Key dates in the history of tea
Early, up to 16th centuryEdit
- 2737 BCE According to legend, Chinese Emperor Shennong discovers tea.
- 760 Tang Dynast writer Lu Yu (陸羽) (729-804) publishes 'Cha Jing' (茶經) the first tea book.
- 1269 'Pictorial of Tea Ware' (茶具图赞) compiled by Shenan (审安老人).
- 1597 First mention of tea in English.
17th and 18th centuriesEdit
- 1601 English East India Company founded.
- 1610 Dutch East India Company market tea.
- 1657 Tea sold at Garaway's Coffee House, London.
- 1664 The English East India Company present Charles II with some tea.
- 1680 Addition of milk to tea in Europe was first mentioned, by the epistolist Madame de Sévigné
- 1679 First of the London Tea Auctions held.
- 1706 Twinings founded.
- 1744 First attempt at tea cultivation in the United States.
- 1750 Tea production began in the Azores, Portugal.
- 1772 Tea first successfully cultivated in the United States.
- 1773 The Boston Tea Party protesting taxes on tea: leads to the development of the Boston Tea Company.
- 1799 French botanist Francois Andre Michaux, brought the Camellia sinensis plant to the United States and gave it to Henry Middleton.
- Dutch East India Company declared bankrupt.
- 1822 The Tetley brothers started in business.
- 1826 Dutch introduced tea cultivation in Java.
- Tea planting in the Indian district of Darjeeling had begun Dr. Campbell, a civil surgeon of the Indian Medical Service. Campbell was transferred to Darjeeling in 1839 and used seeds from China to begin experimental tea planting, a practice he and others continued during the 1840s. The government also established tea nurseries during that period. Commercial development began during the 1850s
- February 1854 Planters' Association of Ceylon originated.
- 1856 Joseph Tetley & Company, Wholesale Tea Dealers established.
- 1867 Tea first sown in Ceylon/Sri Lanka
- 1867 James Taylor established a tea factory at Loolecondera
- 1869 Cutty Sark clipper built - the last merchant ship to be so built. Coffee-rust fungus destroyed most of the coffee plants in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka): this led to the establishment of the tea industry there.
- 1872 James Taylor started upon the construction of a larger tea factory in Loolecondera.
- 1883 Skilled workers from the Macau Region of China introduced into Portugal.
- 1900 Scientific Department of Indian Tea Association (ITA) established.
- 1903 First patents on tea bags. Indian Tea Cess Bill. Tea Manufacture Experiment Station established - later becoming the Tea Research and Extension Station
- 1904 First commercial sale of tea bags. Benjamin Ginsberg, Russian immigrant to Southern Africa became interested in Roobois and started its commercial development.
- 1906 The Book of Tea (茶の本) by Okakura Kakuzō published.
- 1911 Tocklai Experimental Station established, India.
- 1924 Mrs Florence Philips, a tea planter's wife smuggled a box of tea seeds out of India and these were planed in Chipinge (Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe): led to the development of the tea industry in the then colony.
- 1930 PG Tips launched.
- 1946 Nestle USA introduced the first instant tea, Nestea
- 1953 Clanwilliam Tea Cooperative established South Africa.
- 1953 Tea Act India established the Tea Board of India
- 1954 Rooibos Tea Control Board established.
- 1958 Rain Flower tea developed.
- 1964 Tea Research Association TRA established, India, with Tocklai as the centre of activities.
- 1 January 1976 Sri Lanka Tea Board established.
- 1977 Tea Ordinance 1977 established the Bangladesh Tea Board.
- 1984 Museum of Tea Ware founded.
- 1980 Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute, previously known as Lu Yu Tea Art Center founded in Taipei, Taiwan
- 1987 The Charleston Tea Plantation established in its present form.
- 1991 Hangzhou National Tea Museum opened.
- 1992 Museum to commemorate James Taylor built in Ceylon.
- 1993 Tenfu Tea Museum, China, founded.
- 1995 Tetley Group created.
- 1997 Last of the London Tea Auctions held. Ethical Tea Partnership established.
- 1999 Brooke Bond tea cards ceased production. Tea began to be grown as a commercial crop on the Tregothnan estate is in Cornwall, UK, with the first harvest in 2005.
- 2007 Tenfu Tea College established.