A Dish of Tea.
Posted by P. Bingham on January 21, 1998 at 21:49:25:
In response to Dish of tea?, written by Joyce on January 19, 1998 at 23:58:45
I was perusing the bookstore as usual (I live there) a found a book called Ancient & Annual Customs by Dwayne E. Pickles. Low and behold there is a passage for a "Dish of Tea" and this is what it says:
"Tea may be synonymous with British society today, but that wasn't always the case. Great britian was not among the first cultures to know the pleasures of this bitter but delightful herb. Though often associated with the Orient, tea actually originated in India. from there, the plant was first introduced in China around A.D.500. Later, around 793, the first known tax on tea was levied in China. It wasn't until 1191 that tea was introduced to Japan, where the drinking of tea was later banned in 1350. Two & a half centuries later, tea from China was first shipped to Europe, by the Dutch East India Company in 1609. it took nearly another 30 years, but by 1636, tea made its debut in Paris.
The first cup of tea was reportedly not brewed in England until 1650, the same year Britian's first coffeehouse opened in Oxford. Following its introduction, tea - which was also known as "tay" or "tee" - remained something of a rarity in England for nearly the next four decades. It wasn't until around 1689 that "a spot of tea" finally became prevalent in England."
Now that is all its says, but there is a picture (looking very much Elizabethan or a little later) of a maid bringing in a tray of what is clearly two dishes of tea. It's steaming and there is a large spoon in both. A gentleman and lady are waiting. Now, please don't run to the bookstore looking for this book, its not a great find.
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