Tea eventually joined the official convict rations list in Australia in1819. Now, 200 years later we are seeing more successful commercial tea growers in Australia. As well as more tea drinkers, especially amongst the younger health-concsious who are turning to green teas, herbal tisanes and fruit infusions.
Contrary to popular belief, tea was not part of the official rations of the First Fleet of 1788. Much of the tea transported to Australia on the First Fleet was part of personal collections. Governor Arthur Phillip brought his own tea to New South Wales and it was was served at Government House. The first tea imported into the new colony occurred probably in 1794. Convicts began to enjoy a daily cuppa from 1819.
Some interesting tea facts:
• Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world after water, with an estimated 18–20 billion cups of tea consumed every day
• Australia has over 500 hectares planted for mainly black tea production, and about 6,000 tonnes of fresh leaf was harvested annually
• The leaf harvested from plants in northern Australia is used to make black tea
• As fresh tea leaves need to be correctly stored within 1.5 hours of harvesting and processed after 12 hours of correct storage, proximity to a processing facility is a key consideration for tea production
• Black tea has a stronger flavour, more caffeine and longer shelf life than green tea and was traded as compressed bricks
• Green tea is now grown in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Even in WA.
• Britain imported tea from China for over 200 years but in the 1830s native tea plants were discovered in the British colony of India and the British have controlled the world marketing of black tea
Tea grown in Australia is relatively free of pests and diseases. A combination of strict quarantine regulations associated with the importation of tea plants and Australian climatic conditions inhibit the prevalence of pests and diseases.
The first person to open an official tea shop was Alfred Bushell, who in 1884 opened a grocery store in inner Brisbane. James Inglis pioneered the introduction of Indian and Ceylonese teas into the Australian colonies during the 1880s. In reference to the Billy Tea advertisement (above) “James Inglis, or whoever advised him, was quite clever at advertising as this advertisement for Billy Tea became quite iconic in the period pre-1945. Inglis also acquired the music for Waltzing Matilda and used the music in his tea advertisements for a period.”
Kerrie McMahon opened the delightful World PARTEA tea shop in Port Macquarie in 2005.
You can sample over 230 teas, tisanes and infusions plus a range of quality teaser and accessories at the Port Macquarie Tea Bar. Order your favourite online www.worldpartea.com.au You’ll also discover a great range of Aussie grown tea in some our most popular blends
Some of the information above taken from the following websites: https://www.teavision.com.au/blogs/teavision-blogs/five-australian-tea-trends | https://www.agrifutures.com.au/farm-diversity/black-tea/ | https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/history-culture/2017/07/timeline-a-short-history-of-australian-tea/