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How Drinking Tea Began

According to Chinese legend, the pleasure and health benefits of drinking tea were first discovered in 2727 BC by the Emperor Shen Nung, a scholar and herbalist who regularly consumed boiled water for its hygienic qualities.

One day the emperor was resting under a wild tea bush, now known as the Camellia sinensis plant, and the wind blew a tea leaf into his simmering water. He drank the resulting concoction and found it to be energizing and delicious.

While there is no actual evidence of this occurrence, there is documented reference of tea consumption during the third century AD when a Chinese doctor recommended the brew for medicinal purposes to help with alertness and concentration.

Throughout history, drinking and sharing tea have been integral components of rituals and ceremonies. It has been used to help with alertness during long periods of meditation.

The caffeine content of a cup of brew is around 50 milligrams depending on the strength and amount consumed.

Folklore of India suggests that the founder of Buddhism, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, was frustrated that he couldn’t stay awake while meditation and removed his eyelids.

In their place a tea plant took root, providing him with the power to stay awake, meditate and reach enlightenment.

Whether these stories represent myth or fact, there is agreement that tea consumption began over 5,000 years ago.

Since then, black, green, oolong (wu-long), and white tea varieties, which all come from the Camellia sinensis evergreen shrub, have made their way around the world. Today, tea is the most popular and frequently consumed beverage next to water.

Related Articles

Camellia Sinensis Plant
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Black Tea: An Overview
Drinking Oolong / Wu-Long Tea


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