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Origins of tea

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

China is the source of tea tree planting and tea drinking. Tea trees and skills on tea collecting and making are directly or indirectly introduced from China. The pronunciations of tea is different cultures are all from Chinese local dialects. In China, there are more than 20 provinces and districts producing tea all over China.


It is certain that China is the earliest country to plant, make and use tea in the world, but where the origin of tea tree was caused hot argument. Recently, after the study of tea history, scholars made an agreement that Southeast of China including Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan Provinces are the origins of the world tea trees.

Do you know the legend of Shennong in China?
Legend of Shennong

In Chinese mythology Shennong taught humans the use of the plow together with other aspects of basic agriculture, the use of medicinal plants, and was a god of the burning wind.

Who created the first tea book in the world?

The Classic of Tea is the first monograph on tea in the world, written by Chinese writer Lu Yu between 760 A.D. and 780 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty (8th Century). In the book, he mentioned that tea as a drink, starts from Shennong and becomes well-know by King of Luzhou (1100B.C.). So Shennong was honoured the first person to drink tea and discover tea in record history.

Speaking of the discovery of tea it was written in the first pharmacology book Shennong's Herbal also mentioned that Shennong tasted various herbals, and suffered from 72 poisons one day. Fortunately, he was cured after he took a kind of herbal called TEA.


Relevant Content: Classic of Tea

Classic of Tea (760-780 A.D)

According to Tea Lore, Lu Yu was an orphan of Jinling county (now Tianmen county, Hubei Province) who was adopted by a Buddhist monk of the Dragon Cloud Monastery. He refused to take up the monastic robes and was assigned menial jobs by his stepfather. Lu Yu ran away and joined the circus as a clown. At age 14, Lu Yu was discovered by the local governor Li Qiwu who offered Lu Yu the use of his library and the opportunity to study with a teacher. During the An Lushan and Shi Siming rebellion period, Lu Yu retired to Shaoqi (now Wuxing county, Zhejiang Province). During this period, Lu Yu made friends with many literati, including the calligrapher Yan Zhenqing and the poet Huang Pu Zheng and wrote his masterpiece: Classic of Tea.

For Lu Yu, tea symbolised the harmony and mysterious unity of the Universe. "He invested the Classic of Tea with the concept that dominated the religious thought of his age, whether Buddhist, Taoist, or Confucian: to see in the particular an expression of the universal".


Tea, grows in the south part of China

- famous tea scholar Lu Yu Classic of Tea

Enshi tea plantation, Hubei Province China 2020

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