The History and Culture of Tea

Tea, next to water, the most consumed liquid in the world! It all started as early as 2737BC, on a sunny day in the Fujian province of Eastern China when the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was visiting his realm with his court. As a careful ruler and scientist of note, he demanded his men to boil their drinking water while resting under the trees. The leaves from the indigenous Camellia Sinensis shrub drifted into the water, raising the Emperor's interest in this refreshing, invigorating infusion... and tea was discovered!
Anyone for "high tea" with the Duchess?

  • tea
  • Discovery of the teabush, Camellia Sinensis
  • Tea types
  • The processing of teas
  • Tea-drinking cultures of the world
  • "High tea" with the Duchess
  • Tea-inventions
  • Tea and health
  • The perfect "cuppa"...

The Coffee-story

Coffee, second only to oil, the world's biggest trade commodity! Would the Ethiopean herdsman, Kaldi, ever have dreamt that his discovery of the coffee berries, containing a therapeutic amount of caffeine which had his goats dancing with joy, would develop into a favourite drink for discerning consumers worldwide: espresso, cappuccino, café latté, machiato...

  • coffee
  • Discovery of coffee
  • The plant and coffee-beans
  • History and culture
  • Production
  • My cup of coffee
  • Recipies...

The Mystical Rose

"What's in a name? That which we call rose;
By any other name would smell as sweet"?
William Shakespeare from Romeo & Juliet.

Rose, the most popular of the garden shrubs and also among the most common flowers sold by florists, has a colourful history, according to fossil evidence more than 35 million years old!

  • rose
  • Origin
  • History
  • Culture and Symbolism
  • Superstitions
  • By-products...

Inventions Which Touch Our Lives

invent From the invention of the wheel to modern day inventions, Charles H Duell, past commissioner of the patent office in the USA, has been proved wrong when he stated as early as 1899 that "everything which can be invented has been invented..." Since then many inventions have irrevocably changed our lives.

  • The wheel
  • "Sandwich"
  • The Zipper
  • Velcro
  • Kelloggs Corn Flakes
  • Tupperware
  • Sellophane paper
  • Scotch Tape
  • Teddy Bear
  • Drinking straw...

South African Inventions

  • Heart transplant
  • "Cat-scan"
  • Sasol
  • Speedgun
  • Kreepy Krauly
  • Pratley Putty
  • Dolosse
  • Vuvuzela
  • Mrs Ball's Chutney...

Where Does it Come From?

  • Origin of Valentine's Day
  • The Tango...

Body Language

Have you ever been given "a cold shoulder"...or a "dirty look"...or have you "turned your back" on someone? Body language , or non-verbal communication, reflects a person's inner feelings without expressing them verbally. Research has found that the verbal component amounts to less than 35% and the non-verbal component ( body language) to 65% of a face-to-face conversation.

  • body language
  • History
  • Posture
  • Body signals
  • Cultural differences
  • The lie
  • Laugh, the best medicine
  • Personal territorial space
  • Secrets...