how old is tea

how old is tea

How Old is Tea?

Tea is one of the oldest (and also most popular!) beverages in the world, with roots that go as far back as 2700 BC. It has been enjoyed by all major civilizations since then, and is now the most consumed beverage in the world outside of water.

Origins of Tea

Tea originated in the Yunnan province of south-west China where legend suggests it was discovered by Shen Nong, an early Chinese emperor. He is believed to have been boiling water in his garden when a leaf from the wild tea tree fell into his pot and infused his water with a pleasant fragrance. Shen Nong enjoyed the flavour of the new beverage and continued to drink it regularly.

The Spread of Tea

From China, tea spread to Japan and then to India, eventually becoming popular across Europe in the 17th century. It was particularly popular in the UK and it is now part of a centuries-old tradition to drink tea in the afternoon.

Types of Tea

There are many types of tea, all of which are usually derived from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. Some of the more popular varieties include:

  • Green Tea
  • Black Tea
  • Oolong Tea
  • White Tea


Tea is over four thousand years old, making it one of the oldest beverage in the world. It has been part of many cultures for centuries, and is enjoyed by people from all over the globe. From simple green tea to black tea and oolong tea, there is a type of tea for every taste.


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