This month BRUU’s been celebrating National Tea Day as we packed our bags and headed to the official launch party at London’s beautiful Kensington Gardens. We had a wonderful time and it was fantastic to meet so many of our members on the stand – thank you to those that came and said hello.
National Tea Day is observed in the United Kingdom every year on the 21st April to celebrate the drinking of tea. Parties at tea rooms, hotels, pubs and cafés as well as charitable fundraising events are held across the country. I suppose as a nation of tea drinkers it makes sense that the UK has a day dedicated to it, right?!
Tea is often thought of as being a quintessentially British drink yet despite us drinking it for over 350 years the true history of tea goes much further...
The story of tea began in China. According to legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was a Camellia Sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea.
Since then tea was consumed throughout China and many large tea containers have since been found in tombs dating back to 206BC. Soon after it was introduced to Japan by monks studying in China. So, at this stage in the history of tea, Europe was rather lagging. In the latter half of the sixteenth century there were the first brief mentions of tea as a drink among Europeans. In 1606, the first consignment of tea was shipped from China to Holland but was reserved for the wealthy.
Britain always a little suspicious of continental trends had yet to become the nation of tea drinkers it is today. However, it was the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza that would prove to be a turning point in the history of tea in Britain. She was a Portuguese princess, and a tea addict, and it was her love of the drink that established tea as a fashionable beverage first at court, and then among the wealthy classes. Capitalising on this, the East India Company began to import tea into Britain, its first order being placed in 1664 for 100lbs of China tea to be shipped from Java. So, tea isn’t so British after all!
In the build up to NTD the nation has been voting on their favourite teas which has inspired this month’s box: -
Good Morning Grapefruit – The UK’s favourite time to drink tea is in the morning and this blend of grapefruit with our high grown Ceylon black creates an amazing alternative breakfast tea. The bittersweet character of the grapefruit complements the piquant Ceylon tea flavour. Try with a pinch of sugar.
Popcorn Green – A speciality Japanese green tea that's blended with fire toasted rice. High grade sencha leaves provide the fresh vegetative character of green tea whilst the toasted rice brings a slightly nutty-like flavour and natural sweetness. A unique and delicious tea often known as Genmaicha.
After Eights – If you're looking for that healthy, great tasting after dinner treat, then look no further. A smooth mint chocolate rooibos herbal tea that is packed with goodness without a hint of guilt! Cocoa pieces and organic peppermint are combined with premium grade one South African rooibos tea to bring a refreshing, healthy drink that tastes just as good as it sounds. Mmmm go on, enjoy...you can!
Have a fantastic May and look out for some exciting changes in next month’s BRUU delivery.