SCROLL TO FIND OUT MORE

History

800

By this time in China, tea was enjoyed by the nobility as an elegant past-time. At the height of the Tang dynasty, the poet Lu Yu wrote the first book on tea 'Cha Ching' or 'The Tea Code' describing its botany, processing, infusing and tasting techniques. The book is today considered a classic literary text.


900

Tea was introduced to Japan by a Buddhist monk named Saicho. Tea penetrated into the rest of Asia and the Middle East through on-land trade routes before reaching Europe.


1298

By this time in China, tea was enjoyed by the nobility as an elegant past-time. At the height of the Tang dynasty, the poet Lu Yu wrote the first book on tea 'Cha Ching' or 'The Tea Code' describing its botany, processing, infusing and tasting techniques. The book is today considered a classic literary text.


1484

Tea's popularity reaches its height when Zen priest Murata Shuko introduced the 'Cha-no-Yu' or 'Hot Water for Tea' ceremony which celebrates the physical, mental as well as spiritual aspects of tea preparation and drinking.


1298

By this time in China, tea was enjoyed by the nobility as an elegant past-time. At the height of the Tang dynasty, the poet Lu Yu wrote the first book on tea 'Cha Ching' or 'The Tea Code' describing its botany, processing, infusing and tasting techniques. The book is today considered a classic literary text.


1560

The first European to personally encounter tea and write about it was the Portuguese Jesuit Father Jasper de Cruz, a missionary on Portugal's first commercial trade journey to China. Portugal, the most advanced navy at that time, was the first European country to gain the right of trade with China.


1610

Tea catches on in the West. The French East India Company established regular trade relations with the Far East, introducing tea into Holland in 1610, France in 1636 and England in 1650.


1644

Under the charter granted by Elizabeth I, the East India Company had been in contact with China since 1637 but tea only appears on import documents in this year.


1662

King Charles II of England marries the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza who introduces and makes popular the custom of drinking tea in England.


 
1773

American nationalists dump crates of tea from a British ship into the sea in protest over rising taxes imposed by the British colonists. Known today as the Boston Tea Party, the riot served as a catalyst for the American War of Independence.


1800s

Tea grows in demand across the globe. Competition between shipowners for the speediest transportation of tea along the Far East shipping routes lead to the development of the Tea Clipper races


1870

Ceylon (today, Sri Lanka), one of the biggest names in tea, was a late bloomer. Up to 1870, the country had grown only coffee but in this year, a severe coffee blight attacked and threatened to destroy the entire industry overnight. Panicking, Ceylonese coffee planters turned to the wild Ceylonese tea plant in a desperate gamble to save their fortunes. The bet paid off. Today, Ceylonese tea is widely regarded as some of the best teas in the world.


1929

J.A. Russell, businessman, scholar and tea pioneer, established Malaysia's first Highlands tea plantations in Cameron Highland


1940s

The United Kingdom is considered to have the highest tea consumption in the world. The country's love of tea is perhaps best represented by the tea card phenomenon which gripped the country during this period. Tea cards were illustrated cards contained in packets of loose leaf tea. Meant to be collected by children as their parents bought tea for household consumption, these cards are now valuable collectors' items, many of which have been illustrated by renowned artists.


Today

India is today's foremost tea-producing country followed by China, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Other major players are Turkey, USSR, Indonesia and Japan.


 

 



Print
BACK TO TOP