Origins of Tea

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There’s nothing that beats a good cup of tea, whether you’re sipping as you work or lazing on the settee. But I’ve always wondered about its discovery. What genius came to match boiled water and tea leaves?

It sounds simple now, making a cup of tea. Just chuck a teabag into a cup and add boiling water. Then you add milk and sugar, depending on your taste. But if you think about it, who put these things together in the first place? Someone at some point in the past, actually put these completely different ingredients into one cup.

Obviously, it must have been a lot of trial and error, as well as advertising it to others. Seems like a lot of work for one beverage…

According to legend, tea was first discovered by the Chinese Emperor and herbalist, Shennong, in 2737 BC. It is said that the Emperor preferred boiling his water before drinking it, to ensure it was purified and clean – a wise man, I must say.

However. one day they travelled to a distant region and they stopped for rest. On their rest, the Emperor ordered some water. Obviously, his servants boiled it to make sure it was clean. But, in the process a dead tea leaf from a nearby wild tea bush fell into the water while it was boiling. The water had turned a brownish colour.

Despite its colour change, it went unnoticed and was served to the Emperor. He found it very refreshing and cha (tea) came into being.

So, there you go. The origins of tea. Pretty cool, eh?

Image: emptylemon

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