A 30 year old pu erh cake is old? Guess what Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that a tea has been found in the tombs of the Han Dynasty Emperor Jing Di who died in 141 BC.
The leaves of this at least 2150 year old tea are identified to be the finest consisting of tea buds and small unopened leaves. This proofs that he really loved tea!
Other items found included weapons, pottery figurines, an ‘army’ of ceramic animals and several real full size chariots complete with their horses. While this is pretty extravagant, those items are more usual for tombs in Chang’an (today known also as Xian). Good news is that the tomb can now be visited.
May 2016 UPDATE
This new record old tea is now recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.
The oldest tea leaves are now also displayed in the Han Yang Ling museum of Xian! Here’s a sneak preview
Tea Loving Jing Di Emperor
After some research we found that the tea drinking emperor Jing Di was a pretty important and popular person in the Han Dynasty. He was a fairly liberal ruler who was determined to give people a better living standard by slashing taxes and reducing the power of the aristocracy.