tea timeline, tea history, tea legend
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MORE TEA FACTS - scroll down or click below:

     Tea Timeline (below)

     High Tea/Low Tea - What's the Difference?




Tea Timeline

from A Little Indulgence -- TEA ©2005 CQ Products.

2737 BC 

Shen Nung, the Second Emperor of China, discovered tea.


400-600 AD

The demand for tea rose steadily.  Farmers began to cultivate tea, rather than harvest leaves.



Chinese author, Lu Yu, wrote the first book on tea "Ch'a Ching".  It comprises three inclusive volumes covering everything from the growth of tea to its historical summary, as well as utensils for making tea.



Buddhist monk, Saicho, brought tea seeds from China to Japan and planted them in Yeisan.



Powdered tea became common and beautiful ceramic tea accessories became popular.



Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan conquered Chinese territories and established a Mongolian dynasty.  Tea fell from high status and became an ordinary drink.



The Ming dynasty in China.  People began to, once again, enjoy tea.  The new method of preparation was steeping whole leaves in water.  Lighter colored ceramic was developed in order to see the resulting pale liquid.



The Zen priest, Murato Shuko, created the Japanese tea ceremony, which is called "Cha No Yu," meaning "hot water for tea."



The Dutch traded dried sage for tea in China and brought the drink to Europe.



Tea was first sold in England at Garway's Coffee House in London.



The yearly importation of tea grew to approximately 800,000 pounds in England.



The Tea Act of 1773 gave the East India Company control of trading in the Americas, imposing taxes and levies on the colonists.  Objection to the Act led to the infamous Boston Tea Party.



The East India Company enjoyed its monopoly on the tea trade for 250 years.  Independent merchants campaigned for change and modernization, which was achieved in 1833.



Tea companies blossomed in Britain and gave customers a wide variety of choices by blending, branding, and packaging tea themselves.



Richard Blechynden created iced tea for the St. Louis World Fair.



Thomas Sullivan invented tea bags by mistake.  He sent tea to clients in New York wrapped in silk bags, which they steeped in hot water without opening.



A National Tea Control was brought in and tea was split into three grades and sold at a fixed retail price.



After a slump in the tea trade, Britain and the UK began to recover.  However, the economy collapsed with World War II and tea was rationed from 1940 until October 1952.



India is the country with the most tea consumption in the world, averaging 651,000 metric tons per year.  The USA is the number one consumer of iced tea, consuming between 80% and 85% of our total tea in that manner.

Timeline above from A Little Indulgence -- TEA ©2005 CQ Products. The information is used by permission of CQ ProductsThis is copyrighted property and may not be re-printed or used in any manner without proper authority from the publisher.  



from A Little Indulgence -- TEA ©2005 CQ Products.

HIGH TEA:  The term "High Tea" is often misused because people think the names sounds lofty and regal.  High Tea, in fact, refers to tea that was served at a high dining table rather than a low tea table.  During the Industrial Revolution, the second half of the Victorian Era, working class families would return home exhausted after a long day.  The table would be set with foods like Welsh rabbit, shepherd's pie, steak, bread, butter, potatoes, pickles, cheese and tea.


LOW TEA: Also known as Afternoon Tea, Low Tea was usually taken late in the afternoon.  It was taken in the sitting room where low tables, like coffee tables, were placed near chairs and sofas.  Tiny tea sandwiches, scones and pastries were served with Afternoon Tea.  These finger foods were ideal, as the small bites allowed for guests to easily maintain conversation.


TEA ROOMS:  As teas became more popular, Tea Rooms sprang up throughout England and many served tea daily from 3 to 5 in the afternoon.  Today most Tea Rooms offer three basic types of Afternoon Tea:

        Cream Tea -- tea served with scones, jam and cream.

        Light Tea -- tea served with scones and sweets.

        Full Tea -- tea served with savories, scones and dessert.


This above description of High & Low Teas is from A Little Indulgence -- TEA ©2005 CQ Products. The information is used by permission of CQ ProductsThis is copyrighted property and may not be re-printed or used in any manner without proper authority from the publisher.

2003 - present