The Bramah Museum of Tea & Coffee
The Founder
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General Information
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General Information | The Museum | The Founder

Edward BramahEdward Bramah, founder of the Bramah Museum has had over fifty years of experience in all aspects of tea and coffee. His work in the coffee and tea trade has taken him to Africa, India, China and Japan, and he maintains important links with these countries.

After working initially as a planter on a tea estate in Malawi, Edward Bramah was trained as a tea taster by J. Lyon & Co., and then worked with Kenya Coffee Auctions, a coffee brokerage firm in Kenya and Tanzania.

By 1956 he was working with the China National Tea Corporation to restore China's tea trade with Britain. In 1966 he founded a tea and coffee company under his own name and developed an interest in designing coffee filter machines. About this time that he began collecting the materials that now comprise the Bramah Museum of Tea and Coffee.

Edward on a recent trip to DarjeelingHe had the idea for the Museum of Tea and Coffee in 1952, and forty years later, in 1992, founded the Museum by the river Thames near the City of London where tea and coffee had been imported into Britain for centuries.

His authoritative knowledge of tea and coffee and their history has led to his being in demand as a lecturer in both the producing and consuming countries alike.

Edward Bramah, a frequent visitor to Indian (the picture shows Edward on a recent trip to Darjeeling) and Japan is acknowledged as a tea-master for traditional English tea. His tea and coffee seminars are world renown.

Edward Bramah has also published his extensive knowledge of tea and coffee and their history in a number of books, including:

  • Tea and Coffee: a Modern View of Three Hundred Years of Tradition (1972; also translated into Japanese);

  • Coffee-Makers: 300 Years of Art and Design (1989)

  • Novelty Teapots (1992)

  • Britain's Tea Heritage (forthcoming).

Details of these books are available from our shop.

Joseph Bramah
Wooden Tea Caddie

The earliest Bramah connection with tea would have been in the 1700s when Edward's ancestor Joseph (senior), coachman to the Earl of Strafford, would have no doubt carried tea for the family. In the 1750s Joseph's son, also called Joseph, would have been aware of the Strafford family taking afternoon tea at Silkstow Castle and been inspired to make wooden tea caddies. Tea was so expensive at the time that it may indeed have been the inspiration for him to make his famous lock, often fitted to tea chests

Sir Joseph Banks

Another relative, the far-seeing Sir Joseph Banks, made the recommendation to the East India Company that tea growing would be possible in North East India.