What is the most powerful cup of tea? – Jason Sims

Tea is the second most consumed beverage globally after water, it has been around for thousands of years dating back to 2700 BCE and even played a central role in starting wars, funding them and ending some. In order to explore what is the most powerful cup of tea, it is vital to set out the meaning of powerful, do we take it literally and suggest a uranium cup of tea has the most power due to the energy and calories? Do we explore the most benefiting tea to the body and suggest green tea? Or do we look at this question from a metaphorical standpoint and recognise the impact tea has had as an analogy for consent. It is my suggestion that the tea that has had the greatest impact historically and currently is the most powerful cup of tea. 

Camellia tea is recorded as the first tea in history, dating back to 2737 BCE where the Chinese emperor Shennong recognised it as the ‘divine healer’. As a result of this recognition the tea was used for its common medicinal abilities in order to relieve fatigue, strengthen the will of the mind, improve eyesight but also delight the soul. This was knowledge that was passed down for centuries before escaping China and encouraging a global market. This could suggest that being the first form of tea it is the most powerful as it acts as a causation for the creation of the beverage enjoyed by millions today. However, the use of tea had substantially shifted over the next centuries, being turned into a paste for skin as oppose to being drunk. Because of this it is argued that the direct impact of the camellia tea was minimal as its purpose and importance had faded over time. Therefore, it is can be concluded that camellia tea, despite being the head of the tea family tree, is not the most powerful cup of tea. 

The recent analogy of tea as consent has been instrumental in reforming the sex education within schools globally and is therefore a significant cup of tea. The video and concept, first published in 2015 as part of a campaign by the Crown prosecution service, went viral reaching networks across the United Kingdom and United States, this explores the widespread recognition the video received. Through this video, many can better grasp the understanding of consent, which enforces a degree of social protection. However, the law is far more complex than the video presents, and it is limited in exploring the shades of earl grey in order to be a concise and simple message. Therefore, despite the cultural impact that this metaphorical cup of tea has had within the last 5 years and will likely go on to have, as the aim of the campaign was to reduce sexual harassment in the long run, the analogy of tea only got the kettle boiling about the serious topic of consent and did not directly solve its issues. 

To finish off, tea has been fundamental in influencing history largely due to the fact it has started revolutions, ended wars such as the first opium war and funded large amounts of the British empire through the East India Company. The Boston tea party was an attack on a tea cargo in response to taxes in the Townshend act which supposedly violated rights, mainly green tea and plain black tea crates were thrown into the lake or destroyed. The result of this was a gathering of protesters and condemnation by parliament, closing Boston’s commerce. This was the instigator to the coordinated colonial resistance that became the American revolution in 1775. Therefore, it is evident how this event could suggest from an influential historical perspective that green tea is one of the most powerful teas.

Overall, it could be argued that green tea is the most powerful cup of tea, both to the body and across history. It is a tea that is proven by hospital and scientific studies to enhance cognitive function, improve memory, combat aging and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s to name a few benefits. To extend to the list of health benefits named here, green tea has been hugely influential for exports for the British empire and the start of the American revolution. Therefore it continues to be as prevalent now as it was 300 years ago, showing its power against the test of time. 

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