Everybody likes tea! And the many owners of Hertonäs manor have most probably enjoyed this fragranted and steamy drink during the last three decades. The teabush started to be cultivated in the rocky area between China, India and Myanmar (former Burma), but leaves of wild bushes were gathered already thousands of years ago. From this area the skill to cultivate spred to Korea and Japan. The quality and taste of the tea depend on the climate, the soil and at what time of the year it is gathered. Chine was the largest producer of tea in the world until the 19th C. The trading companies started to import tea to Europe and got big gains. After a while tea started to be cultivated also in India, on the Island of Ceylon and in Russia and South America.
The bushes can either be Chinese or from Assam. Different types of tea, e. g. green och black, are made with various techniques. Europeans first started to drink tea in Germany and France in the 17th C. In Sweden the nobility, burgers and priests started to drink tea in the 18th C. and also the elite in the eastern part on the realm, in Finland. Tea was more common than coffee in those days. Tea was also imported and sold by the merchants in Helsinki.
Teatasting. Oy Sergejeff Ab developed our tea and let us taste the difference to their own blends (in the background). The company also imports Taylor's tea. Photo: EAW.
Hertonäs Manor Museum has teacups that once belonged admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt, who owned the manor in the end of the 18th C., and from 1813 until his death in 1820. The porcelinecups have no ears and are EastAasian. They are decorated with a ship and a Swedish flag joined with the goddess Nike, who crowns the victory. The cups were given to Cronstedt by his officers as a memory of the seabattle at Ruotsinsalmi outside Kotka in July 1790. The war was waged by king Gustavus III against Russia. Cronstedt was considered a hero in this battle.
Teacup from the 1790's. These were a gift to admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt (1756-1820). Photo: SOV.
What kind of tea could Cronstedt have tasted in his days? Probably black tea of Chinese origin. In 2020 we started planning to get our own, unique blend to the museum. We chose to cooperate with Oy Sergejeff Ab. The founder of the company, merchant Feodor Sergejeff, started marketing his Chinese tea in 1887. He had his own store in Viipuri. The city was a center for teatrade in the 19th C. Sergejeff’s company is founded in 1873, and very early on they created their own famous blend, Javan Tea (Jaavan tee). When Viipuri was lost to the Soviet Union the company moved to Helsinki, and is still run by the family.
Our tea is ready to be sold alongside our own honey (created by the bees at Knusbacka farmstead and produced by Hive Five). Photo: EAW.
Our tea, created by Oy Sergejeff Ab, is a black tea with a perfect amount of lapsang tea that give it a faint smokey taste. The tea is sold at the museum for 6 euros/ bag (100 grams). Welcome to shop and have a taste! The museum is open every Sunday until 1st November 2020, from noon to 2 PM.
Ranta, Sirkka-Liisa 2020: Suomalainen teekirja. Tammi: Helsinki.