The history of the tea appearance is surrounded by a number of legends. Some of the Chinese legends relate it to
the times of creation of the Heavens and the Earth associated with the name of the mythical ninth son of the
Emperor of the Sun, the inventor of medicine and agriculture, Shen Nung.
The divine husbandman Shen Nung ruled from 2737 to 2697 BC in Southern China.
He left the herbal behind him in which he described the properties of herbs and trees. Tea leaves that have a
positive effect on human body physiological properties was indicated in the list among the other plants.
In accordance with the legend, the Chinese had a habit to boil water before drinking, so once Shen Nung
ordered to boil water under one of the trees at his place. A few leaves from this tree blown by the wind fell into
the boiling water. To his surprise, the drink had a pleasant flavour and a wonderful aroma. The drink excited the
Emperor to such an extent that he issued a decree on consumption of the new drink all over the country.
A number of ancient Chinese philosophers composed songs wrote poems and expressed their opinions about
the tea advantages. They said that it is better than wine, as it does not cause alcoholic intoxication, better than
water, as it does not transfer infectious diseases.
In accordance with the history of India, there is a legend about the successor of Buddha, Bodhidharma, who
proliferating the religion in China gave the oath to observe and to contemplate for seven years. On the fifth year
of his prayerful contemplation, travelling around Southern China, he somehow tore several leaves from the
nearest bush and started chewing them. The flavour was bitter, but they cheered and refreshed Bodhidharma.
Thanks to their wonderful effect, he managed to endure the following two years. Those were the leaves from the
tea bush from which until now tea – the drink of cheerfulness, health and longevity – is made.
The word “tea” and the word “cheerfulness” in Chinese are denoted by one and the same hieroglyph.