You possibly know that it is very difficult to visit the Potala Palace in Tibet. However, my professor, a tea master succeeded going inside it easily, only because she brought tea with her. Indeed, I hear of such similar stories often, which remind me of that tea a special language, the world language.
Tea was initially discovered for its medicine functions 5000 years ago, and then was used for food in minority areas, until in Tang dynasty, became prevail for drinks. At the same era, And Tea seeds were firstly brought abroad by Japanese Buddhist monks in 9th century, since then tea became the unique bond between China and Japan.
In general, tea was transported world-widely by OBOR, one belt and one road, the Silk Road Economic Road and the Maritime Silk Road. It can be dated back to 10th century, tea was taken to Mid Asian and Mid East gradually by merchants. In 1618, the Chinese presented a gift of tea to Tsar Alexis of Russia，tea quickly gained popularity just like a magic language. After that, tea was exported to Russia and its neighbor countries through camel caravan road.
As soon as the Portuguese and Dutch firstly imported tea into Europe commercially around 1610, tea conquered local people quickly, and even now it’s very common for each family to have a tea room in their house in Holland. But tea developed in Britain slowl， was brought only by some sailors or missionaries, until in 1662, the marriage of King Charles II to the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, brought tea drinking to court widely in England. Without knowing anyone or spoke little English, tea once again become a magic language, helped Catherine win lots of reputation, because of that, she was also called the tea queen.
You all know that English is the world language, but there are American English, Britain English, Chinglish, even Kunglish, just like the diversity of tea after it was customized in different countries. Compare to here in China, we drink pure tea, while in western, they like to mix with lots of additives, like sugar, milk, and other spicy. Till today, the whole world are enjoying tea even they do not understand it, that’s the charm of tea. So it does not matter is it pure, scented or flavored tea? The most importance is that tea has taken the role of being the world language, connecting all of us, and pull us closer.
Being the typical cultural symbol of China, tea is often being the best diplomatic gifts for many foreign leaders. There was a very interesting story between Chairman Mao Zhe Dong and US president Richard Nixon when he did the ice visiting China in 1972. Nixon felted disappointed when he got only 200 grams of Da Hong Pao, primer minister Zhou En Lai found out what’s happening, said to Nixon: You know what? China Mao had shared half China with you, because there were only 400 grams precious DaHongPao from the mother tree. Nixon laughed then. You all know it at that time, China and US had a good relationship.
Last summer, we also brought tea to France, and it was very easy to start talking with people by inviting them for tea even I could speak little French. So in future, if you do not know what gifts for your friends, or how to start a communication with them, tea, or invite them for cups of tea is always the best way!
注：以上为 头马CC2（Toastermasters--Competent Communication 2）演讲稿.