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Why the British Drink Tea

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Joseph Buck

on 3 June 2015

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Transcript of Why the British Drink Tea

Why do the British drink tea?
History of tea in Britain
Welcome to Australia, home of crazy fucking animals. And British Criminals
Sir Reginald Winston Churchill III
Bob Ross
Splinterz DA BOAT
~Barbara Streisand~
HMS Bullshit
Middle Earth
Goddamned Communists
Didney Wurl!
He's Always Watching
And Judging
Tea was brought to the West via Portuguese missionaries and merchants in the 16th century
The Dutch began to encroach on Portuguese trading routes
Hon hon baggett
Tea drinking was first established in China around 300 BC
Legend says tea began when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung's servant was boiling drinking water and leaves fell into his water
Tea did not become fashionable until the 17th century
Why you might ask?
Charles II (first King in new monarchy after the death of Oliver Cromwell) married Catherine of Braganza (Portugal) in 1663
Catherine's dowry was a large chest of tea
It became fashionable in the royal court to drink tea
As mentioned before, only affordable to the rich
Was kept in the Royal Court in large locked chests
These chests are now prized antiques seen for very high prices on the British Antique Road Show
Greeting/handshake upon arrival
Sit down
Napkin placement
Spoon always goes behind cup
Proper holding of cup
Look into the teacup when drinking never over it.
The birth of the raised pinkie came as a sign of elitism
3 fingers etiquette rule is still correct when picking up food with the fingers and handling various pieces of flatware
And really sexy accents
By: Alex Spear, Alyssa Morris, Joseph Buck and Karley Davis
Originally tea was poured into small handle-less Chinese porcelain bowls that held about 2-3 tablespoons of tea.
It is said that the idea of the saucer developed in the 17th century.
In Victorian days, tea drinkers poured their tea into saucers to cool before sipping.
Not until the mid 1750’s was a handle added to prevent the ladies from burning their fingers.
Sir Reginald III
But What About Ralph the Wonder Llama?
A Moose Once Bit My Sister
Low Tea/Afternoon Tea — An afternoon meal including sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, curd, 2-3 sweets and tea
Known as “low tea” because guests were seated in low armchairs with low side-tables on which to place their cups and saucers
Elevensies — Morning coffee hour in England
High Tea
Was thought to be an idea of elegance
Was actually a common meal time of meat and potatoes for the middle class
Adopted by all social classes
A time on Sundays used by upper class to allow maids and servants to go to Church or have free time
Traditional afternoon tea includes a selection of dainty sandwiches (including of course thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches)
Scones served with clotted cream and preserves
Cakes and pastries are also served.
Fun Tea Facts: Times for Tea
Origins of Tea in Britain
More Coffee Houses in Britain
Coffee houses were responsible for spreading the new beverage
Women were not allowed to enter coffee houses in the 18th century
Women's Petition against Coffee
Retaliation was swift and forthright in the form of T
he Vulgar Men’s Answer to the Women’s Petition Against Coffee
, which claimed it was “base adulterate wine” and “muddy ale” that made men impotent, actually the complete opposite.
Impact of Tea on the Economy
(Present Day)
The UK drinks about 60.2 Billion cups of tea every year
The entire UK tea industry has a 0.02% annual turnover
That is 748 million pounds or $1.15 billion annually in economic turnover
Import 251 million pounds or $385 million annually
It employs 3,324 people across 27 businesses
Tea Time Etiquette
Sugar/lemon — sugar is placed in cup first, then thinly sliced lemon and never milk and lemon together
Milk goes in after tea.
The habit of putting milk in tea came from the French.
The correct order when eating on a tea tray is to eat savories first, scones next and sweets last
This has changed they like to eat the scones first while they are hot, then savories, then sweets.
Tea Time Etiquette Continued (Food)
Coffee Houses in Britain
London’s coffee craze began in 1652 when Pasqua Rosée, (the Greek servant of a coffee-loving British Levant merchant), opened London’s first coffeehouse/coffee-shack in St Michael’s churchyard
Coffee was a hit; within a couple of years, Pasqua was selling over 600 dishes of coffee a day, to the horror of the local tavern keepers
The Boston Tea Party
On December 16th of 1773 The Boston Tea Party occurred
Protest of high taxation on tea
Started the American colonies’ fight for independence
Under cover of night, colonists dressed as Native Americans boarded East India Company ships in Boston Harbor
Opened chests of tea and dumped contents into the water. This was repeated in other less known instances up and down the coast.
Tea superstitions arise from a culture that literally have a life scheduled around tea
In some parts of England, it is thought that tea leaves scattered in front of the house will ward off evil spirits and protect the family that lives there
If you make the tea too weak, you will lose the friendship of someone close to you
If two women pour from the same pot, then one of them will have a baby within the year
Tea Superstitions
Reasons why the British Drink Tea

Health benefits

There are many events that reading the tea leaves are said to predict
To tell fortunes from tea cups, the tea must be brewed with loose leaf tea and poured into the cup without using a tea strainer
Cup must then be turned three times counterclockwise by the person whose fortune is being read
Reading Tea Leaves
In the Beginning...
The First Opium War
Tea Cup
In the 17th and 18th Centuries there was a dramatic increase in demand for Chinese goods, like porcelain and spices (AND TEA)
Since China was largely self-sufficient, English and other Western Goods were virtually worthless in Chinese markets
European trade was also limited to the port of Canton
England, therefor, turned to their other colonies to find something for which the Chinese would desire to trade their tea
ha!!!! bedford!
So Basically...
If the British public suddenly decided not to drink tea, their economy wouldn't suffer massively
Many people out of a job
The economic impact would be severely drastic
Impact of tea on the Economy
By 1813 imports on tea accounted for 10% of the Government's revenue
Grew from little in the 1700's to over 30 million lbs per year just a century later
The leaves at the bottom foretell the distant future
The sides of the cup represent the not-too-distant future, and the ones near the rim predict imminent events
A straight line of leaves mean that you are going on a journey
A butterfly means you will enjoy great success
A horse-shoe foretells a successful journey and a successful marriage
A ring means that you will marry soon
Reading Tea Leaves
The Brits found this "economic leverage" in their Indian-grown Opium
The Citizens of China had a marked addiction to the hallucinogen
The British began to smuggle the drug into China
First Opium War cont...
More War...
When the Chinese Daoguang Emperor learned that the British were responsible for the increase in opium inside China, he cut off the British from trading through Canton
If there's one thing we learned from history, it's don't try to stop Imperial Britain from getting what it wants
The British sent in gunships to open all of China's ports
China would now be open to the formation of spheres of influence
The cession of Hong Kong to Britain
After the arrival of tea in Britain, they started importing it for themselves
They shipped directly from the Orient (China) which started many trade routes and ships devoted to tea
There are still ships (Tea Clippers) from these early tea-shipping times sitting in various docks across England, i.e. the Cutty Sark in Greenwich
It was only the richer society who could actually afford this imported luxury
1860's Tea Clipper
Lower classes started picking up on the trend and used the twice boiled leaves from the rich
Used Pewter (metal) mugs whereas rich society used expensive porcelain
Primary Source
John Andrews, a Boston merchant, writes to his brother-in-law in Philadelphia, May 1774.

Yes, Bill, nothing will save us but an entire stopping of trade, to both England and the West Indies, throughout the continent, and that must be determined both speedily and absolutely. The least hesitation by you to the south and all is over. . . . I sincerely believe they [the British Parliament] intend to carry out their threats, which are to make the town a desolate wilderness and the grass to grow in our streets.
Source: Charles Sellers, et al., A Synopsis of American History: Through Reconstruction (Chicago: Ivan R Dee, 1992).
Primary Source
The following document is a Boston handbill published on 2 December 1773 and signed 'The People'. It states the possible outcome of any tea being landed in Boston and preceded the Boston Tea Party. The handbill was sent to Britain from the American colonies by Governor Thomas Hutchinson.

Whereas it has been reported that a permit will be given by the Custom house for landing the tea now on board a vessel laying in this harbour, commanded by Captain Hall: this is to remind the public that it was solemnly voted by the body of the people of this and the neighbouring towns assembled at the Old South meeting-house on Tuesday the 30th day of November, that the said tea never should be landed in this province, or pay one farthing of duty. And as the aiding or assisting in procuring or granting any such permit for landing the said tea, or any other tea o circumstanced, or in offering any permit, when obtained, to the master or commander of the said ship, or any other ship in the same situation, must betray an inhuman thirst for blood, and will also in a great measure accelerate confusion and civil are; this is to assure such public enemies of this country that they will be considered and treated as wretches unworthy to live, and will be made the first victims of our just resentment.
1793, a British diplomat was successful in reaching the Chinese court. He told the Chinese of the wonderful products of his country, convinced that once they really knew what Europe had to offer, they would quickly agree to engage in trade. China, however, was unmoved. In a letter to King George, the emperor said,

. . . As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country's manufactures. . . Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders. There was therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce. But as the tea, silk and porcelain which the Celestial Empire produces, are absolute necessities to European nations and to yourselves, we have permitted, as a signal mark of favour, that foreign hongs [merchant firms] should be established at Canton, so that your wants might be supplied and your country thus participate in our beneficence.
Primary Source
Primary Source
Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria (1839) by Lin Zexu (Lin Tse-Hsu)
Lin, high imperial commissioner,. . . hereby addresses this public dispatch to the queen of
England for the purpose of giving her clear and distinct information.
It is only our high and mighty emperor who . . . . governs the heavens and the earth! You are
the queen of your honorable nation. Britain has benefitted from trading with us over the past two
hundred years.
But there are British merchants who are secretly importing opium into China. They have
seduced our Chinese people, and caused every province of the land to overflow with that poison. . . .
Every native of the Inner Land [China] who sells opium, as also all who smoke it, are alike
sentenced to death. Imagine if we were to punish foreigners who import opium with equal severity.
They would be annihilated.
We have heard that in your own country opium is prohibited. This is a strong proof that you
know full well how hurtful it is to mankind. Since you do not permit it in your own country, you ought
not to have the injurious drug imported into China!
Of the products which China exports to your foreign countries, there is not one which is not
beneficial to mankind in some shape or other. . . . . Has China ever yet sent forth a dangerous article
from its soil? Not to speak of our tea and rhubarb, things which your foreign countries could not exist a
single day without, . . .
Moreover, we have heard that in London, as also in Scotland, Ireland, and other such places, no
opium whatever is produced. It is only in sundry parts of your colonial kingdom of Hindostan [India]
and other places where the very hills are covered with the opium plant, . . . You should order farmers
to plow up the opium and plant grain instead. If any man dare again to plant in these grounds a single
poppy, visit his crime with the most severe punishment. By a truly benevolent system of government
such as this, will you indeed reap advantage, and do away with a source of evil.
Suppose the citizen of another country were to come to England to trade, he would certainly be
required to follow the laws of England, then how much more does this apply to us of the celestial
empire! Now it is a fixed law of this empire, that any native Chinese who sells opium is punished with
death, and even he who merely smokes it, must die. Pause and reflect for a moment: if you foreigners
did not bring the opium here, where should our Chinese people get it? . . . .Therefore it is that those
foreigners who now import opium into the Central Land are condemned to be beheaded and strangled
by the new law. . . .
Afternoon Tea
Began in 1840 when Duchess of Bedford was feeling hungry in the mid-afternoon
Previously, tea was only drunk for breakfast or between 8 and 9 at night
Asked her servants to bring her tea and toast after lunch when she got hungry
The custom spread between her circle of friends and was soon popularized throughout Britain
Is now one of the largest single tea-consumption time in Britain
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