We’re taking a voyage into the past this Christmas and exploring one of the most momentous eras in the history of tea.
In keeping with the spirit of our 2021 ‘Silk Road’ collection, The Tea Centre is hosting yet another Dickens-esque Ghost of Christmas Past moment this festive season with the launch of the Age of Sail series.
Good tidings we bring in this nautical collection inspired by the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries when the Silk Road was abandoned and tea took to the seas on large trading ships instead.
An explosive era in which the worlds of tea and maritime trading collided, The Tea Centre won’t be shying away from exploring every facet of this period and how tea intertwined with major events and institutions like war, foreign policy, and the British Empire.
History from below dictates that some of the most insightful narratives on the past come from everyday people and items like our beloved loose leaf. Keeping this in mind, The Tea Centre can’t wait to give the gift of both tea and understanding this Christmas.
Over the next few weeks, we will be filling our Tea Journal with stories about how traded teas in our ‘Age of Sail’ wooden tea box like Sencha, Prince of Wales, East India Earl Grey, and Gunpowder speaks to pivotal moments in world history. We can’t wait to learn together (preferably over copious cups of tea)!
You can stay looped in by becoming a Leaf Lover here.
Our hero product: the Age of Sail wooden tea box
What’s a countdown of the twelve days of Christmas without a dozen teas to match? With The Tea Centre’s brand-new ‘Age of Sail wooden tea box, we’ve surmounted the impossible task of
curating twelve teas that reflect both a historic time period and true festive favourites!
Taken from historic ports and trade landmarks across the world are the likes of Sencha (Nagasaki/Tokyo Bay), Keemun OP and Gunpowder (Pearl River Delta), Dimbula OP (Port of Colombo), Prince of Wales (Port of London), Rooibos (Cape of Good Hope), and Yerba Maté (Port of São Francisco do Sul).
Akin to opening Davy Jones’s locker, this tea box also contains teas that don’t belong to any particular port but speak to the zeitgeist of this era: the mysterious hibiscus and East India Earl Grey to name a few.
Want to count all the way down to Christmas Eve? Purchase this Christmas gift in conjunction with its sister, the Silk Road wooden tea box and you have a whole advent calendar worth of tasty teas.
Swiped from the shipmaster’s cabins…
We’ve discussed how much of this collection takes inspiration from the comings and goings of trade ships, but what happens in-between ports when there’s nothing but a ship and the seven seas?
Rather than mutiny, we decided to stow away and make a dash into the Captain’s Quarters to pilfer their stash of premium teas. Found nowhere else in the world are the teas inside our Captain’s Quarters premium round tins.
Specifically, encased inside are three treasured draughts whose premium grade and provenance make them worth their weight in gold. Amongst the spoils is a fine-grade Gyokuro from the Kagoshima prefecture in Japan. You can learn more about the complex agricultural process behind this beautiful shaded green tea here.
Across the East China Sea, you can find one of the world’s most exquisite white teas growing in the much-celebrated Fujian province. Yin Zhen silver needles tea (also known as bai ho) is a single-origin batch that’s premium price point lies in the fineness of the leaves. Specifically, silver needles tea only comprises white downy buds plucked by hand from the very tip of the tea plant.
Also from China comes the unique and beautiful Jasmine Downy Pearls (also called Buddha’s Tears or Dragon Pearls). Comprised of green downy buds scented with jasmine flowers, this tea comes in a rolled ball form that releases a heavenly fragrance upon infusion. Read more about the complex production that goes into making this tea here.
From Port to Starboard…the perfect stocking filler
Let’s be honest—when you’re out at sea, there’s not much for the crew to do except drink and look at the stars. Taking inspiration from life on deck, our port to starboard deluxe duo box is a libation to the liberation that comes from sailing the seven seas!
Coming in at only $30, Port to Starboard is a perfect luxury yet affordable gift to fill your loved ones’ stockings with this Christmas. What’s more, its beautiful gift box presentation means one less thing to wrap this festive season!
Ready to explore the Age of Sail and its sister Nuremberg by Night and Silk Road collections? Begin your journey here.