Korean "teas" predate the introduction of tea plants to Korea. Early varieties of cha were most likely medicinal in nature and were derived from various plants, lichens, and fungi based on the perceived health benefits of each. Some were used to flavor water and make the medicinal drinks somewhat more palatable.
Green and / or black tea made it's appearance possibly during the three kingdoms period and maybe even earlier. There is a legend that Princess Suriratna of India (who became Queen Heo Hwang-ok) brought tea plants from India to Korea approximately 48 to 50 AD.
Did You Know?
Korean "Teas" include drinks made from ginger, ginseng, corn, barley, chrysanthemum, pine needles, and much more.