In its heyday tea was mostly used for medicinal purposes.
Its bitterness, not common in any other food or drink, was considered a health fuel.
It was found to be a soft stimulant, good for digestion and also an aid in general health and wellbeing.
It wasn’t until about the fifth century AD, when China’s upper class took to using tea as a gift or an honour at social and cultural events.
This practice has established tea as a special, at times sacred, drink.
The Chinese tea ceremony has developed and is now inseparable from both Chinese and tea culture.