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; Its Effects, Medicinal and Moral

December 5, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

Dr. John Coakley Lettsom, founder of the Medical Society of London
The Natural History of the Tea-Tree With Observations on the Medical Qualities of Tea, and Effects of Tea-Drinking was published in 1772 by John Coakley Lettsom (1744–1815), a physician and philanthropist, whose first action on inheriting his family plantation in 1767 was to free all […]


Abigail Adams Grave Site

November 30, 2015 by Bruce Richardson

I recently took a 30 minute train ride from Boston to Quincy where I enjoyed a sunny Saturday in the town of Quincy and a look around Adams National Historical Park. Located 10 miles south of Boston, the park includes the birthplaces of two presidents, the “summer White House,” Stone Library, the Adams Carriage House, […]


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 […]