Let’s have a nice cup of tea!
“Just pop the kettle on”
Because the British have been drinking tea for hundreds of years, most people assume that we might have invented it! In fact tea supposedly originated from China (back in the day) and legend suggests that a Chinese emperor was responsible for its creation!
Both the Chinese and Japanese nations were definitely drinking tea long before most Europeans were- the Portuguese were among the first and later it was the Dutch, who in 1606 shipped the first consignment of tea leaves from China to Holland - tea drinking soon spread to other parts of Europe.
However when tea did make its way to England (around the mid 1600’s), the tea leaves were horrendously expensive and could only be afforded by the very wealthy. Charles 11 wife Catherine of Braganza (who was Portuguese and also a great tea lover) decided that tea should be drunk at her court thereby placing her seal of approval on it.
I wonder what she would have thought about the tea bag?
But best of all, once we had tea, be it in the shape of tea bags or loose leaf varieties of tea, came – Afternoon Tea or High Tea with accompanying plates displaying sandwiches made of egg & cress, salmon & cucumber, ham, cheese & tomato and scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and a huge assortment of wonderful cakes.......
What a perfect way to spend a few hours with friends and family throughout the year, either at home or at a luxury hotel or at a quaint tea shop!
Don’t you just love tradition?