Tracing the Tea Trail from Plymouth to China

30 August 2016 | College News, International Students

Plymouth Tea Presentation

A delegation from City College and Plymouth University has retraced the historic tea trade route between Britain and China to present their Chinese partners with a collection of teas brewed in the historic naval trading port of Plymouth.

The team from City College travelled to China as part of a British Council-funded project which aims to establish an international hub for dementia research and training in a City near to Shanghai.

Tea has been imported into the UK through Plymouth’s historic trading port since the drink was made popular by the wife of King Charles II, Catherine of Braganza, in the 17th Century. It is only within the last few years, however, that the plants required to produce the nation’s most popular hot beverage have been grown in the South West.

Local company Plymouth Tea have over 500 tea plants growing on the banks of the River Tavy and create their special blends – including Mayflower, Drake’s and Armada – in Plymouth itself. The local brew has proved popular, and is now served at several outlets throughout the City, including at City College’s PL1 Restaurant.

Phil Davies, Principal and Chief Executive of City College, said: “Given that tea originated in China, it seemed like an appropriate gift to take on this first visit to China as part of our international dementia project. Our Chinese partners were delighted with their Plymouth Tea presentation and intrigued that we were able to create such a delightful brew here in the UK.”

This was the first outbound visit from the UK to China for the three-year project to establish a joint dementia training hub with the College’s international partners, Plymouth University and Huzhou University. Funded by the British Council under its UK/China Partnership Innovation Challenge Fund, the centre of excellence for dementia training will increase opportunities for both Chinese and UK health care professionals and students, whilst enhancing curriculum development and impacting dementia care nationally within the UK and internationally within China.

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