July 14, 2012
July 10, 2012
…well, maybe a slight exaggeration. While I was not invited to last week’s Royal Garden Party, the Queen and I shared the same locale – Edinburgh, Scotland. Â Bret and I arrived last week for a short vacation and found out that it was Royal Week -meaning interesting events and the possibility of having a brush with the Royals
During my week in Edinburgh, I felt spoiled – everywhere I went (even the pubs) I could have a pot of tea. Â Given the weather there, it was a great way to stay warm!
Did you know that the Scottish thirst for tea dates back two centuries? Â Indeed, it was nineteenth century Scottish entrepreneur and botanist, Robert Fortune, who helped the British East India Company introduce tea plants to Darjeeling in 1848, creating the tea industries of India and Ceylon. He was the 007 of tea, smuggling himself into China’s closed interior to study the cultivation and manufacture of tea. Â At the time, this was a well kept secret and foreigners were not permitted to travel further than the port cities.
In 1884, another Scot – the grocer Thomas J. Lipton bought several coffee plantations in Ceylon and converted them to tea gardes that supplied the working class through his tea stores all over the UK.