Tea was first discovered over 5,000 years ago in China and originally was almost exclusively consumed for medicinal purposes or as an aid for meditation.
Tea was generally perceived to be bitter, so extra ingredients were added to it such as citrus, herbs and even onions and other additives to increase its palatability. Monks especially used it for meditation and alertness.
The art of making and drinking tea truly developed in feudal China during the Tang Dynasty (618 CE — 907 CE). This era is characterised by an intense interest in the developing culture surrounding the arts, which created a favourable atmosphere in which tea culture could truly flourish.