HOW TEA CAME TO EUROPE
Exotica, Fascination, And Romance…
Tea First Arrived In Europe Through Portuguese Seafarers In The 16th Century
With a colony in Macau, Portuguese traders were among the first Westerners to bring tea back from China to Europe in the mid-16th century.
Tea played a starring role in China’s trade with the West, especially with Great Britain, whose addiction to tea brought serious consequences all over the world from the 17th through the mid-19th century.
The early 17th century marks the era of mercantilism in Europe, where developing countries established what’s known as the East India companies to trade with Asia. The Dutch and the English were commercial archrivals. Business was war, literally.
Enter the glorious period of monopoly, maritime trade and global land-grab.
Leading the pack of tea trade was the Dutch East India Company, which started in 1602. The world’s first publicly traded entity, the Dutch East India Company imported Europe’s first tea from China through Java in 1610.
In the mid-1600s, tea was very expensive. Only wealthy Europeans could afford to drink tea. Primarily consumed for its medicinal purpose, tea was sold through pharmacies.
DISCOVER THE ART OF TEA
You’ll love our new artbook! A labor of love, this artbook showcases glorious images, taking you on a journey through ancient tea rituals and how these practices bring calmness, mindfulness, and tranquility through the ages.