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Tea is a lovely evergreen plant, which first flourished in China about 5,000 years ago. A popular Chinese legend says that Emperor Shen Nung was sitting in his garden one day while his servant was boiling water for him to drink. A leaf from the tea plant under which the Emperor was sitting happened to fall into the boiling water, and the beverage we know today as hot tea was born. This fanciful story, whether true or not, highlights the simplicity of this refreshing drink—just tea leaves and hot water.
Deep in the mountains beyond Beijing,
Beyond the Yang-tse and the deep gorges,
The bamboo grows a thousand shades of green;
The panda mother rests among the shadowy stalks
Eating with her cub.
Higher on the hillside, the mists glisten
And even darker leaves twirl
In the twilight breeze.
These are the sacred trees
Whose leaves share the clean fragrance
With the green in our dreams.
The pure water from mountain rains
Cleanses these leaves,
And peace comes to those who drink
The precious elixir
With reverence and gratitude.