Tea is appreciated by most of us – we drink it when we are feeling sad or happy, rejuvenated or in need of rejuvenation; we drink it when we go on dates, meet with family, work; green, black, berry, fruit blend – there are hundreds of different tea types and brands and we drink them all. Around the world, there is probably no drink that is drunk as much as tea is, besides water. But how did this tea culture start?
Several legends exist about the appearance of tea as a drink, with the most probable being that of Chinese Emperor Shan Nong, around 2737 B.C. The Emperor thought that drinking hot-boiled water was much better for your health (he actually suggested the entire nation to do just that). The story of tea began one day when a few tea leaves accidentally fell into his boiling water and gave off a rich, pleasant aroma. Emperor Shan Nong tried the drink and was surprised to find it refreshing. Prior to this moment, tea bushes were only planted as a decorative plant; after this incident, the Emperor gave a command to plant them throughout the palace gardens and later everywhere in the Empire to be used for brewing.
Later, this tea culture spread throughout the world. In Japan, tea became the drink of religious classes around the 6th century, when it was brought from China by envoys sent to the country to learn about Chinese culture.
In India, several tribes are known to have consumed tea as early as the 12th century, though commercial production of tea began with the reign of the British East India Company. It is this company that started to introduce a culture of tea to the West and using fertile lands of the Indian continent for tea plantations.
Tea became a drink of choice for the elite in England, France, Russia, Germany, and the Americas. Because of the long time of delivery – it took several months to get tea either from China or from India to the West – tea was a commodity and in a way a drive for progress – it was used as a substitute for coins in China, a symbol of high status in Europe and was the reason for the invention of a type of a fast sail boat that shortened the time it took for tea shipments to be delivered to the West. Such great lengths were taken to possess tea because of the drink’s healing benefits.
Almost 5000 years ago in China tea was found to have many great health benefits, which are proven to this day. In Chinese folk medicine tea was used to treat infectious diseases, flues, colds, nervous conditions, and digestive problems. It was used to help control bleeding, heal wounds and regulate body temperature. Today, we know that tea leaves contain a high amount of polyphenols, which prevent deterioration of blood vessels. We also know that tea, green or black, is a great antioxidant.
Research shows that tea lowers the risk of cancer, assists with weight loss, lowers cholesterol, and calms the nervous system. It is great for our cognitive system and brings us a feeling of euphoria and serenity. It has fluoride and thus strengthens our bones. Simply, tea is great for us!
Tea is grown and enjoyed in Korea, Iran, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, Australia, Africa, and many other countries. Whether you have long appreciated the tea culture or just starting out, we offer a great variety of international teas of different types and flavors that will, without a doubt, suit your needs.
Stay healthy and drink more tea!