The Tea Master's Blog

Author: Bruce Richardson
Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Mr. Richardson, a native Kentuckian, is a leading tea expert and spends much of his time educating Americans in the art of celebrating the communal cup of tea. He is a writer, photographer, tea blender, and frequent guest speaker at tea events across the country. and can often be found appearing on television and radio talk shows, or as a guest speaker at professional seminars such as World Tea Expo.
  • The Great Tea Rooms of Britain
  • The Great Tea Rooms of America
  • The New Tea Companion for The National Trust of England with London's Jane Pettigrew
  • Tea in the City, a three-volume set of travel guides to tea in New York, London and Paris with Jane Pettigrew and Elizabeth Knight.
  • Tea & Etiquette

  • Owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press
  • Contributing editor and designer for the 2011 edition of The Book of Tea by former Boston MFA Asian Arts Director, Okakura Kakuzo.
  • Columnist for Tea Time magazine

Tea Comes to Russia

November 9, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

While tea was being carried into Western Europe over water routes by The East India Company, overland caravans by way of the Levant were bringing it to other parts of Europe. The first tea so to arrive was a gift of several chests brought by a Chinese embassy to the Russian court at Moscow in […]


The First Mention of Tea in European Literature

October 29, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

Tea-drinking is one of the great temperance customs that the East shares most generously with the West; yet it was many centuries after tea was commonly used in the Orient that Europeans learned of it. Of the world’s three great temperance beverages – cocoa, tea, and coffee – cocoa was the first to be introduced […]


The First Book of Tea

October 6, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

It was not until A.D. 780 that the horticultural and other aspects of tea-growing were first published in a work exclusively devoted to tea.  At the request of the tea merchants, The Ch’a Ching (Tea Book) appeared. It was written by Lu Yu, a noted Chinese author and tea expert.
In an allegory, the book quotes […]


How to Clean Your Teapots

September 15, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

The English homemaker of last century followed a simple ritual for washing her Brown Betty teapot. After use, the teapot was emptied of its spent leaves, rinsed with hot water, and turned upside down in the sink to dry. The Brown Betty was a common utensil in the home kitchen and it was pressed into […]


A Dutch Doctor Prescribes Tea

August 15, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

To the 17th century European palate, the taste of tea often elicited a “what’s all the fuss about?” comment. After all, the well-to-do had recently been treated to the new taste of coffee and cocoa. But after sipping a cup of tea for the first time, more than one Dutch or English consumer, after paying […]


The Ladies of Boston Swear off Tea

July 20, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

A lengthy, illustrated article appeared in the December 1852 edition of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine recalling the events leading up to the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the defiant role New England women played in setting the course for opposing George III’s tax schemes. A portion of the article reads as follows:
In America meetings were […]


Parliament’s Private Tea House

June 25, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

The House of Commons Tea Room, 1880
The streets along the River Thames during the late 1800s were teaming with vendors. There were stalls selling tea and coffee day and night. The quality of the drinks and food offered was poor and would not have attracted any but poorer working folk, but at least the workers […]


The British Tea Room Was Born in Glasgow

June 2, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

Glasgow tea maven, Kate Cranston
In 1903, The Builder’s Journal and Architecture Record reported: “Glasgow is a very Tokio for tea-rooms. Nowhere can one have so much for so little, and nowhere are such places more popular or frequented.” The central figures in the tea movement in Glasgow at the time were the Cranston family. Stuart […]


The Oldest Tea in Britain

May 2, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

300 year-old Chinese green tea in the Natural Museum of History, London.
British researchers have found what they believe to be the oldest tea in Britain, and to the surprise of contemporary British tea drinkers, the tea is green!
The unassuming box of Chinese tea was acquired around 1700 by a ship’s surgeon James Cuninghame. Cunninghame subsequently […]


Poetic Tea Verses from the 18th Century

April 12, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

London lexicographer Samuel Johnson, an unapologetic over of tea, kept the kettle on throughout the day and late into the night.  He summed up his preference for someone making tea for him:
“Now hear it then, my Rennie dear,
Nor hear it with a frown;
You cannot make the tea so fast
As I can gulp it down.
I therefore pray thee, Rennie […]