The history of tea is long and complicated, spreading across multiple cultures. Here we offer a brief summary for you.
As Anthropologies argues, Homo Erectus in the region of Yunnan chewed tea plants to stimulate itself for the long days of hunting and gathering food. The tea plant, commonly known as Camellia sinensis, is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae, whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea.
Chinese legends attribute the invention of tea to the mythical Shennong ("Divine Farmer" & "Agriculture God) around 2700 BC. He was known in Chinese folk as mythical ruler. It was believed that Shennong invented farming tools and discovered the medicinal properties of herbs for treating people's illnesses.
As a medical drink, tea originated from the Yunnan Region, during the Shang Dynasty 1600- 1040 BC. In the similar time, it is also believed that in Sichuan, people began to boil tea leaves, for consumption into a concentrated liquid medication, bitter yet stimulating.
The earliest written records of tea and the word tú 荼 appears in the classic collection of Chinese poetries "Shijing" (Book of Songs) XI - VII centuries BC.
The earliest known physical evidence of tea is from Han Dynasty as early as 188 BC.
Emperor Jing and Empresses Xiaojing of Han in the city of Xi'an enjoyed drinking tea from Camellia sinensis.
The Han dynasty diary "The Contract for a Youth", written by the poet Wang Bao in 59 BC, contains the first known reference to actual ceremonial preparation of tea.
The first record of tea farming and cultivation is dated to Emperor Xuan of Han 48 BC, during which tea was cultivated on Meng Mountain near Chengdu.
Another early evidence of tea drinking, dates to the 140 AD, in a medical text by Hua Tuo, who stated, "to drink tea constantly make life better."
However, before Tang dynasty, tea-drinking was primarily a southern Chinese practice.
It became widely popular during the rule of Emperor Taizong and Empress Zhangsun 626-649 AD from Tang Dynasty, during which was spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Laozi, the classical Chinese philosopher, describes the tea as the "Discover the history of".