Tea in England

When thinking of cultures surrounded by tea, most people immediately think of Great Britain, though this wasn’t always the case. Standage’s work on tea, found in Chapter 9, gives insight into how tea became as popular in England as it is now. In the 1600’s tea had just started to make its way across the pond, but not in the way we imagine it to be today. Some believed that it’s only use was for medicinal purposes, while others believed that after it’s voyage from China it became dangerous for human consumption. Tea did not become a widespread and beloved beverage until it was introduced by the aristocracy in the late 1600’s after the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza from Portugal. She was an avid tea drinker with a love for tea, and many British people wished to follow suit. As soon as 1757 tea was a common beverage being enjoyed by both royals and commoners alike. With the introduction into everyday society, tea became less of an expensive treat and more accessible to the public. Starting as all-male institutions, tea houses became accessible and affordable to all and take home tea became available. For citizens below the poverty line, tea became a staple in diets consisting of little nutrition and provided sustenance to many. Furthermore, with the integration of tea into British society, the beverage manifested into the empire that it is today.

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