A Brief History of Tea and How to Celebrate National Tea Day (April 21)


Learn about the fascinating history of tea and discover how to celebrate National Tea Day with these fun and creative ideas. From trying a new tea to hosting a tea party, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on this special day.

National Tea Day is an annual celebration in the United Kingdom that is dedicated to the country’s love of tea. It is observed on April 21st each year and is an opportunity for people to come together to appreciate and celebrate the various types of tea, their history, cultural significance, and the art of brewing and serving tea. The day also serves as a platform to promote the benefits of tea, including its health benefits and its role in socializing and community-building. National Tea Day is celebrated through various events, including tea tastings, tea parties, and charity fundraisers.

History of National Tea Day

National Tea Day was first celebrated in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2016. It was founded by a group of tea enthusiasts led by Anne Jones, who wanted to create a day to celebrate the rich history and culture of tea in the UK. The first National Tea Day was celebrated with various events and activities, including tea tastings, tea ceremonies, and tea-inspired menus at restaurants and cafes.

Since its inception, National Tea Day has grown in popularity, and it has become an annual event celebrated across the UK. The day is now a platform for tea brands, tea houses, and other organizations to showcase their products and services, educate the public about the different types of tea, and promote the health benefits of drinking tea. National Tea Day has also expanded beyond the UK, with other countries now celebrating the day in their own unique way.


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Tea Timeline

Tea has a long and fascinating history that spans several centuries and countries. Here’s a timeline of some of the most significant events in the history of tea:

  • 2737 BC: According to Chinese legend, Emperor Shen Nong discovered tea when leaves from a tea plant fell into his cup of hot water and created a delicious beverage.
  • 4th century AD: Tea becomes a popular drink in China, with tea leaves dried, crushed, and formed into bricks for easy transport.
  • 9th century AD: The first book on tea, “The Classic of Tea,” is written by Chinese author Lu Yu.
  • 16th century AD: Portuguese traders bring tea to Europe, and it quickly becomes a luxury item among the wealthy.
  • 17th century AD: The British East India Company begins importing tea from China to Britain, leading to the widespread consumption of tea in England and the establishment of tea plantations in India.
  • 18th century AD: Tea becomes a staple beverage in the American colonies, with colonists staging the Boston Tea Party in protest of British tea taxes.
  • 19th century AD: Tea becomes an important export for countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya, leading to the development of large-scale tea plantations and increased tea production.
  • 20th century AD: The invention of the tea bag in the early 1900s makes tea preparation more convenient, while the growth of global trade and transportation networks make tea more widely available around the world.

Today, tea remains one of the most popular beverages in the world, with a rich history and cultural significance in many countries.

How to Celebrate National Tea Day

National Tea Day is a great opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the wonderful beverage that is tea. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate National Tea Day:

  1. Enjoy a cup of tea: This may seem obvious, but on National Tea Day, take the time to brew yourself a cup of tea, sit down, and savor the flavor.
  2. Try a new tea: Branch out from your usual tea and try something new. Visit a specialty tea shop or order a unique flavor online.
  3. Host a tea party: Invite friends and family over for a tea party. Serve a variety of teas, sandwiches, and scones with clotted cream and jam.
  4. Visit a tea house: Explore a local tea house or café and sample their selection of teas and treats.
  5. Attend a tea tasting: Many tea shops and specialty stores host tea tastings where you can try a variety of teas and learn about their origins and brewing methods.
  6. Learn about tea culture: Take the opportunity to learn about the history and cultural significance of tea. Watch a documentary or read a book about the subject.
  7. Give the gift of tea: Share the love of tea by giving a gift of tea to friends or family. Select a high-quality loose leaf tea and package it in a special container or tea caddy.

Remember, National Tea Day is all about celebrating the simple pleasure of drinking tea and enjoying the many benefits it provides.

Why We Love National Tea Day

There are many reasons why people love National Tea Day. Here are a few:

  1. A chance to celebrate tea culture: National Tea Day gives people the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the rich culture and history of tea, from the traditional tea ceremonies in Asia to the afternoon tea culture in Britain.
  2. A reason to indulge in a favorite beverage: For tea lovers, National Tea Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in their favorite beverage, whether it’s a classic cup of English Breakfast or a refreshing iced tea.
  3. A chance to try something new: National Tea Day is a great opportunity to try a new type of tea, whether it’s a rare variety from a specialty tea shop or a unique blend from a local café.
  4. Promotes community and socializing: Drinking tea is often associated with socializing and community-building, and National Tea Day provides a platform to connect with others over a shared love of tea.
  5. Raises awareness of the health benefits of tea: Tea has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, improving brain function, and promoting relaxation. National Tea Day can raise awareness of these benefits and encourage people to incorporate more tea into their daily routine.

Overall, National Tea Day is a fun and enjoyable way to celebrate and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of tea.

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