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The History of Tea

The History of Tea

Ever wonder how we got to the point of putting leaves and herbs into hot water to drink? Let's go over a brief history of of the iconic drink we all know and love. Legend has it tea originated almost 5,000 years ago when a  tea leaf blew into the pot of boiling water made up by Emperor Shen Nung of China. Right away he noticed the pleasant aroma created and decided to have a drink. He could not believe the warm and invigorating feeling the brew had brought his entire body; the legend of tea was born.

Originally every ingredient in tea had a purpose. While many were medicinal some were practical including putting cloves in tea to cure bad breath. Teas popularity continued to grow in China from the 4th through 8th centuries as plantations popped up all over the country and many started to consume the beverage on a daily basis. Green Tea was really the only type of tea available until the 17th century when tea growers discovered the ability to oxidize tea leaves into what we now know as Black Tea. One of the major benefits was that black tea preserved the flavor and lasted longer than its green counterparts which made it ideal for trade being shipped to different continents. This is why Black Tea became the tea of choice in European culture.

Tea quickly spread across the globe being traded from China to places like Japan and even having plants smuggled out of China to India creating the Indian Teas we love today grown from the same camellia sinensis plant. Tea controlled the global market for many years being the number one traded good in the world and changing international trading and shipping for ever. We've all heard of the East India Trading Company that helped bring tea to England and eventually North America and beyond. Of course America even has its own history of tea including a certain dumping of tea in the boston harbor as part of the countries independence. 

Ever wonder how tea bags came to be? In the early 1900's a New York tea merchant would ship samples of his loose leaf tea in small silk bags. Orders started pouring in and when he shipped them his loose leaf tea they wondered where the brilliant silk bags had gone that made drinking tea so easy? This of course led to the modern tea bag and him bringing his new invention to the Chicago Worlds Fair. While brief, there you have a history of our beloved beverage. We can't wait to see and be a part of the future of this amazing leaf.

Cheers,

Revival Tea Co.

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