History Of Tea

Written by Seth Cotterell
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The story of tea is a long and fascinating one. Scholars have devoted entire careers to studying the history and social significance of tea around the world. While the full and complete history of tea can never be known, most experts do agree on the general spread of tea around the world from its origins in China.

The Long History of Tea

To know the history of tea, we must go back a long way. Tea was first discovered almost 5,000 years ago. In one of those intriguing historical oddities like the discovery of penicillin, tea was actually discovered by accident. The legend varies slightly depending on where you are and who is telling the story, but it is generally agreed that tea was accidentally discovered in China by a servant in the emperor's court. The first uses of tea were for therapeutic reasons by this emperor, and tea has been used medicinally ever since.

A drink as healthy and refreshing as tea certainly couldn't stay a secret forever. In time, tea began to appear in other cultures, and there too it gained a place of great social prominence. After China, tea's next stop on its global expansion was Japan. In Japan, tea was welcomed with open arms. The Japanese tea ceremony is perhaps the most beautiful expression of a culture's reverence for food and drink anywhere.

From Asia, tea made its way to Europe, America, and around the world. European traders had heavy contact with Asian countries and tea was one of their primary commodities. European settlers in the New World brought their appreciation for tea with them, and it found a new home in America.

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