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Story of Tea : How tea has been spread in Europe

Story of Tea : How tea has been spread in Europe

Because it was born in China, tea first spread in Asia. As for coffee, it came to Europe thanks to Dutchmen.

In 1606, a Dutch ship from Dutch Esat Company arrived in Java and exchanged tea boxes with sage boxes. The story doesn’t tell if they bought fermented tea or if the tea naturally fermented during the trip, but the first tea known in Europe was black tea.


In 1653, the first boxes of tea arrived in England where its use widely spread following the coffee fancy. The Queen Anna Stuart drank it fro the first time for breakfast. Anne the Bedford Duchess (1788-1861) was the first to invite her friends for a snack with tea supplemented with some delicacies and sandwiches. She then copied the French salons custom which disappeared before being followed again at the end of the XIXth century , to copy English tradition! The social explanation for the afternoon tea spread in all social classes and became formal in the XIXth century in “five o’clock tea”.


During the XVIIth and the XVIIIth centuries tea beacame an major economical stake, central quest of a fierce fight between English people (then Britons) and Dutch people. The Oriental India Company, created in 1599 by Queen Elisabeth had the tea monopoly until 1834.