Tea o' clock

A narrative on history of Tea

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and from sugary Turkish Rize tea to salty Tibetan butter tea, there are almost as many ways of preparing the beverage as there are cultures on the globe. Where did this beverage originate, and how did it become so popular?

Emperor Shen Nong

Origin and Discovery

Our history of tea begins with the legend of the “divine farmer” Shen Nong. During a long day spent roaming the forest in search of edible grains and herbs, it is said that he accidentally poisoned himself 72 times. But before the poison could end his life, a leaf drifted into his mouth. He chewed on it and it revived him, and that is how the tea was discovered, as the ancient legend goes.
A Japanese Monk brought first tea plant to Japan

Spread to Japan

In 9th century during Tong’s dynasty, a Japanese monk brought the first tea plant to Japan. The Japanese eventually developed their own unique rituals around tea, leading to the creation of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

China’s Monopoly

In 14th century during Ming dynasty, the Chinese Emperor  shifted the standard from tea pressed into cakes to loose leaf tea. At this point China still had virtual monopoly on the world’s tea trees, making tea one of the three essential Chinese export goods along with Porcelain and Silk. This gave China a great deal of power and economic influence.
6000 Years Ago
9th Century
14th Century
16th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century