National Tea Day: Cheers To That!

21 Apr 2024

National Tea Day: The Rich Tea History of the North East of England

The North East of England is a region steeped in history, culture, and, you guessed it, tea! Yes, when we think of the North East, images of rugged coastlines, historic castles, and vibrant cities spring to mind. But let’s not overlook its rich tea heritage.

Grab a cuppa and settle in as we journey through the history of tea in the North East of England as we celebrate National Tea Day at Maguires Country Parks! 

A Storm in a Teacup: The Arrival of Tea

The tale of tea in the North East begins in the 17th century when this exotic beverage first made its way to Britain’s shores. Initially, tea was a luxury only the wealthiest could afford, but as the 18th century rolled around, it found its way into the hearts and homes of more and more people, including those in the North East.

The Emporiums of Elegance: Tea Rooms and Tea Shops

Fast forward to the 19th and early 20th centuries, and tea had become the beating heart of social life across England, with the North East being no exception. Prestigious tea rooms and shops sprung up in cities like Newcastle and Sunderland, becoming the go-to spots for social gatherings, business meetings, and a good old chinwag!

These establishments weren’t just about tea; they were about opulence and sophistication, with lavish interiors that made every tea-drinking experience feel like a special occasion.

A Brew to Rival Them All: The Birth of Ringtons

No story about tea in the North East would be complete without mentioning Ringtons. Founded in 1907 by Samuel Smith in Newcastle upon Tyne, Ringtons started with a horse and cart and an unwavering dedication to delivering quality tea directly to people’s doorsteps. 

Over a century later, Ringtons remains a beloved institution, symbolising the North East’s enduring love affair with tea. The company’s commitment to quality and its innovative door-to-door delivery service revolutionised how tea was consumed and enjoyed in the region.

The Social Fabric: Tea and Community

Tea in the North East has always been more than just a beverage; it’s a vital thread in the social fabric of the community. From the bustling docks of the Tyne to the coalfields and farms, tea breaks served as moments of respite. The tradition of the ‘tea break’ became a cherished ritual, a time to pause, reflect, and connect with others.

A Cup of Heritage: Preserving the Tradition

Today, the tradition of tea drinking is alive and well in the North East. From quaint tea shops in cobbled streets to modern cafes and the continued success of companies like Ringtons, the region’s tea heritage is cherished and celebrated. 

Here’s to many more years of brewing, sipping, and enjoying the humble cup of tea in this beautiful corner of the world. Cheers!

5 Interesting Facts About Tea 

Origin Story: Tea is believed to have been discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BC. Legend has it that leaves from a wild tree blew into his pot of boiling water, creating a delightful infusion that caught his interest!

A Global Journey: Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. Its popularity spans centuries and continents, with diverse cultures adopting their unique rituals and preferences for tea drinking.

Varieties Galore: There are over 3,000 types of teas in the world, which can be categorised into four main types: black, green, oolong, and white. Each type offers a unique flavour and health benefits.

A Toast to Health: Tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, known for their health benefits. Regular consumption of tea can contribute to heart health, aid in weight loss, improve mental alertness, and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases.

An Industry of Giants: The global tea industry is vast and complex, with China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Turkey among the top tea-producing countries.

Pop over to our Facebook page and let us know your favourite kind of tea this National Tea Day! 📲☕

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