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tea around the world

by Dianna Leon

Considered the second most popular drink in the world (the first is water), tea has existed since ancient times, initially disseminated in Chinese territory. Currently, Great Britain is the biggest tea importer on the Planet and also responsible for the greatest consumption of this liquid.

Among the most popular historical accounts is that the beginning of this aromatic drink took place during the empire of Sheng Nong, in China, the emperor popularly known as the Divine Healer. It is said that in order to contain the spread of epidemic outbreaks, at the time, Nong ordered a law that forced the population to boil water before drinking it.


The beginning of everything…

It is also reported that, on a given day, the monarch would have left a cup of boiling water to rest next to a tree. Later, leaves would have fallen into the liquid leaving it with a brown hue and a pleasant taste. Thus would have started the spread of cultivation and consumption of tea around the world.

This historical account is related to the tea prepared by Buddhist monks with leaves of Camellia sinensis , originally from the Himalayas, during the Tang Dynasty (618-906). Also during this time, in the 8th century, the Chinese monk Lu Yu wrote the first important work that addressed the cultivation of tea, called “Ch’a Ching”. From that period onwards, China already exerted a strong influence on the spread of tea around the world.

Advancing across the Planet

In the ninth century, Japanese monks were already spreading herb seeds throughout the country, further expanding the culture of tea that, later, would make Japan, along with China, a pioneer nation in terms of the consumption of this drink.

In Europe, the arrival of tea took place gradually, initially through Russia and Central Asia. Years later, from the end of the 15th century, the Portuguese ships, when disembarking in Lisbon, sent the tea to Holland and France. During this period there was a spread, in fact, throughout the European continent.

It was then from the 19th century onwards that the tea culture landed, in fact, in English territory and became a tradition in England. Thus, the drink quickly reached Australia and the Americas, where it expanded to countries like Canada and the United States.

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