• Home >
  • Articles >
  • The dark and delicious history of the humble cup of tea
Save Article Saved

The dark and delicious history of the humble cup of tea

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on April 11, 2016

The dark and delicious history of the humble cup of tea

A cup of tea is one of life’s simple pleasures, but there’s nothing simple about its history! First prized in China for its medicinal properties as well as its refreshing taste, over the centuries the humble tea plant has spread across the globe.

Origin – there are a number of legends surrounding the discovery of tea in China. One says that the Emperor of China, Shennong, was drinking a bowl of hot water when some leaves from a nearby tree fell into it. He took the bold step of drinking the leafy water, and tea was discovered!

2nd century BC – tea is first thought to have been drunk by Han Dynasty emperors.

760 AD – Tang Dynasty writer Lu Yu publishes ‘Cha Jing’ (The Classic of Tea), the first book on tea. During this time, tea was sold in bricks, which were often used as currency.

805 – Tea seeds are first brought to Japan

1400s – The Japanese tea ceremony was introduced during this century.

1615 – First recorded mention of tea in English.

1650 – Tea first appears publicly in England. From here, it’s introduced to British colonies.

1680 – Addition of milk to tea in Europe first mentioned. This is a new and exciting development in tea drinking.

1750 – Tea becomes the national drink of England. High Tea becomes begins the working class – an afternoon meal that was eaten standing up.

1773 – Boston Tea Party protests taxes on tea in the US. After the Revolution, tea consumption in America dropped sharply because it was seen to be unpatriotic.

1788 – The First Fleet arrives in Australia, carrying tea aboard. Aussies have loved a cuppa ever since.

1824 – Commercial production of tea introduced to India by the British, in an attempt to break China’s monopoly. (Indians had been drinking tea for centuries before this, though)

1830 – Afternoon Tea – usually cake, bread and butter and tea – is introduced by the 7th Duchess of Bedford and quickly becomes fashionable with the upper class. It allowed ladies to socialise while they waited for their husbands to return home for the evening meal.

1903 – The first tea bag patented in the US. A new revolution in convenient tea drinking begins!

1980 – Bubble tea is invented in Taiwan. It was first a mixture of hot black tea, condensed milk and tapioca pearls, but these days you can find it in heaps of fruit versions, as well as hot or cold.

2016 – Today, Turkey has the highest tea consumption per capita, with a whopping 7.5kg per person per year! China is still the biggest consumer of tea in the world all up, though.

  • Tags

  • Reviews

    Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DON'T HAVE A LOGIN? REGISTER NOW

LOST PASSWORD?

Use of this site constitutes acceptance
of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Please use only a-z,A-Z,0-9,dash and underscores, minimum 5 characters
Minimum 8 characters
Please wait...

REGISTERED ALREADY? LOGIN HERE

Use of this site constitutes acceptance
of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Create your new collection