History of Tea
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.
5000 years ago
Fresh tea leaves were boiled and drank for medicinal purposes
1046- 256 BC
The camellia sinensis plant was cultivated and consumed as a vegetable
221- 207 BC
The camellia sinesis plant begins to be served as a beverage
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
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
1368 - 1644 AD
Yellow, Dark and Herbal Tea were introduced as categories of tea and used for medicinal purposes
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
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
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.