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China; The Birthplace of Tea

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Tea, is one of the most popular beverages in the world and we have China to thank for that. In China tea consumption is a practice of daily life. According to legend tea was discovered many centuries ago by Shen Nung whose name means Divine Farmer. Shen Nung who was a Chinese Emperor always liked to drink his water boiled because he felt that boiled water was cleaner. While on a distant trip, Emperor Shen Nung stopped to rest. A servant began boiling water for the emperor to drink and dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water and a brown substance was infused into the water. Being a scientist Emperor Shen Nung tried the liquid and found it to taste very refreshing. Thus tea (cha) was created in 2737 BC.

Originally tea leaves were processed into compressed cake forms. The dried teacake (called brick tea) was ground in a stone mortar. Hot water was added to the powdered tea cakes and was boiled in earthenware kettles than consumed as a hot beverage. Then in the mid 13-c…