Boston, US: The Chinese Tea Party?
The Boston Tea Party was a key event in the run up to the US Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Around midnight, on December 16th, 1773, some 100 furious political protesters stormed three ships carrying Chinese tea in the Boston Harbor. The tea was subjected to a British tax that the American protesters refused to pay as long as they were not properly represented in the British government. Airing their discontent, the protesters spent the next three hours throwing 342 chests in the water, the equivalent of 19 million cups of tea.
The types of tea
The majority of the tea was called Bohea tea: a type of Oolong (black) tea grown in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, shipped out through the port of Xiamen. More specifically, the 342 chests included:
- 240 chests of the cheapest type of Bohea;
- 15 chests of Congou, a superior type and a darker colored Bohea tea with larger leaves;
- 10 chests of Souchong, also higher quality Bohea, giving a yellow-green colored brew.
- In addition to Oolong tea, there was also more expensive green tea, including:
- 60 chests of Singlo, with its blue-green colored leaves;
- 17 chests of Hyson, high quality green tea, with closely curled, small leaves.
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