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“Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities.”
– KAKUZO OKAKURA

IN THE BEGINNING...

References to green tea in Chinese literature date as far back as 5000 years ago. Legend has it that tea was first discovered by the Emperor Shen Nung. He rested beneath a tree whilst his servant prepared some water on the fire. The wind picked up and blew a leaf from the tree into the warm water. The Emperor decided to try the liquor and instantly felt revived. The tree he sat under, was a tea tree.

Map

Green tea made its way from China to Japan in the 800’s. A Buddhist monk returning to Japan, brought with him the seeds of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The Japanese went on to develop their famous teas such as Sencha, Matcha and Bancha.

As tea grew in popularity, fine teas were only available to those that could afford them, so tea drinking became a pastime of the rich. Green teas were even used as currency!

MORE THAN TEA

Green tea drinking was not just about the tea itself. Tea became an art form with different producers manufacturing their own stylish and functional tea making equipment.

Elaborate tea ceremonies were developed using these specialised utensils. Tea houses began to appear and the tea connoissers would pride themselves on the quality of their leaves and tea making skills.

TEA FOR EVERYONE

With improved agricultural techniques, the price of tea became cheaper. This enabled even the poorest of families to enjoy the social luxury and health benefits of tea drinking.

Tea trade

Eventually tea was brought to Europe in the 1600’s, when The Dutch East India Company was formed and established trading links with China. By the 1700‘s Britain was importing more than 100,000lbs of tea a year. Thomas Twinning proudly opened the very first teahouse in Britain in 1717.

Since then tea drinking has blossomed and tea is now the second most popular drink on the planet! Green tea in particular is continuing to increase its fan base.

 

 

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