I was surprised to hear of a Chinese tea company, Guangzhou Wang Lao Ji, opening a museum in New York City. Better known as Wong Lo Kat, this herbal tea company is moving into the 21st Century in a big way. They are reported to be the oldest Chinese herbal tea brand in existence, dating back to 1828. I had not been aware of the Chinese being invovled with herbal teas. I certainly was aware of their medicinal teas but not their tasty herbal teas. It is reported that they plan to open museums in 56 overseas museums around the world. The purpose of opening museums around the globe serves a dual purpose, according to the deputy general manager Ye Jizeng: “Wang Lao Ji’s first overseas museum in New York will deepen consumer’s understanding of the Chinese herbal tea culture and more importantly, bring the 190-year-old Chinese brand to the world.”
I hope to be in NYC next fall and will surely make my way to the tea museum. Here’s what I’ll expect to see: “The themed museum is quite modern on the exterior, but with Chinese distinguished features inside, where a multimedia exhibition will introduce the brand’s stellar past of 190 years and the successes achieved. On top of that, the abundant historical records and physical display will deliver an immersive experience that allows visitors to appreciate a more innovative and unique culture of Chinese herbal teas.” According to China Daily, they have set up a tea shop inside the museum, allowing visitors to taste the various herbal blends. I look forward to hearing where the next museums will be located, which cities around the globe that are believed to be sufficiently tea-centric to warrant the investment of a tea museum and tea shop. Apparently, the U.S. ranks next, behind China in its consumption of herbal teas.