Where did Green tea come from? From the corner store? From overseas? From the tea plant? Yes is the answer to all of those questions, well except the first one… That wouldn’t make any sense! See we may all buy our Green tea from different places and it may come in different packages yet it all came from one origin, one source, one history.
The origin of Green tea
I like to think of the word ‘origin’ as having the same base meaning of the word ‘history’. The only difference being the origin of something doesn’t let facts hold it back, it has a little ‘made up fantasy’ to it. The origin of Green tea is no different.
Green tea is said to have begun in the year 2737 BC with the mythical sage Emperor Shennong. Emperor Shennong is very popular in Chinese mythology of medicine and agriculture. It was said that Emperor Shennong was one day sitting below a tree, gazing out across a vast, wild tea valley. This was nothing new for the Emperor who loved to gaze upon the beauty of nature while sipping upon a cup of wood fired warm water.
It was on one particular day, when the wind was blowing across the valley in wild, unpredictable gusts that some leaves from the valley whipped up and landed in his cup. He did not worry to clean them out, rather he let them sit and fuse into his water for he knew the universe sent messages through the hands of nature.
The water in his cup began to change to a darker colour, it produced an aroma so fresh that the Emperor did not fear it to be an ill poison. He took a sip of from his cup, delighted and ecstatic, refreshed and poised, the Emperor had just discovered Green tea.
The history of Green tea
The history of Green tea follows a similar path, originally the leaves were chewed and this is documented up to 3000 years ago (across many parts of South East Asia). It wasn’t until the 5th century (in China) that Green tea became a ceremonial drink and during this time the steaming of Green tea leaves was mastered.
The masters of Green tea are the Japanese, although they joined the game a little late (18th century) they truly perfected the mechanical process of ‘fixing the green’ in Green tea. Fixing the green is the use of heat to stop oxygen from affecting the leaves. Imagine a green apple, if you slice open the apple and leave it out the apple will turn brown. If you took that same apple as soon as you sliced it and placed it in boiling water, the apple would retain it’s green colour.
The source of Green tea
Where is your tea sourced? If you like your Green tea in Matcha form then the best stuff will be coming in from Japan. In fact if you like your Green tea to be as green as a frog then sourcing your leaves from Japan is best.
Most of the Green tea coming out of China will be a more yellow/green, this is because of the harvest/production methods.
I recommend getting Green tea in Matcha (powder) form from Japan. Matcha gives you access to all the benefits of drinking Green tea because you are ingesting the whole leaf.
I have left a link below to GoldMatcha, one of my affiliate partners in tea.
Where did our green tea come from?
I like to keep things unique and mysterious, so while the facts all point to our Green tea coming in from 5th century China and Matcha Green tea coming in from 18th century Japan. Is it not to crazy to believe that Emperor Shennong is rising up through the steam in our cups when we drink Green tea? That the mystical sage provides us all with such a beautiful and beneficial brew?
I don’t think so….
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All the best and all the tea
Founder of TEA, your style