Whether we call it 茶, चाय or Tea, the drink brewed from the camellia sinensis plant, is enjoyed by billions of people every day. It is Britain’s national drink and second only to water as the most popular beverage in the world.
Tea means many things – its popularisation and spread is connected to stories of imperialism and colonial violence, yet it has inspired artistic expression, cultural customs and national identities.
Learn about the production of tea, from the people who work on the plantations to the processes involved in making the tea that is widely consumed today.
Enjoyed by billions of people, alone or together, with milk or cinnamon or salted butter – find out the complex history and myriad of meanings in how we consume tea today.
The exhibition has been developed in partnership with organisations including:
- Bollo Brook Youth Centre in Ealing
- The British Asian Collective
- Cuppo Bubbo in Herne Hill
- Hackney Chinese Community Services
- THIRST (The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea)
- Grass People Tree
- Matheson Bosanquet Tea Estate
As well as a host of artists, academics and consultants.
Content warning: The exhibition contains content that could be upsetting or triggering. Themes that are explored throughout the exhibition include: violence, sexism, racism, enslavement, indentured labour, sexual violence, addiction.
The exhibition is supported by The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund – delivered by the Museums Association.
Main image: Stan Lau.