While historically the origin of tea as a medicinal herb] useful for staying awake is unclear, China is considered to have the earliest records of tea drinking, with recorded tea use in its history dating back to the 1st millennium BCE. There he meditated while sat facing a wallfor nine long years. The Chinese word for tea, cha (茶), is the root the various words for tea used throughout the world. Teapots from China - through the ages. Tea had become very popular and even prevalent in the Chinese society during Tang Dynasty (618AD to 908AD). While most of us have neither a pavilion nor a lily pond conveniently situated in our backyard, we can still indulge our penchant for this centuries-old beverage. The following information provides further information on the colorful origins and history of tea. However, habitual tea drinking didn’t spread to the rest of China until the middle of the eighth century, with the publication of The Classic of Tea by the Tang dynasty writer Lu Yu, which tied tea drinking with Buddhist thought. At the end of that period his legs had withered away and, just on the verge of reaching enlightenment, he fell asleep. The book will be of interest to scholars of East Asia and all those concerned with the religious dimensions of commodity culture in the premodern world. The history of tea dates back to ancient China, almost 5,000 years ago. The climate of China is perfect for growing tea, which leads to large quantities and good quality of tea. A New York tea merchant named Thomas Sullivan packages his samples of tea in silk sachets, as a way to cut down on his costs. History of Tea Culture. In the Tang dynasty (618-907), tea was processed in the form of dried tea cakes, which were roasted and ground before being brewed in hot water, sometimes with other ingredients such as peppermint, ginger, and citrus peel. Tea has been consumed in China for the last 3000 years but was first mentioned in the book titled Ch’a Ching in 780 AD. However, that was not the end of the story for tea in China, and only the beginning of the story for India. In 1908 a new chapter in tea history began when merchant Thomas Sullivan invented the teabag in America. The cultivation of tea originated in south-west China, in the region now known as the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, sometime before the Han dynasty (202-220). Bodhidharma, travelling to spread the word of his new doctrine, founded the Shaolin temple in southern China (Shorinji to the Japanese). The earliest references to drinking tea originate from China where legend has it that a leaf fell into water being boiled for Emperor Shen Nung and he found the taste refreshing. Ancient folklore placed the creation of the brew at 2737 BC when a camellia blossom drifted into a cup of boiled drinking water belonging to Emperor Shen Nung. Tea grew wild and large in these areas before it was even cultivated as a cash crop. While the Chinese have never developed a ritualistic ceremony surrounding tea drinking resembling the Japanese tea ceremony, they have a healthy respect for its role in their daily lives. Benefits, Uses, & Recipes, What Is Black Tea? As the export of tea became popular, tea brought foreign trade to Chinese shores and became a popular drink. According to the Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nung (in 2732 B.C.) It is debatable whether Chinese brewed tea in some distinctive pots or directly in the cup before it was consumed - merely putting the … It was during this time that the practice developed of sending finest teas to the emperor's court as a tribute to him. It is thought that tea trees cultivated in other countries have their origin directly or indirectly from China. The cultivation of tea originated in south-west China, in the region now known as the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, sometime before the Han dynasty (202-220). Many years prior, only green and oolong teas were consumed. In the early days, tea was made from simmering fresh leaves in water. Not only did tea drinking become a fitting subject for books and poems; Emperors bestowed gifts of tea upon grateful recipients. China, the homeland of tea, is a leading producer and consumer, and the discovery and usage of tea has a history of four or five thousand years. While there are hundreds are varieties of Chinese teas, most fall into four basic categories: There is also a fifth category known as "scented teas," made by mixing various flowers and petals with green or oolong teas. Chinese has a fascinating and long history with tea. Connoisseurs extolled the subtle differences in luxury teas, which fetched high prices for their rarity or place of origin. The origin of tea is shrouded in myths and stories. Introduced to tea in China, Bodhidharma incorporated the drinking of tea into his daily meditation routine. Tea, that most quintessential of English drinks, is a relative latecomer to British shores. Benefits, Uses, & Recipes, 14 Tea Recipes You Can Easily Brew Up at Home, The 8 Best Tea Subscription Boxes of 2020. British traders had to pay for tea in China with silver bullion. The highly esteemed poet and former Buddhist priest had strict notions about the proper procedure for brewing, steeping, and serving tea. Benefits, Uses, & Recipes, What Is White Tea? By the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) tea was the national drink of China, spreading from court circles to be popular throughout Chinese society. In both Chinese and Japanese tradition, the discovery of tea is credited to the Indian sage Bodhidharma (aka Daruma), the founder of Zen Buddhism. This month, Heavenly Tea Leaves pays homage to the famous historical path from East to West that made it possible for the whole world to unite over tea as we do today. It first originated from the mountain wilderness of the south part of China, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. The history of black tea starts with an army from Jianxi. Tea drinking has been a part of Chinese culture since before the third century. While boiling water in the garden, a leaf from an overhanging wild tea tree drifted into his pot. And budding fortune-tellers who eschew tea bags can hone their skills in the art of tasseomancy (reading tea leaves). The Han Dynasty] (206 BCE–220 CE) used tea as medicine. With the Ming dynasty came also the rise of an intellectual obsession with tea. History of tea in China: | The |history of tea in China| is long and complex, for the |Chinese| have enjoyed |tea| f... World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled. Now, in the 20 th Century, Bubble Milk Tea is still popular all the world around. It’s history in China can be traced back to the late Ming Dynasty, around the year 1590, when the first black tea – Lapsang Souchong – was produced in the area around Wuyi Mountain in Fujian province. Legend has it that the Emperor discovered tea's … The Emperor enjoyed drinking the infused water so much that he was compelled to research the plant further. The perfect milieu for enjoying the finished product was in a pavilion next to a water lily pond, preferably in the company of a desirable woman. The History of Tea. Ancient folklore placed the creation of the brew at 2737 BC when a camellia blossom drifted into a cup of boiled drinking water belonging to Emperor Shen Nung. Tea drinking began with Buddhist monks, quickly spreading to the literati and eventually the wider population. Demand for tea as a medicinal beverage rises in China and cultivation processes are developed. The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, What Is Green Tea? accidentally discovered tea. Today 96% of tea sold in Britain comes in teabags. It was during this time that Chinese Buddhist monks also developed communal tea rituals, which was accompanied by incense burning. The British initially turned up their noses at the silk sachet but in the 1950s it started winning market share and has never looked back. According to the line diagram, “Dynamics of manufacture of tea in China, thousand tons” there … Ancient Chinese Tea History and Fascinating Facts. 1908 C.E. Some of the most famous teas were grown by monks in the mountain areas around monasteries, where there was good access to quality spring water. Tea aficionados are often surprised to learn that all tea comes from the same source: the Camellia Sinensis bush. Black tea, also known as “red tea,” was discovered in China in the mid 17th century. Shennong (Chinese: 神农), whose name means the Divine Farmer -- and who is considered as the ancient Chinese Father of Agriculture, is … Tea continues to play a significant role in Chinese culture today. The history of tea in China dates back to approximately 5000 years ago. The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China. when the Emperor Shen Nong, a skilled ruler and scientist, accidentally discovered tea. The tea story started in China around 2750 BC. According to this fist legend of tea, tea was first created in 2737BC. And white tea, made with unripened tea leaves that are still covered with a downy, silvery fuzz, is becoming quite popular. when the Emperor Shen Nong, a skilled ruler and scientist, accidentally discovered tea. Later, teahouses began dotting the landscape. Originally, tea was valued for its medicinal qualities. The Origins of Tea. This led to the discovery of tea. With a little practice, it's easy to brew the perfect cup of tea. Tea developed form the earliest fresh-boiled tea taken as a kind of soup, to later dried-and-preserved teas, and from simple green tea to the blending of six major kinds of tea. Tea is so much a part of everyday life in Britain that we might never stop to think about how a unique plant from faraway China became the nation´s favourite drink. In the late Kamakura Period, the practice of Tocha (tea competitions), which originated in Southern Song-dynasty China, became popular among the Samurai class and tea gatherings were common.The tea ceremony rapidly spread, including Chakabuki. There were also many chain Milk Tea stores opened up in other countries including Canada and Japan after 1990. This high mountainous area was called Lapsang and the small leaf tea trees Souchong – hence the name. In 1996, Bubble Milk Tea broke into the market of Hong Kong and then was introduced to Mainland China. While, it was said that tea was discovered by accident. In The Art of Tea Drinking, Olivia Yang opens with the words: "The Chinese people are without a doubt the ones who best understand the nature of tea." In the centuries following the publication of Yu's work, tea's popularity spread rapidly throughout China. Carrying strong associations with Buddhism, tea’s rich social history is deeply embedded in Chinese culture. However, habitual tea drinking didn’t spread to the rest of China until the middle of the eighth century, with the publication of The Classic of Tea by the Tang dynasty writer Lu Yu, which tied tea drinking with Buddhist thought. At the same time, the consumption of alcohol was falling out of favor thanks to Buddhist attitudes, combined with a growing caution about the dangers of intoxication. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text written by Hua Tuo. Tea in China transcends the boundaries of religious studies and cultural history as it draws on a broad range of materials―poetry, histories, liturgical texts, monastic regulations―many translated or analyzed for the first time. In the time of Confucius (c.551-479 BC) and grew in popularity during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). The Book of Tea, 茶の本, is written by Okakura Kakuzo, thus introducing the west to the Japanese Tea Ceremony and its history. In 1788, he suggested to the East India Company that the climate in certain British-controlled parts of north east India was ideal for tea growing. Rhonda Parkinson is a freelance writer who has authored many cookbooks, including two Everything guides to Chinese cooking. It has long been known that tea aids in digestion, which is why many Chinese prefer to consume it after their meal. Our tour is flexible. A tea shop in Chilham, Kent. Chinese Tea has existed more than 5000 thousand years. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK". This happened when leaves from one of the wild trees around where he was taking a rest blew into a pot of boiling water. The history of tea spreads across multiple cultures over the span of thousands of years.Tea likely originated in the Yunnan region during the Shang dynasty as a medicinal drink. Chinese Tea History: Tea plays a vital role in Chinese life since ancient times. The use of tea as a beverage drunk for pleasure on social occasions dates from the Tang Dynasty](618–907 CE) or earlier. The History of the Introduction of Tea from China to Europe, WinWinWorld Houseware Manufacturer & Supplier While references to tea in Chinese literature go back approximately 5,000 years, the origin of tea's use as a beverage is unclear. But the history of tea is fascinating, and in this section we can follow its story from the earliest times in Imperial China right up to its present place at the heart of British life. China is the birthplace of black tea, which in China is called, perhaps more appropriately, hong cha – red tea – after its the red colored tea it usually produces. From Chinese Emperors to Portuguese princesses, the history of tea is as rich as its taste. It's hard to exaggerate the importance of tea in Chinese culture. According to Chinese legend, the history of tea began in 2737 B.C.E. By the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), tea consumption began to resemble what it looks like today – a dried, loose-leaf tea steeped in boiling water inside a teapot. Shennong was famous for his wise edicts, and one such edict required that people boil their water before they drink it. Even before Joseph Banks (the first unofficial director of Kew) had pressed for a mission to China focussed on tea, he had already considered India. (Another interesting side effect for smokers is that tea hastens the discharge of nicotine from the body.) 1-Day Dragon Well Tea Culture and West Lake Tour: You will have chance to pick tea leaves in a tea plantation, learn the process of stir-frying tea, and visit the China National Tea Museum to learn Chinese tea classification and history. While boiling water in the garden, a leaf from an overhanging wild tea tree drifted into his pot. service@chinatravel.com; 86-773-286-5632 (Intl rates apply) 800-933-7181 (Free in USA & CA) Contact Us; China Tours. The History of Tea in Britain. The story of how black tea came to be is that an army from Jianxi entered the Fujian Province and camped at a nearby tea factory. He was immediately interested in the pleasant scent of the resulting brew, and drank some. Benefits, Uses, & Recipes, What Is Ceylon Tea? While references to tea in Chinese literature go back approximately 5,000 years, the origin of tea's use as a beverage is unclear. Writers and scholars praised tea for enhancing the mind and promoting wakefulness, as well as its various medicinal qualities. Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when leaves from a wild tree blew into his pot of boiling water. The elevation of tea drinking to an art form began in the 8th century, with the publication of Lu Yu's "The Classic Art of Tea." Apart from being drunk during meals, it is common to offer tea to one’s guests, and to perform tea ceremonies during weddings and Chinese New Year. BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR. (To be fair, his work also contained several practical tips for manufacturing tea, many of which are still in use today). The Silk Road was an ancient 7,000-kilometer trade route spanning from China to the … The act of drying the leaves also allowed for tea to be stored and transported as a consumer product. At various points throughout history, China's national drink has been designated as the state currency and used as cash. The origin of tea in China is credited to the legendary Emperor Shennong, who is said to have lived in the most ancient era of Chinese history. Yet the story of tea in Zen buddhism is unexpectedly glory! Today China’s best and most well known black teas in… of Chinese tea Knowing Chinese tea culture thoroughly is a wise way for people to explore the Chinese society and culture. In popular legend, it is said that once Bodhidharma, during a long bout of meditation, realised with a start that he had dozed off. Tea is made from the leaves of the cultivated tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Although the custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China, it was not until the mid 17th century that the beverage first appeared in England. Tea has even caused wars. The popular legend says tea was discovered by Emperor Shennong in ancient China. As a traditional drink, it has been planted and consumed for over five thousands years. 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