To celebrate National Tea Day we’re taking a look at the history of tea traditions around the world.
Tea is cultivated in 18 of its 24 provinces and this vast country produces the greatest variety of tea, too. Green, black, oolong, white, yellow and pu-erh to name but a few. The history of tea here is long – it’s been drunk here for millennia – and complex, with scholars hailing it as a cure for a variety of ills, nobility considering it a benchmark of their status and everyone in between simply loving its flavour. Enjoy a visit to a traditional Chinese tea house as part of our Inspirational China tour
It’s here that the famous tea ceremony was born. The process is not actually about drinking tea but it’s a choreographed ritual about aesthetics. The host considers their guest with every movement and every gesture, demonstrating respect through grace and good etiquette. You can take part in a traditional tea ceremony when you visit Kyoto on our Japan Revealed tour
This is Africa’s largest tea-producing country and the major cash crop has been here since 1903, when seeds from India were first planted on a two-acre farm. Today, tea plantations of over a billion tea bushes cover more than 4,000 square miles, mostly in the highlands of the Great Rift Valley, where the air is cooler.
The central highlands of Sri Lanka also offer excellent tea-growing conditions, with cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall the perfect blend for cultivating the perfect blend! In the mid-1800s British planter James Taylor introduced tea plantations to this tiny island nation, then known as Ceylon, where he worked with Thomas Lipton to develop the tea industry. The rest, as they say, is history. Visit the lush tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and taste a cup in its purest form when you join our Sri Lanka – Pearl of the Indian Ocean Tour.
The British, through colonisation, also introduced tea to Australia. In fact, tea was aboard the First Fleet in 1788 when 11 ships made the voyage to the other side of the world to found the penal colony. Thanks to the country’s climate, tea grows well in the north, and just like us Brits modern Australians would never give up their daily cuppa – not for all the tea in China!