Untitled Document

A Social History of Tea

Bruce Richardson joins London's Jane Pettigrew for an expanded edition

A Social History of Tea


The National Trust of England 2001 first edition publication detailed tea's influence on commerce, culture and community in Great Britain.

The 2014 edition of A Social History of Tea has been expanded to include the American story as well.

Danville, Ky. – British writer and tea historian Jane Pettigrew has joined forces again with American tea writer Bruce Richardson to chronicle the fascinating story of tea’s influence on British and American culture, commerce and community spanning nearly four centuries. These two leading tea professionals have seen first-hand the current tea renaissance sweeping modern culture and have written over two dozen books on the subject of tea, including the National Trust publication, The New Tea Companion.

No beverage has shaped Western civilization more than the ancient elixir - tea. Follow tea's amazing journey from Canton to London, Boston and beyond as these two leaders of today's tea renaissance weave a fascinating story detainling how the leaves of a simple Asian plant shaped the culture and politics of both the United Kingdom and the United States.

The book launch takes place December 5 in Boston at Old South Meeting House, the site of the gathering which was the prelude to the December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party. Press release


Elmwood Inn Fine Teas for 21c

21c Museum/Hotel

Turns to Elmwood Inn Fine Teas for their new Cincinnati Locations

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas chosen to design the teas for the hotel's Metropole Restaurant as well as packaged tea sachets for guest rooms.

Danville, Ky. – Louisville's acclaimed 21c Museum Hotel launched their second location in downtown Cincinnati today and the hotel's new restaurant Metropole is already drawing a host of enthusiastic diners. 

Under the direction of executive chef Michael Paley, previously of Proof on Main in Louisville,  Metropole’s menu revolves around a custom-built wood-burning fireplace, emphasizing the city’s European roots and celebrating the region’s local farming and sustainable agriculture.

Chef Paley's commitment to local sourcing extends to his tea selection as well.  The restaurant’s loose-leaf tea program was designed by Kentucky’s leading tea importer and blender, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas of Danville. Download press release.


Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Names Bruce Richardson as Tea Master

Boston, MA. December 9, 2011… Bruce Richardson, one of America’s best-known experts and sommeliers, has been named the official Tea Master for the new Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. For over 20 years, Richardson has traveled the world discovering and learning everything there is to know about tea. His travels led him to writing, photographing, and sharing his experiences at tea events across the country.

As Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Richardson will be in charge of designing a line of historic teas for sale in the gift shop.  The historic teas will be based on the tea that was thrown into the Boston Harbor in 1773.

Download entire press release.




Updated for Today's Audience

by Okakura Kakuzo

Introduced by Bruce Richardson

Press Release

Cover Photo for Press

Both Georgia O'Keeffe and Frank Lloyd Wright attribute much of their art spirit to the original The Book of Tea, written in English in 1906 by Okakura Kakuzo. He was born in a Yokohama silk store in 1862 and educated by American missionaries, Harvard-trained professors, and Buddhist monks. With one foot in the East and one in the West, he helped save many of his country's art treasures during Japan's rush to embrace Western culture at the end of the 19th century.

Okakura was appointed the head of the Asian Arts Department at the Boston Museum of Art in 1904, where he discovered the best way to introduce the East to the West was through the common metaphor of tea. It would be hard to find a more fascinating character than this mysterious wise man who became Boston's high priest of art, spirituality, and the unique Japanese concept of teaism. His captivating life crossed paths with countless luminaries of the Gilded Age and he was the guest everyone — especially women — wanted at their dinner parties.

Bruce Richardson has edited and illustrated this classic work for a contemporary audience who see tea as a way of life rather than a commodity.


Tea & Etiquette 2009 Edition


Taking Tea for Business and Pleasure

by Dorothea Johnson and Bruce Richardson

Press Release - April 28, 2009

Cover photo for Press

Dorothea Johnson and Bruce Richardson love to share the observation by the head waiter at London’s famed Ritz Hotel who says "He can always spot an American because they have their pinkies gloriously raised to the gilded ceiling as they sip their cup of Earl Grey."

Johnson and Richardson address that misconception and other frequent “tea faux pas” in their new edition of Tea and Etiquette: Taking Tea for Business and Pleasure.

Read on...



The New Tea Companion

The New Tea Companion

Bruce Richardson joins London's Jane Pettigrew for the guide to the world's great teas.  2008 Edition

Named Best New Publication by World Tea Expo 2009

Benjamin Press Announcement

Joseph Simrany endorsement