who created tea

who created tea

Who Created Tea?

Tea is one of the oldest beverages in the world and has origins in China. It has been enjoyed for more than 4,000 years and has been influential in many countries and cultures. The question of who created tea is complex and the answer is closely tied to Chinese culture and the formation of Buddhism.

Tea in Ancient China

Tea has been consumed in China for centuries and is closely linked to Chinese culture, religion and even alchemy. According to Chinese legend, the discovery of tea was made by Shennong sometime during the third century BCE. Shennong was an emperor and one of the earliest agriculturalists in Chinese history. He is credited for introducing the use of tea to help in the discovery of food and medicine and wrote the first known book on herbal medicine. Tea was used as a medicine at the time and was believed by some to contain magical properties.

The Spread of Tea and the Formation of Buddhism

Tea was initially used in China, but eventually spread to other countries in Southeast Asia and Japan. Buddhist monks played a major role in the spread of tea and the development of the tea ceremony. During the Tang Dynasty, a monk brought back tea seeds and tea plants from Japan which were planted in the hills of southern China. Tea then spread throughout China as Buddhist monks took to cultivating and drinking it as part of their spiritual practice.

Tea Today

Today, tea is still an important part of culture in many countries, especially in Asia. It is the second most popular beverage in the world (after water) and is now grown and enjoyed all around the world. Tea is also used for medicinal purposes and is acclaimed for its health benefits.


In conclusion, tea has been a part of Chinese culture for centuries and it is unclear who exactly created it. However, it is thought that the ancient Chinese Emperor, Shennong, is credited with introducing tea to the world and its spread can be largely attributed to Buddhist monks. Tea is now enjoyed globally and used for its various health benefits.


  • Huang, J. (2013). “The Cultural History of Tea.” Tea for Me Please.
  • Montague, T. (2018). “Who Created Tea?” The Spruce Eats.
  • Wang, C., & Hong, Y. (2013). “A brief history of tea.” Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.


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