China is the birthplace of tea.Over 5,000 years ago, according to legend Emperor Shen Nung tasted leaves from a wild tree that had fallen into a pot of boiling water. This was in 2732 B.C.
The leaves were from the camellia sinensis tree. Shen Nung named it 'ch'a' the Chinese character meaning to check or investigate.
Black tea came later, in the mid-17th century.The Chinese wanted to preserve tea leaves with a special fermentation process. This made it easier to export than the delicate green tea leaves. Once black tea came about, it was recognized to have more flavor and aroma. It also lasted on the long journey's from China to Europe.
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