Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tea on Thursday 5

digital print on tea bag paper, Eucalypt leaf, stitching. 
The term "billy tea"refers to tea brewed in a billy can, that is a small can, tin or pot used on a camp fire for boiling water/tea.  So the term "billy up to the fire" basically means, "put the kettle on". And for real billy tea, the addition of a few eucalypt leaves is  the ingredient which makes a difference.  The billy tea  from "Waltzing Matilda" seems a long way away from the story of the origin of the tea, but the scene of a man alone with his thoughts under a tree seems familiar. The  tea legend goes something like this....  
Around 2700 BC, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, was meditating under a tree while he was waiting for "his billy to boil". .A couple of leaves from a nearby shrub blew into the water without him noticing. When he tasted the resulting brew, he was really amazed by the delightful new taste, and the beverage of tea was born.
Time for a cuppa billy tea? ( Billy Tea is a trademark brand of tea leaves and tea bags.)  

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