A nice cup of tea through history

A new exhibition at Compton Verney explores the cultural significance of our nation’s favourite drink.

Visitors to A Tea Journey will follow the tea leaf from plant to pot, beginning with its roots in Chinese culture through to its adoption and appropriation into British society. The exhibition raises questions about what the humble cup of tea has evolved to represent in international, social, philosophical and visual cultures.

A Tea Journey combines rare, historic teaware from China, Japan and India with responses by contemporary artists including Robin Best, Adam Buick, Phoebe Cummings, Charlotte Hodes, Takahiro Kondo, Ian McIntyre, Bruce Nuske, Selina Nwulu, Bouke de Vries, Hetain Patel, Paul Scott, Julian Stair and Edmund de Waal.

Visitors can also explore The Tea Sensorium which will offer a multi-sensory appreciation of tea, from the leaf itself and art inspired by tea, as well as becoming a sight for artist-led workshops and discussions.

The exhibition runs until 22 September.