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History Afternon Tea

How Afternoon Tea was 'Invented'

Jane Pettigrew

If you're looking for a break during your busy holiday season, why not host an Afternoon Tea? It's easy and affordable with simple elegance. Learn more about this English tea tradition in this article and feel free to share your knowledge at your next tea party!

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History Waltz Around a Tea Table

Waltz Around a Tea Table

Jane Pettigrew

For the Victorians, the afternoon tea party was an absolutely crucial part of social life. Ladies called on their friends for small intimate drawing room teas at which a group of four or five guests caught up with the latest gossip, sipped tea and nibbled a sandwich or two. Or they gathered in their tens to even hundreds to chatter and drink tea together at grand tea receptions held in the vast houses of the leisured and idle rich.

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History The Things People Said...

The Things People Said...

Jane Pettigrew

Although today we know for certain that tea is good for us, it hasn't always been like that. Over the years, some people have condemned it as poisonous and dangerous stuff; others have praised it as the best possible thing for the health and wealth of any nation.

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Health & Beauty Sweet Smell of Tea

Sweet Smell of Tea

Jane Pettigrew

Old wives tales and family remedies that have been passed down through the generations often recommended cold tea bags for puffy eyes, tea footbaths for tired feet, tea solutions for sunburned skin, tea rinses for dull hair, tea compresses for blemishes. But it's pretty unlikely that anyone really knew why tea was so good for such a mixture of complaints.

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History The Age of Clippers

The Age of Clippers

Jane Pettigrew

As the Europeans began trading tea with China in the early 17th century, and for the next two hundred years, all the activity of selecting the most suitable teas, haggling over the price, loading the chests on to the waiting cargo ships, and completing all the necessary paperwork went on in the port of Canton, forty miles inland on the Chinese river Zheijiang.

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Culture Tea and Superstition

Tea and Superstition

Jane Pettigrew

The most ordinary objects and foods are often associated with all sorts of everyday superstitions, and tea is no exception. All sorts of events and behavior to do with tea drinking are thought to bring bad or good luck.

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Culture Zen & Leaves: Japanese Tea Ceremony

Zen & Leaves: Japanese Tea Ceremony

Jane Pettigrew

A Japanese cup of tea is, in fact, a quiet interlude during which host and guests strive for spiritual refreshment and harmony with the universe. The Japanese Tea Ceremony captures all the elements of Japanese philosophy and artistic beauty, and interweaves four principles - harmony (with people and nature), respect (for others), purity (of heart and mind), and tranquility.

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History Taylor, Lipton & the Birth of Ceylon Tea

Taylor, Lipton & the Birth of Ceylon Tea

Jane Pettigrew

Prior to the 1860s, Ceylon's main crop was coffee and no grower showed much interest in tea. Today, Sri Lanka (Ceylon's post-colonial name) is the world's largest exporter of tea. The two men most responsible for this transformation are James Taylor and Sir Thomas Lipton.

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History The Origins of Indian Tea

The Origins of Indian Tea

Jane Pettigrew

Long before the commercial production of tea started in India in the late 1830s, the tea plant was growing wild in the jungles of north east Assam. In 1598, a Dutch traveller, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, noted in a book about his adventures that the Indians ate the leaves as a vegetable with garlic and oil and boiled the leaves to make a brew...

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