A Spot of Tea

As most of you probably know, the English drink tea. Tea was introduced in England after 1650. I’m sure that most of us have read a historical in which the phrase “a dish” of tea is used rather than the more familiar “cup” of tea.  This site tells us that the first tea cups were Chinese in origin and were shallow saucers, and did not have handles. From the same site:

100 years after the introduction of tea in England, handles were not yet seen on tea cups, but English potters had introduced saucers to the bowls. The tea-drinkers thought the saucer was there to pour the tea into to cool it and then they would sip the tea from the saucer. Later the saucer was used to hold spillage and the use of the cup and saucer became the tradition used today with the addition of handles.

Britain Express has a good overview of the history of tea and coffee houses. Tea was taxed by 1676. A hundred years later, we know how that taxation thing worked for the British when they were across the pond. According to this site, the tax rose to 119% and guess what?!  Tea smuggling, that’s what. And guess what else! People put stuff that wasn’t tea in the tea. What’s that thing the French say about change and the same old thing?

Check out The United Kingdom Tea Council for their amazing History of Tea, including the The London Tea Auction
And there’s this from 1826:
My favorite tea ever is Lapsang Souchang. I love the smoky flavor. At work, however, I drink Lipton. It gets my day going.  What about you guys? Do you drink tea? What kind?  If you were a tea smuggler where would you hide your tea?

About carolyn

Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has two cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his.
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