Light Theme
Dark Theme
Podcast Cover

The Tea History Podcast

  • Ep. 18 | Pu-Erh Tea

    8 SEP 2021 · In this episode, we focus on the category of tea that is most admired by many tea experts the world over. Pu-Erh tea was introduced sometime during the Ming Dynasty and in time, became the oft-called "King of Teas" for its rich and unique flavor, wholly unlike any other tea produced in China.
    25m 47s
  • Ep. 17 | The Secret Gets Out

    1 SEP 2021 · After enjoying a monopoly that lasted for 45 centuries, China's secrets of how they turned Camellia sinensis leaves into tea are shared with the world (but not by the Chinese). This time we see how the tea seeds, plants, tools, and experts are secreted out of China and successfully brought to the Indian highlands. There a British dream team of botanists and horticulturalists take over the job begun by Robert Fortune and launch the tea industry in India. We also look at James Taylor's efforts to plant tea in Ceylon and how his business savvy partner in this venture brought tea to the world. This partner was Thomas J. Lipton, the one who brought us the ubiquitous Lipton Tea. What a character he was!
    26m 1s
  • Ep. 16 | The Breakthrough

    25 AUG 2021 · The hero who ensured Robert Fortune's success, Dr. Nathanial Bagshaw Ward is introduced in this episode. Ward's invention of the terrarium was the one thing that provided the breakthrough for Robert Fortune. We see how Fortune went into China, scored plants and tea seeds from Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian and got everything safely loaded onto a vessel for transport to India.
    30m 43s
  • Ep. 15 | A Fortune for the East India Company

    18 AUG 2021 · The mid 19th Century brought a sea change to the tea industry. Demand continued to grow all over Europe. China's artisanal tea growers and the general unreliability of the China market due to all the well-known political and social disasters happening in China raise concerns. The idea to make a go at growing tea in India is seriously discussed. We meet Charles Bruce, the Father of India's Tea Industry. The botanist, horticulturist, and man of adventure Robert Fortune is also introduced. We close the episode with the exploits of Fortune's first China trip and his discovery that green and black teas both come from the exact same species of plant, Camellia sinensis. With all the well-known mid-19th Century headaches facing China's Manchu Qing rulers, the loss of the European tea market will soon be added to their woes.
    25m 27s
  • Ep. 14 | Tea and Opium

    11 AUG 2021 · Midway through the Qing Dynasty trouble is brewing along with the tens of millions of pounds of tea being imported into Britain. The Qianlong Emperor rebuffs Britain's envoy and puts a major damper on the prospects of China trade. Britain finds the perfect commodity to trade for tea, Patna Opium from India. This ultimately leads to conflict culminating in the Opium Wars. Why this war is misnamed is also explained. This was the age of the China Clipper ships and imperialism at its worst. New black teas are also discussed, including Lapsang Souchong and the one black tea that local Chinese didn't turn their nose up to: Keemun.
    20m 52s
  • Ep. 13 | Don't Tax My Tea

    4 AUG 2021 · In this episode we move to the other side of the world to look at some tea history in the British Colonies. The tea trade by now has transformeded into an entire industry and becomes the most important traded commodity of the British East India Company. Twining's emerges onto the scene along with coffeehouse culture where tea was also to be had. Over in the American colonies, the Yanks embrace tea as much as the Brits. Milk and sugar with tea become all the rage. And when the Her Majesty's government starts hitting up the American colonists with the Indemnity Acts of 1767, the Townshend Acts in 1770, and finally, the Tea Act of 1773, it leads to the Boston Tea Party and an eventual "parting of ways" between the colonists and their British masters.
    24m 29s
  • Ep. 12 | Tea-mania Takes Europe by Storm

    28 JUL 2021 · Europeans were no less enthusiastic about tea than anyone else. It started off with the royals and aristocrats. But once prices came down and the haves and have-nots got to enjoy it, the demand will become insatiable. The Russian tea caravans are also explored. Though their tea culture was different from the ways of the Europeans, Russian people loved their tea no less. During the Qing Dynasty tea just kept getting better. We look at the tea-loving Qianlong Emperor and his contributions to tea culture. We close the episode with the story of John Dodd and Li Chunsheng, the fathers of Taiwan's tea industry
    23m 35s
  • Ep. 11 | Europeans Discover Tea

    21 JUL 2021 · During the late 16th century, the Jesuit Fathers become the first Europeans to drink tea. Soon afterward the Portuguese and Dutch traders start poking their noses around China and Japan. They too learn of this amazing beverage and see excellent prospects in their home markets. By the early 17th century The Dutch and British East India Companies are engaging in tea commerce. Though the Chinese at first wouldn't be caught dead drinking black tea, this too is discovered by the European traders and the rest is history.
    24m 42s
  • Ep. 10 | Yixing Teaware and the Gongfu Tea Ceremony

    14 JUL 2021 · More Ming Dynasty tea history this time. Further innovations from China's tea artisans further improves the taste and experience of tea. The famous "zisha" clay teapots and tea ware from Yixing, Jiangsu province are introduced as well as their role in the Gongfu Tea Ceremony. As the second half of the Ming Dynasty starts to wind down, the Europeans will soon be knocking on China's door. They too will discover the goodness and greatness of tea with historic consequences.
    20m 48s
  • Ep. 9 | The Ming Dynasty Tea Revolution

    7 JUL 2021 · The epic story continues after the greatest advances ever in tea production and tea culture in the Song. After surviving the Mongol Yuan Dynasty Camellia Sinensis experiences revolutionary improvements with the founding of the Ming Dynasty by Zhu Yuanzhang. Now tea starts to become more familiar to us after the Hongwu Emperor demands all future tribute teas must be sent in loose-leaf form. With loose leaf teas came greater demands for teaware. The history of the kilns of Jingdezhen is introduced, along with their calling card: Blue and White porcelain, China's first global brand. Other innovations such as teas scented with flowers and the Tea Manual of Zhu Quan are also discussed.
    26m 55s
Join host Laszlo Montgomery for a guided tour of the history of the world's most popular beverage.

Looks like you don't have any active episode

Browse Spreaker Catalogue to discover great new content


Looks like you don't have any episodes in your queue

Browse Spreaker Catalogue to discover great new content

Next Up

Episode Cover Episode Cover

It's so quiet here...

Time to discover new episodes!

Your Library