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How Tea Got to England – Part II

November 23, 2007

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It was a long and storied crossing that brought the princess. Catherine of Braganza, to her new home in England. When she arrived, the first thing she asked for was a cup a tea. None was available. The English offered her a glass of ale in its place. It didn’t do the trick, and she was ill for a few days.

Catherine’s adjustment to a less formal court was hard, though she did adopt their fashions. Over time she became more comfortable and accepted, and as  the king’s consort she became a trendsetter. Her preference for her Portuguese cuisine and especially for tea, began to catch favor with the louder, livelier English court. Soon the aristocrats and the wealthier classes had made tea the latest fad. In 1663, poet and politician, Edmund Waller, wrote a poem about the queen and the gift of her tea to celebrate her birthday.



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