Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tea Board of Experts

Did you know that the United States once had a Tea Board of Experts, a group that was responsible for keeping tabs on the quality of imported tea (which would be nearly all tea consumed here)?

The board was formed in 1897 and stuck around for almost a century, before disbanding in 1996. For (a little) more information, check out these brief pieces from National Geographic and the National Library of Medicine.

shop for tea books.

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1 comment:

rotterdarned said...

I sat on that Board for some years. We worked hand in hand for the USA FDA Office of the Tea Examiner by establishing minimum tea quality standards for teas entering the USA, to the benefit of the American consumer's health as well as enjoyment of the product. Our job was to set in stone yearly the rock bottom quality of "Teas Fit for Human Consumption" being imported. We were not unique - the fish industry and others had such Boards and FDA Import Examiners. In their great wisdom, the political mucktahs at our FDA killed funding for their import exam offices in a cost cutting move, leaving open the consumer to rotten if not dangerous quality product. That's why the Board was killed in 1996. Suffice to say the FDA Tea Examiners (who themselves were as expert as any teaman in the country) are needed now more than ever because of global events since 1997. For health reasons, some huge suppliers like China should have all of their US tea imports banned forthwith. Enough said.