Charleston with its Long and Storied History of Tea
South Carolina was recognized for its potential tea cultivation in the 1700’s. It was in Charleston and its surrounding area, where tea plants were first brought to North America. From that time to the present, South Carolina has had a rich history of growing tea.
We specialize in guided tea tastings where you will sip the world’s most prized teas and explore the history of tea from South Carolina to Ancient China. As a group activity among friends, family, travel groups, or business colleagues, you will discover the art of tea: learning to recognize different types of teas, preparing tea and tasting tea.
Unique Charleston Experience
2-hour Tea Tasting Journey
Held at a venue of your choice
Guided Tea Tastings
We provide guided tea tastings designed specifically for friends, family, travel groups, corporate team building and events. Our tea tastings are a unique experience which goes beyond just simply drinking tea. We also share our knowledge of growing, harvesting and crafting teas. Including the fascinating history and the many legends attached to these rare teas. Drinking 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 guided tea tastings include the sipping of the most authentic, rare, and exquisite Chinese teas. Our teas are truly ‘true origin’ teas hailing from mountains with generations of history, harvested from ancient varietals of tea trees, and crafted by heritage farmers in the utmost conservative fashion. The only ingredient in our tea is pure 100% natural loose leaf tea. The teas do not have any artificial ingredients or additives.
During the tea tasting, we will take a journey and touch on 270 years of tea history in Charleston and South Carolina, including where it all began 5000 years ago in China. Have you heard about the Boston Tea Party on December 16,1773 during colonial times in Boston? Well, the Charleston Tea Party was held a couple weeks before the Boston revolt.
Tea culture is defined by the way tea is made and consumed, by the way people interact with tea, and the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking. From the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE) to Sweet Tea, a favorite in South Carolina, tea has had a major influence on cultures around the world. In 1995 South Carolina’s General Assembly determined that since tea is the “world’s most popular beverage”, besides water, of course, it should serve as the states hospitality beverage. Act Number 31 was soon ratified, making tea an official symbol of South Carolina.
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!
Home Of The Most Authentic, Rare and Exquisite loose leaf teas.
Guided Tea Tastings
A Unique Experience for those new to tea and to tea lovers
Buy Tea Online
Order our finest teas online