Camellia sinensis also known as the "tea plant", originated specifically in the area point of confluence of the lands of southwest China, Tibet, northeast India, north Burma, and northeast India. The Yunnan Province has been identified as "the birthplace of tea", basically the first area where humans figured out that eating tea leaves or brewing them in a cup could be pleasant.

The earliest physical evidence known to date of when the Chinese first started consuming tea thousands of years ago, was found in 2016 and indicates that tea was imbibed by Han dynasty emperors in as early as the 2nd century BC, around 3000 to 4000 years ago.

Tea has since become a popular staple of the human diet across the globe, and today it is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world (behind water) and is found in almost 80% of all U.S. Households. Yep, tea isn't just a prominent feature of British culture and society.

Gently stimulating, vibrant, delicious, rich with history, and full with a range of flavors and potent health benefits tea certainly deserves to be the trendiest drink around. But, sadly, in the western world, we can’t seem to shake its image as the drink of grandmothers and of British people sipping tea and snacking on biscuits.

Tea is a fun and interesting drink, full of different flavors and aroma options that offer something for everyone - whether you like spicy or sweet, mild or bold, earthy or refreshing. So, it's time to ditch tea’s old reputation.

Enjoying and understanding tea is so much more than simply drinking dried leaves in water. So, whether you have a bold blend of flavorful Wise Ape tea herbs or English Breakfast teabags chilling out in your cupboard, we want to challenge you to dig deeper.

We want to challenge you to learn about the rich and diverse steeped history of tea, all of its amazing importance in culture, the myriad of varieties, and the incredible processes that go into producing that bag of Breakfast tea that’s in your pantry. Not only will this deepen your tea drinking experience but also help you discover why tea is so deserving of your appreciation and maybe even lead you to find out about new flavors and varieties of tea you might love.

How can you become more knowledgeable about tea? While we tea drinkers are known for being book lovers, we are actually going to recommend some must-watch documentaries for those in search of tea knowledge.

What's the Tea? Must Watch Tea Documentaries

Documentaries are not only important for visual learners but unlike books, this medium for storytelling can reach a broader audience and offers a vivid perspective. There are many tea documentaries with a documentary for every type of lover – from those interested in discovering tea cultures to those learning about the tea trade.

Unfortunately, none of these tea documentaries are available right now on major streaming services but we have provided links to where they can be found. With that said, let’s discover some of the best tea documentaries that’ll excite every tea drinker and enhance your knowledge and tea sipping experience. 

1. All In This Tea

During the 1990s, American tea connoisseur David Lee Hoffman travels across China, talking to everybody, from politicians and businessmen down to the farmers about buying good quality and the best hand-picked tea. Released in 2007, All In This Tea serves up some stunning visuals and will give you some fascinating insight into diverse organic and sustainable tea production. You can find this documentary to watch here.

2. The Tea Explorer

The 2017 documentary The Tea Explorer follows explorer and self-described “tea addict” Jeff Fuchs as he seeks out the world's rarest and most valuable tea. Jeff travels from the tea forests of south-west China over the Himalayas and down through the magnificent Kali Gandaki Gorge into Kathmandu, where the old tea traders once carried their leaves to market on the backs of mules. This is another vividly stunning documentary that puerh enthusiasts will particularly love. You can find this documentary to watch here.

3. The Tea Trail

A 2014 documentary, The Tea Trail follows Simon Reeve’s travels to East African countries Kenya and Uganda to meet some of the millions of people involved in producing tea and learn more about the processes involved. You’ll discover both the positive and negative sides of one of the more important tea industries in the world: Kenya and Uganda as you learn about the millions of people who pick, pack and transport our tea. You can find this documentary to watch here.

4. Nice Cup of Tea

If you’ve always been curious about Britain’s love affair with tea and how afternoon tea and scones have become an important part of British culture, then this tea-flick is for you. This 2014 documentary follows comedy legend Victoria Wood travels the globe to explore Britain's love affair with tea. Explore tea culture from the back streets of Kolkata, New York City, to the megacity of Shanghai, all in an attempt to understand why tea is so important to the British. You can find this documentary to watch here.

5. The Meaning of Tea

The 2008 documentary The Meaning of Tea directed by Scott Chamberlin Hoyt is an engaging and whimsical documentary film that explores the romance and complexities surrounding tea, a universally beloved and widely consumed beverage. This tea documentary is the perfect starting point for those on the search for general knowledge about tea and will make you feel truly connected with the many wonders of tea. There is also a book that is inspired by this lyrical documentary that we definitely recommend checking out. It also explores different places where tea is still revered and investigates its role in these societies. You can find this documentary to watch here.

6. Masala Chai

A 2017 film, Malala Chai is about the working situation of tea cooks, the so-called "chai wallahs" and their importance in Indian society. This is a touching documentary that not only explores the tea industry in India but showcases the work ethics and dreams and aspirations of hardworking people who have a ‘big’ impact on the world but aren’t actually "seen". You can find this documentary to watch here.

Sip On A Cuppa Tea and Enjoy These Must Watch Tea Documentaries!

Hopefully, this list of tea documentaries will inspire you to explore the vast and diverse culture of tea and maybe get into new flavors and varieties of this special and ancient drink.

Now, what're you waiting for? All this tea talk has got us craving a hot tea. Why don't you join us in enjoying a health-promoting and flavorful cup of tea? Here at Wise Ape Tea, we combine premium tea with adaptogenic herbs, crafted to create bright, flavorful organic wellness-driven tea combos. This is the evolution of tea.

Are there any tea documentaries that we missed?

What is your favorite fact about tea? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram at @WiseApeCo and/or use the hashtag #WiseApeTribe and we’ll share it!

What's the Tea? Must Watch Tea Documentaries

This informative article is written, by Sophia McKenzie. Sophia is head content creator and writer, for several premium websites, where her expertise lies in health, nutrition, and wellness. Her content focuses on providing and sharing doable solutions to help people truly thrive and live their happiest, healthiest, fulfilled lives.