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The use of tea in the form of medicines, primarily as an antidote, and then as a drink, originates in China. Tea was used as medicine during the Han Dynasty, and during the Tang Dynasty, it began to be consumed as a drink. At this time, the tea ceremony became a fashionable activity among the nobility and aristocrats. The second half of the first millennium dictates its new rules for the use of tea. Among them is refusal to make tea and adding salt to it.
The Song Dynasty brought along the use of leaf tea and tea powder. Tea from an aristocratic drink is becoming widespread, and the process of tea drinking has been turned into a Song tea ceremony, which was later borrowed by the Japanese. The popularity of various types of tea was described in a book about tea by the Chinese poet Lu Yu in 780.
The next stage (not the most pleasant) in the history of tea in China dates back to the 18th century, which is often associated with the Mongol invasion, when tea plantations were destroyed, and the mass culture of tea begins to lose its role. The revival of tea culture is associated with the era of the Ming Dynasty, during which the Chinese switched to loose tea, infused in hot water. This method of making tea was open to Europeans.
The political upheavals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in China, which include wars and revolutions of the first half of the twentieth century, were a major blow to the history of Chinese tea - all of Chinese culture and tea achievements in particular. So, until the first half of the XIX century, China completely lost its position in the global tea market. All this led to the death of tea traditions in China itself, but the Chinese diasporas of other states and Taiwan managed to preserve the culture of tea drinking.
In the mid-1970s, tea culture in China and Taiwan began to slowly come to life. From which follows the age of the modern history of tea culture, which is no more than 40 years old and which is not considered final.
Considering the legends about the usefulness of tea, one should not miss the story of the Chinese emperor Shen Nong, whose reign dates back to 2737-2697. BC. Shen Nun was also called the Divine Healer, due to the unusual properties of his transparent abdomen, with the help of which he helped people in the treatment of their diseases. According to legend, it was on a walk in the mountains that he tried and felt the vigor of a tea leaf that accidentally fell from a tree into its bowl.
The abundance of tea varieties and methods of drinking them, tea ceremonies, begin to take on the character of religious rites, the finest Chinese porcelain - all these are centuries-old traditions of Chinese mass culture. Here is such a difficult history of tea in China, where one can distinguish both ups and downs. Today, China is rich in its variety of tea varieties, both in consumption and in its production. Chinese tea exports are constantly growing.