Can you still count the tea bags you’ve brewed in your entire life? We bet you can’t, but with those countless tea bags, have you ever thought about the history of tea? If not, this is the time to revisit history and know more about one of the most consumed beverages in the world, aside from water.
The Legend of the Tea
5,000 years ago, there was an Emperor named Shen Nung. It was a windy 2732 B.C. afternoon and a perfect day to boil some water when suddenly the Emperor smelled a pleasant scent. He checked and investigated where the fragrant aroma is coming from. He sniffed and sniffed until he discovered the scent is coming from the water he is boiling.
Emperor Shen Nung was surprised to know that the leaves from a wild tree were blown into the pot of boiling water, which is causing the fragrant scent. The Emperor couldn’t resist the inviting aroma and drank some of the accidentally brewed tea.
Versions of legends of tea
While holding his chest, Emperor Shen Nung felt the warmness of the brewed tea, which traversed in every vein of his body. Then, he named the drink “ch’a” which suggests the meaning, ‘to check’ or ‘investigate.’
In 200 B.C., there was a ruling from an Emperor of the Han Dynasty with regards to the particular written character in referring to tea. The symbol should be illustrated with wooden branches, grass, and a man in the middle. The pronunciation of the written character “ch’a," symbolizes a significant balance brought by tea to humankind and nature.
Continuation of Legend to History
Tea is not only seen as a simple beverage during that time in China, but it also signifies the country's significant culture in history that has been brought in today’s time.
The tea culture became popular in the 4th century and promptly grown up to the 8th century. During this time, the transition of tea as a medicinal cure to being a significant everyday refreshment and beverage began.
The plantation of tea has spread throughout China and became one of the valuable markets in those times. The Chinese tea culture began to be prominent as tea wares became one of the indications for high status and wealth.
During those times, tea production is valued most by the Chinese empires that only young women were allowed to pick the tea leaves. These women are not permitted to eat strong spices such as onion and garlic to avoid contaminating the odor to the valuable tea leaves.
As time passed by, China shared its tea culture in several countries until it became widely known all over the world. Tea cultures from the other side of the world were also born.