Tea Tales: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

On July 11, 2021, I was in Boston, MA right at the opening time for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, located where the Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773. They offer a tour and interactive experience boarding replica historic vessels, and they also own the only known tea chest from the 1773 event, but I passed on the $30 entrance fee for all of that and headed straight for Abigail’s Tea Room.

Named in honor of Abigail Adams, the tea room offers food and beverages, and of course: TEA! The friend I was traveling with got Abigail’s blend, a light afternoon black tea, shown here:

Abigail’s Blend

As for myself, I got a bottomless cup of tea to try the 5 historic teas thrown into Boston Harbor. They were freshly brewed and ready for tasting!

The five teas thrown in to Boston Harbor: 2 greens and 3 blacks, left to right in intensity.

The cashier had advised me to start at the left and work to the right in order of tea strength. There were 2 greens and 3 blacks. I’ll describe each in order, along with the printed descriptions provided in the tea room.

1. Singlo

This tea had a lighter flavor, and a slightly roasted or even smoky taste that reminded me of the rice teas I’ve tried before. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.

2. Young Hyson

This tea had a grassy taste and was more pleasant than the previous green tea. It also had a light taste. Evidently it has prestigious fans among whom are Thomas Jefferson and George Washington!

3. Bohea

This black tea had a robust taste, and perhaps a hint of anise or licorice (which I don’t care for). Made me think it was the Lipton of its time, and was not my favorite. It did taste better with the cinnamon scone I had to balance the palate a bit.

My cinnamon scone aided the tea tasting

4. Congou

Another black tea, and my favorite of the 5 that I tried. It had a sweeter taste (maybe the apple, although I couldn’t taste apple), but was very unique with a flavor I found hard to describe. A robust black tea, but not a flavor you could place or compare with many others.

5. Souchong

I was so distracted by the smell and taste of this tea I forgot to take a picture of the cup! Reader, it smells AND tastes like charcoal. I’ve tried this tea once before during a tea tasting long ago at Serene Teaz, and wanted to steer clear of it ever since. If you like a tea that tastes like you just cleaned a charcoal grill with the water, or that smell on your clothing after sitting by a campfire all evening, this is for you, but it was definitely my least favorite tea of the day with its strong smoky taste and smell.

Before leaving the tea room, I took a look at the corner china cabinet and was interested to see some “Boston Tea Party” memorabilia from the 1873 centennial.

Boston Tea Party Centennial Memorabilia from 1873

Next stop, the GIFT SHOP, which was incredibly dangerous territory for me and my wallet.

The gift shop at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

I found some gifts for friends, got started on family birthday presents for later in the year, and found a few fun things for myself too.

Took home my favorite of the 5 historic teas I had tried, and got some teapot earrings. πŸ™‚

In addition to some teapot earrings and Congou loose leaf, I got a little teapot magnet with the museum name on it to remember the day. I was wondering if they had any boxes with all 5 teas in them, which they did not. Upon reflection, this is wise since the Souchong is so strong it probably would have overwhelmed and corrupted all the other teas in the box next to it! I took some other photos of interesting merchandise that I didn’t purchase as well.

Wide variety of t-shirt options!
For those wanting their own replica ship to take home
These buttons were fun πŸ™‚

If you like tea and American history, this is definitely a recommended stop the next time you’re in Boston! I wasn’t sure about going at first, but it actually turned out to be my favorite Boston activity that I did (including the entire Freedom Trail). Had a wonderful time and wouldn’t mind returning again in the future if my path takes me back there.

Until next time…tea you later!

A look at the waterfront by the museum
Sign on the dock near the vessels
Trays near the historic teas to catch spare drips

4 thoughts on “Tea Tales: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

  1. I did take the Boston Tea Party Museum tour when I visited, and I liked it, although I think the actors were a bit over-the-top “hammy”. We got to “throw the tea” (actually a cube of something on a rope) into the harbor. The best part? As part of the admission, I got a free tour on one of the Boston Harbor boats, which I took later in the evening and LOVED.

  2. Actually, now that I think about it, it was an even better deal! I bought a hop-on, hop-off tour of Boston. The Boston Tea Party Museum AND the harbor cruise were both included in the price. I would have done the tour anyway. Those were both serendipitous add-ons! (I did a Battlefield Tour to Lexington and Concord the next morning, which is when I drove by Fenwick Park.)

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