I probably had it for a few years without symptoms but was only diagnosed 3 months ago when I went to see my GP for an unrelated matter. She said that they didn't have a BP measure on record for me in the last 6 years - cos I hadn't been there in that time - so did a routine one and it was over 170. She advised me to buy a home BP monitor and send her a weeks worth of readings, none of which were below 160.
I've also almost totally cut out caffeine. To be honest I haven't missed it. Grabbing a coffee between meetings had just become a habit.
I've done the same with caffeine and didn't use a lot of salt anyway. Have alcohol controlled. TBH, I think mine is/was genetic or down to another condition not lifestyle. I never had steady hands from when I was in my late teens. They're a lot more steady than they were before I started on the meds. Also, in the mid 90s, I remember having my blood pressure measured by the practice nurse. She looked at the reading and just put it down to white coat syndrome. If she hadn't, I might have been diagnosed far earlier.