I watch very little TV but last night I saw the programme by the inimitable Victoria Wood all about tea and the history behind it. ( If you are in the UK you can probably catch up , on Iplayer. The second episode is tonight. )
For something that people went to such efforts to obtain, we have become very casual about it. Choosing tea bags for speed and convenience and really drinking it without much attention.
I remember learning about the tea caddies when I was a guide at a Scottish castle for a summer. In the past the Duchess kept tea in a locked wooden box , so that no-one could help themselves to a quick pot.
Another memory was something that I read in the Statistical Account of Scotland ( which is a marvelous resource for all kinds of information about Scottish towns and villages.) In this exerpt, the location of which eludes me now, the minister was lamenting that the townsfolk had started to take a liking to the dreadful and unhealthy tea drink instead of drinking the much more acceptable beer !
I’m as guilty as the next person of using tea bags to make a quick cuppa , but I’ve turned over a new tea leaf and am brewing tea in a pot from now on.
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