Legend has it that the first cup of tea was brewed in 2737 B.C. when dried leaves landed in a boiling cup of water served to the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. From China, the idea of "tea" spread throughout the world. It was introduced into the United States in 1650 by Peter Stuyvesant when he brought it the colonists inhabiting New Amsterdam (what is now New York). Iced tea was invented at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Also in 1904, teabags made their appearance commercially. Today, iced tea is approximately 80% of the 140 million cups of tea ingested every day by Americans. Tea can also be used to stain fabric, make cold compresses for swollen eyes, and even soothe sunburns. Tea is one of the four most common sources of caffeine for Americans.
Caffeine was discovered in 1819 by Friedlieb Runge. Runge was given a box of Arabian mocha beans by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe asked Runge to analyze the beans. It was from this sample that Runge isolated the world's first sample of pure caffeine. Caffeine can be found in 63 species of plants.[Back to Marshall Fellowship]