History of Tea

  • Circa 2700 B.C. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung discovers tea 
  • Circa 725 B.C. T’ang Dynasty: Ch’a, tea in Chinese, becomes part of daily life  
  • 805 A.D. Dengo Daishi, Buddhist patron saint of Japanese Tea, introduces tea growing in Japan  
  • 1191 After centuries of neglect, the cultivation of tea in Japan is revived by the Buddhist Abbot Yesai, who subsequently published the first Japanese tea book.  
  • 1500 Ming Dynasty: in imitation of spouted wine earthenware, the first teapots were made at Yi-Xang, near Shanghai famous for its clays. Black, green and oolong tea become prevalent. 
  • 1610 Tea reaches Europe for the first time, carried by the Dutch from a trading station in Bantam, Java. They buy tea from Chinese merchants, who speak the Amoy dialect and therefore refer to the product as "Tea". 
  • 1623 The first annual public Japanese tea ritual, known as the "Tea Journey" is held.
  • 1657 Garway’s Coffee house in London holds the first public sale of tea. Garway’s starts to advertise the "Vertues of the leaf tea".
  • 1680 Madame de la Sabliere, wife of the French poet, introduces France to the custom of drinking tea with milk. Pouring the milk into the cup of hot tea cooled the tea slightly, making it less apt to break her cherished eggshell porcelain tea cups.
  • 1773 On December 16, at the Boston Tea Party, American colonists dump the entire Boston consignment of the John Company’s tea into the harbor in protest of the exorbitant tea tax.
  • 1856 The first tea is planted in the Darjeeling District of Northern India. 
  • 1900 The last camel caravan carrying tea departs Peking for Russia. During the same year, the last link of the Trans-Siberian railroad is completed. 1904 Due to the unbearable heat, iced tea is invented at the St. Louis World’s fair. Dr Shepard’s South Carolina grown tea wins "Best in Show" medal.
  • 1908 Mr. William Sullivan, tea merchant in New York, inadvertently invents the tea bag.
  • 1925 Africa passes the million-pound mark in tea shipments. Brooke Bond begins buying land and planting tea in Kenya. 
  • 1958 Three Hundred years after China tea was first introduced to England, it is sold there for the first time by its Chinese producers.