“A cup of tea is an excuse to share great thoughts with great minds.” – Cristina Re

When it comes to a tea party, this sentiment is amplified. A tea party is not merely an event but an opportunity to create cherished memories and build camaraderie. As guests gather around the teapot, each cup poured is about storytelling, laughter, and the exchange of ideas. Tea parties transcend age, background, and culture, providing a universal platform for human connection. The tradition of hosting tea parties has evolved over centuries, spanning continents and cultures. As one of the best Darjeeling tea producers in India, we share some useful insights into the history of tea parties across the world. 

  1. Chinese origins

Tea parties find their roots in ancient China, where tea drinking was an integral part of social and cultural life. Tea was initially consumed for its medicinal properties and gradually became a symbol of hospitality, respect and harmony. In the Tang dynasty (7th-10th century), tea ceremonies and gatherings became popular. Lu Yu, a monk who lived in the Tang dynasty, is considered to be the father of the tea ceremony. He wrote a book called "The Classic of Tea" which is considered to be the first known monograph on tea in the world. In his book, Lu Yu describes the art of tea brewing and serving. He also discusses the benefits of tea drinking.

  1. Artistic tea ceremonies of Japan

The Japanese tea ceremony, known as "chanoyu" or "sado," has strong connections to Zen Buddhism and Chinese tea traditions. Over time, it has become a formal practice that values mindfulness, tranquillity, and finding beauty in simplicity. During the ceremony, participants follow a ritualised process of preparing and drinking tea, which embodies principles like harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity. These elements are essential to the heart of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and its cultural importance. 

  1. Tea parties became a popular way for the British aristocracy to socialise and show off their wealth and status

The first recorded tea party in England took place in 1662 and was hosted by Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II. Catherine introduced the custom of drinking tea to the English court, and it became increasingly popular among the aristocracy and upper class. Her influence played a significant role in popularising tea as a fashionable beverage in England during that time.

The tradition of afternoon tea was popularised by Anna, Duchess of Bedford, in the 1840s. Afternoon tea provided an opportunity for ladies to gather, socialise, and enjoy tea, delicate sandwiches, scones, and pastries. It also allowed them to showcase their elegant manners and fine tableware. Afternoon tea became a cherished ritual and continues to be a symbol of British culture and hospitality to this day.

  • American tea party revolution

In American history, the term "tea party" holds a different significance. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was an important event during the American Revolution. It was a protest against the British tea tax and represented resistance and defiance against British rule.   

  • Modern era: Informal and casual greetings

In the 20th and 21st centuries, tea parties have evolved to reflect changing social norms and lifestyles. While formal tea parties still exist, the modern era has witnessed the rise of casual and informal gatherings centred around tea. Friends and family come together to enjoy a cup of tea, share conversations and indulge in a variety of accompanying treats. These contemporary tea parties emphasise relaxation, warmth and connection. 

Planning to host a tea party?

If yes, explore the best Darjeeling teas. Hosting tea parties centred around Darjeeling tea can be a delightful and culturally enriching experience. You can explore our Darjeeling tea collection. The invigorating flavour of these teas, combined with their intoxicating aroma, makes them so popular across the globe. All our Darjeeling teas, including both first and second-flush varieties, are purely organic and adhere to stringent international quality certifications such as USDA, Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, IMO, and India Organic. Grown at elevations ranging from 2500 to 5000 feet, our tea gardens benefit from the perfect combination of cold air, ample rainfall, temperate sun, and sandy-loamy soil.