Tea is so much apart of our lives that we rarely stop to think about where it came from and how it became the world’s favorite drink. And considering that many of us enjoy at least two-three cups of tea a day it’s important that we known exactly where it came from.
The origins of tea date back to Imperial China and legend has it that tea was discovered in 2737 B.C. by the somewhat mythical emperor Shennong, whose name means the Divine Farmer and is considered to be the ancient Chinese Father of Agriculture.
The discovery of tea happened by accident after Shennong was boiling drinking water and a light breeze caused a leaf from a wild tea bush to fall into the boiling water. The tea leaf then began to infuse in the water, creating a pot of tea, marking the first ever infusion of the tea leaf. Emperor Shennong was intrigued by the aromatic fragrance and took a sip only to be amazed at how refreshing and flavourful it was. And there you have it, the first cup of tea.
In the beginning, tea was used in ritual offerings. Then, tea leaves were eaten as a vegetable, or used in medicine. Until the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, tea was a new drink.
Since Shennong's accidental discovery, tea has been grown and enjoyed throughout the world. Over time, tea has made an incredible journey from Imperial China to North America and new variations, flavors, production methods, and tea rituals. Today tea continues to be a taste and culture adventure and can be enjoyed any time and anywhere, which is why it’s easily the world’s favourite drink.