When we enjoy a good cup of tea we rarely give much thought to the social benefits this wonderful beverage has given to the citizens of the world.
It can be said that the increase in populations in China (and later India), with the subsequent surge of their cultural and economic development, would not have happened without the drinking of tea.
It is not because tea is an aphrodisiac, though that claim has sometimes been made.
Quite simply, the widespread drinking of tea required the boiling of water thus eliminating the many water borne diseases that unboiled water carried!
It also became a relatively cheap and convenient drink of sustenance – for farmers in Asia and manual workers during the Industrial Revolution.