Tribute Tea

Pu’er – Steeped in History

The term Tribute Tea or Gong Cha derives from the custom of giving the finest selection of your tea yield to the emperor.


Records show the practice dates back as early as 1000B.C. and the emperor was still enjoying the tribute of China’s best teas up until the last dynasty: the Qing Dynasty, 1644 to 1911.


The practice was voluntary at first but then became compulsory. In 700A.D., during the Tang Dynasty, a new centralized system was introduced.



120416_IMG_39472.jpgAvant-Garde Tea Culture


This had a major impact on the Chinese tea industry. Tribute Tea effectively became a serious tax burden on the tea growers as strict standards were imposed and officials were dispatched across China to impose the new levy.


In Chinese society tea changed from being seen as a medicinal tonic and became an important part of everyday life.


Aristocrats especially embraced the new trend and during the reign of Emperor Song Huizong, the most tea fanatical of all the emperors, tea became the avant-garde culture in China.



Exceptional Range Of Teas


For the next thousand years the Tribute Tea system forced the tea growers and producers to keep up with the ever changing tastes of the tea connoisseurs in the imperial court, this helped create the stimulating and exceptional range of teas available in China today.


During the Qing Dynasty, Pu’er tea, from faraway Yunnan province, was noticed for its depth of character, bold full-bodied taste and array of health benefits. It was selected as the preferred Tribute Tea of the day.



Gourmet Teas


Many of today’s gourmet teas were once Tribute Tea, and Taetea Pu’er retains and exemplifies all the characteristics that historically made it so highly prized.


The history and culture of Pu’er make it meaningful and symbolic gift as well as a nourishing tasty tea.



See Our Products and the Taetea Royal Beijing Teahouse for a look at Tribute Tea available from Taetea.