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Friday, January 20, 2006

Tea history lesson

In 1610, the Dutch East India Company carried the first consignment of Chinese tea to Europe. From there, tea was transported across the world before British legislation gave a tea monopoly in the American colonies to the British East India Co. when the competition's duty regulations were "adjusted" to allow the failing companies a chance to sell its large tea surplus below prices charged by colonial competitors. Colonists opposed the act as another example of taxation without representation, and the historical 1773 Boston Tea Party incident took place. Led by Samuel Adams, American patriots dressed as Indians threw 342 chests of tea from three British ships into Boston Harbor as retaliation to the British.

By 1840, the British had calmed down enough to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea as a social act; hence, the custom of afternoon tea was born.
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