Tea is the most popular beverage worldwide, not counting water. Every country drinks tea in some shape of form. That’s because it has a history almost as old as time itself.
It was traded to Asian nations first. However, in Chinese folklore, it is said that Emperor Shennong was the one to discover tea in 2737 BC. According to the story, leaves from a tea tree blew right into his boiling pot of water. It emitted a sensational aroma so he tried it, and the rest is history.
Even though it was around prior to that time period, China is still considered the place where tea came to be. Regardless of which story you choose to believe, tea spread from China in the 8th century to surrounding areas.
In 1618, China presented it to Russia’s Tsar Alexis. The Portuguese were the ones to spread it into Europe though. Astoundingly, Great Britain was the last of the European nations to get this “new” old beverage, in 1662. As an imported luxury, it was a drink for royalty. To this day, tea is still highly regarded in England though the price has become affordable for everyone. In olden days, it was something only the wealthy could afford and they were careful to have portraits painted showcasing themselves drinking the beverage fit for a king.
Now in modern times, tea is everywhere and very accessible. Which type you choose to drink is all a matter of preference. You’ll find that there are thousands of different types of tea. True teas all come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. Those teas are divided into four categories: white tea, rich with antioxidants and a delightful yet mellow nectar-infused flavor; green tea, an incredibly popular tea with EGCG, the most potent antioxidants of all, oolong tea, one of the world’s most sought-after and expensive teas; and black tea, the most popular of tea types in the Western world with Earl Grey and English Breakfast Tea the most chosen selections. Beyond the true teas, you’ll find herbal teas which are made from a variety of different plants, like chamomile for example, one of the most soothing teas for relieving stress and promoting relaxation for restfulness.
You’ll find teas in tea bags or sold loose where you’ll need a strainer to keep from sipping the leaves up. It’s really a matter of preference. Which one will you fill your cup with?