Tea, including green tea, has become a staple of British culture and is commonly associated with us around the world. But it might surprise you to hear that it’s been in Britain for a relatively short period, compared to the amount of time that tea has actually existed. Here’s a short history of green tea in Britain.
When did tea arrive?
Despite being consumed in China since at least the third century AD, tea didn’t arrive in Europe until many years later. It arrived through Southern Europe and first started to be sold by coffeehouses across the UK in the late 1600s. Green tea has been drunk in the UK since the very first leaves arrived.
By the early 1700s, there were about 500 of these coffeehouses that sold tea throughout the country.
When did tea become popular?
Though tea in Europe became largely a preserve of the upper classes, in the UK it was a widely available beverage that everybody was able to enjoy the refreshing taste of – regardless of class or status.
Despite an unfortunate period of high tariffs on tea, during which smuggling was rampant, nothing was going to come between the British and their newfound obsession. Luckily, these were reduced in the late 1700s, allowing the tea industry to grow to its full potential. Since then, it’s become a vital cornerstone of British culture and looks unlikely to go anywhere any time soon.
If you’re a fan of green tea and want to find out more about liquid green tea, the easiest way to brew tea, then have a look at our recent blogs.