Oldest tea leaves
Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Hanyanling musuem
2,100 year(s)
China (Xi'an)

The oldest tea leaves ever discovered are around 2,100 years old and were discovered by the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (China) during their excavation of the Han Yang Ling Mausoleum between 1998 and 2005.

The discovery of the tea shows that tea was grown 2,100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca. 200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded.