China Bayles and the History of Tea

I love China Bayles. I know, I know – she’s fictional; the creation of Susan Wittig Albert. She owns an herb shop in Pecan Springs, TX. I would love to visit. Albert has published “China Bayles’ Book of Days”. I seriously recommend it. Her June 8th entry provides some information on the history of tea and its legends. “According to Chinese legend, the first cup of tea was brewed about 5000 years ago by Shen Nong, a.k.a. The Divine Cultivator. One day, he was boiling water outdoors when leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) blew off a nearby bush and dropped into the water. The Divine Cultivator tasted the brew and found that it hit the spot. A cup of tea was on on everyone’s table.”

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