Tea World

Lesson 28

17th Century

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1610 - The Dutch East India Company market tea as an exotic medicinal drink, but it is so expensive and only the aristocracy can afford the tea.  The Dutch procure tea and Chinese clay teapots from Portuguese traders in Macao, and establish a trading relationship with the Japanese. Tea comes to Europe.

1618 - Chinese ambassadors present the Russian Czar Alexis with many chests of tea, which are refused as useless. 

1635 - Tea catches on in the Dutch court. A German physician touts a warning about the dangers of tea drinking. The "tea heretics" (doctors and university authorities) of Holland argue over the positive and negative effects of tea, while the Dutch continue to enjoy their newfound beverage.

1637 - Wealthy Dutch merchants’ wives serve tea at parties.

1640-Tea becomes the fashionable beverage of society at the Hague.

1650-1700 - Tea parties become quite trendy among women across the social classes.

1650 - The Dutch introduce several teas and tea traditions to New Amsterdam to the Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (a small settlement in North America). Later, when the English acquired this colony, they found that the inhabitants of New Amsterdam (or New York as they chose to re-name it, which later becomes New York) consumed more tea than all of England.

1652- Tea is introduced to England by the Dutch East India Company.

1655- Johann Nieuhoff records the use of milk in tea at a banquet tendered to a Dutch Embassy in Canton

1657 - The first tea is sold as a health beverage in London, England at Garway's Coffee House.

1661 - The debate over tea’s health benefits versus detriments heightens when a Dutch doctor praises its curative side while French and German doctors call out its harmful side.

1662 - When Charles II takes a tea-drinking bride (Catherine Braganza of Portugal), tea becomes so stylish and fashionable that alcohol consumption declines.

1664 – English East India Company brings the gift of tea to the British King and Queen. The British take over New Amsterdam, name it New York, and a British tea tradition ensues.

1666- Holland tea prices drop to $80-$100 per pound.

1669 - English East India Company monopolizes British tea imports after convincing British government to ban Dutch imports of tea.

1670 - The Massachusetts colony is known to drink black tea.

1672- Mihei Kamibayashi of Yamashiro province is the first to use a tea drier in Japan

1680’s - Tea with milk is mentioned in Madam De Sévigné’s letters. The Duchess of York introduces tea to Scotland.

1681- Dr. Andrews Cleyer introduces the plants into Java from Japan.

1685- England begins to trade directly with China. Tea and the Chinese word t'e (Amoy dialect) are brought to England directly from the Amoy region.

1689- The Trade Treaty of Newchinsk establishes a common border between China and Russia, allowing trade caravans to cross freely. The trade caravans consisting of over 200 camels take over 16 months to cross the 11,000 miles between Moscow and Beijing. As a result, the cost of tea in Russia is high, and is drunk only by those who can afford it.

Realizing the potential popularity of tea and the money it could generate, the British Crown levies a 5-shilling per pound tax on dried tea. This will eventually lead to widespread smuggling.

1690 - The first tea is sold publicly in Massachusetts.

1697 - The first known Taiwanese cultivation and export of domestic tea takes place.

1698- Due to popular demand, English potters of Staffordshire begin a local industry, making earthenware teapots, cups and saucers.

Late 1600’s - Russia and China sign a treaty that brings the tea trade across Mongolia and Siberia.

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