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# The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye

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The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 Sep 2019, 07:44
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 23, Date : 12-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 years. Chinese mythology first addresses the drink in 3000 BC, when the emperor Nin Song was said to have discovered it. Nin Song was something of a visionary. Among other innovations, he believed that water should be boiled before drinking as a health precaution. As the story goes, he was traveling with some members of the court when they stopped to rest. Some leaves from a bush fell into the water being boiled for the weary travelers, and thus was tea born. In AD 800, a man named Lu Yu wrote the first known book on tea cultivation and preparation. The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

In AD 1191, the cultivation and brewing of the leaves spread to Japan when a monk named Yeisei returned from pilgrimage, bringing seeds back with him. Yeisei had observed tea being used in and enhancing meditation and spiritual awareness in China. He shared this discovery with his peers and the tradition quickly caught on—all the way to the highest levels of society, including the imperial court. Tea was so well-received in Japan that it was elevated to an art form, culminating in the creation of the well-known Japanese Tea Ceremony. The ceremony evolved and grew both more intricate and more exclusive, with students of the art receiving years of practice and training before they were allowed to perform it.

The once-lowly leaf had been raised to the pinnacle of spiritual and social grace. In the words of Lafcadio Hearn, an historian and writer of Irish origin who emigrated to Japan in the late 19th Century, “The Tea ceremony requires years of training and practice to graduate in art … yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible.”

1. The main purpose of this passage is to

A. Trace the historical progression of tea from its origins to the present day.
B. Give brief highlights from the history of the cultivation of tea.
C. Provide an anecdotal account how tea became a drink.
D. Highlight some important elements of the history of preparing and drinking tea.
E. Argue against the notion of tea drinking as a valid social art.

2. The last sentence of the first paragraph serves to illustrate which of the following about tea?

A. The mistake that led to tea drinking’s ultimate elevation as a social grace
B. The accidental and fortunate nature of how tea was discovered
C. The spreading seeds of the habit of drinking tea
D. The link between tea and Zen Buddhist practice of pilgrimage
E. The unusually rapid way that tea was developed into a beverage

3. Which of the following inferences may be drawn from the discussion of Lu Yu’s work?

A. Before 800 AD, it was largely unknown how to cultivate tea.
B. Some people even today drink tea for reasons other than its physical benefits.
C. Drinking tea was primarily a Zen Buddhist practice until the late 700s.
D. The Ch’a Ching is one of the earliest works of Chinese origin that is concerned with agriculture.
E. Lu Yu was interested in popularizing tea in countries other than China.

4. Based on the passage, Lafcadio Hearn would have agreed with which of the following statements about Japanese Tea Ceremony?

A. It is needlessly complex and intricate.
B. It is important that students of the art spend many years mastering it.
C. It is the pinnacle of Japanese taste and culture.
D. It is both a simple act and one that is rich with cultural significance.
E. It is an inextricable part of Japanese history and spirituality.

Source: McGraw-Hill GMAT 2013
Difficulty Level: 700

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Sep 2019, 07:44, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (530).
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 09:41
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Official Explanation

1. The main purpose of this passage is to

Explanation

This is a primary purpose question, which is similar to a main idea question. It is testing whether you can determine accurately the scope of the information presented and describe the way in which it was presented. Clearly the passage was about the origins of tea, but many of the answer choices contain that element, and it’s up to you to eliminate the ones that have extra, contradictory, or out-of-scope information. Answer choice A says that the passage “traces” tea’s history “to the present day,” which does not happen; the latest event in the passage takes place no later than 1899. Answer choice B concentrates on the cultivation of tea, which, though it is mentioned, is not the primary focus of the passage. Answer choice C is similarly mentioned, but it’s nowhere near the bulk of the passage. Answer choice E is incorrect based on the first word; the passage is not structured to argue against anything. Answer choice D matches the intent and scope of the passage, so it is the best answer.

2. The last sentence of the first paragraph serves to illustrate which of the following about tea?

Explanation

This is a logical structure question that asks what point a certain sentence illustrates in the passage. The sentence has to do with how tea became a drink, so we would expect the correct answer to focus on that point. While answer choice A is tempting in that it mentions a “mistake,” it is off-base because its focus is on tea being elevated to a social grace, something not discussed at this point in the passage. Answer choice C is also not the focus of the sentence; it is about how the habit of drinking tea spread. Answer choice D is also not what the sentence was about, and in fact the words used are from a different part of the passage. Answer choice E also has the wrong focus. The sentence is not about speed. Only answer choice B focuses on how tea was accidentally discovered as a drink.

3. Which of the following inferences may be drawn from the discussion of Lu Yu’s work?

Explanation

This is an inference question that asks you to make a connection between the information in one part of the passage and one of the answer choices. Answer choice A is tempting because Lu Yu wrote the first book on cultivating tea, but that does not imply that people didn’t know how to cultivate tea anyway. Answer choice C is simply not supported by the passage, and the same is true for D. E is reasonable, but not something that can be inferred from the information given. Answer choice B is the only one that is somewhat supported by the passage; the phrase “forever linking the drink to spirituality” supports the statement that people today may drink tea for other than physical reasons.

4. Based on the passage, Lafcadio Hearn would have agreed with which of the following statements about Japanese Tea Ceremony?

Explanation

This is an applying information question that asks you to make a decision based on the information given in the passage. After reading the quote by Lafcadio Hearn, we can see that he sees the Japanese Tea Ceremony as something of a contrast, particularly by the use of the sentence “… yet the whole of this art … signifies nothing more than the making and serving of tea …” Answer choice A, however, is too extreme o be supported by the quote; Hearn is not strongly negative about the practice of tea ceremony. Answer choice B is perhaps something that is believed by members of Japanese society, but we have no support that Hearn believes it is “important.” Answer choice C is also extreme. It is a statement from elsewhere in the passage, but not an opinion expressed by Hearn. Answer choice E is somewhat supported by the passage, though the word “inextricably” is a little extreme; however, it is not necessarily Hearn’s opinion. Only answer choice D expresses the contradiction that Hearn saw in the practice of Japanese Tea Ceremony, and expresses it in a non-extreme, non-offensive way.

If anyone have some doubt, Kindly let me know.

Hope it helps
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2017, 00:33
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1. The main purpose of this passage is to

A. Trace the historical progression of tea from its origins to the present day.
"the present day" is problematic because there's no reference to the present day in the passage.
B. Give brief highlights from the history of the cultivation of tea.
The passage is not about the history of the cultivation of tea but about its preparation, about its acceptance as a beverage, and about its social status, in some cases.
C. Provide an anecdotal account how tea became a drink.
That's only a small part of the passage and in no way qualifies to be the main purpose.
D. Highlight some important elements of the history of preparing and drinking tea.
E. Argue against the notion of tea drinking as a valid social art.
Maybe the main purpose of some other passage

Thus, option D.

---

2. The last sentence of the first paragraph serves to illustrate which of the following about tea?

The sentence: Some leaves from a bush fell into the water being boiled for the weary travelers, and thus was tea born.

A. The mistake that led to tea drinking’s ultimate elevation as a social grace
The event doesn't lead to the elevation of the tea in the Japanese society. That was because of the practice of spiritual awareness using tea in China.
B. The accidental and fortunate nature of how tea was discovered
C. The spreading seeds of the habit of drinking tea
D. The link between tea and Zen Buddhist practice of pilgrimage
Total disconnect.
E. The unusually rapid way that tea was developed into a beverage

Thus, option B.

---

3. Which of the following inferences may be drawn from the discussion of Lu Yu’s work?

Lu Yu's work: In AD 800, a man named Lu Yu wrote the first known book on tea cultivation and preparation. The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

A. Before 800 AD, it was largely unknown how to cultivate tea.
Lu Yu wrote the first known book on tea cultivation. This doesn't mean that the process of cultivation of tea was unknown prior to this event.
B. Some people even today drink tea for reasons other than its physical benefits.
Yes. Spirituality.
C. Drinking tea was primarily a Zen Buddhist practice until the late 700s.
No information provided.
D. The Ch’a Ching is one of the earliest works of Chinese origin that is concerned with agriculture.
No information provided. In addition, the option switches to a broader topic - agriculture.
E. Lu Yu was interested in popularizing tea in countries other than China.
No information provided.

Thus, option B.

---

4. Based on the passage, Lafcadio Hearn would have agreed with which of the following statements about Japanese Tea Ceremony?

A. It is needlessly complex and intricate.
He says otherwise - yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea
B. It is important that students of the art spend many years mastering it.
This option talks about the art and not the ceremony.
C. It is the pinnacle of Japanese taste and culture.
No information provided.
D. It is both a simple act and one that is rich with cultural significance.
E. It is an inextricable part of Japanese history and spirituality.
He says otherwise; the ceremony is no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea

Thus, option D.
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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12 Feb 2019, 22:17
I feel question 2 is completely based on POE... THIS IS WRONG. WE should get an answer which is ATLEAST supported if not completely.
Nowhere in the passage does the author say that it was "Accidental" or "fortunate"
All of the other choices are plain wrong. But option B is unwarranted and unsupported !!!
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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12 Feb 2019, 23:56
1
patto wrote:
I think it's not a 700 passage. It's not too difficult!

Hello patto

Difficulty Level varies person to person, some are more used to reading and may find it a Medium level passage, some may find it very tough and Advance level passage. We cannot generalize difficulty level to all readers at the same level. Overall it is a Hard (700-Level) passage.
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2019, 07:05
Hello surbhi1991

Although you question is not precise to know where you are facing issue but i ll try to answer as a whole.

In question #2, from the last sentence of the passage concentrate highlighted part of the sentence

Quote:
The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

A. The mistake that led to tea drinking’s ultimate elevation as a social grace - Word mistake make it wrong

B. The accidental and fortunate nature of how tea was discovered - Word accidental is mentioned in the first paragraph. The word fortunate points out to the word spirituality the passage.

C. The spreading seeds of the habit of drinking tea - It is rather mentioned in the third paragraph not in the first

D. The link between tea and Zen Buddhist practice of pilgrimage - It is also mentioned in paragraph number 2 not in 1

E. The unusually rapid way that tea was developed into a beverage - Opposite

Question #3 is an inference question (IMO You can understand inference question better if you have done with CR section of GMAT)

For inference questions, read the related text in passage understand it and convert it into you own thought and then select the answer which can be proved on the basis of that text. It will not necessarily explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Now look at the answer choices

Text to read in the passage

Quote:
In AD 800, a man named Lu Yu wrote the first known book on tea cultivation and preparation. The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

A. Before 800 AD, it was largely unknown how to cultivate tea. - No such indication is available in the discussion of Lu Yu’s work.

B. Some people even today drink tea for reasons other than its physical benefits. - Now match the bolded text above and concentrate on words Art, craft and spirituality

All other choices cannot be inferred from the discussion of Lu Yu’s work (Not all the passage).

Hope it helps
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2019, 01:40
Hello surbhi1991

Although you question is not precise to know where you are facing issue but i ll try to answer as a whole.

In question #2, from the last sentence of the passage concentrate highlighted part of the sentence

Quote:
The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

A. The mistake that led to tea drinking’s ultimate elevation as a social grace - Word mistake make it wrong

B. The accidental and fortunate nature of how tea was discovered - Word accidental is mentioned in the first paragraph. The word fortunate points out to the word spirituality the passage.

C. The spreading seeds of the habit of drinking tea - It is rather mentioned in the third paragraph not in the first

D. The link between tea and Zen Buddhist practice of pilgrimage - It is also mentioned in paragraph number 2 not in 1

E. The unusually rapid way that tea was developed into a beverage - Opposite

Question #3 is an inference question (IMO You can understand inference question better if you have done with CR section of GMAT)

For inference questions, read the related text in passage understand it and convert it into you own thought and then select the answer which can be proved on the basis of that text. It will not necessarily explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Now look at the answer choices

Text to read in the passage

Quote:
In AD 800, a man named Lu Yu wrote the first known book on tea cultivation and preparation. The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.

A. Before 800 AD, it was largely unknown how to cultivate tea. - No such indication is available in the discussion of Lu Yu’s work.

B. Some people even today drink tea for reasons other than its physical benefits. - Now match the bolded text above and concentrate on words Art, craft and spirituality

All other choices cannot be inferred from the discussion of Lu Yu’s work (Not all the passage).

Hope it helps

Thank you for your help, but i am still confused because these were too indirect, we can also deduce in q3 option a that tea was not cultivated before 800 AD in the similar manner it was deduced that spirituality leads to physical benefits.

also do such questions come in GMAT?
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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03 May 2019, 12:39
It looks like the first paragraph was pasted incorrectly. The last sentence as it currently stands is "The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality.", but some of the discussion here seems to indicate it should be "Some leaves from a bush fell into the water being boiled for the weary travelers, and thus was tea born."

Would suggest an update on the formatting here.
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2019, 02:53
SajjadAhmad GMATNinja I think the passage was edited and now question 2 doesn't make any sense. Please add an appropriate answer choice or change the working of the question

2. The last sentence of the first paragraph serves to illustrate which of the following about tea?

Current last sentence - "The work, called the Ch’a Ching, melded Zen Buddhist teachings with the art and craft of tea, forever linking the drink to spirituality."

A. The mistake that led to tea drinking’s ultimate elevation as a social grace - Based on POE looks the best even though it is doesn't appear in Para 1
B. The accidental and fortunate nature of how tea was discovered - OA
C. The spreading seeds of the habit of drinking tea - irrelevant
D. The link between tea and Zen Buddhist practice of pilgrimage - irrelevant (pilgrimage is not mentioned here itself)
E. The unusually rapid way that tea was developed into a beverage - irrelevant
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Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2019, 22:04
Only one of the questions is tricky and that's the first one. However, by eliminating options it can be easily answered.

1. The prime confusion is between option A and D. But, "till present day" is the main issue. This is why option D is the answer.
2. The answer choice is C as the author later mentions how Tea became culturally important in both Japan and China.
3. Apart from B, nothing else can be inferred. The other reasons are religious and spiritual.
4. It is explicitly stated in the passage, yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible.”
Re: The origins of tea as a beverage can be traced back more than 5,000 ye   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2019, 22:04
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