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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Food Articles >> Tea History

History of Tea

By Lee Dobins

The history of tea is full of legends and colorful historical events. The Chinese are thought to be the first discoverers. In fact, it was one man, a scientist and emperor of China, Shen Nung, that is thought to first discover tea as a drink. It is said that he had a requirement that his water be boiled before drinking, all for sanitary reasons. However, during one such boiling of water, it was near a bush with dried leaves, and some had fallen into the water, creating a brownish liquid. This prompted Shen Nung to try the tea and enjoyed its taste.

Later, in seclusion a man named Lu Yu had concocted a variety of different preparation and cultivation methods of tea in China. This would later carry into imperial Japan for use by missionaries. Japan's Father of Tea, Yeisei, a Buddhist priest brought tea seeds to Japan for the first time. It was useful, in China as a religious meditation method and he wanted to introduce it to the Japanese.

Eventually, in the history of tea, the drink becomes popular throughout the world. After Japan, Europe was the next to discover tea as a drink. The Portuguese were the first to seek and obtain trade with China for tea. Later Baltic countries, Holland, and France were receiving imports of
Chinese tea as well.

In 1650 tea reached America. When the Dutch settled to America, a man by the name of Peter Stuyvesant was the first to bring tea. In fact, in America, more people drank tea than any other country, including Europe.

England was the last one of nations to discover tea. Somewhere in the middle of the 1600's England received its first shipment of tea. Now, thanks to the extreme popularity, tea is England's national drink, which used to be ale.

Tea plays an important role throughout history, particular in America, which is shown bluntly in the Boston Tea Party. Additionally, it has become a staple of many countries, even more so than coffee, which is consumed by millions of people each day. The history of tea is a long and interesting one. It moves throughout the world, all the result of one scientist who happened upon it by complete accident.

So you see, tea isn't just an interesting drink, it comes steeped in important history and has been at the forefront of many dates in the timeline of man. Most importantly, tea is a healthy drink that can help boost your immune system as well as provide you with nourishment. So the next time you drink that healthy cup of tea, think back about the important role to play in history.

About the Author

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about different types of tea and tea accessories.