Behind every great passion is a story. The story of tea dates back nearly 5,000 years ago. The Chinese Emperor, Shennong, who was also know as the Emperor of 5 Grains taught the Ancient Chinese people all about the practices of agriculture, which advanced their culture and revolutionized the way they ate. His teachings were to let people learn how to cultivate and grow grain for food, which in turn would avoid killing as many animals as they had in the past. Shennong is also known to be the father of Chinese Medicine, as well as acupuncture. It is unknown whether Shennong really did live or not, which attributes to the mythology surrounding his teachings and questions of whether Shennong can be classified as a historical figure or not. For our purposes, either works, because a legend surrounds Shennong about the history of tea.
Legend has it that Shennong enjoyed the very first cup of tea on accident. On a hot summer day, Shhenong was visiting a region in his ruling territory, in the midst of his journey, he was tired and probably parched, so he and his servants stopped to take a rest. He had his servants boil water for him to drink, as he believed boiling hot was a hygienic precaution, which might ward off any internal dangers or diseases. While his servants were boiling this water, dried up leaves from the near by bush fell into their caldron of water. When these leaves fell into the boiling water, a brown liquid was infused into the water, which had never been seen before. Shennong was intrigued by this new liquid, so he drank the newly infused hot water. He found this liquid very interesting, and being curious, he drank some, and found it very refreshing. This is the legend of the first cup of tea, and the creation of tea as a drink. It is assumed that the bush that the dried leaves fell off of was a Tea shrub. Tea has since revolutionized and changed very much, however, this myth of the first cup is still so practical, and not very far-fetched that many people believe it to be related to the history of tea. It is difficult to ever really find out the facts of ancient history because events were rarely written down at the moments they was occurring. Whether you believe this to be the actual story of how tea was created is up to your imagination.