Colonial Bohea Tea

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Bohea tea, (pronounced “Boo-hee” - Ukers 510), was by far the largest tea import during colonial times. Sometimes called Bohea Souchong or Lapsang Bohea, the blend originated in China with trade to the British and Dutch East India Companies. It was so popular that the word bohea became the slang term for tea. The blend varied wildly, consisting of broken orange pekoe, pekoe, and souchong dumped in a pile and then sifted, typically the scrap tea of lower quality leaves, but was considered high quality by the colonists.