Tea likely originated in Yunnan, China during 1500 BC–1046 BC. The earliest credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text.
These Chinese tea sets were designed and made for the imperial family:
The teapots below were displayed in the museums in Xian and Shanghai, dated between 16th to 18th century:
This ceramic kettle, dated 907 to 960 AD, is a national treasure in the Shaanx Museum, China. One of the uniquenesses of this kettle is that the body, lid, and beam are in one body:
Take a look of how the kettle works…
I really enjoyed the tea we had in China, I still remember the pleasant smell and wonderful taste. Here is a lovely tea package I bought at the airport:
Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century, they then introduced tea production, as well as consumption to India, to compete with the Chinese monopoly on tea. More in Wikipedia… But, tea was introduced to Middle East to par of Europe through the Silk Road http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road.