The celebration of tea takes place in many cultures of the world, and within each culture there are customs and rituals associated with taking tea. In Eastern cultures China, home to the tea plant, has been using tea as medicine and later as a source of entertainment and hospitality for almost 5,000 years.
In Japan, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Cha Do, or Way of Tea is surrounded by a philosophy of the uniqueness of each moment linking host and guest, balance between the refined and nature, and peacefulness through a bowl of tea.
Japanese Tea Ceremony, Chado
Tea was introduced to Japan along with Zen Buddhism in the 13th century by the monk Eisai, who brought tea seed back to Japan with him from China. The tea ceremony as known today grew out of the Zen Buddhist culture of Japan in the 16th century.
Antique tea caddy for storing the precious leaf
Tea appeared in Western Europe in 1610 when the Dutch began shipping tea home along with other desirable goods such as silk, spices, lacquer objects, and porcelain. Its use spread to other countries of Europe and to the New World, everywhere welcomed as a delicious and fashionable beverage. In Britain it was popularized when, in 1662, Charles II wed Princess Catherine of Braganza of Portugal who was an avid tea drinker. This led to the popularization of social traditions and, eventually “tea time” for British ladies. Those who traveled to the New World brought with them their love of tea and embraced the customs and traditions of their homeland.
Today, tea is enjoyed in the style of many cultures of the world, but also in a more contemporary, casual style, either in the company of friends or as a meditation, alone and contemplative. In any style, enjoy
Tea pots of all styles.
Formal Tea Service
the civility, the aroma and beauty of the leaf, and the many benefits of partaking of such a delightful beverage.