Why do we call it “Royal” Breakfast Tea?
Imagine with me a pivotal moment in history. It is 1986. England has only recently agreed return Hong Kong to Chinese rule, a move widely criticized by British conservatives and perceived by much of the world as the dying gasp of the British Empire.
Queen Elizabeth II has been invited to visit China making her the first British monarch ever to set foot on Chinese soil. Tensions are high and the cultural differences have everyone involved walking a diplomatic high wire.
The Western press has made much of Chairman Deng Xiaopeng spitting into a spittoon in the presence of the Queen Mother.
Chinese press is equally shocked when Prince Phillip remarks at a charity event for animal preservation, “If it’s got four legs and it’s not a chair…the Cantonese will eat it.”
So they did what any sensible hostess in either England or China would do when an affair is in danger of heading South…they served tea.
Tea was a cultural touchstone for both parties and familiar ground (despite some marked differences in preferred preparation). As the birthplace of tea, China was proud to showcase their very best and as a true tea connoisseur, Queen Elizabeth was duly appreciative.
Queen Elizabeth was so impressed with one tea in particular that she was presented with a supply as a gift during her visit to Yunnan. That tea was a special black tea from Fengqing county called locally “Dianhong tea.”
Tea from those very same tea fields and produced by the same methods, now reigns supreme at Immortalitea as our most popular Connoisseur Collection tea. In honor of the Queen we called it our Royal Breakfast tea.
In the end, the trip was a diplomatic success for both sides The British came away feeling they’d been shown the respect they deserved and China was perceived as taking an important step in their fight to be acknowledged as a legitimate world power.
Tea saves the world…again!