top of page
Artboard 3.png

History of  Tea

Image by 五玄土 ORIENTO

The origin of tea can be traced back to over 5000 years ago in ancient China. According to legend, Shennong, also known as the "Divine Farmer", boiled the leaves from camellia sinensis in water, and used the soup for medicinal purposes. This eventually paved the way for the tea culture and appreciation of today.


Through the constant refinement of tea production and appreciation methods over the past 5000 years, many aspects of tea culture has become well established. Making and drinking tea has become an art and is an important part of culture in many regions such as China, Japan, UK and Southeast Asia.


Shennong Era
5000 years ago

Fresh tea leaves were boiled and drank for medicinal purposes



Zhou Dynasty
1046- 256 BC

The camellia sinensis plant was cultivated and consumed as a vegetable

Qin Dynasty
221- 207 BC

​The camellia sinesis plant begins to be served as a beverage


Han Dynasty
202 BC - 220 AD

The commercialization of tea began, and Chengdu became the earliest distribution center for tea in China. Tea cakes were crated for longer storage and ease of transportation

Tang Dynasty
618 - 907 AD

Lu Yu documented the Cha Jing (茶经), one of the earliest monographs of tea culture, cultivation and preparation. For more on tea appreication, click this link


Ming Dynasty
1368 - 1644 AD

Yellow, Dark and Herbal Tea were introduced as categories of tea and used for medicinal purposes

Song Dynasty
960 - 1279 AD

As one of the most culturally prosperous periods in Chinese history, the culture of tea developed tremendously. Brewing techniques were refined greatly, and the Dian Cha competitions became a cultural trend

Qing Dynasty
1636 - 1912 AD

Tea gains interest internationally with China supplying them to the rest of the world. Tea categories were further refined into distinct categories including Oolong, Black, Dark, Green, Yellow, White  Tea and also Herbal

Present Day

​Teas are appreciated all over the world and is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, second to only water.

The fusion of tea with other ingredients has also given rise to unique tea culture and many interesting tea related consumables. The "bubble tea" for instance, is a popular beverage which includes tea that is heavily sweetened with milk, creamer, sugar and served together with chewy tapioca balls. Other edible products have also been developed around teas including tea infused pastries such as cakes, crepes, ice cream flavours, amongst others. 

For more information on the different types of Tea, visit our next page.

bottom of page