China is considered the birthplace of tea. Over the centuries Chinese culture produced colorful tea names like Dragonwell, Lapsang Souchong and Oolong that can be a challenge to differentiate when you are looking to buy Chinese tea online. It helps to know the backstory.
Tea history in China is so rich and complex it can be difficult to separate fact from myth. The most popular founding myth is recounted from 2737 bc when Emperor Shen Nong, the “Divine Emperor,” put some water on to boil and fell asleep. Some leaves fell into the pot and when he awoke he drank the water and found it bitter tasting but appreciated the stimulating effect it had on him. From there a cultural obsession was born and diverse and complex methods of tea preparation flourished.
Three dynasties represent the three ages of Chinese tea: the Tang dynasty (brick/powder/soup) from 618-907; the Song dynasty (leaves/beaten/whipped) from 960-1279 and; the Ming dynasty (brewed) from 1368-1644. The Qing dynasty, from 1644-1914, is responsible for the naming of prestigious teas we know today, including classic Dragonwell, smoky Lapsang Souchong, and nuanced Oolongs.
As Chinese cultures have evolved so have different ways of cultivating and drinking tea. One thing, however, remains the same…tea is an essential part of everyday life.
China produces all six types of tea and we source unique cultivars from many different growing regions and terroir. Browse our wide selection and buy Chinese tea online today!