According to legend, tea originated when an emperor of China was adding the feature [+boiled] to his drinking-
The discovery spread throughout China, and from there, eventually to the rest of the world. Its names are naturally derived from Sinitic languages, either the Mandarin cha or the Min Nan te. These terms are clearly cognate, but do they mean exactly the same thing? One theory is that in te the leaves were finely divided, allowing them to brew more quickly, whereas the leaves used to make cha were in larger particles, thus adding the feature [+delayed_release].
As tea was borrowed by other cultures, variants inevitably arose. A mandarin had already revealed a [+bergamot] variant to Earl Grey, but forms with [+lemon], [+milk] and [+sugar] soon became popular ([+lemon] and [+milk] are, however, incompatible). Amongst the [+milk] forms there are, of course, milk-
One thing on which all tea-
1 Yes, I do keep it in England. Nobody has complained.2
2 Except for Jonathan, who says it should be kept in Scotland.
|Tea: Supreme Ruler of the Morphemes
|The Search for a Universal Beverageme is Futility
|SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 2 Contents|