'Tis the season for Tea Parties

Posted by Oliver pluff on

Dear Oliver, December is an important month in the history of tea in the “New World” as earlyEuropeans dubbed the lands across the Atlantic. These early settlers were relianton European goods and services for many of the staples that they wereaccustomed to using and enjoying in their daily lives. Tea was one of the valuablecommodities primarily traded by the East India Company.   By 1773, the East India Company had a virtual monopoly on tea shipped to thecolonies, which was set in place by British Parliament in the Tea Act. This actgranted the company preferred status and a monopoly on tea exports to thecolonies, exemption on export taxes, and refunds on certain surplus teas. All thiscut out independent colonial shippers...

read entire article

Tea as a measure of social status in colonial times

Posted by Darren Hartford on

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC Beginning in the 1690’s, preparing, serving, and drinking tea was a ceremonial act that was woven into the daily life of the more wealthy colonists. For those who could afford the luxurious tea, much pride was found in performing a dignified tea service on each occasion.[1] The host or hostess who prepared and served the tea followed a process that included specific manners and equipment. As accompaniment, the colonists brewed tea with equipment that added to the appraisal of their social status. A tea canister was used to store the dry tea leaves; these canisters could be bought in sets to match the likes of the other tea equipment and equipage. Some tea canisters had a lid...

read entire article