Once upon a time, many stories begin such as this. This isn't just a story, it is true. We sit enchanted by the story of horses and tea. For centuries, continuing until the 1960's, there was a Tea Horse Road, much like the Silk Road so many of us have heard about. This was for the trade of tea for horses. China desperately wanted the horses of Tibet and Tibet wanted tea. Porters, both men and women, carried 150-200 pounds, sometimes more, of tea bricks from the Yunnan Province in China to Tibet along treacherous mountain roads. The road was south of the Silk Road and traveled over mountain passes and through dense forests. If they succeeded in the journey they would have rice for their families. One pound of tea would buy one pound of rice. Yes, we were enchanted, so I read more.
This story was shared with myself, a young friend, and his mother as we tasted some delightful Puer teas at the Tao of Tea recently. We were on a tea adventure in Portland, visiting five teashops and learning about tea all in one day. It was a special delight for me to share tea with friends. The adventure is worth repeating and I would love to share with you. If you are visiting Portland some day and would like to learn more of tea, come and travel with me and we will share a cup of tea and remember stories of another time. Tea has a rich history full of stories such as this.
If you would like to read more on the Tea Horse Road, visit: