SHANGHAI is a city and seaport of China, situated on the Woosung River. It is one of the three most important tea ports of the empire. The city stands in a fertile plain, and consists of a walled town and several suburbs. It is entered by six gates, and the streets are narrow and filthy, and the houses poor; but in the center of the town is a large open space, which is laid out in teagardens. 

Here, too, are some fine houses, belonging mostly to the tea merchants. 

Many people are employed in these gardens, for tea-culture is the principal business of the place. 

The tea-shrub is a bushy plant, with numerous leafy branches, and grows to the height of three or four feet, and sometimes higher. The leaves are usually gathered three times during the season, and after going through numerous drying processes, are finally shipped as tea. The first crop makes the choicest tea. It is said that the difference between green and black teas is owing, in part at least, to difference of soil, climate, and age of the leaves, the plants furnishing the black teas being grown in hilly and mountainous places, and the green-tea shrubs being cultivated on the rich, level lands. When in blossom, these teagardens are a beautiful sight, for the plants are covered with pure white flowers of considerable size, somewhat resembling those of the myrtle.

A traveler speaks of the numbers of tea-taverns in Shanghai, where the laboring people gather daily, generally in companies of from ten to thirty. For three or four brass "cash"  less than one farthing they obtain their dish of hot tea; and he remarks that the quietness and peace, which seem to reign at these gathering-places is certainly in contrast with the confusion of the wine-saloons in the vicinity. Our picture doubtless represents several of these tea-taverns, with the crowds of people gathered about them. We would not, however, speak of this to encourage the habit of tea-drinking among our readers, for we all know it is a hurtful one; but these few facts in regard to the manner, in which this common article is produced may perhaps be interesting.


We know that tea, whether green or black has poisons in it that are harmful to humans and helps to contribute to many of the problems and diseases that are so prevalent around the world.