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History of Tea

Posted On December 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm by / No Comments

The tea is probably one of the most ancient drinks of humanity with roots in the East. The tea story begins in China.

emperor Shennong
According the legend, one fall afternoon Chinese emperor Shennong (Shen Nung) decided to take a rest under a Camellia tree while his servant boiled some water to drink. Some dried leaves from the tree above fell down into the boiling water. The emperor was also a well-known herbalist and intrigued by the delightful fragrance decided to try the very first infusion of tea leaves that had been created by chance. Shennong took a sip and found it refreshing and smooth.

Certainly it’s impossible now to know if that story was true or not. But tea drinking definitely originating from China and rised many centuries ago.

Containers for tea have been found by archeologists in tombs dating from the Han dynasty (206 BC — 220 AD) but only during ruling the Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) tea became the national drink of China.

Tea became a popular drink in Buddhist monasteries because of caffeine proved to keep the monks awake during long hours of meditation. For this reason many monasteries cultivated vast tea fields.
tea in Buddhist monasteries

It became so favorite drink that late 8th century a writer, called Lu Yu, wrote the first book about tea — “The Classic of Tea”. Lu Yu was an orphan brought up and educated in a monastery. It is likely that his experience growing up surrounded by tea inspired his book written. In “The Classic of Tea” Lu Yu recorded a detailed account of ways to cultivate and prepare tea, tea drinking customs, the best water for tea brewing and different classifications of tea.
Lu Yu

Shortly after this, the green tea was first introduced to Japan by Japanese Buddhist monks who had travelled to China to study. Tea drinking has become a vital part of Japanese culture, as seen in the development of the Tea Ceremony.

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