
Soon the Remarkable Restoratives shop was opened, in the shape of nothing other than a large teapot. Exotic foods soon created new uses for green tea, such as the green tea custard, a traditional Shenkuu dessert.
Traders began to bring tea on their caravans, to ward off the foreign illnesses, it caught on in many other exotic locations, and that is where the next part of our story comes in.
Lost Desert, 170 BN
At the time, the Lost Desert was ruled by King Coltzan the second, father of the late King Coltzan the third. When Caravans from Shenkuu arrived, they brought with them tea. It was soon adapted to the desert, Qasala's famed queela and qando fruits were added to the beverages, giving them desert flair.
Tea became a drink for nobles, a prized foreign delicacy that was regarded as a sign of good fortune and health. It is rumored that by drinking a pot of tea each day, King Coltzan II outlived any other King that came before him. Sakhmet rejoiced in this new discovery in medical benefits, becoming a healthier and stronger city.
At this time Osiri began to sell teapots in her shop; the art on her pots was considered her best work yet, and the teapots were worth more than the actual tea. Gobi fruit tea emerged a few years later, and was preferred by those in the lower classes, who could not afford the tea consumed by nobles.
Neovia, 50 BN
In Neovia's more peaceful days, they were major trade partners with the land of Shenkuu. When tea was brought to Neovia from over the mountains, it was instantly the newest trend. But not at a price, the tea was modified from its original form, bringing chamomile, blairnut tea, and earl grey tea (named for the late Earl Grey, one of the many predecessors to mayor Thumburt).
The size of your tea services was a sign of how wealthy you were, and in response to the demand for more cultured and high-class tea times, the crumpet-monger opened her pastry shop, introducing many delicious new forms of crumpet. Tea time was now regarded as a meal in its own right.
Neovia became an exporter of tea for the lands cut off from Shenkuu, bringing it farther than it may have ever come.
Neopia Central, present day
Arts Centre, coffee shop. Though named for coffee, the primary restaurant of the ancient catacombs was erected as a reaction to the high demand for tea. Many new recipes were created, changing tea from a high class, sophisticated drink, into sweet dessert flavors, exotic mixtures with fruits from Mystery Island, daring brews, and an early morning beverage regarded as a miracle with caffeine.
To further your enjoyment, I have compiled a small list of the three greatest tea-like accomplishments.
First off, we have lemon meringue tea, a fancy shmancy, but oh-so-delicious dessert tea, wonderful for pets who are reluctant to try such an 'adult' drink. It is wonderful when accompanied by strawberry crumpets; the sharp zest of the lemon and the sweetness of the strawberries compliment each other wonderfully.
Green tea custard, all the deliciousness of tea, but in ice cream form! What's better than that? It is a large dish, best when shared with friends. If you have a sore throat, what could feel better on it than a large bowl of green tea custard?
Thornberry tea, the only pink tea i know of, is a summertime favorite due to its fresh, reinvigorating taste. It even tastes all right when cold! Beware of the spikes; you do NOT want one of those in your tongue.
I hope that your taste for tea has been revitalized, and that you'll give in to the temptation to try something new; whether it's actually tea or a tea flavored dish, your enjoyment is guaranteed! Tea was made for the health and happiness of Neopia, so go out, be happy, be healthy, and above all, drink some tea for goodness sake!