Tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

An influential source of pleasure

Tea is humanity’s most popular drink, surpassed only by water. Its value in trade has changed history in many ways. For example, tea has boosted the independence of the USA, caused wars, and resulted in the enslavement of hundreds of thousands in South East Asia. Teatime is also a daily source of joy and pleasure for millions of people. The tea shrub is one of the most influential plants in the world.

The tea plant is originally from South East Asia, where it grows in a wide variety of climates. According to legend, tea was invented approximately 5000 years ago, when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a tree while his servant boiled water for drinking. Leaves from a tea shrub were blown into the water, and the emperor decided to taste the concoction.

The leaves and buds of the tea shrub are used to make tea. The age of the leaves, the soil, climate, harvest schedule and fermentation all have an impact on the taste. A vast variety of different flavours can be created by combining different types of tea.

Buds on a tea plant.
The tea plant grows up to 6-30 meters high in the wild. The tea plants in the Mediterranean room are kept the small by cutting them regularly.