Tea is now the world’s second most drunk beverage after water.
People not only enjoy tea as a welcoming beverage, but also for its health benefits – as it is an excellent source of antioxidants. Its reputed efficiencies include weight management, fighting bacteria and tooth decay.
But how did tea start becoming the "the elixir for the immortals"?
Here we are going to explore some of the legends and stories about the origin of tea.
Legend has it that the Chinese emperor Shen Nung discovered tea circa 2737 BC.
Shen Nung was regarded as one of the most important ancestors in Chinese history. He tasted many herbs (some poisonous) and is the father of Chinese medicine.
One day some leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant were blown into his bowl of hot water. Noting the delightful aroma, he tasted it and declared it “Heaven sent!”
Check out this fantastic documentary about tea - "Chinese Tea: Elixir of the Orient". It explores how tea became an integral part in forming the [China's] country’s culture as well as being thought of as its signature drink.
While most agree tea originates in China, there is another school of thoughts I came across that suggest tea, in fact started its root back in India.
History of tea drinking in India dates back to 750 BC. It was said that it began with a Buddhist monk about 2000 years ago.
This monk later became the founder of Zen Buddhism
Legend says this monk was in his meditation when he almost fell asleep. So he took some leaves from a nearby bush and began chewing them. These leaves revived him and kept him alert. And that was the humble beginning of tea.