Jan Huygen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch spy, merchant, traveller and writer.

He travelled extensively along the East Indies regions under Portuguese influence and served as the archbishop's secretary in Goa between 1583 and 1588. He is credited with publishing in Europe important classified information about Asian trade and navigation that was hidden by the Portuguese. In 1596, he published a book, Itinerario, which graphically displayed for the first time in Europe detailed maps of voyages to the East Indies, particularly India.

He kept an extensive diary. One observation was his description of a beverage brought in from China:

“The aforesaid warme water is made with the poder of a certaine hearbe called Chaa.”

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