Although tea has been consumed for more than 4,000 years, its popularity in the western world is not quite as old. But when it did arrive, it was received with open arms and lots of sugar cubes.
A Chinese emperor, Shen Nung, is credited for being the first to discover tea (2737 BC). Legends say he once accidentally dropped a leaf from an overhanging wild tea tree into a pot of boiling water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the brew and found it very refreshing. This is said to be the origin of tea drinking in China.
From its humble origins in China, tea has traveled across the globe to be beloved by millions of people around the world. Since that time, there have been many developments in tea’s history. From the introduction of tea to Europe in 1610 by Portuguese and Dutch traders to adding milk to tea in 1706 by British dairy farmers to the invention of sweetened iced tea in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, tea has evolved along with our tastes and customs.
The following infographic documents tea’s journey from a medicinal elixir to a refreshing beverage of choice.