When you think of ancient China, you might think of tea.
Legend says ... Around 2737 BCE, a Chinese Emperor was sitting his garden. He had a pot of drinking water at his elbow. A leaf fell off a nearby bush and drifted into the pot of water. And tea-drinking was born!
Word of this new beverage spread very slowly. Confucius probably never tasted tea, and tea really didn't become popular until T'ang times.
Tea drinking in ancient China never had all the customs attached to it that became part of the Japanese tea drinking ceremony, but tea was enjoyed. The selection of the right teapot used to brew the tea was just as important as the selection of the type of tea itself. Little packets of tea were given as gifts by Emperors. The word t'e comes from the ancient Chinese.