Most of us have probably heard the one about monkey-picked tea. It’s a popular legend (most likely with no basis in truth) about specially trained monkeys who were once sent out to pick leaves that were inaccessible to less agile humans.
Trying to go this notion one better, China’s Jiuhua Mountain Tea Plantation recently went in search of ten virgins to pick tea leaves with their mouths, a job that was supposedly carried out by fairies in some earlier time. Needless to say, this peculiar recruiting drive was the cause of at least some small amount of controversy. The news report, which appeared in London’s Daily Mail, does not appear to be an April Fool’s joke or any other kind of gag, but who’s to say.
On a slightly less fanciful note is the notion that tea can actually advance your career. Or more specifically, the idea that making tea (or coffee) in an office setting can increase your chances for a promotion. A study conducted by office supplies company Viking found that most of the 1,600 workers surveyed felt there was a connection between making hot beverages at work and moving up the corporate ladder.
On the flip side of this is another report from the Daily Mail, which tells the sorry tale of an employee who alleges that he was fired for making the wrong type of tea. James Alden, an employee at a Manchester, England co-op, claims that he was fired, among other reasons, for using Twinings Lady Grey tea bags while on break instead of the co-op’s own fair trade tea.
Last up, a report that asserts that small particles like tea leaves or industrial contaminants can flow upstream under the right conditions. Cuban researchers discovered this tendency when preparing yerba mate, a popular South American herbal beverage, by decanting water from one container into another one that actually contained the leaves. The discovery is likely to have implications for industries that are trying to curb waterborne contaminants.
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