Preserving Tea’s History: ‘Tea History Collection’ Launches

A new private Tea History Collection has been set up in Banbury, Oxfordshire, by U.K.-based entrepreneur Denys Shortt OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). The Collection was officially launched on May 21 on International Tea Day, a U.N.-designated day to promote activities in favor of the sustainable production and consumption of tea.

Tea History Collection Mike Bunston

Shortt grew up on a tea estate in Assam and his family spent 30 years in the tea industry. He decided to set up the collection over a year ago, while working with the London Tea History Association. The facility is purpose built and includes a full tea tasting counter, a library of books and documents relating to tea and its associations, a spacious meeting area and archive cupboards for historical items – all temperature controlled.

Tea History Collection

“I have been working with the London Tea History Association for several years, where we have erected three history plaques in London on important tea buildings,” said Shortt. “We felt that there was a need for a place to store important historical tea items, and so I offered my business premises, DCS Group in Banbury.”

In just a few months of preparing the collection, Shortt and his team received many donations from people in the tea industry. “We now have over 500 items in the museum – with important books, interesting tea items and even some tea samples dating back to 1904,” he said.

Tea History Collection

Tea History Collection envisions that related organizations will be invited to utilize The Tea History Collection resources, such as the etiquette of Afternoon Tea with The English Manner, founded by fellow London Tea History Association member Alexandra Messervy, who recently curated a socially-distanced Tea History Walk around London, which will be inaugurated with The Culture Concierge in mid-summer.

Tea History Collection

The Tea History Collection was officially opened by Tea Ambassador Mike Bunston OBE, during a private ceremony (due to COVID-19 restrictions).

To learn more about the Tea History Collection, visit