Who Discovered Tea?

There are many tales about how the Camellia sinensis bush was discovered and used to make the drink we all know as "tea." Most of these tales are very interesting legends but they have no historical basis. For example, in Buddhism it is commonly told that the founder of the Zen School of Buddhism was meditating in front of a large structured wall for nearly nine full years and he had mistakenly fell asleep. When he awoke and realized he had fallen asleep he felt morally weak and in his anger he cut off his eyelids. His eyelids bloodily fell into the ground, took root as if they were destined for planting, and grew into full and luxurious Camellia sinensis bushes. He then took the tea and made a drink of it.

The most commonly told legend about the discovery of tea is a Chinese legend. It is the most probable of the many legends out there surrounding the discovery of tea. The Chinese legend explains that the Emperor of China and famed inventor of Chinese medicine and Chinese agriculture, Shennong, was purifying his drinking water by boiling it. This was his purification process and custom. This particular time the wind was blowing ferociously and it blew tea leaves from a nearby Camellia sinensis bush into his now boiling water. He noticed the water's new aroma and changed color. The Emperor was always testing new things and tested the newly discovered tea and was refreshed and thoroughly enjoyed the newfound tea. In his many tests Emperor Shennong had found that tea cured many toxic potions and mixtures and that tea was a universal medicine with numerous applications.

While we may never actually know how tea was discovered, we should be happy that it was and enjoy the many variations of tea and the innumerable benefits of the tea we so richly enjoy today! If you have not had exotic and gourmet teas before you need to try Silver Leaf Tea Company's full line of hundreds of fresh, quality teas!