Tea is the name of both a plant and the beverage obtained from it, which is usually drunk hot. Tea consists of the young leaf shoots from the plant Camellia sinensis and has been used by humans for at least 1700 years.

In China, tea was originally used for medical purposes at the end of the 4th century AD. For more than two hundred years, the Chinese kept the cultivation and processing of tea a secret. Bushes, cuttings and seeds were not allowed to leave the country. It was usually traded for silver.

In Sweden, Linnaeus attempted tea cultivation, but failed and instead recommended domestically available substitutes such as mint leaves.