BRLSI Antiquity - Tea-Drinking and its Historical Consequences

17 September 2018


Visitors- £4; Members/Students- £2

Permissions: Yixing stoneware teapot 18th century, BATEA614. © Museum of East Asian Art

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Brian McElney OBE, Founder of the Museum of East Asian Art
The exotic history of tea-drinking is underpinned by smuggling, slavery and all out war. Mercantile Tea Roads, monks and mariners helped fashion the cult of tea-drinking across the globe but tea-taxation ruined lives in an eruption of violence, culminating in the Boston Tea Party and brutal Opium Wars. Tea-drinking, accompanied by exquisite Oriental porcelain and time-honoured ceremonies, eventually made its way into the highest echelons of European
society to become the epitome of genteel refinement.