Batavia in 1649 by Adam Willaerts
On the road to the little right of Mandalay or ‘everything east of the Suez’ before the place was even called Mandalay, It is the 16th century a Dutch merchant meets an ethnically Chinese looking man in the port of Java. He knows he is taking a risk by taking an item that was unknown to the old world, but he feels an odd feeling this venture will be a success. In his mind, doubt refuses to leave him. After all the weird things the Spanish brought from the new world, those… those potatoes failed miserably,
However, all he had to do was market this item, right? If these people have been drinking it for apparently thousands of years, … it should all be fine, right?
He looks at the dried leaves and considered if the leaves can be grown elsewhere. Perhaps the company farming them themselves will cut out the middleman.
He starts writing the itinerary but suddenly forgets what the items were called again. Turning around asking the name, the Chinese man looking annoyed gives a rather terse response.
Around the same time with a discrepancy of a century or so, the Portuguese merchant is loading the same item. Things have been stable since the Luso-Chinese agreement. Taxes were annoying but nothing new as merchants.
While most traders took silk or porcelain, he wanted to take a new item. Something that the Chinese seem to have been enjoying for a long time. He was treated to the item when meeting the Chinese officials while paying taxes were never pleasant, …the drink he was served certainly was.
In his itinerary, the cargo is written.
So thus, the world was divided into two. Calling one item originating from the same culture group with two different names. Such influences are still present in the modern-day. Only Portugal and Brazil calls it ‘chá’ in their respective continents while the rest of America and most European nations call it in a variation of ‘tea’.
The term ‘Cha’ is Sinitic meaning it’s common to most variation of Chinese while ‘te’ is from a variation of Min Nan Chinese, a coastal province of Fujian which has its speakers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan as well. It is therefore quite ironic when people ask for chai tea latte linguistically, they are repeating the same word for a cup of coffee that is not even a coffee.
Thus, the world has been left calling it one or the other, however, to return to where the story had started Back to Mandalay…
However, in Mandalay where soldiers come you back
Where the old flotilla lay
Tea is served and named neither of the two
On the road to Mandalay
Where the tea is both drunken and eaten
And called lahpet (လက်ဖက်) unlike two china ‘crost the Bay!
By Justin Kim
 Potatoes were introduced to Europe in 1536 by the Spanish however only found a market when King Louis XVI the man most famous for marrying the queen who allegedly said “let them eat cake?’, actively promoted the crop. There is a sense of irony as the royal family promoted the crop after learning of the nutritional value of the potatoes and wanted to help introduce to the common citizenry as a form of ‘Noblesse oblige’.
 The myths claim Shennong(神農) who is said to have been born in BC 3218 was the first to discover tea, but the first clear record dates back to 300BC during the Zhou dynasty and only became available to the common citizenry during the Tang dynasty of AD 600~900.
 Tea is ended up being one of the major cash crops in the plantations during the colonial era. Assam tea being one of the many examples.
 While the Portuguese have arrived in China as early as 1516, until Luso-Chinese (1554) Treaty was signed, they were treated as ‘Folanji pirates’. Folanji originating from the word ‘Frankia’ the old Germanic tribal name and the kingdom. The contested area was an open port for all foreigners but due to all European status falling under piracy only smuggling operation occurred for the European merchant vessels until the signiture.
 Exceptions do exist as most Balkan/ Eastern European nations call it a variation of ‘cha’ due to the ottoman/Russian influence while Poland calls it ‘herbata’ being the only clear outlier of this rule in Europe.
 The official name of the drink was always simply chai latte according to Starbucks. Despite not being coffee, it was called latte due to its similarity with ‘coffee latte’. The only difference being the use of black tea instead of espresso.