What is the fuss about tea?

Why do the English like their tea so much? and why don't Americans drink tea like the English? I have been asked both questions quite a bit from both sides. I guess because I am married to an English man I am an expert and likewise because I am American. So it got me thinking were the answers I was giving people correct? This is what I found out.

It is often said that a cup of tea solves everything. It is also very hydrating and the health benefits are great, this article says its healthier than water! In the winter time, it can keep you warm so you don't have to heat the house so much.

Tea gained popularity in the 17th century after it was brought from the Far East by the Dutch and Portuguese traders. It slowly gained popularity and surpassed alcohol as the favoured drink in England. The government mainly made their money on the taxes on alcohol so they quickly placed a tax on tea first in its liquid form and later in its dry form.

It began as a drink that the wealthy would drink and slowly grew to be popular with the poor as well. Coffee houses began to sell tea and are credited to helping its success. Tea became a snack time between lunch and dinner as many people ate late in the evening. This term can also be used to mean the main meal of the day which began in the Industrial Revolution.

The answer to the second question that I often give that is has to do with the Boston Tea Party and much to my surprise, I was right! In 1773, the American settlers were getting upset over the taxes that they were having to pay on tea. There was one company that sold tea in the colonies and they owed the British government a lot of money so they suggested that they can pay it back if they increase the tax on tea. So when 3 ships arrived with tea, the American settlers did not want it off loaded if it was going to be taxed and the ships couldn't leave with the tea as the customs paperwork was already filed (and the tea had been paid for except for the tax). So a group of men dressed as Mohawk Indians and boarded the ship and poured the tea into the sea. Something I found remarkable was that this three hour act was not violent, in fact, they only touched the tea and replaced a lock that they broke and even swept the decks of the ship. After that the Americans began to drink coffee and slowly gone from drinking warm drinks to soft drinks and water.

So now that you know this great information, how do you make a cup of tea for yourself? Try it! The tea that the English drink everyday is known as traditional tea such as PG Tips. Boil the kettle and pour over the tea bag, stir a bit and remove tea bag, and add milk and sugar as you like :)

All the Best!

American to Britain