Tea’s Journey to Iran: From Minor Role to Cultural Icon

Tea’s presence in Iran dates back to the 18th century when it was first introduced to the Persian Empire through various trade routes from India and East Asia via the Silk Road. Despite this introduction, tea remained a minor ingredient in Persian cuisine until the late 1800s.

A Diplomat’s Discovery: Kashef Al Saltaneh’s Contribution to Iranian Tea Culture

In the early 1900s, the British Empire, which controlled most of the tea trade at the time, limited non-Europeans from trading tea. It was during this time that Kashef Al Saltaneh, an Iranian diplomat visiting India, used his fluency in French to acquire a few tea plants to bring back to Iran. He spent the next few years experimenting with cultivating the plants until he found the right technique that would yield a viable crop.

Tea Takes Hold in Iranian Culture

Tea quickly took hold in Iranian culture, and soon tea houses were abundant, serving as meeting places for artists, intellectuals, and businessmen. These tea houses served paper-thin glass teacups filled with dark crimson tea, sweet pastries, and hard broken sugar cubes.

Persian Earl Grey: A Unique Take on a Classic British Tea

By the mid-20th century, Earl Grey had become the tea of choice in Iran. In the 1970s, Persian culture developed its own version of Earl Grey, using bergamot orange oil to flavor black tea leaves. This unique take on a classic British tea, with its pungent and floral aroma, heavy body, and smooth sweet finish, has become one of the most consumed beverages in Iran and the Iranian diaspora.

Persian Royal Tea: Continuing the Tradition

Persian Royal Tea follows the same tradition by meticulously blending cold-pressed bergamot oil into their award-winning Persian-style Earl Grey teas. Their secret family recipe and blending methods are known around the world and represented in their amazing products. Although Persian-style Earl Grey is a staple in the Persian community, its unique taste and strong body are loved by Earl Grey tea drinkers everywhere.

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