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Tea timeline


Early Chinese records indicate the use of tea in China as a stimuland when chewed but also for its antibiotic properties when rubbed into wounds

c. 100 – By the first century tea was a domestic drink in China
300-400 – Deliberately cultivated in China for tea production
780 – A tea tax impose in China
14th century – tea widely drunk in Japan
1600 – British East India Company formed
1610 – First consignment of tea to Europe arrives in Dutch ship
1630s – Tea introduced to France
1650s – Tea introduced to England
1658 – first English advertisement for tea appears in the weekly pamphlet Mercurius Politicus
1717 – Thomas Twining opens tea shop in London
1728 – Dutch try to establish tea plantations in Java
1729 – Chinese emperor bans the use of opium (to little effect)
1732 – London’s Vauxhall Gardens opens
1757 – British East India Company takes control of Bengal
1770s – British East India Company now also controls the ports of Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta
1773 – British Tea Act releases loan to the British East India Company and permission to import tea directly to America, thus avoiding taxes
1773 (29 Nov.) – Tea dumped in Boston Harbour at ‘Tea Party’ as American Sons of Liberty protest the British Tea Act
1784 – Holland defeated in battle for control of the East Indies
1788 – Joseph Banks recommends montane Bengal as an appropriate location for tea plantations
early 1800s – tea transported in sleek, fast sailing ships called cutters
1820s – Wallich realises that tea (Assam tea) grows naturally in the Assam region and brings them into cultivation
1833-1834 – British East India Company monopoly of tea trade with China comes to an end
1835 – ‘Wild’ tea, Camellia sinensis var. assamica, is discovered in Assam
1838 – Chinese Emperor makes arrests in Canton harbour and burns a years supply of opium
1838 – The first consignment of Assam tea arrives in Britain
1839-1842 – Opium War with Britain
1851 – Indian Assam tea, now successfully cultivated, is proudly displayed at the Great Exhibition of London
1842 – Hong Kong ceded to British as part of reparations after Chinese defeat in the Opium War
1869 – Suez Canal opens halving time of voyage from Europe to China

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