Tea as a beverage was first consumed in China and the earliest extant mention of tea in literature is the Classic of Poetry, although the ideogram used (荼) in these texts can also designate a variety of plants, such as sowthistle and thrush.
Chinese literature contains a significant number of ancient treatises on tea. Together, there exist approximately one hundred monographs or treatises on tea published from the Tang dynasty through the end of the Ming dynasty. The more famous books on tea are listed below.
Eisai (Yosai) came to Tiantai mountain of Zhejiang to study Chan (Zen) Buddhism (1168 AD); when he returned home in 1193 AD, he brought tea from China to Japan, planted it and wrote the first Japanese treatise on tea, called Kissa yojoki (喫茶養生記, Treatise on Drinking Tea for Health). This was the beginning of tea cultivation and tea culture in Japan.