According to Chinese legend, Emperor Chen-nung invented tea in 2374 BC–by accident. One summer day, he decided to relax beneath a shrub tree and place a bowl of boiling water beside him. Soon after, a soft breeze blew a few shrub leaves into the bowl, where they began to steep. After smelling the delicate aroma, Emperor Chen-nung tasted the infusion, and thus, tea was born.
Though the story remains up for debate, no one argues that the shrub Emperor Chen-nung sat under (the Camellia sinensis, or tea, tree) hails from China, nor that the country was the first to brew the drink. The popular modern method of infusion developed gradually, becoming prevalent by the Ming dynasty when drinking tea started to take on symbolic qualities. It began to signify more than a beverage, but a ritual, too, representing discipline and beauty. Read More