Early Tea Culture in England

Acta Historia- The Global Journal

In the early 1600s the Portuguese and Dutch brought tea through trade from China. By about 1610 tea was regularly coming to Europe and being consumed by the upper classes as a luxury item. By 1657 roughly, it was a common item in England, and it was being served in the popular coffee houses in London and around the country.

Guess how much a pound of tea cost at the time? Around £10 and in today’s money that would be roughly £2,000 in today’s money or $2,500 USD! Per ounce that would be $156. Since most workers earned only around £50 a year, this made tea an exclusive treat for the wealthy.

Queen Catherine of Braganza, the Portugese wife of Charles II, introduced the custom of taking tea in 1662 in the English royal court. In about a century the culture of tea was bringing 7 million tons of tea…

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