500 million cups drunk every day, nearly 4 million tons produced each year: tea is the most consumed drink in the world after water. If in some countries it is an integral part of culture, today these many beneficial health benefits make tea the star drink shared by the vast majority of the world's population. But what are the origins of this extraordinary beverage? Legend has it that Shen Nong, Chinese mythological emperor, discovered in 2737 BC the benefits of an infusion of a leaf fallen in his bowl of hot water when he was drowsy under the shadow of a large wild shrub in The forests of Yunnan. Today, the majestic and venerable tea trees are numerous in southern Yunnan, where the mythical Pu'er tea, China's most expensive tea, is unique, unique in form, aroma and ancient method of making. Packaged in biscuit or brick, it is the only vintage tea of China that is improved with age and whose prices can reach several hundreds or a few thousand euros. In the tea plantations of Yunnan, the tea-plants are not pruned and the gatherers perched on the trees struggle to reach the buds, which amazes anyone who is accustomed to small well-aligned shrubs. It was in Sichuan, a few hundred miles to the north, that about two thousand years ago the Taoist monk Wu Lizhen domesticated the tea plant and planted the first tea gardens in the sacred mountains of Mengding. Today the effigy of this founding father is omnipresent in the small town of Mingshan which lives to the rhythm of tea, a green ocean as far as the eye can see as the only decor. The quintessence of the millennial nectar is still found in these original mountains, judging by the extraordinary effervescence generated by the activities around tea in this ancient and rural China, far from modern cities. Villagers, with their hoods on their backs overflowing with tea buds, flocked in from all sides, elbowing to offer their crops of the day to the representatives of the factories. In this early spring, which is considered the best season, the region is a must for wholesalers from all over the country to find the best harvests. In the wholesale market, tea is inspected sheet by sheet, infused to appreciate its aroma, its color, here we speak of these qualities as we speak of vintage wines, and it is by hundreds of kilos that business is treated.