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The History Of Tea To Your Table
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The History Of Tea to Your Table

Next to water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. You'll find it in every culture, in every land on earth. It's easy to see why so many people choose to drink tea for its exotic aromas and contribution to our well being. How did tea become so accessible and so popular?

The true origin is unknown, but we do have the earliest record in reference to drinking tea comes from China around the tenth century as well as tales dating back thousands of years. A popular tale speaks of Chinese Emperor Shan Nong in 2737 BC. He liked to boil his water before drinking it and legend has it a few dried camellia leaves blew his way and ended up in his cup. He soon noticed the pleasing aroma and took a sip. As he drank he began to feel energized and rejuvenated. The experience pleased him so much he gave a royal decree demanding that these bushes be planted in his palace and continued drinking teas regularly. The tradition spread.

Up until the fifth century AD, tea was mainly used for its medicinal purposes. It then became custom for China's upper class to use for worthy gifts and and social events. Tea ceremonies developed and spread to Japan who used tea mostly as an art form to be studied.

Around the seventeenth century tea was introduced to Europe by Dutch and Portuguese sailors. Initially the cost was too high to really spread to the western world, and again mainly used by the higher class aristocracy. Soon however, Britain began to import tea in greater quantities and the market soon grew becoming the most important trade item. By the eighteenth century tea became a beverage just about everyone could enjoy.

Shortly following tea was introduced to Northern America with tea houses sprouting in most areas. The trend had set in there as well. The twentieth century had a huge influence over the consumption of tea with the invention of the tea bag. Thomas Sullivan had the habit of selling his tea in small silk bags which lowered the price as well. Now the possibility of drinking tea without fancy tea preparing tools was making its way. The beverage became yet more popular throughout the world.

Tea crops all over the world focused now on growing quantity and quality of various kinds of teas. The twentieth century's focus on health and natural healing also played a large role on the production of teas with their many medicinal benefits. Today there are more than 2,000 types of teas from over 40 countries to choose from! It has never been a better time to have a cup of tea.


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