TEA has inspired gift giving since the early years. Around its discovery in the initial days, tea was only and exclusively reserved for “Royalty”, protected as a “Royal Brew” by restricting its cultivation and production to the Royal gardens of the Chinese emperor’s forbidden cities.
This made tea very sacred unlike any other beverage or food product.
The first Chinese tea gifts were to the Czars of Russia on camel trains via the Gobi desert that took two years for transit.
When the British discovered tea in China, the early consignments were only distributed amongst Royalty. Tea was introduced to the British public only after considerable stocks were accumulated.
Gifting tea became a very special feature in Christmas hampers of higher value.
Tea has always been one of the best celebrated gifts, with a very wide range of exquisite accessories of treasured artistic beauty being produced to accompany the celebration and ritual that followed serving of tea at different levels of society.
Tea gifts are an internationally popular feature in the present day. Tea in souvenir packs are widely sold in all tourist destinations with specific emphasis to the venues of historical significance.
Destinations such as waterfalls, lighthouses and monuments, all sell tea products with their identity and brand names, as souvenirs.
Special teaware in exclusive finishes are used as wedding, anniversary, achievement and farewell gifts.
Tea products created for various festive seasons are increasingly popular items of gifts in the modern day.
Heads of States and officials of nations carry specially created tea products in fine giftware as tokens of goodwill to dignitaries on state visits.
When emperor “Shen-Nung” first discovered tea in 2737 BC, he would never have imagined that his discovery would reach such great heights of appreciation, respect and goodwill.
Thus good tea is held in very high regard in distinguished circles of society.
ANSELM PERERA (MLESNA TEA CENTRES)