They say the second emperor of China, Shen Nung, discovered tea. We do not know if this is correct but in about 350 A.D. a Chinese dictionary cites tea for the first time as Erh Ya.
Europeans first learn about tea in 1589 when a Venetian author credits the lengthy lives of Asians to their tea drinking. In about 1610 the Dutch start to bring back green tea from Japan. The Dutch East India Company market the tea as an exotic medicinal drink, but it’s so expensive only the aristocracy can afford it.