The Southeast Region of the U.S. with its Long History of Tea
The Southeast Region was recognized for its potential tea cultivation in the 1700’s. It was in South Carolina, near Charleston, where tea plants were first brought to North America in 1799 by famed French botanist André Michaux as a gift for future governor Henry Middleton, owner of Middleton Barony. From that time to the present, South Carolina has had a rich history of growing tea with contributions from Charleston and the surrounding areas.
We specialize in private tea presentations where you will enjoy the world’s most prized teas and explore the history of tea from South Carolina to Ancient China. Tea has brought people together for thousands of years, creating a sense of harmony and a positive gesture of sharing and goodwill. As a group activity among friends, family or business colleagues, the presentation promotes the goals of having resilient relationships and strong alliances.
We provide private tea presentations designed specifically for friends, groups, professional team building, and events. If you’ve never experienced one, a tea presentation is much more than simply drinking tea. We’d love to show you how tea can be the centerpiece of boundless conversation.
“The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation. The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation. Even the tea itself–warm and comforting–inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.” – Emilie Barnes, author
Our tea presentations include the tasting of the most authentic, rare, and exquisite Chinese teas. The finest tea leaves are those coming from China’s top terroir regions because of the level of artisanship developed over centuries and the very high accountability for holistic farming to preserve this ancient history.
Take a journey with us and explore 270 years of tea history in Charleston and South Carolina, including where it all began 5000 years ago in China.
Tea culture is defined by the way tea is made and consumed, by the way the people interact with tea, and by the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), tea has had a major influence on the development of Chinese culture as well as cultures around the world.
Prior to moving to the Charleston, South Carolina area, Richard lived in Hong Kong for twelve years. When he first arrived in Hong Kong, he was presented with a welcome gift of Chinese tea. Fascinated by the taste of the tea, he started to research the various types of tea produced in China and his passion for tea began. From there he studied the history of Chinese tea and the different vessels used to brew the tea. Richard has visited tea farms in the historic regions of China and Taiwan. In addition, he participated in the processing of the famous green tea in the Hangzhou Longjing Tea Village of China from the early morning picking of the tea leaves, to the processing and roasting to the final product for distribution.
Open Door Tea team
I've been lucky enough to be involved in a number of Richard's tea presentations which are about much more than just drinking tea. A rich knowledge of "The Way of Tea" coupled with his compelling storytelling abilities keeps you enthralled throughout, totally immersed in the story and steeped in the ancient history of the Chinese tea ceremony. This is a feelgood experience that you, your friends and your colleagues must try!
Richard is a master at helping you experience tea! He makes the world of tea come alive with interesting facts around the history and cultivation of unique teas. His depth of knowledge and historical context is nothing short of amazing. His presentations are very interesting and the library of teas are very high quality and delicious. His passion for "all things tea" is clearly evident. Thank you Richard!
Richard invites you to experience and appreciate tea on a whole new level! I met him not knowing much about tea. He guided our conversation to help me appreciate the history, character, and nuances of Chinese teas. Who knew there was so much to know and consider in my new found love of tea consumption! Thank you Richard for your knowledge and enthusiasm!
I was lucky to meet Richard because I always have trouble getting good tea when I visit America. He was very knowledgeable and personable, and rest assured, offers great tea. I highly recommend All the Tea in Charleston for beginners and for tea aficionados.
I was so fortunate to come across For All the Tea in China in my internet search for fun things to do in Charleston SC. The minute I began corresponding with Richard I realized this was a perfect gift for my friend who is very much a tea connoisseur. The experience as expected for my friend was over the top and will forever be a memory never forgotten. The most unexpected surprise was how much I truly enjoyed it myself. Being a coffee drinker and only knowing southern sweet tea I was captivated within the first few minutes. I came out of this experience with a new appreciation for tea, its history and the people who work so diligently to keep its past alive. I was overwhelmed at how wonderful the tea tasted, you could truly taste the work and effort put into it. My biggest take away was learning how tea is used as a way of bringing people together whether it is in family, friendship or disputes. This was proven by the fact that I could have spent another hour enjoying my time with Richard, his knowledge, my friend and the amazing taste of tea. Absolutely an amazing time!
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