While China is known as the birthplace of tea, Korea was the first location outside of China to fully adopt it. However, it wasn’t initially very popular, due to Korea’s colder climate. Growers had difficulty cultivating tea locally, so it was farmed only by the most dedicated of individuals — usually Buddhist monks who used it for meditation. Koreans originally thought green tea arrived even before its first official records. The most credible account involves a Chinese princess marrying the founder of the Gaya Kingdom, who had brought tea with her from China as a gift. This resulted in tea becoming a ritual gift in Korea — tea was given as a tribute to one’s ancestors during the Lunar New Year and the Harvest Festival.