Archive for October, 2010

In certain languages (Russian, Portuguese, Arabic and Hindi to name a few) the word for tea is clearly derived from the Cantonese “Tcha”. So how did our favourite drink come to be known as “tea” in English, or “thé”, “té” and  “thee” in French, Spanish or Dutch for example?

I may have stumbled across the explanation here in the very well-designed Museum of Macau. The Portuguese were first introduced to tea in Macau, where Cantonese was spoken, whereas it was traders from Amoy that first offered it to the Dutch. The word is “Tay” in the Amoy dialect, which comes from Fujian province.

So there you have it!

Now, it’s off for some Macanese high tea and custard tarts at Lord Stow’s if you don’t mind…  (click past the gondola on their website. There’s more to it than casino kitsch!).  Here’s hoping I can get out of Macau before typhoon Megi hits, otherwise the pasteis de nata are going to do some serious diet damage.

Museum of Macau


Museum of Macau tea map

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