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Tea Timeline


BCE means 'Before Common Era' or BC. CE means 'Common Era' or AD.

2737 BCE

The second emperor of China, Shen Nung, discovers tea as a ‘Divine Healer’, when tea leaves blow into his cup of hot water and so the story goes.

1027 BCE

King Wen, founder of the Zhou Dynasty, receives tea as tribute from leaders in the Szechwan district.

551-479 BCE

Confucius documented as a tea drinker.

300-400  BCE

First drying processes developed. Before this time fresh leaves are brewed. Now leaves are dried and powdered.

221-206 BCE

Liu Kun, a military leader in the Qin Dynasty writes to his nephew requesting "real tea" to lift his spirits.


74 - 49 BCE

Slave contract indicating duties including the buying and making of tea.

59 BCE

Wang Boa gives instructions in his book on how to buy tea and brew it.

350 CE

The first description of tea (cha) is mentioned in a Chinese Erya Encyclopaedia.

400-600 CE

Demand for tea as a medicinal beverage rises in China and cultivation processes are developed. Many tea drinkers add onion, ginger, spices, or orange to their teas.

400 CE

Now called Kuang Ya in the Chinese dictionary, tea and its detailed infusion and preparation steps are defined.

479 CE

Turkish traders barter for tea on the border of Mongolia.

542 CE

The Myth of ‘Ta Mo’ or ‘Bodhi dharma’. Buddhist master from India who brought Buddhism to China and founded the Zen School, Said to discover the virtues of tea (cha) after cutting off his eyelids to stay awake during meditation.

593 CE

Buddhism and tea journey from China to Japan. Japanese priests studying in China carried tea seeds and leaves back.

618-907 CE

T'ang Dynasty:

  • Tea becomes a popular drink in China for both its flavor and medicinal qualities.

  • Brick tea is made by steaming the fresh leaves, which are then powdered, and formed into cakes. Cakes can be stored for long periods of time and pieces are broken off and boiled when needed.

  • Early forms of the Tea ceremony develop.

  • Tibet and India trading for tea.


648-749 CE

  • Japanese monk Gyoki plants the first tea bushes in 49 Buddhist temple gardens.

  • Tea in Japan is rare and expensive, enjoyed mostly by high priests and the aristocracy.


725 CE

The Chinese give its own character ch’a for the word tea.


729 CE

The Japanese emperor serves powdered tea (named hiki-cha from the Chinese character) to 100 Buddhist monks.


780 CE

  • First tea tax imposed in China. 

  • Chinese poet-scholar Lu Yu writes the first book of tea titled Ch’a Ching (The Classic of Tea) in timely alignment with the Taoist beliefs. The book covers detailed ancient Chinese tea cultivation and preparation techniques.

805 CE

  • Buddhism and tea devotion spreads further.

  • The Japanese Buddhist saint and priest Saicho and monk Kobo Daishi bring tea seeds and cultivation and manufacturing tips back from China and plant gardens in the Japanese temples.


960-1280 CE

Sung Dynasty:

  • Chinese tea drinking is on the rise, as are elegant teahouses and teacups carefully crafted from porcelain and pottery.

  • Drinking powdered (from Tea Bricks) and frothed tea or tea scented with flowers is widespread in China while earlier flavorings fall by the wayside.

  • Zen Buddhism catches on in Japan via China and along come tea-drinking temple rituals.


1012 CE

Cai Xiang is born. Becomes Fijian Province's tea commissioner and widely accepted as the most discerning tea palette of his day. "Tea tastings" at this time are popular entertainment among the government officials.



  • Chinese Emperor Hui Tsung becomes tea obsessed and writes about the best tea-whisking methods and holds tea-tasting tournaments in the court. While “tea minded,” so the story goes, he doesn’t notice the Mongol takeover of his empire.

  • Teahouses in garden settings pop up around China.



Japanese Buddhist abbot Eisai, who introduced Zen Buddhism to Japan, brings tea seeds from China and plants them around his Kyoto temple.


1200 - 1253

Dogen, disciple of Aeisai (Eisais) is recognized as the founder of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. Dogen is an enthusiastic tea drinker.



Japanese Buddhist abbot Eisai writes the first Japanese tea book Kitcha-Yojoki (Book of Tea Sanitation).



Dogen returns from China with a wide assortment of tea utensils. In his instructions on daily life at the Eiheiji temple, he gives instructions for tea ceremonies.



Yuan Dynasty:

  • During the Mongol takeover of China, tea becomes a commonplace beverage but never regains its high social status.



Mongolia takes over of China and since the Emperor of Mongol isn’t a “tea guy,” tea drinking dies down in the courts and among the aristocracy. The masses continue to indulge.



Ming Dynasty:

  •  At the fall of the Mongol take over, all teas — green, black, and oolong — is easily found in China.

  • The process of steeping whole tea leaves in cups or teapots becomes popular.



Chu Yuan-chang decrees that brick tea should no longer be produced, and that all tribute tea should be leaf tea. (The production of brick tea for the imperial court had been a highly complex and very expensive process, an extravagant source of corruption and waste.) Once cake tea was no longer available, the ritual of preparing whisked tea from powdered tea is abandoned. Brewed tea becomes the most popular way to prepare tea. Early forms of teapots are used.



Ikkyu, a prince who became a priest, was successful in guiding the nobles away from their corruption of the tea ceremony.



  • The Japanese tea ceremony emerges onto the scene. First created by a Zen priest named Murata Shuko, the ceremony is called Cha-no-yu, literally meaning "hot water tea" and celebrates the mundane aspects of everyday life. 

  • Tea’s status elevates to an art form and almost a religion.



Japan's Shogun Yoshimasa encourages tea ceremonies, painting, and drama.



Japanese tea master Sen-no Rikyu opens the first independent teahouse and evolves the tea ceremony into its current simple and aesthetic ritual. During this ceremony, one takes a garden path into a portico, enters upon hearing the host’s gong, washes in a special room, and then enters a small tearoom that holds a painting or flower arrangement to gaze upon. The tea master uses special utensils to whisk the intense powdered tea. Tea drinkers enjoy the art or flowers and then smell and slurp from a shared tea bowl. 



A Venetian diplomat and traveller Giambattista Ramusio writes a book called the Voyages and Travels in which he describes "Chai Catai” (Tea of China).  Europeans learn about tea when the Venetian author credits the lengthy lives of Asians to their tea drinking.



Tea is mentioned for the first time in an English translation of Dutch navigator Jan Hugo van Linschooten's travels, in which he refers to tea as chaa.


End of 1500s

Europeans hear about tea again when Portuguese priests spreading Roman Catholicism through China taste tea and write about its medicinal and taste benefits.



  • The Dutch bring back green tea from Japan (although some argue it was from China).

  • Dutch East India Company market tea as an exotic medicinal drink, but it’s so expensive only the aristocracy can afford the tea and its serving pieces.



Chinese ambassadors present the Russian Czar Alexis with many chests of tea, which are refused as useless.



  • Tea catches on in the Dutch court.

  •  A German physician touts a warning about the dangers of tea drinking.



Wealthy Dutch merchants’ wives serve tea at parties.



Mongolian Ruler Altyn Khan sent his envoy Vassili Starkov to Russian Tsar Michael I and gifted 250 pounds of Tea; and tea was introduced in Russia.



Tea parties become quite trendy among women across the social classes. Husbands cry family ruin, and religious reformers call for a ban.



Manchus invade China and take power as the Quing dynasty. Tea makers discover the secrets of controlled "fermentation" or oxidation of the leaves before and during the drying process. Oolong and Black (red) teas are developed. As a result the coloration of tea cups changes to lighter hues.



The Dutch introduce several teas and tea traditions to New Amsterdam, which later becomes New York.



  • East India Company advertises tea's health benefits and begins sales in London. Tea is recommended as a treatment for apoplexy, catarrh, colic, consumption, drowsiness, epilepsy, gallstones, lethargy, migraine, paralysis, and vertigo.

  • Tea was first time sold in England as a health beverage when Thomas Garway advertises tea in his Coffee House in London.



The debate over tea’s health benefits versus detriments heightens when a Dutch doctor praises its curative side while French and German doctors call out its harmful side.



When Charles II takes a tea-drinking bride (Catherine Braganza of Portugal), tea becomes so chic that alcohol consumption declines.



  • English East India Company brings the gift of tea to the British king and queen.

  • The British take over New Amsterdam, name it New York, and a British tea tradition ensues.



Holland tea prices drop to $80-$100 per pound.



English East India Company monopolizes British tea imports after convincing British government to ban Dutch imports of tea.


The Massachusetts colony is known to drink black tea.



Tea becomes available in Holland in regular food stores.


First Early Tea Auctions Held by East India Company at  Leadenhall Street in London, later know as East India House. The ‘Lit of Candle’ was used to measure duration of Auctions.



Russia concluded a treaty with China to supply tea in Camel Caravan in exchange for furs. The Chinese ambassador to Moscow gifted several chests of tea to Alexis I.



  • Tea with milk is mentioned in Madam de Sévigné’s letters.

  • The Duchess of York introduces tea to Scotland.



The Russians signed treaty of Nerchinsk that formalized Russia’s sovereignty over Siberia. This lead to creation of Tea Road to trade tea between China and Russia. This helped in cutting down cost of transportation of Teas to Russia.



The first tea is sold publicly in Massachusetts.



The first known Taiwanese cultivation and export of domestic tea takes place.


Late 1600s

Russia and China sign a treaty that brings the tea trade across Mongolia and Siberia.


18th Century

The controversy over tea continues in England and Scotland where opponents claim it’s overpriced, harmful to one’s health, and may even lead to moral decay.


During Queen Anne’s reign, tea drinking thrives in British coffeehouses.



Annual tea importation to England tops 800,000 pounds.



Thomas Twining serves up tea at Tom’s Coffee House in London.



Tom’s Coffee House evolves into the first teashop called the Golden Lyon. Both men and women patronize the shop.



British Prime Minister Robert Walpole reduces British import taxes on tea.



  •  The Russian Empress extends tea as a regulated trade.

  • In order to fill Russia’s tea demand, traders and three hundred camels travel 11,000 miles to and from China, which takes sixteen months. 

  • Russian tea-drinking customs emerge, which entail using tea concentrate, adding hot water, topping it with a lemon, and drinking it through a lump of sugar held between the teeth.



Tea easily ranks as the most popular beverage in the American colonies.



  • The Townshend Revenue Act passes British Parliament, imposing duty on tea and other goods imported into the British American colonies.

  •  A town meeting is held in Boston to protest the Townshend Revenue Act, which leads to an American boycott of British imports and a smuggling in of Dutch teas.


Parliament rescinds the Townshend Revenue Act, eliminating all import taxes except those on teas.



  • The Tea Act of 1773 gave the East India Company control of trading in the Americas, imposing taxes and levies on the colonists. 

  • In protest of British tea taxes (Tea Act) and in what becomes known as the ‘Boston Tea Party’, colonists disguised as Native Americans board East India Company ships and unload hundreds of chests of tea into the harbour. 

  • Such “tea parties” are repeated in Philadelphia, New York, Maine, North Carolina, and Maryland through 1774.



  • A furious British Parliament passes the Coercive Acts in response to the American “tea party” rebellions.

  • King George III agrees to the Boston Port Bill, which closes the Boston Harbour until the East India Company is reimbursed for its tea.



After several British attempts to end the taxation protests, the American Revolution begins.



Before the indigenous Assam tea plants is identified, British naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, hired by the East India Company, suggests that India grow plant and cultivate imported Chinese tea. For 50 years, India is unsuccessful.



Parliament further reduces the British import taxes on tea in an effort to end the smuggling that accounts for the majority of the nation's tea imports.



11 million pounds of tea are brought into England.



English tea drinking hits a rate of 2 pounds per capita annually, a rate that increases by five times over the next 10 years.



Samples of indigenous Indian tea plants (wild plants) are sent to an East India Company botanist Robert Bruce who is slowly convinced that they are bonafide tea plants.



  • A tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from China and was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya for non-commercial purposes.

  • John Cadbury, a young English Quaker fresh from his apprenticeship at teahouses in Leeds, opens a grocery store at 93 Bull Street in Birmingham. Tea and coffee are his main commodities along with a newly imported product, cocoa. In 1831 he shifts the focus of his business to drinking chocolate and in 1849 manufactures his first chocolate bars.



English Quaker John Horniman introduces the first retail tea in sealed, lead-lined packages.



Congress reduces U.S. duties on coffee and tea and other imports.



Tea planted in India for the first time by Dr. A. Christie in the Nilgiris.



By an act of the British Prime Minister Charles Grey (the second Earl Grey and the namesake of the famous tea), the East India Company loses its monopoly in the trade with China, mostly in tea.



  • The East India Co. ceased to do auctions.

  • First Tea Committee appointed by Lord Bentinck, Governor General of India.



The East India Company starts the first tea plantations in Assam, India marking first Commercial Plantation of Tea in India.



The first American consul at Canton, Major Samuel Shaw, trades cargo for tea and silk, earning investors a great return on their capital and encouraging more Americans to trade with China.



The first tea from Indian soil and imported Chinese tea plants is sold. A small amount is sent to England and quickly purchased due to its uniqueness.



  • Black Assam tea arrives in London from India in large quantities. From this point on Black tea sales increase and Green tea sales decrease.

  • On 10-01-1839 London Auctions shifted to a newly build ‘Commercial Sales Room’ at Mincing Lane of London (UK).

  • Experimental tea plants were brought from Assam and Calcutta in India to Peradeniya through the East India Company.

  • Establishment of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.



American clipper ships speed up tea transports to America and Europe.


1840s and 50s

The first tea plants, imports from China and India, are cultivated on a trial basis in Sri Lanka (Ceylon).



Anna the Duchess of Bedford introduces afternoon tea, which becomes a lasting English ritual.



  • Parliament ends the Britain's Navigation Acts, and U.S. clipper ships are allowed to transport China tea to British ports.

  • Tea wholesaler Henry Charles Harrod takes over a London grocery store and grows it into one of the world's largest department stores.



  • Londoners get their first peak at a U.S. clipper ship when one arrives from Hong Kong after a 97-day voyage. Named the "Oriental" she carries 1,600-tons of Chinese tea and her $48,000 cargo fee nearly covers the cost of her construction.

  • U.S. clipper ships soon desert China trade for the more profitable work of taking gold seekers to California.



Establishment of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon.



  • Tea is planted in and about Darjeeling, India.

  • Formation of the Consultative Committee of Tea Producers’ Association and Tea Association of India; formation of Bhartiya Cha Parishad.



Local New York merchant George Huntington Hartford and his employer George P. Gilman give the A&P retail chain its start as the Great American Tea Company store. Hartford and Gilman buy whole clipper shipments from the New York harbour and sell the tea 1/3 cheaper than other merchants.



27-12-1861 Opening of Calcutta Auction Centre in India.



Over 90 percent of Britain's tea is still imported from China.



British Planter James Taylor planted the first 19 acres of tea in Loolecondra Estate near Kandy, Ceylon and this marked the birth of tea industry in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).



  • The Suez Canal opens, shortening the trip to China and making steamships more economical.

  • In a marketing effort to capitalize on the transcontinental rail link fervor, the Great American Tea Company is renamed the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.

  • A plant fungus ruins the coffee crop in Ceylon and spreads throughout the Orient and Pacific, giving a hefty boost to tea drinking.



Twinings of England begins to blend tea for uniformity.



  • The Adulteration of Food, Drink, and Drugs Act deems the sale of adulterated drugs or other unlabeled mixtures with foreign additives that increase weight as punishable offenses.

  • First mechanical Tea roller introduced by William Jackson in Jorhat (India).

  • James Taylor began operating a fully equipped Tea Factory in Loolecondra Estate (Sri Lanka) and the same year the first sale of Loolecondra tea (Loolkandura) was made in Kandy (Sri Lanka).



The first consignment of Ceylon Tea of 23 lbs (10Kg) from Loolecondra Estate was shipped to London.



A new British Sale of Food and Drugs Law calls adulteration hazardous to personal health and increases its legal consequences to a heavy fine or imprisonment.



  • Thomas Johnstone Lipton opens his first shop in Glasgow at the age of 26. He was successful by using American merchandising methods he learned working in the grocery section of a New York department store.

  • The first Indian owned a Tea Estate.

  • Founding of the first Broking firm of Sri Lanka, John Brothers & Co.



Manufacture of first “SIROCCO” tea drier by Samuel Cleland Davidson



  • British Henry Randolph Trafford arrived in Ceylon and bought coffee estates in places such as Poyston, near Kandy. Very soon he converted Coffee Estates into Tea Estates. By the late 1980s most Coffee Estates turned into Tea Estates.

  • Manufacture of first Tea tea rolling machine by John Walker & Co.



Indian Tea Association formed.



30-07-1883 The first public Colombo Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co., under the auspices of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.



Thomas Lipton buys tea estates in Ceylon, in order to sell tea at a reasonable price at his growing chain of 300 grocery stores.



  • For the first time India exports a million pounds of tea.

  • Nilgiris Planters’ Association founded.



Darjeeling Tea Planters’ Association formed.


  • One million tea packets sold at the Chicago World’s Fair.

  • The United Planters’ Association of Southern India founded.

  • Tea was sold at a record price of Sterling Pound 36.15 per lb at London Tea Auctions.


09-08-1894 Opening of Colombo Auction Centre in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) under the banner of Ceylon Tea Trade Association.


  • Indian Tea Cess Committee formed and Planters’ Enquiry Committee appointed.

  • The Colombo Brokers’ Association was formed.


US Tea Act to ensure quality standards of all Tea imported into the United States.


Late 1800s

  • Assam tea plants take over imported Chinese plants in India and its tea market booms. 

  • Ceylon’s successful coffee market turns into a successful tea market.



Indian Tea Cess Act comes into force.



  • Englishman Richard Blechynden creates iced tea during a heat wave at the St Louis World Fair. 

  • Green tea and Formosan (Taiwanese) tea outsells black tea by five times in the U.S.



New York tea importer Thomas Sullivan inadvertently invents tea bags when he sends tea to clients in small silk bags, and they mistakenly steep the bags whole.



Thomas Lipton begins blending and packaging his tea in New York.



Sumatra, Indonesia becomes a cultivator and exporter of tea followed by Kenya and parts of Africa.



Thomas Amarasuriya became the first Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) to be appointed as Chairman of the Planters’ Associaiton.



A National Tea Control was brought in and tea was split into three grades and sold at a fixed retail price.



Tea Research Institute established in Ceylon.



Crash of the American stock market and the depression that followed. 



  • Introduction of CTC Manufacturing machines.

  • The Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board formed.



  • Indian Tea Control Bill introduced.

  • Formation of Assam Tea Planters’ Association.



  • The first time a joint promotional campaign is organized by India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Java.

  • A Law was introduced in Sri Lanka to prohibit export of poor quality tea.



International Tea Market Expansion Board Established in India.



Excise duty becomes leviable on Tea in India.



After a slump in the tea trade, Britain and the UK began to recover.  However, the economy collapsed with World War II and tea was rationed from 1940 until October 1952.



The first Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) Tea Broking house, M/s Pieris & Abeywardena, was formed.



The Ceylon Estate Employers’ Federation was founded.



  • 04-07-1947 Opening of Cochin Auction Centre in India.

  • ESUSI becomes the first registered trade union in the Indian tea industry

  • Export Duty raised.



Royal Commission on Industrial Labour formed in India.



16-07-1949 Opening of Chittagong Auction Centre in Bangladesh.



  • The Plantations Labour Act passed in India.

  • 01-10-1951 An export duty on tea was introduced in Sri Lanka.



Tea Act 1953 introduced by Parliament of India.



Tea Board of India founded. Tea Board Act, 1953.



The Plantations Labour Act 1954, brought into force in India. Tea Board Rules, 1954. A boom year for Tea.


  • Tea Board By Laws, 1955 (Indian Act).

  • First Clonal Tea field began cultivation in Sri Lanka.



07-11-1956 Opening of Nairobi Auction Centre in Kenya (Later Shifted to Mombasa).



Tea Waste Control Order, 1959 (Indian Act).



Sri Lanka Tea Production and exports reached 200 million kgs. for the first time and teas were grown in 200,000 hectares.



Dooars Tea Research Institute founded.



23-03-1963 Opening of Coonoor Auction Centre in India.



  • 30-04-1964 Opening of Amritsar Auction Centre in India.

  • Production & Export of Instant tea began in Sri Lanka.



Sri Lanka became the world’s largest exporter for the first time.



First International Tea Convention held at Sri Lanka to commemorate 100 years of tea industry of the country.



Instant tea comes into being; crude fibre from CTC tea.



14-07-1969 Opening of Mombasa Auction Centre in Kenya (shifted from Nairobi).



  • February 1970 Opening of Limbe Auction Centre in Malawi.

  • 25-09-1970 Opening of Guwahati Auction Centre in India.



  • Tea Board (Recruitment and Conditions of Services of Officers appointed by Government) Rules of 1971 (Indian Act).

  • Tea Board Order Notification dt. 25-05-1971.

  • 1971-72 Sri Lankan Government nationalised Estates owned by Sri Lankan and British companies taking over some privately held tea, rubber and coconut estates.



11-12-1972 Opening of Jakarta Auction Centre in Indonesia.



First National Seminar on tea organized by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations in New Delhi.



  • Equal Remunerations Act. Plantations implemented in India.

  • Sri Lanka nationalised Rupee and Sterling companies.



  • For the first Time Pakistan buys Indian Tea.

  • 29-10-1976 Opening of Siliguri Auction Centre in India.

  • Sri Lanka founded bodies like Sri Lanka Tea Board, Janatha Estate Development Board (JEDB), Sri Lanka Estate Plantation Corporation(SLSPC), Tea Small Holding Development Authority (TSHDA).

  • The export of Tea Bags commenced.



Tea declared an essential commodity in India; the Direct Taxes Committee set up by the Govt. of India.


22-11-1980 Opening of Coimbatore Auction Centre in India.


  • 22-11-1981 Opening of Singapore Auction Centre (which later closed).

  • Investigation of tea undertaking / Tea Unit Procedure Rules, 1981 Order (India).

  • Sri Lanka began importing teas for blending and re-export.



Sri Lanka began production and export of Green Teas.


Sri Lanka commenced manufacture of CTC Teas manufacturing.


  • Tea (Marketing) Control Order, 1984 (India).

  • Sri Lanka constructed a Central Tea factory on Fairy Land Estate (Pedro) in Nuwara Eliya.


Tea Ware House Licensing Order, 1989 (India).


The Chelliah Committee on Tax Reforms.


  • Sri Lanka celebrated 125th anniversary of tea industry and conducted international tea convention in Colombo.

  • 21-12-1992 Sri Lanka abolished Export duty and Ad-Valorem tax and established Tea Research Board.

  • 1992-93 Sri Lanka privatised tea estates, and sold it to various Indian entrepreneurs, which were earlier privatised during 1970s.



UPASI India's centenary celebration.


Tea Board (Right of Law Rules), 1996 (India).



29-06-1998 Closure of London Auctions.



  • World’s largest tea party in Hong Kong attended by 4950 guests

  • The Plantation Enquiry Commission established.


India International Tea Convention organized by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Association in New Delhi.


  • 01-07-2001 ‘Global Tea Brokers’ promoted by two young entrepreneurs, Mr. Rajesh Gupta and Mr. Rakesh Gupta (from Gupta family), launched its first Tea Auction Broking office at Coonoor w.e.f. sale week no.28, marking the beginning of modern era 21st century Tea Auctioning services.

  • ‘Global Tea Brokers’ published weekly ‘Auction Catalogue and Sold Prices’ in its websites, the first Auction Broker to do so.

  • ‘Global Tea Brokers’ begin circulating Sold prices and Auction Reports to Buyers and Sellers through email.

  • ‘Global Tea Brokers’ introduced mass Market Report Alerts to Buyers and Sellers through mobile ‘SMS’ system, the first brokers to introduce such system.

  • ‘Global Tea Brokers’ proposed the Executive Director Tea Board to appoint consultants to implement pan India internet based tea auctioning in electronic platform. The Tea Board took the proposal positively and took initiatives to study the E-auction plan.  

  • Forbes & Walker Ltd. launched Sri Lanka’s first online tea sale under Colombo Tea Auctions, which was short lived.

  • A Tea museum was established in Kandy.



Tea Association of Sri Lanka formed.



  • 01-10-2003  Opening of Tamil Nadu State Govt. controlled ‘Tea Serve’ Auction Centre at Coonoor, India. This was the world’s first electronic Auction (Computer based Bidding but not through Internet) which replaced the traditional system of use of Gavel (Hammer) by Auctioneers and ‘Outcry bidding’ by Buyers.

  • 01-01-2015 Govt. of India withdrew Tea (Marketing) Control Order 1984 and replaced it with Tea (Marketing) Control Order 2003; Increased import protection on tea and enhanced development allowance in the Union Budget of 2001-02.



  • Opening of Jalpaiguri Auction Centre in India.

  • 01-05-2005 Tea (Distribution and Export) Control Order, 2005 declared (India).



  • 21-12-2008 World’s first Internet Based Electronic Auction (i-auction) launched by the Tea Board of India in Coimbatore and Coonoor in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

  • India becomes the first country in the world to sell its entire Auction Teas in Internet platform. India sells around 500 million kg of teas annually through electronic platform.

  • ‘Tea Settlement Banker’ formed in Coonoor to handle payments of Auction Sale Proceeds. India becomes the first country to appoint clearing bank.



  • 21-07-2010 TeaServe, Coonoor migrated its offline (LAN) based electronic auctions (e-auction) to Internet based auctions (i-auction).



  • ‘Global Tea Brokers’ completed its One Decade of Auctioning Services.

  • GTB published 161 pages Statistical compilations of Tea Data and Tea Encyclopaedia in the name of ‘Global Tea Diary 2011’, which was distributed to 700 members of Tea fraternity absolutely without any charge, promoting mass education and knowledge about Tea Trade and Tea facts.   



  • Coonoor Tea Trade Association celebrated its 50th anniversary (Golden Jubilee).



  • 12-02-2014 ‘Chai pe Charcha’ – ‘Discussion over tea’ interactive (video conference) election campaign of BJP Prime ministerial candidate Mr. Narendra Modi launched in India at 1000 tea stall locations.  



  • 21-06-2016 PAN INDIA E auction platform launched by Tea Board of India, permitting Tea Buyers of All India to simultaneously bid in auctions of any auction centre of the country. i.e. Buyers registered in one centre can bid for teas sold in any other centre of the country viz. Kolkata, Guwahati, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Coonoor, Coimbatore and Kochi.   

  • 14-09-2016 Tea Board of India appointed ‘Bank of India’ as a ‘Common Tea Settlement Banker’ for the entire Indian auctions to handle sale proceeds, collection and remittance of Buyers, Sellers and Auctions Brokers, w.e.f. sale week no.37. However Tea Board later suspended services of Bank of India from sale week no.42 onwards due to technical glitches and service issues.



  • 12th to 14th Jan 2017 – Bangladesh Tea Expo, Chittagong – first international tea convention held in Bangladesh.

  • 8th to 11th Aug 2017 – Colombo International Tea Convention – celebration of 150 years of Ceylon Tea

  • 01-07-2017 Indian Government introduced its biggest ever Taxation reform in the name of GST (Goods and Services Tax).

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