Monday, August 1, 2022

History of tea in United States

Tea was introduced to America by the Dutch in the late 1640s. The tea quickly became an established ritual in upper-class households by the time the arrival of Dutch East India Company Director Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam in 1647 to become the city’s governor. Stuyvesant carried the tea from Europe to sell it to the Dutch settlement in New Amsterdam (renamed New York by the English speakers).

Tea drinking and tea parties held a significant role in the society of colonial America. Serving tea to one’s guests showed both their politeness and hospitality.

When the British acquired New Amsterdam in 1664 and renamed it New York after the Duke of York (later James II & VII), tea continued to play the same important social role as it did in England. They also found out that people in the small settlement were consuming more tea than the total amount consumed in England at that time.

With its monopoly on the trading of tea from the Orient, the British East India Company controlled the supply of tea that filled both English and American teapots. In the early 1700’s, tea was more expensive due to its scarceness, and social tea drinking was a luxury of upper-class colonists.

By the mid 1700’s, the East India Company increased the supply of tea to the colonies, decreasing the prices, which allowed more and more people to routinely drink tea.

Sometime during the first half of the 1700s, the first Tea Gardens were opened in New York City, situated around natural springs. A spring of fresh water between Baxter and Mulberry streets began to attract popular attention. The water was so popular for the making of tea that it was known as the Tea Water Pump.

There was a shift in American tea consumption in 1773 after the passage of the Tea Act which triggered a disagreement over the taxation of tea (taxation of the American colonies without representation in the British Parliament). The Boston Tea Party, sparked off the American War of Independence and eventually led to the United States of America becoming an independent nation instead of a group of British colonies.

Between the 1840s and 1860s, US maritime fleets dominated the trade of tea from China. The speed of the magnificent tea clippers allowed the establishment of new standards in the shipping sector, to reduce the transit time.

A period of technological advances and entrepreneurship would steadily increase American interest in tea around the turn of the 20th century beginning with the birth of the ice trade and iced tea.
History of tea in United States

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