Believe it or not tea drinking goes to almost 5000 years in China and India. Indeed sometimes you’re thinking what is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water? A typical coffee drinker might answer coffee, but in fact, those lattes and cappuccinos are not the ones who rank second. If it is not the product of Starbucks, then what it is? Yes, this title goes to the humble tea. From the ancient era to the modern times today, tea has stood up in the chart and has been brewing its leaves for centuries. It has been used for medicines, a morning ritual, or simply a flavorful drink. It has even evolved and infused with different and new flavors because of its inexplicable popularity.
The tea started its journey when it was first brewed thousands of years ago. Its first existence was even undetermined, but according to popular beliefs, this humble drink was first cultivated in the ancient China and India. Chinese even developed different myths as to the origin of the tea. One of the most popular myths is about the Shennon, mythical emperor of China. According to the legend, Shennon was drinking a hot cup of water one day when a breeze blew some leaves into his cup. Though he had the option of throwing away the water he was drinking, he continued sipping it and eventually enjoyed its flavor. Towards then, the emperor has been making his own drink, and kick started the popularity of it.
Tea drinking in the ancient times was most commonly used for medical purposes and even for traditional ceremonies in their country. But as the barter trading of the ancient world expands, the tea itself started its travel around the world.
The tea’s first stop was in Asia, where in it slowly influenced the other neighboring country of its origin. After that, it reached the Middle East in around 500 to 1000 A. D. It took some time for it to reach Europe in 1650, when the time of great west expansion was set. When the tea reached Europe, this humble drink has suddenly become a world’s favorite.
Although the tea today has so many variations, the main source of this beverage is still just one kind of plant, the Camellia Sinesis. From this one plant, its leaves can produce different kinds of tea depending on the age of the leaves and of its buds. A perfect example is the white tea and black tea; white tea comes from its young leaves, while the black tea comes from the fully oxidized leaves. On the other hand, the known herbal teas are just infused regular tea with different fruits, herbs or other plant products.
Tea drinking has traveled and evolved in so many ways. From one part of a country to the next, the tea really left a mark in its tradition and culture. It has been the favorite of the royals and emperors, to the simple people who just want to have a perfect cup of drink. Nonetheless, tea has been brewing for years, and will be brewing and growing for the thousands of years that will come.
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