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It is one of the biggest centres of tea trade in India. Until 1790, Munnar and the surrounding area were forests covered. The first tea sapling was planted by A.H. Sharp at Parvathi, which is currently the part of Sevenmallay estate
It was during the rule of the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century AD that tea is said to have entered its' golden age'. This imperial dynasty of China ruled from 618 to 907. IT was a time when tea entered the age of rituals and traditions. It was no longer drunk simply as a medicinal tonic, rather it was a drink for pleasure as much as for its restorative powers. The preparation and service of the liquor developed into an elaborate ceremony, while the cultivation and processing of the leaf were tightly controlled. The tea ceremony became a time-honoured institution in Japan, and found its roots in the principles of Zen Buddhism and founded upon the reverence of the beautiful in the daily routine of life. It was first practised in Japan during the Kamakura Era (1192–1333) by Zen monks, who drank tea to stay awake during long sessions of meditation. By the 15th century, the tea ceremony involved a gathering of friends in an isolated atmosphere to drink tea and discuss the aesthetic merits of many cultural aspects of society including paintings, calligraphy, and ikebana arrangements.
Conducted according to traditional Japanese customs, tea tasting ceremony is symbolic of the respect and harmony showed towards fellow human beings and this is expressed through a series of elaborate and delicate steps of tea brewing and serving. Every utensil used for the ceremony will be cleansed as per tradition and the rituals followed through the course of the ceremony will be as authentic as the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Participating in the ceremony, allows you to enjoy tea from various perspectives; gastronomy, aesthetic, philosophy etc. while getting to taste some of the excellent varieties of Munnar grown tea.
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