Green Tea History

What Is The History Of Green Tea Part 2

Europe – 1517 to 1600s

As Japan began to make green tea its own, travelers soon learned of its magical, mysterious properties and would return home to tell their families of what they had seen. News of this wonderful plant soon traveled throughout the world, and it wasn’t long until green tea was first introduced to Europe. In the year 1517, Portuguese traders first brought green tea to Europe by way of China. Instantly well-received, Chinese green tea was marveled upon by Europeans, and soon became one of the most highly-regarded commodities available.

Word of green tea and its benefits quickly traveled throughout Europe, even in regions far from where it was introduced. 1559 saw the writings of a Venetian Merchant, entitled “Voyages and Travels,” in which the merchant spent a good deal of time talking about the many health benefits of drinking green tea. The merchant also took the time to explain just how culturally significant the tea was, and how important of an impact it would likely have on Europe and the rest of the world.

As the merchant predicted, green tea continued to spread throughout the world like wildfire. Many people see 1657 as being one of the most pivotal years for green tea’s assimilation into the rest of the world, as it was in this year that the tea first began to be sold in London. London, which today is known as one of the world’s tea drinking capitals, quickly took to the magical leaves and soon became a hotbed for green tea drinking. The fact that London was a major port didn’t hurt either, as green tea finally reached the point where it could be traded and transported throughout the world.

Green Tea in North America – 1600s to Present

It wasn’t long after green tea began being traded in London that it ended up in North America. The tea was first brought to America in the 1600s by the Dutch, and is thought to have first popped up in New York. Green tea fast became one of the many drinks of choice for New Yorkers, and was enjoyed without any sweetening or augmentation. As the drink spread throughout the city, its popularity grew exponentially. Soon, it was the most popular tea drink in the country, and was drunk by common people as well as the extremely wealthy and elite.

In 1774, the Boston Tea Party changed everything for green tea in America. Soon after, the country found itself mainly concerned with the drinking of English tea, or black tea. Once the prepackaging of tea became the norm, it became fairly difficult to even find green tea in America. Since black tea had all but taken over, producers found it to be financially irresponsible to continue to sell green tea. Fortunately, this came to an end some years later.

Over the course of the recent past (1960 to Present), green tea has found a large resurgence around the world, and especially in America. As the world continues to be fixated on living healthy, the immense health benefits of green tea soon became popular, and before long green tea was again immensely popular. To this day, it remains one of the most popular types of drinks in the world, and is marketed in America and elsewhere as an elixir for one’s health. With China and India being some of the world’s largest producers of tea (and some 30 countries in the world cultivating the plant), it’s safe to say that its popularity will only increase as time goes on. With its delicious flavor and incredible health benefits, it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to drink green tea.

What Is The History Of Green Tea Part 1

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks on the planet. The sad fact, however, is that many of the people who drink it – even those who drink it on a regular basis – are completely in the dark about its history and origins. Thousands of years old, it is one of the oldest beverages that is still popularly consumed, and benefits from a rich history of culture and ingenuity.

Chinese Origins – 350 AD to 729 AD

While the history of green tea is certainly full of mystery and unknowns, it is agreed upon by historians throughout the world that the tea originated in China approximately five thousand years ago. According to Chinese legend, a man named Shien Non Shei discovered green tea leaves, tasted them and was instantly won over by their pungent, almost medicinal qualities. Most historians agree that discovery eventually led to experimentation, where the leaves would eventually be found to benefit most from hot (but never boiling) water, turning them into a delicious beverage with mysterious qualities.Chinese Tea History

Soon after the discovery of green tea, the drink quickly became a mainstay for Chinese royalty and wealthy individuals, who were the first to drink green tea on a regular basis. At one point, it was even used as currency, as it held significant value and was tough to come about for those who were poor or did not have connections to royalty. The first known Chinese account of green tea’s health benefits is thought to have been written by a man named Lu Yu and is entitled “The Classic of Tea.” The book elaborates on each of the many supposed health benefits, which are surprisingly similar to what most scientists and doctors believe today.

While green tea was first reserved for the elite as it commanded quite a high price, it was bound to disseminate through the rest of China at some point, which is exactly what it did after 1368 AD’s fall of the Mongolian Empire. Suddenly, China’s entire population had access to green tea, and the drink was no longer reserved only for royalty and the rich. It was only a matter of time before green tea began to spread further. Eventually, small tea houses began to spring up in communities, becoming some of the first social watering holes in the world. Tea makers soon became artisans, respected among the community in the same way doctors and lawyers are respected today.

On to Japan – 729 AD to 1517 AD

Once green tea made its way to Japan, it found an audience that was hot to progress the tea to a whole new level. Green tea cultivation is thought to have began in Japan in the year 729 AD, a time when the emperor would give Buddhist monks gifts of powdered green tea. With the unveiling of such varieties as Sencha and Matcha, green tea finally began to come into its own. The Japanese assimilated green tea very quickly, and it fast became just as wholly identified with Japan as it did China.

It wasn’t long until Japan had its own authoritative book on the wonders of green tea. Written in 1211 AD by a Japanese man named Eisai Myoan, “Tea Drinking is Good for your Health” had an immediate impact on the people of Japan and the way green tea was viewed in the country. The growing popularity of green tea in Japan hit its apex in the 1400s when a Japanese Zen priest created the country’s first tea ceremony, one that would live on for hundreds of years into the future.