At least 1600. The first recorded reference to tea was made in 350 AD, when a Chinese dictionary cited it as Erh Ya. However, the legend has it that tea drinking began in 2737, when the second emperor of China, Shen Nung, discovered the beverage when tea leaves blew into his conveniently already hot cup of water.
Legend says that tea was first discovered in about 2700 BCE, which means tea has been around for 3300 years. The history of when tea was first used medicinally is unknown but the first reports of tea drinking were in China and date back to the first millennium.
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