In the taste of a single cup of tea you will eventually discover the truth of all the ten thousand forms in the universe. It is difficult to put this taste into words or to even catch a hint of it. – THE VENERABLE CH’AN (ZEN) Master Kyongbong Sunim, In John Blofield’s THE CHINESE ART OF TEA (1985)
In Asia, lies the origin of tea. It is not known exactly when tea began as a beverage. Folklore puts the first use of tea as a beverage around 2700BC, but actual written references date back to 350BC. Regardless of which date you choose to believe, tea drinking, particularly in Asia has been around for a long time.
Originally, tea was valued for its medicinal qualities. It has long been known that tea aids in digestion, which is why many Asians prefer to consume it after their meal. Believed to be the healthiest variety of tea, White Teas are very popular in Asia. Other types of teas popular in Asia include the many varieties of Green Teas, Black Teas, and Oolong Teas.
The Chinese also enjoy scented teas, which are a mixture of flowers and petals with green or oolong teas. The most popular of these is Jasmine Tea. The Chinese also used tea in their cooking, such as tea smoked duck.