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TEA AND TEA DRINKING.
AUTHOR OF " STUDY AND STIMULANTS.'*
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,
CROWN BUILDINGS, 1 88, FLEET STREET.
[All rights rcservefJ]
PRINTED BT GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED,
ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.
INTRODUCTION OF TEA ....
THE CULTIVATION OF TEA .
How TO MAKE TEA .
TEA AND PHYSICAL ENDURANCE .
TEA AS A STIMULANT ....
CHAPTER VI L
THE FRIENDS AND THE EOES OF TEA .
TEA AS A SOURCE OF REVENUE .
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
SORTING TEA IN CHINA
A TEA PLANTATION
WATERING A TEA PLANTATION
PRESSING TEA -LEAVES .
PRESSING BAGS OF TEA, .
DRYING TEA-LEAVES .
TEA-TASTING IN CHINA
THE question of the influence of tea, as well
as that of alcohol and tobacco, has occu-
pied the attention of the author for some
time. Apart from its physiological aspect,
the subject of tea-drinking is extremely
interesting ; and in the following pages an
attempt has been made to describe its intro-
duction into England, to review the evidence
)f its friends and foes, and to discuss its
influence on mind and health. An account
is also given of the origin of tea-meetings,
ind of the methods of making tea in
various countries. Although the book does
::ot claim to be a complete history of tea,
yet a very wide range of authors has been
consulted to furnish the numerous details
which illustrate the usages, the benefits, and
rJhe evils (real or imaginary) which sur-
round the habit of tea-drinking.
TEA AND TEA-DRINKING.
INTRODUCTION OF TEA.
Introduced by the East India Company Mrs. Pepys
making her first cup of tea "Virtues of tea Thomas
Garway's advertisement Waller's birthday ode
Tea a rarity in country homes Introduced into
the Quaker School Extension of tea-drinking The
social tea-table a national delight England the largest
consumer of tea.
" I SENT for a cup of tee a China drink
of which I had never drank before/ 5 writes
Pepys in his diary of the 25th of September,
1660. It appears, however, that it came
into England in 1610 ; but at ten guineas a
pound it could scarcely be expected to make
headway. A rather large consignment was,
however, received in 1657; this fell into the
hands of a thriving London merchant, Mr.
2 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Thomas Garway, wlio established a house for
selling the prepared beverage. Another
writer states that tea was introduced by the
East India Company early in 1571. Though
it may not be possible to fix the exact date,
one fact is clear, that it was a costly beverage.
Not until 1667 did it find its way into Pepys 5
own house. "Home," he says, "and there
find my wife making of tea, a drink which
Mr. Felling, the potticary, tells her is good for
her cold and defluxions." Commenting upon
this entry, Charles Knight said, " Mrs. Pepys
making her first cup of tea is a subject to be
painted. How carefully she metes out the
grains of the precious drug which Mr. Pelliiig,
the potticary, has sold her at an enormous
price a crown an ounce at the very least;
she has tasted the liquor once before, but
then there was sugar in the infusion a be-
verage only for the highest. If tea should
become fashionable, it will cost in their
housekeeping as much as their claret. How-
ever, Pepys says the price is coming down,
and he produces the handbill of Thomas
Garway, in Exchange Alley, which the lady
peruses with great satisfaction."
Introduction of 7#z. 3
This handbill is an extraordinary pro-
duction. It is entitled " An exact description
of the growth, quality, and virtues of the leaf
tea, by Thomas Gar way, in Exchange Alley,
near the Royal Exchange in London, to-
bacconist, and seller and retailer of tea and
coffee." It sets forth that
" Tea is generally brought from China, and groweth there
upon little shrubs and bushes. The branches whereof are
well garnished with white flowers that are yellow within,
of the lightness and fashion of sweet-brier, but in smell
unlike, bearing thin green leaves about the bigness of
scordiuni, myrtle, or sumack ; and is judged to be a kind
of sumack. This plant hath been reported to grow wild
only, but doth not ; for they plant it in the gardens, about
four foot distance, and it groweth about four foot high ;
and of the seeds they maintain and increase their stock.
Of this leaf there are divers sorts (though all one shape) ;
some much better than others, the upper leaves excelling
the others in fineness, a property almost in all plants ;
which leaves they gather every day, and drying them in
the shade or in iron pans, over a gentle fire, till the humidity
be exhausted, then put close up in leaden pots, preserve
them for their drink tea, which is used at meals and upon
all visits and entertainments in private families, and in
the palaces of grandees ; and it is averred by a padre of
Macao, native of Japan, that the best tea ought to be
gathered but by virgins, who are destined for this work.
The particular virtues are these ; it maketh the body active
and lusty; it helpeth the head ache, giddiness and
heaviness thereof ; it removeth the obstructiveness of the
4 Tea and Tea-drinking.
spleen ; it is very good against the stone and gravel, clean-
ing the kidneys and ureters, being drank with virgin's
honey, instead of sugar ; it taketh away the difficulty of
breathing, opening obstructions ; it is good against tipitude,
distillations, and cleareth the sight ; it removeth lassitude
and cleanseth and purifieth acrid humours and a hot liver ;
it is good against crudities, strengthening the weakness
of the ventricle, or stomach, causing good appetite and
digestion, and particularly for men of corpulent body, and
such as are great eaters of flesh ; it vanquisheth heavy
dreams, easeth the frame and strengtheneth the memory ;
it overcometh superfluous sleep, and prevents sleepiness
in general, a draught of the infusion being taken ; so that,
without trouble, whole nights may be spent in study
without hurt to the body, in that it moderately healeth
and bindeth the mouth of the stomach."
Other remarkable properties are attributed
to the Chinese herb ; but the extracts we
have given sufficiently indicate the efforts
made to arrest attention and to induce people
to buy tea. As a further inducement, this
enterprising dealer assures his readers that
whereas tea " hath been sold in the leaf for
six pounds, and sometimes for ten pounds
the poundweight, the said Thomas hath ten
to sell from sixteen to fifty shillings in the
pound." This clever puff had the desired
effect; for, according to the Diurnal of Thomas
Rugge, " There were at this time (1659) a
Introduction of Tea. 5
Turkish drink, to bo souled almost in every
street, called coffee, and another kind of drink
called tea ; and also a drink called chocolate,
which was a very hearty drink." It w r as
advertised in the public journals. The
Mercur-iusPoliticus, of the 30th of September,
1658, sets forth : " That excellent, and by all
physicians approved, China drink, called by
the Chineans Teha, by other nations Tay, alias
Tee, is sold at the ' Sultaness Head ' coffee-
house, in Sweeting's Rents, by the Royal
Exchange, London." It was sold also at
" Jonathan's " coffee-house, in Exchange
Alley. In her " Bold Strike for a Wife"
Mrs. Centlivre laid one of her scenes at
"Jonathan's." "While the business goes on
she makes the coffee boys cry, " Fresh coffee,
gentlemen ! fresh coffee ! Bohea tea, gentle-
men ! " But the most famous house for tea
was Gar way's, or, as it appears in " Old and
New London," " Garraway's Coffee-house,"
which was swept away a few years ago in the
" march of improvement." For two centuries,
however, it had been one of the most cele-
brated coffee-houses in the city. Defoe men-
tions it as being frequented about noon by
6 Tea and Tea-drinking.
people of quality who had business in the city,
and " the more considerable and wealthy
citizens ;" but it was also the resort of
speculators. Here the South Sea Bubblers
met, as well as the lovers of good tea. Dean
Swift, in his ballad on the South Sea Bubble,
calls 'Change Alley "a narrow sound, though
deep as hell;" and describes the wreckers
watching for the shipwrecked dead on
" Garraway's Cliffs."
But the influence of Royalty did more than
anything else to maketea-drinkingfashionable.
"In 1662," remarks Mr. Montgomery Martin,
in a treatise on the ' Past and Present State of
the Tea Trade/ published in 1832, "Charles II:
married the Princess Catherine of Portugal,
who, it was said, was fond of tea, having
been accustomed to it in her own country,
hence it became fashionable in England."
Edmund Waller, in a birthday ode on her
Majesty, ascribes the introduction of the herb
to the queen, in the following lines :
" Venus her myrtle, Phoebe has his bays ;
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.
The best of Queens and best of herbes we owe,
To that bold nation which the way did show
Introduction of Tea. 7
To the fair region, where the sun does rise,
Whose rich productions we so justly prize.
The Muse's friend, tea, does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade,
And keeps that palace of the soul serene,
Fit on her birthday to salute the Queen."
Waller is believed to have been the first
poet to write in praise of tea, and no doubt
his poem did much to promote its use among
the rich. In Lord Clarendon's diary, 10th of
February, 1688,'occurs the following entry :
" Le Pere Couplet supped with me; he is
a man of very good conversation. After
supper we had tea, which he said was as good
as any he had drank in China. The Chinese,
who came over with him and Mr. Eraser,
supped likewise with us."
In the Taller, of the 10th of October, 1710,
appears the following advertisement :
" Mr. Favy's 16s. Bohea tea, not much in-
ferior in goodness to the best foreign Bohee
tea, is sold by himself only at the ' Bell/
in Gracechurch Street. Note. The best
foreign Bohee is worth 30s. a pound; so that
what is sold at 20s. or 21s. must either be
faulty tea, or mixed with a proportionate
quantity of damaged green or Bohee, the
8 Tea and Tea-drinking.
worst of which will remain black after in-
Tea continued a fashionable drink. Dr.
Alex. Carlyle, in his " Autobiography," de-
scribing the fashionable mode of living at
Harrowgate in 1763, wrote: "The ladies
gave afternoon's tea and coffee in their turn,
which coming but once in four or six weeks
amounted to a trifle." Probably the ladies
did not drink so much as their servants, who
are reported to have cared more for tea than
for ale. In 1755 a visitor from Italy wrote :
" Even the common maid-servants must have
their tea twice a day in all the parade of
quality ; they make it their bargain at first ;
this very article amounts to as much as the
wages of servants in Italy." This demand
was a serious tax upon the purses of the
rich ; for at that time tea was still exces-
sively dear. According to Read's Weekly
Journal, or British Gazetteer, of the 27th of
April, 1734, the prices were as follows :
Green tea ... 9$. to 12s. per lb.
Congou . . . . 10s. 12s.
Boliea . . . 10s. 12s.
Pekoo .... 14-5. ,, 16s.
Imperial . . . . 9s. ,, 12s.
Hyson .... 20s. 25s.
Introduction of Tea. 9
Gradually, however, the prices came down
as the consumption increased. In 1740 a
grocer, who had a shop at the east corner of
Chancery Lane, advertised the finest Caper at
24s. a pound; fine green, 18s.; Hyson, 16s.;
and Bohea, 7s. The latter quality was np
doubt used in the " Tea-gardens " which at
that time had become popular institutions in
and around London. The u Mary-le-Bon
Gardens" were opened every Sunday evening,
when " genteel company were admitted to
walk gratis, and were accommodated with
coffee, tea, cakes, &c." The quality of the
cakes was an important feature at such gar-
dens : " Mr. Trusler's daughter begs leave
to inform the nobility and gentry that she
intends to make fruit tarts during the fruit
season ; and hopes to give equal satisfaction
as with the rich cakes and almond cheese-
cakes. The fruit will always be fresh gathered,
having great quantities in the garden ; and
none but loaf-sugar used, and the finest
Bpping butter." In one respect the " good
old times " were better than these. Gone are
the " fruit tarts," the " rich cakes/' and the
fragrant cup of tea from the suburban " Tea-
gardens," which rarely supply refreshment
io Tea and Tea-drinking.
either for man or beast. At any rate, it is a
misnomer to call them " Tea-gardens." We
think " Beer-gardens " would more accu-
rately indicate their character. Some day,
probably, the landlords of " public-houses "
and of " tea-gardens," will endeavour to meet
the wants and tastes of all persons. At
present they utterly ignore the existence of
a large class, not necessarily teetotalers, to
whom a cup of tea is more cheering than a
glass of grog after a long walk from the
Among the most famous tea-houses is
Twining's in the Strand. It was founded,
Mr. E. Walford says, "about the year 1710,
by the great-great-grandfather of the present
partners, Mr. Thomas Twining, whose por-
trait, painted by Hogarth, ' kitcat-size,' hangs
in the back parlour of the establishment.
The house, or houses for they really are
two, though made one practically by internal
communication stand between the Strand
and the east side of Devereux Court. The
original depot for the sale of the then scarce
and fashionable beverage, tea, stood at the
south-west angle of the present premises, on
Introduction of Tea. 1 1
the site of what had been ' Tom's Coffee-
house/ directly opposite the c Grecian.' A
peep into the old books of the firm shows that
in the reign of Queen Anne tea was sold by
the few houses then in the trade at various
prices between twenty and thirty shillings
per pound, and that ladies of fashion used to
flock to Messrs. Twining's house inDevereux
Court, in order to sip the enlivening beverage
in their small China cups, for which they paid
their shillings, much as now-a-days they sit
in their carriages eating ices at the door of
Gunter's in Berkeley_^uare on hot days.
The bank was gradually engrafted on the old
business, after it had been carried on for more
than a century from sire to son, and may be
said as a separate institution to date from the
commercial panic of 1825."
Although tea was extensively used in
London and some of the principal cities, it
did not become popular in country houses.
" For instance, at Whitby," writes the his-
torian of that town, " tea was very little used
a century ago, most of the old men being very
much against it ; but after the death of the
old people it soon came into general use/'
1 2 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Old habits die hard. The stronger beverage
of English ale had been so long in use that
the old folks could not be induced to relin-
quish it for a foreign herb. A striking in-
stance of the force of habit is related by Dr.
Aikin, in his history of Manchester (1795).
"About 1720," he says, "there were not
above three or four carriages kept in the town.
One of these belonged to Madame , in
Salford. This respectable old lady was of a
social disposition, and could not bring herself
to conform to the new-fashioned beverage of
tea and coffee ; whenever, therefore, she made
her afternoon's visit, her friends presented
her with a tankard of ale and a pipe of
tobacco. A little before this period a country
gentleman had married the daughter of a
citizen of London; she had been used to tea,
and in compliment to her it was introduced
by some of her neighbours ; but the usual
afternoon's entertainment at gentlemen's
houses at that time was wet and dry sweet-
meats, different sorts of cake, and ginger-
bread, apples, or other fruits of the season,
and a variety of home-made wines/' At that
time it was the custom for the apprentices to
Introduction of Tea. 1 3
live with their employers, whose fare was far
from liberal ; but " somewhat before 1760,"
remarks Dr. Aikin, (( a considerable manu-
facturer allotted a back parlour with a fire
for the use of his apprentices, and gave them
tea twice a day. His fees, in consequence,
rose higher than had before been known, from*
250Z. to 300Z., and he had three or four
apprentices at a time." Tea was evidently a
costly beverage, for " water pottage " appears
to have been the usual dish provided for
apprentices. Those who could afford it,
however, drank the Chinese herb. There are
many references to tea in cc The Private
Journal and Literary Remains of John
Byrom," a famous Manchester worthy; and
these clearly indicate that in the middle of
the eighteenth century tea was very generally
provided for visitors. But in some towns the
older people were much opposed to tea. The
prejudice against it was, however, gradually
overcome ; the young took kindly to it, and
the women, especially, found it an agreeable
substitute for alcoholic drinks.
Not until 1860 was tea introduced into the
Quaker School at Ackworth, where John
14 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Bright received a portion of his early educa-
tion. When a boy the great orator was unable
to endure the Spartan system of training in
force there, and after twelve months' ex-
perience he was removed to a private school.
For breakfast both boys and girls had porridge
poured on bread ; for dinner little meat, but
plenty of pudding. For a third meal no pro-
vision seems to have been made. Mr. Henry
Thompson, the historian of the school, thus
describes the circumstances under which tea
was introduced into the school :
"In the autumn of 1860, Thomas Pumphrey's health
having been in a failing condition for some months, he was
requested to take a long holiday for the purpose of recruit-
ing it, if possible. On his return, after a three months'
absence, learning that the conduct of the children had
been everything that he could desire, he devised for them
a treat, which was so effectively managed that we believe
it is looked upon by those who had the pleasure of par-
ticipating in it as one of the most delightful occasions of
their school-days. He invited the whole family boys,
girls, and teachers to an evening tea-party. The only
room in the establishment in which he could receive so
large a concourse of guests was the meeting-house. In
response to his kind proposal, willing helpers flew to his
aid. The room where all were wont to meet for worship,
and rarely for any other purpose, was by nimble and
willing fingers transformed, in a few days, into a festive
Introduction of Tea. 1 5
hall, whose walls and pillars were draped with evergreen
festoons and half concealed by bosky bowers, amidst whoso
foliage stuffed birds perched and wild animals crouched.
Amidst the verdant decorations might also be seen
emblazoned the names of great patrons of the school and
of the five superintendents who for more than eighty years
had guided its internal economy. They who witnessed the
scene tell us of two wonderful piles of ornamentation
which were erected at the entrances to the minister's
gallery the one symbolic of the activities of the physical,
the other of the intellectual, moral, and religious life, as
its good superintendent^ would have them to be. . . .
The village having been requisitioned for cups and saucers
for this great multitude, the whole school sat down to a
genuine, social, English tea table for the first time in its
There can be no doubt that milk is better
than tea for the young, but tea now forms
part of the dietary at almost every school,
and we question whether there is a house in
England where tea is unknown. Dr. Edward
Smith, writing in 1874, said,
" No one who has lived for half 'a century can have
failed to note the wonderful extension of tea-drinking
habits in England, from the time when tea was a coveted
and almost unattainable luxury to the labourer's wife, to
its use morning, noon, and night by all classes. The
caricature of Hogarth, in which a lady and gentleman
approach in a very dainty manner, each holding an oriental
tea- cup of infantile size, implies more than a satire upon
1 6 Tea and Tea-drinking.
the porcelain-purchasing habits of the day, and shows that
the use of tea was not only the fashion of a select few,
but the quantity of the beverage consumed was as small
as the tea-cups."
In another chapter we have given some
interesting statistics showing the extent of
the consumption of this wonderful beverage,
which has exercised such an influence for
good in this country.
"A curious and not uninstructive work might be written,"
Dr. Sigmond said in 1839, "upon the singular benefits which
have accrueTl To this country from the preference we have
given to the beverage obtained from the tea-plant; above all,
those that might be derived from the rich treasures of the
vegetable kingdom. It would prove that our national impor-
tance has been intimately connected with it, and that much
of our present greatness and even the happiness of our social
system springs from this unsuspected source. It would
show* us that our mighty empire in the east, that our
maritime superiority, and that our progressive advancement
in the arts and the sciences have materially depended upon
it. Great indeed are the blessings which have been
diffused amongst immense masses of mankind by the
cultivation of a shrub whose delicate leaf, passing through
a variety of hands, forms an incentive to industry, con-
tributes to health, to national riches, and to domestic
happiness. The social tea-table is like the fireside of our
country, a national delight; and if it be the scene of
domestic converse and agreeable relaxation, it should
likewise bid us remember that everything connected with
the growth and preparation of this favourite herb should
Introduction of Tea.
awaken a higher feeling that of admiration, love, and
gratitude to Him who * saw everything that He had made,
and behold it was very good.'"
Tea is the national drink of China and
Japan ; and so far back as 1834 Professor
Johnston, in his " Chemistry of Common
Life," estimated that it was consumed by no
less than five hundred millions of men, or more
than one-third of the whole human race !
Excluding China, England appears to be the
largest consumer of tea, as shown in the fol-
lowing table compiled by Mr. Mulhall, and
printed in his "Dictionary of Statistics:"
Consumption of luxuries per inhabitant per year.
France ... .
Germany ... .
Eussia ... .
Austria ... . .
Spain ... . .
Belgium and Holland
Denmark ... .
Sweden and Norway .
United States . .
1 8 Tea and Tea-drinking.
THE CULTIVATION OF TEA.
Description of the tea-plant Indigenous to China -
Introduced into India Work in a tea-garden
Tea-gatherers in China A Chinese tea-ballad How
tea is cured How the value of tea is determined.
THE tea-plant formerly occupied a place of
honour in every gentleman's green-house; but
as it requires much care, and possesses little
beauty, it is now rarely seen. Linnaeus, the
Swedish naturalist, was greatly pleased at a
specimen presented to him in 1763, but was
unable to keep it alive. Dr. Edward Smith
describes the plant as being closely allied to
the camellias ; but states that the leaf is more
pointed, is lance- shaped, and not so thick and
hard as that of the camellia. Dr. King
Chambers suggests the spending of an after-
noon at a classified collection of living
The Cultivation of Tea. 19
economic plants ; such, for instance, as that at
the Botanical Gardens, Regent's Park. It
is much pleasanter, he points out, to think of
tea as connected with the pretty little camellia
it comes from, than with blue paper packets,
and the despised " grounds " which for ever
after acquire an interest in our minds. The
tea-plant, although cultivated in various parts
of the East, is probably indigenous to China ;
but is now grown extensively in India. In
consequence of the poorness of the quality of
the tea imported by the East India Company,
and the necessity of avoiding an entire depen-
dence upon China, the Bengal Government
appointed in 1834 a committee for the pur-
pose of submitting a plan for the introduction
and cultivation of the tea-plant ; and a visit
to the frontier station of Upper Assam ended
in a determination on the part of Government
to cultivate tea in that region. 1 In 1840 the
1 Russia, also, lias become impressed with the impor-
tance of growing its own tea ; but the efforts of its agri-
culturists appear to have been unsuccessful. Samples of
the produce of the tea-plants which have been acclimatized
in Georgia were lately exhibited in the hall of the Agricul-
tural Society of the Caucasus at Tiflis, and appear to have
excited considerable interest. The local journals, however,
2o Tea and Tea-drinking.
" Assam Company " was formed, and it is
claimed for them that they possess the largest
tea plantation in the world. Some idea of the
progress of tea cultivation in India may be
gathered from the folio wing official figures. In
1850 there was one tea-estate, that of the Assam
Company, with 1876 acres under cultivation,
yielding 216,000 Ibs. In 1870 there were
295 proprietors of tea-estates, with 31,303
acres under cultivation, yielding 6,251, 143 Ibs.
In 1872-73 the area of land held by tea-
planters covered 804,582 acres, of which
about 75,000 were under cultivation, yielding
14,670,171 Ibs. of tea, the average yield per
acre being 208 Ibs. Every year thousands of
acres are being brought under cultivation, and
in a short time it seems likely that we shall lv
independent of China for our supplies of tea.
In the year 1879-80 the exports of Indian
tea to Great Britain rose to 40,000,000 Ibs.,
admit that the samples proved to be rather poor in flavour,
and that their aroma resembled that of Chinese teas of
very inferior quality. It is pleaded, however, that these
specimens were grown by a planter of little experience in
the Chinese methods of cultivation and preparation, and
hopes are entertained of ultimate success. jl
Examiner, April 23, 1884.
The Cultivation of Tea. 2 1
and in the following year to 42,000,000 Ibs.
In Ceylon, also, a proportionate increase is
taking place. The plant appears to be a
native of the island. In Percival's " Account
of Ceylon," published in 1805, occurs the
following paragraph :
" The tea-plant has been discovered native
in the forests of Ceylon. It grows spon-
taneously in the neighbourhood of Trin-
comalee and other northern parts of Ceylon.
... I have in my possession a letter from
an officer in the 80th Regiment, in which he
states that he found the real tea-plant in the
woods of Ceylon of a quality equal to any
that ever grew in China."
Alarge quantity of tea is now imported from
this island, and new plantations, it is reported,
are being made every month ; day by day more
of the primeval forest goes downbefore the axe
of the pioneer, and before another quarter of
a century has passed it is anticipated that the
teas of our Indian empire will become the
most valuable of its products.
The cultivation of tea in India, and the
processes to which it is subjected after the
leaf is gathered, differ from those of China.
22 Tea and Tea- drinking.
According to Dr. Jameson, the great difficulty
of the Indian tea-planter arises from the won-
derful fertility of the soil and the strength
of the tea-plant. As soon as the plants
" flush" the leaf must be plucked, or it
deteriorates to such an extent as to become
valueless, and at the next " flush " the plant
will be found bare of the young leaves. The
delay of even a single day may be fatal.
The leaf when plucked must be roasted forth-
with, or it ferments and becomes valueless, as
is also the case in China. There, however,
the tea-harvest occurs only four or five times
a year, but in Indiq, once a fortnight during
some seven months of the year. The number
of work-people required on a tea-farm may
be estimated from the figures given by Dr.
Rhind, who says that to manufacture eighty
pounds of black tea per day twenty-five
tea-gatherers are requisite, and ten driers
and sorters ; to produce ninety-two pounds of
green tea, thirty gatherers and sixteen driers
From " A Tea-Planter's Life in Assam "
we take the following account of work in
a tea-garden :
The Cultivation of Tea. 23
" After the soil has been deep-hoed and is quite ready,
transplanting from the nursery begins ; few men sow the
seed at stake. The nursery is made and carefully planted
with seed on the first piece of ground that is cleared, so
that by the time the remainder of the garden is ready to
be planted out the seed has developed into a small plant,
with strength enough to stand being transplanted. Holes
are prepared at equal distances, into which the young
plants are carefully transferred. The greatest caution is
exercised in both taking them up and putting them in
their new places, that the root shall be neither bent up
nor injured in any way. For this work women and
children are employed, as it is light, but requires a gentle
hand to pat down the earth around the young plant. It
speedily accommodates itself to its new circumstances, and
thrives wonderfully if the weather is at all propitious. A
succession of hot days with no rain has a most disastrous
effect on transplants ; their heads droop and but a small
percentage will be saved, which means that most of the
work will have to be done over again. Once started,
plenty of cultivation is the only thing required to keep the
plant healthy, and it is left undisturbed for a couple of
years to increase in size and strength. At the end of the
second year, when the cold season has sent the sap down,
the pruning knife dispossesses it of its long, straggling top
shoots, and reduces it to a height of four feet ; every
plant is cut to the same level. The third year enables the
planter to pluck lightly his first small crop. Year succeeds
year, and the crop increases until the eighth or ninth year,
when the garden arrives at maturity and yields as much
as ever it will. During the rains the gong is beaten at
five o'clock every morning, and again at six, thus allowing
an hour for those who wish to have something to eat
24 Tea and Tea drinking.
before commencing the labours of the clay. In the cold
weather the time for turning out is not so early ; even the
Eastern sun is lazier, and there is not so much work to
get through. Few of the coolies take anything to eat
until eleven o'clock, when they are rung in. The leaf
plucked by the women is collected and weighed, and most
of the men have finished their allotted day's work by this
time, so they retire to their huts to eat the morning meal
and to pass the remainder of the day in a luxury of idle-
ness. For the ensuing two or three hours there is perfqct
rest, except for the unfortunate coolies engaged in the
tea-house ; their work cannot be left, and as fast as the
leaf is ready it must be fired off, else it would be completely
ruined. At two o'clock the women are turned out again
to pluck, and those men w T ho have not finished their hoeing
have to return to complete their task. About six o'clock
the gong sounds again, the leaf is brought in, weighed, and
spread, and outdoor work is over for the day. 1 No change
can be made in the tea-house work, which goes on steadily,
and if there has been much leaf brought in the day before,
firing will very frequently last from daybreak until well
into the night, or small hours of the morning."
At present, however, the greater propor-
tion of tea consumed in England comes from
China and Japan, which prodiice no less than
325,000,000 Ibs. annually, against 52,000,OcO
Ibs. by India.
India may be the tea-country of the future,
but China still supplies nearly all the world.
Millions of acres are devoted to its culti-
1 he Cultivation of Tea. 2 5
vation, and the late Dr, Wells Williams
states that the management of this great
branch of industry exhibits some of the
best features of Chinese country life. It is
only over a portion of each farm that the
plant is grown, and its cultivation requires
A TEA PLANTATION".
but little attention, compared with rice and
vegetables. The most delicate kinds are
looked after and cured by priests in their
secluded temples among the hills ; these have
often many acolytes, who aid in preparing
small lots to be sold at a high price. But
the same authority tells us that the work of
26 Tea and Tea- drinking.
picking the leaves, in the first instance, is
such a delicate operation that it cannot be
intrusted to women. Female labour is paid
so badly that they cannot afford to exercise
the gentleness which characterizes their
general movements ; and when they come
upon the scene of operations they make the
best of their short harvest.
The second gathering takes place when the
foliage is fullest. This season is looked for-
ward to by women and children in the tea-
districts as their working time. They run
in crowds to the middle-men, who have bar-
gained for the leaves on the plants, or apply
to farmers who need help. " They strip the
twigs in the most summary manner," remarks
Dr. Williams, " and fill their baskets with
healthy leaves, as they pick out the sticks and
yellow leaves, for they are paid in this man-
ner : fifteen pounds is a good day's work,
and fourpence is a day's wages. The time
for picking lasts only ten or twelve days.
There are curing houses, where families who
grow and pick their own leaves bring them
for sale at the market rate. The sorting
employs many hands, for it is an important
point in connection with the purity of the
The Cultivation of Tea. 27
various descriptions, and much care is taken
by dealers, in maintaining the quality of their
lots, to have them cured carefully as well as
Like hop-picking in this country, tea-
picking is very tedious work, but its mono-
tony is relieved by singing during the live-
long day. The songs of the hop-pickers are
not generally characterized by loftiness of
tone or purity of sentiment, but travellers in
China speak highly of the songs of the tea-
pickers. For instance, Dr. Williams quotes
in his book on " The Middle Kingdom " a
ballad of the tea-picker, which he considers
one of the best of Chinese ballads, if regard
be had to the character of the sentiment and
metaphors. One or two verses will give an
idea of this charming ballad,
" Where thousand hills the vale enclose, our little hut
And on the sloping sides around the tea grows
And I must rise at early dawn, as busy as can be,
To get my daily labour done, and pluck the leafy tea.
" The pretty birds upon the boughs sing songs so sweet
And the sky is so delicious now, half drowsy and half
28 Tea and Tea-drinking.
While bending o'er her work each maid will prattle of
And we talk till our hearts are sorely hurt and tears
The method of curing is thus described :
"When the leaves are brought in to the curers they are
thinly spread on shallow trays to dry off all moisture
by two or three hours' exposure. Meanwhile the roasting-
pans are heating, and when properly warmed some hand-
iuls of leaves are thrown on them, and rapidly moved and
shaken up for four or five minutes. The leaves make a
slight crackling noise, become moist and flaccid as the
juice is expelled, and give off even a sensible vapour.
The whole is then poured out upon the rolling-table, when
each workman takes up a handful and makes. it.iilLo a
manageable ball, which lie rolls back and forth on t he-
rattan table to get rid of the sap and moisture as the
leaves are twisted. This operation chafes the hands even
with great precaution. The balls are opened and shaken
out, and then passed on to other workmen, who go through
the same operation till they reach the head-man, who exa-
mines the leaves, to see if they have become curled.
When properly done, and cooled, they are returned to the
iron pans, under which a low charcoal fire is burning
in the brickwork which supports them, and there kept in
motion by the hand. If they need another rolling on the
table it is now given them. An hour or more is spent in
this manipulation, when they are dried to a dull-givi n
colour, and can be put away for sifting and sorting. This
colour becomes brighter after the exposure in sifting the
cured leaves through sieves of various sizes; they are also
winnowed to separate the dust, and afterwards sorted into
The Cultivation of Tea. 29
the various descriptions of green tea. Finally, the finer
kinds are again fired three or four times, and the coarser
kinds, as Twankay, Hyson, and Hyson-skin, once. The
others furnish the young Hyson, gunpowder, imperial, &c.
Tea jpured in this way is called lull clia, or ' green tea,' by
the Chinese, while the other, or black tea, is termed humj
cha, or 'red tea,' each name being taken from the tint of
the infusion. After the fresh leaves are allowed to lie
exposed to the air on the bamboo trays over night or
several hours, they are thrown into the air and tossed
about and patted till they become soft ; a heap is made
of these wilted leaves, and left to lie for an hour or more,
when they have become moisj} and dark in colour. They
are then thrown on the hot pans for five minutes and rolled
on the rattan table, previous to exposure out of doors for
three or four hours on sieves, during which time they are
turned over and opened out. After this they get a second
roasting and rolling, to give them their final curl. "When
the charcoal fire is ready, a basket, shaped something like
an hour-glass, is placed end- wise over it, having a sieve in
the middle, on which the leaves are thinly spread. When
dried five minutes in this way they undergo another roll-
ing, and are then thrown into a heap, until all the lot has
passed over the fire. When this firing is finished, the leaves
are opened out and are again thinly spread on the sieve
in the basket for a few minutes, which finishes the drying
and rolling for most of the heap, and makes the leaves
a uniform, black. They are now replaced in the basket
in greater mass, and pushed against its sides by the hands,
in order to allow the heat to come up through the sieve
and the vapour to escape ; a basket over all retains the
heat, but the contents are turned over until perfectly dry
and the leaves become uniformly dark."
3O Tea and Tea-drinking.
When this process is completed, every
nerve is strained to put the tea into the market
quickly, u and in the best possible condition ;
for, although it is said that the Chinese do not
drink it until it is a year old, the value of
new tea is superior to that cf old ; and the
longer the duration of a voyage in which a
great mass of tea is packed up in a closed
hold, the greater the probability that the
process of fermentation will be set up.
Hence has arisen the great strife to bring
the first cargo of the season to England,
and the fastest and most skilfully com-
manded ships are engaged in the trade, both
for the profit and honour of success."
Dr. E. Smith, an authority upon the sub-
ject, showed that the value of tea is deter-
mined in the market by its flavour and body ;
by the aromatic qualities of its essential oil
and the chemical elemental the leaf, rather
than by the chemical composition of its
juices. Delicacy and fulness of flavour, with
a certain body, are the required character-
istics of the market. The same authority
tells us that the tea -taster prepares his
samples from a uniform and very small
The Cultivation of Tea. 31
quantity, viz. the weight of a new sixpence,
and infuses it for five minutes with about
four ounces of water in a covered pottery
vessel ; and in order to prevent injury to his
health by repeated tasting, does not swallow
the fluid. He must have naturally a sensi-
tive and refined taste, should be always in
good health, and able to estimate flavour
with the same minuteness at all times.
32 Tea and Tea-drinking.
The teetotalers and tea Extravagance of ladies Joseph
Livesey Reformed drunkards as water-carriers
One thousand two hundred persons at one tea-party -
How they brewed their tea How the Anti-Corn-
Law League reached the people Singing the praises
of tea Tea-drinking contests " Tea-fights " Hints
on tea-meeting fare Tea as a revolutionary agent.
How did tea-meetings originate ? According
to a writer in the Newcastle Chronicle, the
teetotalers were the first to introduce these
popular social gatherings. " Originally
started as a medium of raising funds/' he
says, "they were conducted in a very dif-
ferent style from that so widely adopted at
the present day. Our friends kne\v of no
such thing as a contract for the supply of
the viands at so much a head, and they had
no experience to teach them how many square
yards of bread a pound of butter could be
made to cover. Our wives and sweethearts
then undertook the purveying and manage-
ment of our tea-parties. Each took a table
accommodating from sixteen to twenty per-
sons, and presided in person, And, oh !
what hearty, jolly, comfortable gatherings,
we used to have in the old Music Hall in
Blackett Street, amidst the abundance o
singing hinnies, hot wigs, and spice loaf,
served up in tempting display, tea of the
finest flavour served in the best china from
the most elegant of teapots, accompanied
with the brightest of spoons, the thickest of
cream, and the blandest of smiles ! It is
much to be regretted that this excess of
gratification should have produced an evil
which ultimately changed the character of
these pleasant assemblies. A spirit of rivalry
among the ladies as to who should have the
richest and most elegantly-furnished table
became so prevalent that their lords and
masters were obliged to protest against the
excessive expenditure ; and thus the ladies,
not being allowed to have their own way,
declined to take any further share in the
34 Tea and Tea-drinking.
work. This was a great misfortune, as
the proceeds considerably augmented the
resources of the Temperance Society."
No such fate met these popular gatherings
in other towns. They were conducted on
a scale of great magnitude, especially in the
birthplace of the temperance movement in
England, the town of Preston. Here lives
Joseph Livesey, the patriarch of the move-
ment, now in his ninety-first year. The
third tea-party of the Preston Temperance
Society in 1833, at Christmas, is thus
" The range of rooms was most elegantly fitted up for
the occasion. The walls were all covered with white cam-
bric, ornamented with rosettes of various colours, and
elegantly interspersed with a variety of evergreens. The
windows, fifty-six in number, were also festooned and
ornamented with considerable taste. The tables, 630 feet
in length, were covered with white cambric. At the
upper and lower ends of each side-room were mottoes in
large characters, * temperance, sobriety, peace, plenty/
and at the centre of the room connecting the others was
displayed in similar characters the motto, 'happiness/
The tables were divided and numbered, and eighty sets
of brilliant tea-requisites, to accommodate parties of ten
persons each, were placed upon the table, with two candles
to each party. A boiler, also capable of containing 200
gallons, was set up in Mr. Hallibiirton's yard, to heat
Tea-Meetings. 3 5
water for the occasion, and was managed admirably by
those reformed characters. About forty men, principally
reformed drunkards, were busily engaged as waiters,
water-carriers, &c. ; those who waited at the tables wore
white aprons, with ' temperance ' printed on the front.
The tables were loaded with provisions, and plenty
seemed to smile upon the guest. A thousand tickets were
printed and sold at 6d. and Is. each, but the whole com-
pany admitted is supposed to be about 1200 ; 820 sat
down at once, and the rest were served afterwards. The
pleasure and enjoyment which beamed from every coun-
tenance would baffle every attempt at description, and
the contrast betwixt this company and those where in-
toxicating liquors are used is an unanswerable argument
in favour of temperance associations."
A tea-party at Liverpool, in 1836, was
attended by a greater number, and the
account shows very clearly that the early
temperance gatherings will contrast favour-
ably with the large Blue Ribbon meetings
held at the present time :
" The great room where tea was provided was fitted up
in a style of elegance surpassing anything we could have
imagined. The platform and the orchestra for the band
were most tastefully decorated. The beams and walls of
the building were richly ornamented with evergreens and
appropriate mottoes. The tables were laid out with tea-
equipages interspersed with flower-pots filled with roses.
When the parties sat clown, in number about 2500, a
most imposing sight presented itself. Wealth, beauty,
36 Tea and Tea-drinking.
and intelligence were present ; and great numbers of re-
formed characters respectably clad, with their smiling
partners, added no little interest to the scene, which was
beyond the power of language to describe."
In 1837 the Isle of Man Temperance
Guardian reported a tea-meeting Bt Leeds,
at which nearly 700 persons sat down ;
another at Bury, where " 500 of both sexes
sat down." A tea-party at Exeter is thus
described : " The arrangements were very
judicious, and nearly 400 made merry with
the ' cup that cheers, but not inebriates/
among whom were numbers of highly re-
spectable ladies and citizens of Exeter. This
novel feature presented a most interesting
and gratifying sight, from the spirit of cor-
diality and good-feeling which pervaded it,
and cannot but have the most beneficial
effect upon society." For the benefit of
societies which had not adopted this new
and successful method of reaching the public,
the secretary of the Bristol Society gave the
following account of a Christmas tea-party:
" The tables were provided with tea-services,
milk, sugar, cakes and bread and butter, and
one waiter appointed to each, who was fur-
Tea-Meetings. 3 7
nished with a bright, clean tea-kettle, while
the tea, which was previously made, stood in
a corner of the room in large barrels, with a
tap in each, from which each waiter drew his
supply as required, and filled the cups when
empty, without noise, confusion, or delay."
The following receipt for tea-making was
given in the Preston Temperance Advocate,
of July, 1836 :
" At the tea-parties in Birmingham they made the tea
in large tins, about a yard square, and a foot deep, each
one containing as much as will serve about 250 persons.
The tea is tied loosely in bags, about jib. in each. At
the top there is an aperture, into which the boiling water
is conveyed by a pipe from the boiler, and at one corner
there is a tap, from which the tea when brewed is drawn
out. It may be either sweetened or milked, or both, if
thought best, while in the tins. Being thus made, it can
be carried in teapots, or jugs, where those cannot be had.
Capital tea was made at the last festival by this plan."
Considering the high price of tea and of
bread at that time, it is scarcely credible
that a charge of 9d. per head for men and
women, and of 6d. for " youths under four-
teen," was found sufficient to defray the
cost, as well as to benefit the funds of the
Temperance Society. The value of such
38 Tea and Tea-drinking.
gatherings to the temperance movement it is
impossible to estimate. "Weaned from the
use of fiery beverages, the reformed drunkard
needed a substitute which would be at once
harmless, as well as stimulating. In tea he
found exactly what he wanted. He needed,
moreover, company of an elevating kind ;
and in the tea-party he found the craving for
the companionship of men and women fully
satisfied. It was by this agency chiefly
that the converts to teetotalism were kept
together and instructed in the principles of
total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors;
and we are not surprised that the consump-
tion of drink fell off largely in consequence.
Dr. J. H. Curtis, writing in 1836, contended
that the introduction of tea and coffee into
general use had done much towards reducing
the consumption of intoxicating drinks ; and,
although the expenditure upon intoxicating
drinks still remains a formidable amount,
there can be no doubt that the general use of
tea has lessened the consumption of alcohol.
These gatherings continue very popular,
but do not draw such large numbers as in
the early days of the movement ; but it is
open to question whether the time spent upon
them might not be more profitably employed.
A writer in the Band of Hope Chronicle
(January, 1882) calls attention to this aspect
of tea-meetings: " There should be," -he
contends, " moderation even in tea-drinking,
and when we hear of four or five hours at a
stretch being spent over this process at
public gatherings, as it seems the good folks
do in some parts of the Isle of Man, one
cannot but feel there is need for improvement.
What would be thought if the time were
occupied with the consumption of stronger
beverages than tea. There would be little pro-
spect of orderliness in the after-proceedings
then; so, anyhow, the tea-drinkers have the
best of it even when they are at their worst."
The example of the teetotalers was followed
by other reformers. The Preston Temperance
Advocate, of October, 1837, says: "A tea-
party was held at Salford, in honour of the
return of Joseph Brotherton, Esq., M.P., for
this town, to which he was invited. It was
attended by 1050 persons, nearly 900 of
whom were ladies, and the spectacle presented
to the eye by such an assemblage was one of
40 Tea and Tea-drinking.
the most pleasing which I have ever wit-
nessed." The Anti-Corn-Law League also
adopted similar means of bringing their
friends and subscribers together. " On the
23rd of November, 1842," writes Mr. Archi-
bald Prentice, the historian of the movement,
u the first of a series of deeply-interesting
soirees in Yorkshire, in furtherance of the
great object o Corn-Law Repeal, was cele-
brated in the saloon, beautifully decorated
for the occasion, of the Philosophical Hall,
Huddersfield. The occasion, says the Leeds
Mercury, was one of high importance, not
only for the dignity and benevolence of the
object contemplated, but for the enthusiastic
spirit manifested by the assembly of both
sexes, of the first respectability, extensive in
number, and intelligent and influential in its
character. More than GOO persons sat down
to tea, and more than double that number
would have been present had it been possible
to provide accommodation." Mr. Prentice
records many other tea-meetings attended
by GOO and 800 persons. " In Manchester,"
writes Mr. Henry Ashworth, " a number of
ladies took up the Corn-Law question, and
Tea-Meetings. 4 1
held an Aiiti-Corii-Law tea-party, which was
attended by 830 persons."
A hymn w r as specially composed for use at
temperance gatherings, its purport being to
WATERING A TEA-PLANTATION.
show the superiority of tea-meetings over
public-house meetings. It consisted of eight
verses, and was printed in the Moral Reformer
of February, 1833. One verse will give an
idea of its character :
42 Tea and Tea-drinking.
" Pure, refined, domestic bliss,
Social meetings such as this,
Banish sorrow, cares dismiss,
And cheer all our lives."
Total abstinence has not yet found much
favour among artists, who too often paint
the fleeting pleasures of the wine-cup rather
than the enduring pleasures of temperance ;
but in Mr. Collingwood Banks we have an
artist who can sing the praises of a cup of
tea as well as paint the charms of a fire-
side tea-table. To him we are indebted for
the following song, which ought speedily
to become popular among temperance so-
"THE CUP FOR ME.
" Let others sing the praise of wine,
Let others deem its joys divine,
Its fleeting bliss shall ne'er be mine,
Give me a cup of tea !
The cup that soothes each aching pain,
Restores the sick to health again,
Steals not from heart, steals not from brain,
A friend when others flee.
" When sorrow frowns, what power can cheer,
Or chase away the falling tear
Without the vile effects of beer,
Like Pekoe or Bohea ?
Tea- Meetings. 43
What makes the old man young and strong,
Like Hyson, Congou, or Souchong,
Which leave the burthen of his song
A welcome cup of tea. <,
" Then hail the grave Celestial band,
"With planning mind, and planting hand,
And let us bless that golden land
So far across the sea ;
Whose hills and vales give fertile birth
To that fair shrub of priceless worth,
Which yields each son of mother earth
A fragrant cup of tea."
Another hymn in praise of tea was used in
Cornwall, and often sung at tea-meetings by
the Rev. J. G. Hartley, a minister of the
United Methodist Free Churches. The lines
possess little poetical merit, but are worth
quoting on account of the pleasure with
which they have been received by tens of
thousands of people, and of their influence
in unlocking the pockets of the people when
the box went round.
" When vanish'd spirits intertwine,
And social sympathies combine,
What of such friendship is a sign ?
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.
" When dulness' seizes on the mind,
And thought no liberty can find,
What can the captive powers unbind ?
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.
44 Tea and Tea-drinking.
" If one has given another pain,
And distant coldness both maintain,
What helps to make them friends again 1
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.
' ' And if discourse "be sluggish growing,
Whate'er the cause to which 'tis owing,
What's sure to set the tongue a-going ?
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.
' ; If things of use or decoration
Require a friendly consultation,
What greatly aids the conversation ?
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.
" And lastly let us not forget
The occasion upon which we're mot,
What helps to move a chapel-debt 1
A cup of tea, a cup of tea.' ;
" It lias served us many a good turn/'
writes Mr. Hartley, " and has helped to clear
many a chapel-debt." It would be difficult,
no doubt, in our day to cite a single case of
a tea-party attended by 500 persons ; but if
large gatherings are fewer, small ones are
more frequent. Every chapel, every church,
every day-school, every Sunday-school, every
religious association has at least four tea-
parties a year : and thus not only is a very
large amount of tea consumed, but a very
large number of people are brought under
In rural districts tlie Christmas tea-party
is the event of the year. It is attended by
all the lads and lasses in the neighbourhood ;
by the milkmaids and the ploughmen, who
make sad havoc with the cake. Wonderful,
also, is the amount of tea consumed. In fact
a tea-drinking contest takes place at these
annual reunions. At any rate he is the
hero of the table who can drink the most.
We have referred to the decreasing popu-
larity of tea-meetings, and believe that one
way of reviving the interest in these festivals
would be to provide better refreshments, as
well as a greater variety. From the Land's
End to John O'Groats, the bill of fare is
limited to currant-cake and bread and butter
of the cheapest kind. In some cases, where
the charge is a shilling per head, beef and
sandwiches are provided. An announcement
of " a knife and fork tea " at a Primitive
Methodist Chapel never fails to secure a good
attendance of the members and friends. In
Lancashire such meetings are not unfre-
quently called " tea-fights," probably on
46 Tea and Tea -drinking.
account of the scramble for sandwiches which
characterizes the proceedings. But neither
cake nor sandwich is sufficient to tempt all
who are interested in these social entertain-
ments. The promoters would do well to
follow the example of the Vegetarian Society,
and provide more fruit and substantial bread,
both white and brown. In summer all the
fruits in season should be placed upon the
tables, and in winter stewed fruits. The
following hints on " Tea-Meeting Fare,"
written by the late Mr. R. N. Sheldrick, who
was an active missionary agent of the Vege-
tarian Society, may prove of service to all
who cater for tea-meetings :
" 1. Provide good tea, pure, fresh-ground coffee, cocoa,
&c. Let the making of these decoctions be superintended
by an experienced friend ; serve up nice and hot, but with-
out milk or sugar, leaving these to be added or not, accord-
ing to individual tastes.
" 2. Procure a plentiful supply of good whole-meal
wheaten (brown) broad, some white bread, some currant-
cake home-baked if possible, without dripping or lard ;
two or three varieties of Reading biscuits, such as Osborne,
tea, picnic, arrowroot, &c.
" 3. Purchase from the nearest market sufficient lettuce,
kale, celery, cress, and other fresh salads according to
season ; also provide a liberal supply of figs, muscatels
almonds, nuts, oran;.;vs, apples, poors, plums, cherries.
Tea - Meetings. 4 7
strawberries, peaches, or such other fruit as may be in
" 4. Take care, whatever arrangement be adopted, not to
let these things be hidden away until the latter part oJ
the feast. Fruits should have the place of honour. The
plates or baskets of fruit should have convenient positions
along the tables with the bread and butter, biscuits, &c.
" 5. Place the arrangements under the control of a well-
selected committee of ladies, who will see that the tables
are tastefully laid out, and that everybody is supplied.
Let there be also, if possible, a profusion of fresh-cut
Tea, it is true, has not yet worked a com-
plete revolution in the habits of the people,
but it has done much to lessen intemperance.
Dr. Sigmond, writing nearly half a century
ago, referred to its influences for good : " Tea
has in most instances," he said, " been sub-
stituted for fermented or spirituous liquors,
and the consequence has been a general im-
provement in the health and in the morals of
a vast number of persons. The tone, the
strength, and the vigour of the human
body are increased by it ; there is a greater
capability of enduring fatigue; the mind is
rendered more susceptible of the innocent
pleasures of life, and of acquiring infor-
mation. Whole classes of the community
have been rendered sober, careful, and pro-
48 7^ea and Tea-drinking.
violent. The wasted time that followed upon
intemperance kept individuals poor, who are
now thriving in the world and exhibiting
the results of honest industry. Men have
become healthier, happier, and better for the
exchange they have made. They have given
up a debasing habit for an innocent one.
The individuals who were outcasts, miserable,
abandoned, have become independent and a
blessing to society. Their wives and their
children hail them on their return home from
their daily labours with their prayers and
fondest affections, instead of shunning their
presence, fearful of some barbarity, or some
outrage against their better feelings ; cheer-
fulness and animation follow upon their
slumbers, instead of the wretchedness and
remorse which the wakening drunkard ever
This picture, it will be observed, is a
little over-coloured; but, in the main, it
will be granted that tea and other similar
beverages have done a good deal to displace
spirituous and fermented liquors. The use
of tea has certainly resulted in great benefit
to the health and morals of the people.
How to make Tea. 49
HOW TO MAKE TEA.
The Siamese method of making tea- A three-legged tea-
pot Advice of a Chinese poet How tea should Le
made How Abernethy made tea for his guests
The " bubbling and loud-hissing urn " Tate's de-
scription of a tea-table The t'ea of public institu-
tions Eev. Dr. Lansdell on Kuskian tea The art of
tea-making described The kind o\f water to be used.
The Chinese method of making tes^-Invalids' tea
Words to nurses, by Miss Nightingale.
THE mode of preparation of tea for the table
has always given rise to discussion. Dif-
ferent nations have different methods. In
Siam one method was thus described in a
book entitled " Relation of the Voyage to
Siam by Six Jesuits/ 5 which was published in
1685. " In the Bast they prepare tea in this
manner : when the water is well boiled, they
pour it upon the tea, which they have put
50 Tea and Tea-drinking.
into an earthen pot, proportionally to what
they intend to take (the ordinary proportion
is as much as one can take up with the
finger and thumb for a pint of water) ; then
they coyer the pot until the leaves are sunk
to the bottom of it, and afterwards serve it
about in china dishes to be drunk as hot as
can be, without sugar, or else with a little
sugar-candy in the mouth ; and upon that
tea more boiling water may be poured, and
so it may be made to serve twice. These
people drink of it several times a day, but
do not think it wholesome to take it fasting."
In " Kecreative Science " (vol. i.,1821) there
appears a very curious note relating to the
translation of a Chinese poem. The editor
says, " Kien Lung, the Emperor of the
Celestial Empire, which is in the vernacular
China, was also a poet, and he has been
good enough to give us a receipt also
would that all didactic poetry meddled with
what its author understood. The poet Kien
did, and he has left the following recipe how
to make tea, which, for the benefit of the
ladies who study the domestic cookery, is
inserted : ' set an old three-legged teapot
How to make Tea. 5 1
over a slow fire ; fill it with water of melted
snow ; boil it just as long as is necessary to
turn fish white or lobsters red; pour it on
the leaves of choice, in a cup of Youe. Let
it remain till the vapour subsides into a thin
mist, floating on the surface. Drink this
precious liquor at your leisure, and thus
drive away the five causes of sorrow.' '
Poets, as everybody knows, are allowed a
good deal of licence, and tea-maids may be
pardoned if they are sceptical of the value
of the advice of the Chinese poet. How,
then, should tea be made ? First and fore-
most, remarks Dr. Joseph Pope, it should be
remembered that tea is an infusion, not an
extract. An old verse runs thus :
"The fragrant shrub in China grows,
The leaves are all we see,
And these, when water o'er them flows,
Make what we call our tea."
Dr. Pope lays emphasis on the wordfloivs;
it does not say soak. There is, he contends,
an instantaneous graciousness, a momentary
flavour that must be caught if we would
rightly enjoy tea. Assuredly Dr. Abernethy,
the celebrated surgeon, must be credited
52 Tea and Tea-drinking.
with the possession of this " instantaneous
graciousness." "Abernethy,"said Dr.Carlyon,
in his " Early Years and Late Reflections/'
" never drank tea himself, but he frequently
asked a few friends to come and take tea at
his rooms. Upon such occasions, as I infer
from what I myself witnessed, his custom
was to walk about the room and talk most
agreeably upon such topics as he thought
likely to interest his company, which did not
often consist of more than two or three
persons. As soon as the tea-table was set
in order, and the boiling water ready for
making the infusion, the fragrant herb was
taken, not from an ordinary tea-caddy, but
from a packet consisting of several en-
velopes curiously put together, in the centre
of which was the tea. Of this he used at
first as much as would make a good cup
for each of the party; and to meet fresh
demands I observed that he invariably put
an additional tea-spoonful into the teapot ;
the excellence of the beverage thus prepared
insuring him custom. He had likewise a
singular knack of supplying each cup with
sugar from a considerable distance, by a jerk
How to make Tea. 53
of the hand, which discharged it from the
sugar-tongs into the cup with unerring
certainty, as he continued his walk around
the table, scarcely seeming to stop whilst 4e
performed these and the other requisite
evolutions of the entertainment."
If every woman had treated her guests in
the same manner, there would have been
little outcry against tea. The innovation of
a " bubbling and loud-hissing urn" was
strongly condemned by Dr. Sigmond, who,
writing in 1839, after quoting Cowper, re-
marked : " Thus sang one of our most
admired poets, who was feelingly alive to
the charms of social life ; but, alas ! for the
domestic happiness of many of our family
circles, this meal has lost its character, and
many of those innovations which despotic
fashion has introduced have changed one of
the most agreeable of our daily enjoyments.
It is indeed a question amongst the devotees
to the tea-table, whether the bubbling urn
has been practically an improvement upon
our habits ; it has driven from us the old
national kettle, once the pride of the fireside.
The urn may be fairly called the offspring
54 Tea and Tea-drinking.
of indolence; it has deprived us, too, of
many of those felicitous opportunities of
which the gallant forefathers of the present
race availed themselves to render them
amiable in the eyes of the fair sex, when
presiding over the distribution
" Of the Soumblo, the Imperial tea,
Names not unknown, and sanative Boliea."
The consequence of this injudicious change is,
that one great enjoyment is lost to the tea-
drinker that which consists in having the
tea infused in water actually hot, and securing
an equal temperature when a fresh supply is
required. Such, too, is what those who have
preceded us would have called the degeneracy
of the period in which we live, that now the
tea-making is carried on in the housekeeper's
room, or in the kitchen
" For monstrous novelty, and strange disguise,
We sacrifice our tea, till household joys
And comforts cease."
What, he asks, can be more delightful than
those social days described by Tate, the
How to make Tea. 55
" When in discourse of nature's mystic powers
And noblest themes we pass the well-spent hours,
Whilst all around the virtues sacred band,
And listening graces, pleased attendants stand.
Thus our tea-conversations we employ.
Where, with delight, instructions we enjoy,
Quaffing, without the waste of time or wealth,
The sovereign drink of pleasure and of health."
Fortunately for the lovers of the teapot and
the kettle, a change in the fashion of making
tea is taking place, the " loud-hissing urn "
being now confined almost exclusively to a
public tea-party and the coffee tavern. The
quality of tea and coffee supplied by the
latter institution has long been considered
the blot upon an otherwise excellent move-
ment. Not too severely did the Daily
Telegraph speak a short time ago against the
atrocious stuff supplied under the name of
tea in public institutions. The editor said,
" The very look of it is no longer encouraging. It is
either a pale, half-chilled, unsatisfactory beverage, or it
contains a dark black-brown settlement from over-boiled
tea-leaves. The consumption of tea, no doubt, in England
is enormous, and we boast to foreigners that we are fond
of our tea ; the fashion of tea- drinking, owing mainly
to our example, has extended to France, once extremely
heretical on the point ; and yet where is the foreigner to
56 Tea and Tea-drinking.
find a good cup of tea in England '? At tho railway
stations ? Yery rarely. At the restaurants ? Scarcely
ever. And at the newly-started tea and coffee palaces,
which are to promote sobriety, the great and crying com-
plaint is that the tea and coffee are so poor that the best-
intentioned people are forced back to the dangerous public-
house, in order to obtain a little stimulant, for it is idle
to deny that both tea and coffee are stimulating to the
constitution. Everywhere a great reform in tea is required.
Once on a time no confectioner, railway-station, or re-
freshment-house could rival the home-made brew, made
under the eye of the mistress of the household, with the
kettle on the hob and the ingredients at hand ; but now
that the good old custom of tea-making is considered un-
ladylike, and the manufacture has been handed over to
the servants, the great charm of the beverage has virtually
departed. No one can conscientiously say that they like
English tea as at present administered, for the very good
reason that it is no longer prepared scientifically. The
English fashion of drinking tea would be laughed to scorn
by the educated Chinaman or the accomplished Russian.
Indeed, it is surprising in how few houses a good cup of tea
can be obtained now that it has become unfashionable for
the mistress of the establishment, not only to preside over
her own tea-table, but to have complete sway over that most
necessary article, a kettle of boiling water. The Chinese
never dream of stewing their tea, as we too often do in
England. They do not drown it with milk or cream, or
alter its taste with sugar, but lightly pour boiling water
on a small portion of the leaves. It is then instantly
poured off again, by which the Chinaman obtains only the
more volatile and stimulating portion of its principle. The
most delicious of all tea, however, can be tasted in Russia
How to make Tea.
supposed to import tlie best of the Chinese leaves, as
it imports the best of French champagne."
According to the Rev. Dr. Lansdell, how-
ever, the Russians clo not pay extravagantly
for their tea, " When crossing the Pacific/ 5
he says, " I fell in with a tea-merchant home-
ward bound from China, and from him I
gathered that three-fourths of the Russian
trade is done in medium and common teas,
such as are sold in London in bond from Is. 2d.
58 7*ea and Tea-drinking.
down to 8d. per English pound, exclusive of
the home duty. The remaining fourth of
their trade includes some of the very best teas
grown in the Ning Chou districts teas which
the Eussians will have at any price, and for
which in a bad year they may have to pay as
much as 3s. a pound in China, though in
ordinary years they cost from 2s. upwards.
The flowery Pekoe, or blossom tea, costs also
about 85. in China." But Dr. Lansdell heard
of some kind of yellow tea which cost as much
as five guineas a pound, the Emperor of China
being supposed to enjoy its monopoly ; but a
friend of the doctor told him that he did not
think it distinguishable from that sold at 5s.
The excellence of the Eussian tea is attri-
buted, in part, to the fact that it is carried
overland. "Whilst travelling eastwards,"
says Dr. Lansdell, " we had frequently met
caravans or carts carrying tea. These cara-
vans sometimes reach to upwards of 100
horses ; and as they go at walking pace, and
when they come to a river are taken over by
ferry, it is not matter for surprise that mer-
chandise should be three months in coming
How to make Tea. 59
from Irkutsk to Moscow." Whatever the cause,
all travellers eulogize the Russians as tea-
makers. Dr. Sigmond, for instance, says,
(l My own experience of the excellence of tea in Russia'
arose out of a curious incident, which occurred to me
during a hasty visit I made to that highly-interesting
country. Previous to this adventure, I had been in the
habit of taking coffee as my ordinary beverage, and was
by no means satisfied with it. I had no idea of the pre-
vailing habit of tea-drinking, previous to my arrival, at
Moscow. In the course of the afternoon I left my hotel
alone, obtaining from my servant a card, with the name
of the street, La "Rue de Demetrius, written upon it. I
wandered about that magnificent citadel, the Kremlin, until
dark, and I found myself at some distance from the point
from which I started, and I endeavoured to return to it,
and asked several persons the way to my street, of which
they all appeared ignorant. I therefore got into one of
the drotzskies, and intimated to my Cossack driver that
I should be enabled to point out my own street. Al-
though we could not understand each other, we did our
mutual signs ; and with the greatest cheerfulness and
good-nature this man drove me through every street, but I
could nowhere recognize my hotel. He therefore drove
me to his humble abode in the environs ; he infused the
finest tea that I had ever seen in a peculiarly-shaped
saucepan, set it on a stove, and this, when nearly boiled,
he poured out ; and a more delicious beverage, nor one
more acceptable after a hard day's fatigue and anxiety, I
have not tasted. "
Other travellers refer to the excellence of
60 Tea and Tea-drinking.
tea in Russia. If we could have an improve-
ment in the quality of tea made in England,
we feel sure that a decrease in the consump-
tion of intoxicating drinks would result.
Some reform has already taken place at
railway-stations. For the reduction of the
price of a cup of tea from sixpence to four-
pence on the Great Northern Railway the
public are indebted to the Hon. Reginald
Capel, Chairman of the Refreshment-Rooms
and Hotels' Committee of that company. On
the Midland Railway, also, a reduction in the
price of non-intoxicating beverages has been
made. At the present time the coffee taverns
stand most in need of reform.
With the object of inducing our tea-makers
to reform their methods of tea-making, we quote
some important recommendations of leading
physicians. Dr. King Chambers, in his valu-
able manual of " Diet in Health and Disease,"
remarks that the uses of tea are (1) to give an
agreeable flavour to warm water required as
a drink ; (2) to soothe the nervous system
when it is in an uncomfortable state from
hunger, fatigue, or mental excitement. The
best tea therefore is, he contends, that which
Hoiv to make Tea. 61
is pleasantest to the taste of the educated
consumer, and which contains most of the
characteristic sedative principles. As Dr.
Poore has pointed out, tannic acid, which
is one of the dangers as well as one of the
pleasures of tea, is largely present in the
common teas used by the poor. " The rich
man," he says, " who wishes to avoid an
excess of tannic acid in the ' cup that cheers,'
does not allow the water to stand on the tea
for more than five, or at most eight minutes,
and the resulting beverage is aromatic, not
too astringent, and wholesome. The poor
man or poor woman allows the tea to simmer
on the hob for indefinite periods, with the
result that a highly astringent and unwhole-
some beverage is obtained. There can be no
doubt that the habit of drinking excessive
quantities of strong astringent tea is a not
uncommon cause of that atonic dyspepsia,
which seems to be the rule rather than the
exception among poor women of the class
of sempstresses." The late Dr. Edward
Smith devoted considerable attention to this
subject, and we cannot do better than quote
his observations : " The aim should be to
62 Tea and Tea-drinking.
extract all the aroma and dried juices con-
taining theine, with only so much of the sub-
stance of the leaf as may give fulness, or, as it
is called, body to the infusion. If the former
be defective, the respiratory action of the tea
and the agreeableness of the flavour will be
lessened, whilst if the latter be in excess there
will be a degree of bitterness which will
mash the aromatic flavour. As the theine is
without flavour, its presence or absence cannot
be determined by the taste of the tea. All
agree, therefore, that the tea should be cooked
in water, and that the water should be at
the boiling-point when used; but there is
not an agreement as to the duration of the
infusing process. If the tea be scented or
artificially flavoured, the aroma may be ex-
tracted in two minutes, but the proper
aromatic oil of the tea requires at least five
minutes for its removal. If flavour is to be
considered, it is clear that an inferior tea
should not be infused so long as a fine tea.
" The kind of water is believed to have
great influence over the process ; soft water is
preferred. The Chinese direction is, ' Take it
from a running stream; that from mill- springs
How to make Tea. 63
is the best, river-water is the next, and well-
water is the worst ;' that is to say, take water
well mixed with air. Hence avoid hard water,
but prefer tap-water or running water to well-
water. It is the practice of a good housewife
in the country to send to a brook for water
to make tea, whilst she will use the well water
for drinking/' The mode of making tea in
China is to put the tea into a cup, to pour hot
water upon it, and then to drink the infusion
off the leaves. While wandering over the tea-
districts of China, Mr. Fortune only once met
with sugar and a tea-spoon. " The merchant
invited us to drink tea," writes the Rev. Dr.
Lansdell, who recently visited the Mongolian
frontier at Maimatchin, " and told us that the
Chinese use this beverage without sugar or
milk three times a day ; namely, at rising, at
noon, and at seven in the evening. They
have substantial meals at nine in the morning
and four in the afternoon." Dr. King
Chambers considers tea most refreshing to
the dyspeptic if made in the Russian fashion,
with a slice of lemon on which a little sugar-
candy has been sprinkled, instead of milk or
cream. One small cup of an evening is
64 Tea and Tea-drinking.
enough. He also gives the following receipt
for making invalids' tea :
" Pour into a small china or earthenware
teapot a cup of quite boiling water, empty it
out, and while it is still hot and steaming put
in the tea and enough boiling water to wet
it thoroughly, and set it close to the fire to
steam three or four minutes. Then pour
in the quantity of water required, boiling from
the kettle, and it is ready for use." Miss
Nightingale offers a word of advice to nurses
upon the amount of tea which should be
given. " A great deal too much against tea
is," she remarks, " said by wise people, and
n great deal too much of it is given to the
sick by foolish people. "When you see the
natural and almost universal craving in Eng-
lish sick for their tea, you cannot but feel that
Nature knows what she is about. But a little
tea or coffee restores them quite as much as
a great deal ; and a great deal of tea, and
especially of coffee, impairs the little power
of digestion they have ; yet a nurse, because
she sees how one or two cups of tea or
coffee restore her patient, thinks three or
four cups will do twice as much. This is
How to make Tea.
not the case at all: it is, however, certain
that there is nothing yet discovered which
is a substitute to the English patient for
his cup of tea."
66 Tea and Tea-drinking.
TEA AND PHYSICAL ENDURANCE.
Tea and dry bread versus porter and beefsteak Tea for
soldiers Opinion of Professor Parkes Tea versus
spirits Tea and Tel-el-Kebir Lord Wolseley's
testimony Pegs and teapots Temperance in the
navy Drinking the health of her Majesty in a bowl
of tea Cycling and tea-drinking Mountain-climb-
ing Tea in the harvest-field Cold tea as a summer
TEA is not only a valuable stimulant to the
mind, but is tlie most beneficial drink to
those engaged in fatiguing work. Dr. Jack-
son, whom Buckle quotes as an authority,
testified in 1845, that even for those who
have to go through great fatigues a break-
fast of tea and dry bread is more strengthen-
ing than one of beefsteak and porter. " I
have been," says Dr. Inman, "a careful
reader of all those accounts which tell of
endurance of prolonged fatigue, and have
Tea and Physical Endurance. 67
been touched with the almost unanimous
evidence in favour of vegetable diet and tea
as a beverage, that I have determined in
every instance where long nursing, as of a
fever patient, is required, to recommend
nothing stronger than tea for the watcher."
In the army, as well as in the hospital, tea
is slowly, but surely, supplanting the use of
grog. " As an article of diet for soldiers,"
remarked Professor Parkes, "tea is most
useful. The hot infusion, like that of coffee,
is potent both against heat and cold ; is most
useful in great fatigue, especially in hot
climates, and also has a great purifying effect
on water. Tea is so light, is so easily car-
ried and the infusion is so readily made, that
it should form the drink par excellence of the
soldier on service. There is also a belief
that it lessens the susceptibility to malaria,
but the evidence on this point is imperfect."
Admiral Inglefield, writing in January,
1881, strongly commended the use of tea
and coffee as heat producers.
" During this almost Arctic weather, and in the midst
of these almost Arctic surroundings, permit me as an old
Arctic officer to plead for a short hearing in behalf of
68 Tea and Tea-drinking*
those whoso lives may still be in jeopardy for want of
some practical experience how to take care of themselves.
Among the working classes there is an all-prevailing idea
that nothing is so effectual to keep out cold as a raw
nip of spirits, and this delusion is to their minds justified,
because they find the " raw nip " setting the heart and
blood in more rapid motion ; and heat being generated
while the influence remains, a sensation of warmth is the
natural result, but after a short space reaction sets in,
and a slower circulation must ensue. In the evidence
given before the last Arctic Committee, of which I was a
member, all the witnesses were unanimous in the opinion
that spirits taken to keep out cold was a fallacy, and
that nothing was more effectual than a good fatty diet,
and hot tea or coffee as n drink. Seamen who journeyed
with me up the shores of "Wellington Channel, in the
Arctic Kegions, after one day's experience of rum-drink-
ing, came to the conclusion that tea, which was the only
beverage I used, was much preferable, and they quickly
derived great advantage from its use while undergoing
hard work and considerable cold. If cabmen, watchmen,
railway servants, and those who from the nature of their
duties are compelled to expose themselves during this
inclement weather could be persuaded to give up entirely
the use of spirituous liquors and use hot tea or coffee
for a beverage, I can promise that they would be better
fortified to withstand the cold, they would experience
more lasting comfort, and there would be more shillings
to take to their homes on a Saturday night; happily,
also, the trial of temperance for a time, to meet the present
emergency, might become with some the habit of a life."
The soldiers who captured Tel-el-Kebir
Tea and Physical Endurance* 69
drank nothing but tea. It was served out
to them three times a day. Tlie correspon-
dent of the 'Daily Neivs (12th. of September,
1882) wrote, " Sir Garnet Wolseley having
ordered that the troops under his command
should be allowed daily a triple allowance of
tea, extra supplies of tliat article are being
sent out from the commissariat stores to
Ismailia. It is stated that the extra issue of
tea is very acceptable to the men, who find a
decoction of the mild stimulant in their can-
teen-bottles the most refreshing and invigo-
rating beverage they can carry with them on
Lord Wolseley having been asked for his
temperance testimony, replied in an interest-
ing letter, in which he strongly commended
the use of tea. " Once during my military
career," he says, " it fell to my lot to lead
a brigade through a desert country for a dis-
tance of over 600 miles. I fed the men as
well as I could, but no one, officer or private,
had anything stronger than tea to drink
during the expedition. The men had pecu-
liarly hard work to do, and they did it well,
and without a murmur. We seemed to have
70 Tea and Tea-drinking.
left crime and sickness behind us with the
'grog,' for the conduct of all was roost
exemplary, and no one was ever ill. I have
always attributed much of our success upon
that occasion to the fact that no form of
intoxicating liquor formed any portion of the
Evidence from other quarters shows very
conclusively that soldiers would rather drink
tea than grog. In an account of the return
march through the Khyber Pass, the Rev.
Gelson Gregson states that they were very
kindly and hospitably received by the medical
officer in charge, " who had a good brew of
tea ready, with cheese and biscuits, much
more sensible than another medico, who
came round with a brandy-bottle as soon as
we got in. Every one enjoyed the tea, and
did not even call for a peg. I believe," he
adds, "that pegs would soon go out of
fashion if teapots were only oftener intro-
duced." Tea, unfortunately, requires some
trouble to make ; but doubtless this difficulty
is in a fair way of being removed by the
pressure from without. Total abstinence is
increasing greatly both in the army and
Tea and Physical Endurance. 7 1
Miss Weston, whose labours amongst tlie
blue jackets are well known, claims that one
man out of every six is a teetotaler ; and
the Hong-Kong Telegraph recently gave an
account of a tea-meeting held with the men
of H.M.S. Orontes and their successors in
the port, at which between 300 and 400
sat down in the Temperance Hall. Mr.
James Francis, Organizing Agent of the
Royal Naval Temperance Society, having
asked Admiral "Willes to say a few words,
his Excellency advanced to the top of the
room and said, " Soldiers, sailors, and
marines, I am going to ask you to drink the
health, in a flowing bowl of tea, of her
Gracious Majesty, the Queen, and in so doing
I take the opportunity of bidding the
marines and sailors going home on the 20th
farewell. I wish them a pleasant passage
and a happy meeting with their friends. I
invite those lately come out to support by
example those who are going away. I con-
sider this an excellent institution. Drunken-
ness is the cause of nearly all the crimes in
the navy, and I dare say also in the army. I
ask you to drink the health of the Queen, and
72 Tea and Tea-drinking.
give her Majesty three cheers." The toast
was duly drunk in sparkling Bohea, three
rounds of cheers being given for her Majesty
and "one more" for the gallant admiral.
Mr. Haly, R.N., then proposed " The health
of his Excellency, the Governor/ 5 the toast
receiving like treatment. Mr. Chisham, R.N.,
next proposed " The health of Miss Agnes
Weston," and said that no words of his
could make her dearer than she already was
to the British sailor. The toast was duly
honoured, as was also that of Mr. Francis.
The use of tea among cricketers, scullers,
pedestrians, cyclists, and others is also
becoming more general; for instance, Mr.
"Wynter Blyth, Medical Officer of Health for
Marylebone, says, " I have studied the diets
recorded as in use, and find that those who
have done long journeys successfully have
used that class of diet which science has
shown most suitable for muscular exertion
viz. one of a highly nitrogenized character :
plenty of meat, eggs, and milk, with bread,
but not much butter, and no alcohol. I have
cycled for over fifty miles, taking frequent
draughts of beer, and in these circumstances,
Tea and Physical Endurance. 73
although there has been no alcoholic effect,
it has caused great physical depression. The
experience of others is the same. However
much it may stimulate for a little while, a
PRESSING THE TEA-LEAVES.
period of well-marked depression follows. I
attribute this in part to the salts of potash
which some beers contain, in part to injurious
bitters, and in part to the alcohol. My own
experience as to the best drink when on the
74 Tea and Tea-drinking.
road is most decidedly in favour of tea. Tea
appears to rouse both the nervous and mus-
cular system, with, so far as I can discover,
no after-depressing effect."
The use of alcohol is almost invariably
condemned in the various handbooks on
training; but the use of tea is always com-
mended. Mr. C. J. Michod, late Hon. Sec. of
the London Athletic Club, in his " Guide to
Athletic Training," considers tea preferable
for training purposes, as it possesses less
heating properties, and is more digestible.
The greatest pedestrian of our time, Mr.
Edward Payson Weston, finds in tea
and rest the most effective restoratives.
Lately he walked 5000 miles in 100 days,
and after each day's work, lectured on
" Tea versus Beer." Even the publicans on
the roads, he says, used to meet him with
cups of tea and basins of milk. A Nor-
wich physician, Dr. Beverley, testified to
the value of tea iu mountain-climbing.
" The hardest physical work I have done,"
he says, "has been mountain-climbing in
Switzerland, and on such occasions after a
breakfast, of which coffee and milk and bread
Tea and Physical Endurance. 75
formed the chief articles of food, it was my
custom to fill my flask with an infusion of
cold tea, made over-night from a stock kept
for the purpose in my knapsack, and this I
invariably found to be the most refreshing
drink for such purposes. This is confirmed
by all experienced in Alpine ascents, who
know only too well that the man who has
recourse to his flask of brandy or sherry
seldom gains the mountain-top."
In the harvest-field, also, tea is being sub-
stituted for beer. At a conference of the
members of the Newbury Chamber of Agri-
culture, held in July, 1878, Mr. T. Bland
Garland maintained that nothing can be more
unsuitable as a thirst-quenching beverage
during hard work in hot weather than beer,
and stated that in 1871 he determined to sup-
ply no more beer to his labourers under any
circumstances. He had agreed as an alterna-
tive, to pay the men 18s. instead of 14s. , and
the women 9s. instead of 7s. ; but reflecting
that the people would probably find it impos-
sible to supply themselves with a suitable
substitute for the beer, and would, in a mea-
sure, be driven to the public-house, he deter-
76 Tea and Tea-drinking.
mined to supply them with tea. He thus
describes his method of brewing tea,
" I purchased a common flat-bottomed 8|-gallon iron
boiler, with a lid, long spout, and tap ; this is taken in a
cart to the field, with a few bricks to form a temporary
fireplace, a few sticks for the fire, some tea in 7-oz.
packets, and sugar in 4-lb. packets. The first thing in
the morning a woman lights the fire, boils the water,
the bailiff puts on the 7 ozs. of tea in a small bag, to
boil for ten to fifteen minutes, then removes it and puts
in 4 Ibs. of sugar ; if skim milk can be spared, two to
four quarts are added, but this is not a necessity, al-
though desirable. All the labourers are then at liberty
to take as much as they like at all times of the day,
beginning at breakfast-time, and ending when they leavi-
off work at night. If the field is large, they send large
cans to the boiler for it ; so soon as the quantity in the
boiler is reduced to two gallons, it is drawn off in a pail
for consumption, whilst another boilerful is being pre-
pared. The knowledge that they have at their disposal
as much good tea as they choose to drink during every
minute of the day materially lessens their thirst.
The cost of tea in my case is as follows :
7 ozs. of tea ......... 1
4 Ibs. of sugar 12
Skirn milk about . ... 2
or 8| gallons of tea, at 3^7. per gallon.
I had twenty-eight men and women employed in hay-
making this year, and the consumption was,
Tea and Physical Endurance. 77
Generally, 2 boilers full per day 17
Occasionally, 2^ ,, ,, 21j
On one day, 3 ,, 25^
My calculation is, that they drink on the average two-
thirds of a gallon each per day, at a cost of 2d. Thus I
pay them, in lieu of beer, Sd. per day in money, and
2d. in tea, or lOcL in all. But if the change involved
a much larger expenditure than the cost of the beer,
employers would be amply remunerated in the better
and larger amount of work done, the better disposition
of their labourers, the decrease of pauperism, and the
general well-being of the people."
Mr. Garland, having benefited so much by
the substitution of tea for beer, was naturally
anxious that other farmers should follow his
example, and urged them to " let the addi-
tional wages be given to the full value of the
beer; let the tea be good, and made with
care in the field, not sent out from the house,
or there will not be enough ; be sure that it
is always within the reach of every labourer,
without stint. See to this yourself: trust it
to no one ; beer has many friends. Be firm
in carrying out the change, and it will be a
source of great satisfaction to you and to
your labourers, with very little trouble and
at no extra expense." The late Sir Philip
78 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Rose testified that the men on his farm " were
in better condition at the conclusion of the
day, less stupid and sullen, and certainly
much better fitted the next morning to
resume their labours, than with the old
system of beer." It would be easy to mul-
tiply extracts, but enough has been said to
prove the benefit of tea over alcohol, whether
in marching or fighting, cricketing or sculling,
cycling or mowing. We may add that cold
tea is considered by many writers on the
subject one of the most refreshing and satis-
factory summer drinks, provided it be not
spoiled by the addition of milk and sugar. It
ought to be made early in the day, and left
to stand in a stone jar until thoroughly cool,
and should then be flavoured, in the Russian
fashion, with slices of fresh lemon.
Tea as a Stimulant. 79
TEA AS A STIMULANT.
Rum-punch and poets Alcohol as a stimulant The
king of the tea-drinkers Dr. Johnson's teapot
Jonas Hanway's attack Eloquence inspired by tea-
drinking A delightful tea-story An absent-minded
poet George Dyer's break fast- party An empty
cupboard Hazlitt a prodigious tea-drinker Barry
Cornwall disgusted with Hazlitt's teetotal principles
Wordsworth's love of sugar in his tea Testimony
of other authors Tea as a tonic Tea denounced
Tea at St. Stephen's Lord Palnierston, Mr. Glad-
stone, and M. Clemenceau quoted Hartley Cole-
ridge's poem on tea.
WHEN James Hogg, the " Ettrick Shepherd/'
visited Keswick, he invited Southey to his
inn. The invitation was heartily accepted.
Southey stayed half an hour, but showed no
disposition to imbibe. "I. was," says Hogg,
" a grieved as well as an astonished man
when I found that he refused all participation
8o Tea and Tea-drinking.
in my beverage of rum-punch. For a poet
to refuse his glass was to me a phenomenon,
and I confess I doubted in my own mind,
and doubt to this day if perfect sobriety and
transcendent poetical genius can exist to-
gether ; in Scotland I am sure they cannot."
No doubt ; but, since Burns and Hogg have
passed away, a new generation has arisen.
The poet, the essayist, the historian, and the
journalist no longer write under the influence
of alcohol. As Mr. George R. Sims says,
the idea that drink quickly excites the brain
is exploded. Healthier stimulants have
taken its place. It cannot be denied that
some good work has been done under the
influence of tea. Look at Dr. Johnson, for
instance. That fine old Tory is worthy of
the title of the king of the tea-drinkers. He
loved tea quite as much as Porson loved gin.
Tea was Johnson's only stimulant. He drank
it in bed, he drank it with his friends, and
he drank it while compiling his dictionary.
One of his friends thus describes his mode of
life : " About twelve o'clock I commonly
visited him, and frequently found him in bed,
or declaiming over his tea, which he drank
Tea as a Stimulant. 8 1
very plentifully. He generally had a levee
of morning visitors, chiefly men of letters.
He declaimed all the morning, then went to
dinner at a tavern, where he commonly
stayed late, and then drank his tea at some
friend's house, over which he loitered a great
while, but seldom took supper." At his house
in Gough Square, off Fleet Street, he fre-
quently drank tea with his dependants, some
of whom were blind, and some were deaf.
Boswell has left us a graphic picture of these
interesting gatherings : " We went home to
his house to tea. Mrs. Williams made it
with sufficient dexterity, notwithstanding
her blindness," though he describes her
putting her fingers into the cups to feel if
they were full; but then it was Johnson's
favourite beverage, and he adds, " I willingly
drank cup after cup, as if it had been the
Heliconian Spring. There was a pretty large
circle there, and the great doctor was in very
good humour, lively and ready to talk upon
all sorts of subjects." Mr. F. Sherlock, a
fertile writer on the temperance question,
claims Dr. Johnson as a teetotaler, and has
placed him in his gallery of " Illustrious
82 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Abstainers." If the learned doctor was an
abstainer from alcoholic drinks, he made up
for his abstinence from wine by indulging to
excess in the milder and less dangerous
stimulant of tea. If he did not write his
dictionary by the aid of the Chinese drink,
his teapot was never far away from his
writing-tab] e. " I suppose," said Boswell,
" that no person ever enjoyed with more
relish the infusion of that fragrant leaf than
Johnson. The quantities which he drank
at all hours were so great, that his nerves
must have been uncommonly strong not
to have been extremely relaxed by such an
intemperate use of it ; but he assured me he
never felt the least inconvenience from it."
Johnson's indulgence did not escape the
notice of Jonas Han way, who was so alarmed
for the safety of the nation that he wrote an
essay on " Tea and its Pernicious Conse-
quences," pronouncing it the ruin of the
nation, and of every one who drank it.
Johnson replied to the attack, and described
himself as a " hardened and shameless tea-
drinker, whose kettle has scarcely time to
cool ; who with tea amuses the evening, with
Tea as a Stimulant. 83
tea solaces the midnight, and with tea wel-
comes the morning." Johnson's defence
did not, however, silence his critics. Sir
John Hawkins characterized tea-drinking as
unmanly, and, like John Wesley, almost gave
it the colour of a crime. The worthy lexico-
grapher, it must be confessed, was a thirsty
soul, for his teapot held at least two quarts.
But Mr. Philip Gilbert Hamerton writes of a
clergyman whose tea- drinking indulgences ex-
ceeded those of Johnson. This self-denying
Christian, who " from the most conscientious
motives denied himself ale and wine, found a
fountain of consolation in the teapot. His
usual allowance was sixteen cups, all of
heroic strength, and the effect upon his
brain seems to have been altogether favour-
able, for his sermons were both long and
Dr. Gordon Stables offered prizes for
original anecdotes about this delightful and
healthful beverage, but he laments that he
obtained none worthy of printer's ink, and
has come to the conclusion that tea is not the
drink of his beloved country ; that, had he
offered prizes for anecdotes about whisky-
84 Tea ana Tea-drinking.
drinking, " Scotia, my auld, respected mither,
would have shown out in a different light."
No doubt ; Scotland has long been famous
for rigid orthodoxy, combined with a love
of whisky; but Mr. Stables must have
forgotten the delightful tea-story told by
Barry Cornwall about George Dyer. Dyer
seems to have been as absent-minded as
Bowles, 1 the poet.
1 " Bowles was in the habit of daily riding through a
country turnpike-gate, and one day he presented his
twopence to the gatekeeper as usual. 'What is that
for, sir?' he asked. * For my horse, of course/ 'But,
sir, you have no horse.' * Dear me ! 7 exclaimed the
astonished poet ' am I walking ? ' Mrs. Moore also told
me that Bowles gave her a Bible as a birthday present.
She asked him to write her name in it ; he did so, in-
scribing it to her as a gift From the Author. ' I never, 7
said he, ' had but one watch, and I lost it the very
first day I wore it.' Mrs. Bowles whispered to me,
' And if he got another to-day, he would lose it as
quickly. 7 - I met not long ago, near Salisbury, a gentle-
man farmer who had been one of his parishioners, and
cherished an affectionate remembrance of the good parson.
He told me one story of him that is worth recording :
one day he had a dinner-party ; the guests were kept
waiting for the host ; his wife went upstairs to see by
what mischance he was delayed. She found him in a
sad ' taking, 7 hunting everywhere for a silk stocking.
After a minute search Mrs. Bowles found that he had
Tea as a Stimulant. 85
Barry Cornwall says,
"Poor George Dyer whom Lamb lias celebrated
formed one subject of conversation this evening. He
invited some one I think it was Llanos, the author of
' Esteban ' and f Sandoval ' to breakfast with him one
day in Clifford's Inn. Dyer, of course, forgot all about
the matter very speedily after giving the invitation ; and
when Llanos went at the appointed hour, he found no-
thing but little Dyer, and his books, and his dust the
work of years at home. George, however, was anything
but inhospitable, as far as his means or ideas went ; and
on being told that Llanos had come to breakfast, pro-
ceeded to investigate his cupboard. He found the rem-
nant of a threepenny loaf, two cups and saucers, a little
glazed teapot, and a spoonful of milk. They sat down,
and (Dyer putting the hot water into the teapot) com-
menced breakfast. Llanos attacked the stale crust, which
Lazarillo de Tomes himself would have despised, and
waited with much good-humour and patience for his tea.
At last, out it came. Dyer, who was half blind, kept
pouring out nothing but hot water from the teapot, until
Llanos, who thought a man might be guilty of too much
abstinence, inquired if Dyer had not forgot the tea.
c God bless me ! ' replied Dyer, f and so I have.' He began
immediately to remedy his error, and emptied the con-
tents of a piece of brown paper into the teapot, deluged
it with water, and sat down with a look of complete
put the two stockings on one leg ! Once when his own
house was pointed out to him, he could not by any pos-
sibility call to mind who lived there." Hall, " Book
of Memories of Great Men and Women of the Age"
86 Tea and Tea-drinking.
satisfaction. ' How very odd it was that I should make
such a mistake ! ' said Dyer. However, he now deter-
mined to make amends, and filled Llanos' cup again.
Llanos thought the tea had a strange colour, but not hav~
ing dread of aqua tofana before his eyes, he thrust his
spoon in and tasted. It was ginger ! Seeing that it was
in vain to expect commonplaces from the little absentee,
Llanos continued cutting and crumbling a little bread
into his plate for a short time, and then departed. He
went straight to a coffee-house in the neighbourhood, and
was just finishing a capital breakfast when Dyer came
in, to read the paper, or to inquire after some one who
frequented the coffee-house. He recognized Llanos, and
asked him how he did ; but felt no surprise at seeing
him devouring a second breakfast. He had totally for-
gotten all the occurrences of the morning
Hazlitt, like Dr. Johnson, was a prodigious
tea-drinker, and his peculiar habits and
manners were minutely photographed by his
friends. His failings were, no doubt, greatly
exaggerated, but we believe ourselves on safe
ground in quoting Patmore's account of his
friend's devotion to the teapot :
" Hazlitt usually rose at from one to two o'clock in the
day scarcely ever before twelve ; and if he had no work
in hand, he would sit over his breakfast (of excessively
strong black tea, and a toasted French roll) till four or
five in the afternoon silent, motionless, and self-absorbed,
as a Turk over his opium-pouch ; for tea served him
precisely in this capacity. It was the only stimulant he
Tea as a Stimulant. 87
ever took, and at the same time the only luxury ; the
delicate state of his digestive organs prevented him from
tasting any fermented liquors. He never touched any but
Hack tea, and was very particular about the quality of
that, always using the most expensive that could be got ;
and he used, when living alone, to consume nearly a
pound in a week. A cup of Hazlitt's tea (if you happened
to come in for the first brewage of it) was a peculiar
thing ; I have never tasted anything like it. He always
made it himself, half filling the teapot with tea, pouring
the boiling water on it, and then almost immediately
pouring it out, using with it a great quantity of sugar
and cream. To judge from its occasional effect upon
myself, I should say that the quantity Hazlitt drank of
this tea produced ultimately a most injurious effect upon
him, and in all probability hastened his death, which
took place from disease of the digestive organs. But its
immediate effect was agreeable, even to a degree of fasci-
nation ; and not feeling any subsequent reaction from it,
he persevered in its use to the last, notwithstanding two
or three attacks, similar to that which terminated his life."
From Barry Cornwall, also, we have similar
testimony concerning Hazlitt's indulgence.
Proctor was as much disgusted with Hazlitt's
spare diet as Llanos was with Dyer's, and
" I saw a great deal of Hazlitt during the last twelve
or thirteen years of his stormy, anxious, uncomfortable
life. In 1819 he resided in a small house in York Street,
Westminster, where I visited him, and where Milton had
formerly dwelt ; afterwards he moved from lodging to
88 Tea and Tea-drinking.
lodging, and finally went to live at JSTo. 6, Frith Street,
Solio, where he fell ill and died. I went to visit him
very often during his late breakfasts (when he drank tea
of an astounding strength), not unfrequently also at the
Fives Court, and at other persons' houses ; and once I
dined with him. This (an unparalleled occurrence) was in
York Street, when some friend had sent him a couple of
Dorking fowls, of which he suddenly invited me to par-
take. I went, expecting the usual sort of dinner ; but it
was limited solely to the fowls and bread. He drank
nothing but water, and there was nothing but water to
drink. He offered to send for some porter for me, but;
being out of health at the time, I declined, and escaped
soon after dinner to a coffee-house, where I strengthened
myself with a few glasses of wine."
Proctor would have fared little better had
he visited the Lake poets ; for, according to
Miss Mitford, " the Words worths have no
regular meals, but go to the cupboard when
hungry, and eat what they want/' "Words-
worth, by the way, appears to have liked his
tea well sweetened ; for, when he visited
Charles Lamb, at his lodgings in Enfield, one
of the extra " teas " in the week's bill was
charged sixpence. On Lamb's inquiry what
this meant, the reply was, that " the elderly
gentleman ' ' meaning Wordsworth " had
taken such a quantity of sugar in his tea."
Proctor, on the other hand, seems to have
PRESSING BAGS OF TEA.
Tea as a Stimulant. 9 1
had a deep-rooted antipathy to tea, and to
have found a wife who shared his feelings.
Writing to his " lady-love/ ' he said, "Will
your friend give me some blanc-mange ? but
no, I don't like blanc-mange. I hate nothing
but green tea, and my enemies, and insincerity,
and affectation, and undue pretence. It is
partly, I believe, because you have none of
these that I love you so much." No ; he
liked something stronger than tea, and wrote
of " brains made clear by the irresistible
strength of beer." But some of the sweetest
poems, the brightest novels, and the finest
essays have been written without the aid of
either wine or beer. Shelley's beverage, for
instance, consisted of copious and frequent
draughts of cold water, but tea was always
grateful. Bulwer Lytton's breakfast con-
sisted of dry toast and a cup of cold tea, or
hot tea impatiently tossed into a tumbler half
full of cold water. De Quincey said that he
usually drank tea from eight o'clock at night
to four in the morning. Kant's breakfast
consisted of a cup of tea and a pipe of to-
bacco, and on these he worked eight hours.
Motley, the historian, usually rose before
92 Tea and Tea-drinking.
seven, and, with, the aid of a cup of tea or
coffee, wrote until the family breakfast-
hour. That revolutionary poet, Victor Hugo,
drinks tea, but fortifies it with a drop of
More than three hours a day at the work
of literary production is generally considered
destructive; but a case is known to the
author in which a well-known writer has
been engaged in literary composition from
seven to ten hours a day for at least ten
years. The work he has accomplished in
every department of literature during this
period is truly astonishing: and its quality
is admittedly high. Yet his only stimulant
is tea. He is practically a life abstainer, and
has never used tobacco. After a spell of
work extending over three hours, a cup of
tea and a break of half an hour have enabled
him to resume his work and to continue
writing far into the night. Tea is becom-
ing the favourite stimulant of brain-workers ;
and although De Quincey drank laudanum
for some time, he was enthusiastic in his
praise of tea. He said,
" For tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally
Tea as a Stimulant. 93
coarse in their nervous sensibilities, or are become so from
wine-drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from
so refined a stimulant, will always be a favourite beverage
of the intellectual ; and, for my part, I would have joined
Dr. Johnson in a helium internecinum against Jonas
Hanway, or any other impious person who should have pre-
sumed to disparage it. But here, to save myself the trouble
of too much verbal description, I will introduce a painter,
and give him directions for the rest of the picture. . . .
Paint me, then, a room seventeen feet by twelve, and not
more than seven and a half feet high, . . . and near the
fire paint me a tea-table ; and (as it is clear that no crea-
ture can come to see one on such a stormy night), place
only two cups and saucers on the tea-tray ; and if you
know how to paint such a thing, symbolically or other-
wise, paint me an eternal teapot eternal a parte ante
and a parte post ; for I usually drink tea from eight
o'clock at night to four in the morning. And as it is
very unpleasant to make tea, or to pour it out for oneself,
paint me a lovely young woman sitting at the table."
But even a " lovely young woman " would
have failed to satisfy tlie tastes of the historian
Buckle, who was a most fastidious tea-drinker.
" No woman/' he declared, " could make tea
until he had taught her." The great thing, he
believed, was to have the cups and even the
spoons warmed. Commenting upon the con-
fession of William Cullen Bryant, that he
never took coffee or tea, William Howitt
said, "I regularly take both, find the
94 Tea and Tea- drinking.
greatest refreshment in both, and never ex-
perienced any deleterious effects from either,
except in one instance, when by mistake I
took a cup of tea strong enough for ten men.
On the contrary, tea is to me a wonderful
refresher and reviver. After long-continued
exertion, as in the great pedestrian journeys
that I formerly made, tea would always, in a
manner almost miraculous, banish all my
fatigue and diffuse through my whole frame
comfort and exhilaration, without any subse-
quent evil effect. I ana quite well aware that
this is not the experience of many others my
wife among the number on whose nervous
system tea acts mischievously, producing in-
ordinate wake fulness, and, its continuous use,
indigestion. Yet," he wisely adds, " this is
one of the things that people should learn and
act upon, namely, to take such things as suit
them, and avoid such as do not." This is, as
a rule, the safest course to pursue, and it is
adopted by all sensible persons.
To that brilliant historian, Mr. Justin
McCarthy, M.P., tea is not only the most
useful stimulant, but the best .defence against
headache. "I have/' he writes, " always
Tea as a Stimulant. 95
been a liberal drinker of tea. I have found
it of immense benefit Jn keeping off head-
ache, my only malady. Probably tea-drink-
ing, even if not immoderate, does some hurt
to the nerves: but I have never been
able to satisfy myself that this is so in
my case. Certainly, fey/" men have worked
harder and suffered less from ill-health than
myself." Another famous man of letters
testifies to the value of tea : " The only
sure brain-stimulants with me," writes
Professor Dowden, " are plenty of fresh
air and tea; but each of these in large
quantities produces a kind of intoxication ;
the intoxication of a great amount of air
causing wakefulness, with a delightful con-
fusion of spirits, without the capacity of steady
thought ; tea intoxication unsettles and en-
feebles my will ; but then a great dose of tea
often does get good work out of me (though
I may pay for it afterwards), while alcohol
renders all mental work impossible." " Tea
is my favourite tonic when I am tired or
languid," confesses Mr. George R. Sims, "and
always has a stimulating effect." And the
Rev. John Clifford, an able and scholarly
96 Tea and Tea-drinking.
Baptist minister, testifies that tea lias enabled
liim to accomplish some very hard work.
" For at least a quarter of a century I have attempted
to solve the problem how to get the maximum of power
out of a somewhat feeble body, and retain the maximum
of health ; but having been a total abstainer for nearly
twenty-eight years, I have no experience of the relation of
alcoholics and narcotics to the solution of the problem.
In preparing for a succession of examinations (B.A.,
M.A., LL.D., and B.Sc.) at the London University,
whilst I had to discharge the duties of a London pas-
torate, I drank tea somewhat copiously, on an average
thrice a day. I worked twelve and sometimes fourteen
hours a day over extended periods, preached regularly to
the same congregation thrice a week, directed the affairs
of an aggressive church, conducted several classes for young
men, and at the same time matriculated in the First Class,
took a First Class B.A., was bracketed first at the M.A.,
took honours at the LL.B. and at the B.Sc. in three
subjects ; and I found that on tea I could work longer,
with a clearer Jhead, and with more sustained intensity,
than on any other beverage. But I am convinced that
good as tea-drinking is for prolonged mental strain, it was
very prejudicial to me, and has permanently lowered the
digestive force. Eaisins (as suggested by Sir W. Gull)
and grapes I have found in more recent years a most con-
venient and effective method of reinforcing mental
strength whilst at work ; but the wisest course is to keep
as robust health as possible, by horse exercise, or daily
walks in the early morning, and before retiring to rest,
by the use of dumb-bells and the gymnastic bat."
Tea as a Stimulant. 97
Harriet Martineau strongly condemned the
use of alcohol by brain-workers, and said that
her stimulants were fresh air and cold water ;
but this remarkable old maid dearly loved a
cup of tea. Maclise sketched her sitting by
the fireside, her feet on the fender, steadying
with one hand a pan on the fire, teapot, cup
and saucer and milk -jug on the table by her
side, and her cat nestling on her shoulder.
Miss Ellen Terry also finds tea the best
stimulant. In reply to the question, " What
do you drink ? " put to her by a Chicago re-
porter, she stated that her favourite beverage
was tea. She takes tea after every meal, and
also the first thing in the morning.
Professor Everett, of Belfast, on the other
hand, says that he has frequently suffered more
from nervous excitability due to tea or coffee,
than from any other kind of stimulant. Mr.
Philip Gilbert Hamerton, the artist, con-
fesses that at one time he did himself harm
by drinking tea, but has given up coffee as
well as tea. The Eev. Henry Solly, who has
laboured for many years among working-
men, has abstained from tea and coffee dur-
ing the last fifteen years, as they caused
98 Tea and Tea- drinking.
nervous excitement, prostration, sleepless-
ness, and great inequality of spirits. He
hardly likes, however, denouncing the use
of tea, as it seems to him the only refuge
(except coffee, which to some constitutions
is more injurious) for those persons who,
though of a nervous and excitable tempera-
ment, cannot persuade themselves to give up
all stimulants, and yet desire to discountenance
the use of alcohol. But he is quite sure that
it causes or promotes many nervous diseases,
particularly neuralgia, and not seldom leads
to that " sinking M and depression which is
so frequent a cause of resort being had to
" nips " in the shape of glasses of wine or
Mr. Solly is not alone in his unwillingness
to denounce the use of tea, because, whatever
maybe said against tea-drinking, its objectors
cannot but admit that it is the least harmful
of stimulants. 2 What is there to take its
2 " With reference to the tea-drinking, of course there
was such a thing as excess and indigestion but nobody
ever heard of a man kicking his wife to death because
he had drunk tea ; and no wife ever complained of her
home being made unhappy through her husband drinking
tea. There was not a judge on the bench who had not
Tea as a Stimulant* 99
place? " Once/ 'remarks Dr. Inrnan, of Liver-
pool, " I was an unbeliever in tea, and during
the many days of solitary misery which I had
to endure in consequence of the delicacy of
children and their absence with mamma at
the seaside, I tried to do without it. Hot
water and cold, milk and cream, soda water
and brandy, water and nothing at all, were
tried in succession to sweep those cobwebs
from the brain, which a dinner and a con-
sequent snooze left behind them. It was all
in vain I was good for nothing, and the
evenings intended to be devoted to work
were passed in smoking, gossip, or novel-
reading. I took to tea, and all was changed ;
and now I fully believe that a good dinner,
' forty winks, 5 and a cup of strong tea after-
wards will enable a man to c get through '
no end of work, especially of a mental kind."
Replying to the argument that as the
lower animals do without tea and coffee, so
borne witness to the fact that drunkenness was an in-
centive to crime. When the judges began to admit that
tea-drinking was increasing the criminal statistics of the
country, then Mr. Ford could come forward with his
amusing statement." Rev. Dr. Chadivick, speech at the
piocesan Synod at Armagh, October 24, 1883,
ioo Tea and Tea-drinking.
ought we. Dr. Poore emphasizes the fact that
we are not lower animals ; that we have
minds, as well as bodies; and that since
these substances have the property in com-
mon of enabling us to forget our worries
and fatigues, to make light of misfortunes,
and generally to bear " the stings and arrows
of outrageous fortune/' let us accept them,
make rational use of them, and be thankful.
The super-dietetic-purists, who caution us
against " those poisonous liquids, milk, water,
and tea," have furnished Mr. George E.
Sims with a congenial topic for his facile
pen. From " The Drinker's Dirge " we quote
the following lines :
"In trying from all things our lips to debar,
Hasn't Science just gallop'cl his hobby too far 1
Let the nervous go thirsting, they shan't frighten me
With this nonsense concerning milk, water, and tea."
Turning from literature to politics, we
find that Lord Palmerston resorted to tea to
refresh him during the midnight hours he
spent at St. Stephen's. Mr. Gladstone con-
fessed a short time ago at Cannes, that he
drank more tea between midnight and four
in the morning than any other member of
Tea as a Stimulant. 101
the House of Commons ; and strange to say,
the strongest tea, although taken imme-
diately before going to bed, never interferes
with his sleep. M. Clemenceau, the leader
of the French Radicals, is also reported to
have owned himself an intemperate bibber
of tea. Both wondered how, before tea was
imported into Europe, our forefathers got on
without it. 3 It was remarked that manners
had become more polite and nations more
humane since the introduction of the Chinese
beverage, on hearing which Mr. Gladstone
exclaimed, " Oh ! there were great and ad-
mirable characters in the Middle Ages."
Although Sir Charles Dilke grows wine,
he never drinks it, finding in tea a better
stimulant. At one time Cobden was an
3 "As tea did not come into England until 1610, and
coffee until 1652, beer or wine was taken at all meals.
The queen would only take beer regularly. Her maids
of honour breakfasted, or rather dined, off meat and beer.
Single and double beers were on all tables. In the year
1570 the scholars of Trinity College, Cambridge, con-
sumed 2250 barrels of beer, as appears from the State
Papers of the time. Two tuns of wine a month were
accredited to the suite of Mary Queen of Scots during
her confinement in England." " The England of Shake-
speare" by E. Goadby.
IO2 Tea and Tea-drinking.
abstainer from intoxicating drinks, which he
declared useless for sustaining strength ;
" for the more work I have had to do, the
more I have resorted to the pump and the
teapot." The hero of the Anti-Corn-Law
League felt more at home drinking tea than
dining with great people. The formalities
of dinner parties were extremely irksome to
him. "I have been obliged," he says, "to
mount a white cravat at these dinner-parties
much against my will, but I found a black
stock was quite out of character." In another
letter he writes, " I assure you I would rather
find myself taking tea with you than dining
with lords and ladies." But as the leader
of a great movement, he found it necessary
to sacrifice personal tastes and to endure the
afflictions of dinner-parties, for the sake of
securing the support of the aristocracy.
Turning to the literature of the subject, it
is interesting to learn that Hartley Coleridge
was in his youth fond of tea. In Black-
wood's Magazine (vol. 55, 1857) appears
"An Unpublished Poem," by Hartley Cole-
ridge, with the following note by the editor :
" This early production of the late Hartley
Tea as a Stimulant. 103
Coleridge may not be without interest, as it
describes a state of social manners which is
already passing away, in a style of composi-
tion which belongs in some measure to the
past." The poem commences thus :
" Though all unknown to Greek and Koman song,
The paler Hyson and the dark Souchong,
Though black, not green, the warbled praises share
Of knightly troubadour or gay trouvere.
Yet deem not thou, an alien quite to numbers,
That friend to prattle, and that foe to slumbers,
Which Kian-Long, imperial poet praised
So high that cent, per cent, its price was raised ;
Which Pope himself would sometimes condescend
To plead commodious at a couplet's end ;
Which the sweet bard of Olney did not spurn,
Who loved the music of the * hissing urn,'
Let her who bade me write, exact the Muse,
Inspire my genius and my tea infuse,
So shall my verse the hovering sylphs delight,
And critic gnomes relinquish half their spite,
Clear, warm and flowing as my liquid theme,
As sweet as sugar and as smooth as cream."
Happy would it have been for the young
poet if he had remained a tea-drinker, and
had never known the taste of alcohol.
But Cowper is the poet of the tea-table.
He it is whom the amateur reporters love to
quote, or, rather, misquote, when they de-
JO4 Tea and Tea-drinking.
scribe the friends at a tea-party, " partaking
of the cup that cheers, but not inebriates."
What the poet really said is found in Book
the Fourth of the " Task."
" Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer, but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in."
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 105
THE FEIENDS AND THE FOES OF TEA.
A learned Dutchman's opinion of tea Two hundred cups
a day recommended Tea the universal panacea
Tea-merchants greedy as hell Degeneracy of the
race through tea-drinking Appeal to women Tea
a slow poison Experiment upon a dog John Wes-
ley's attack upon tea "Why he preached against it
Dr. Lettsom's thesis Accuses tea of leading to
intemperance The essential principle of tea The
value of experiments upon animals Tea-drinking
among women The Anti-Teapot Society The bene-
fits of tea-drinking Dr. Kichardson's condemnation
The Dean of Bangor as a joker Life without
stimulants Dr. Poore's description of the good and
bad effects of tea-drinking Injurious to children
A properly controlled appetite the safest guide.
LIKE tobacco, tea received on its introduction
very different treatment by different people.
It was extravagantly praised by some, and
extravagantly denounced by others. " Some
io6 Tea and Tea-drinking.
ascribe such sovereign virtues to this exotic,"
remarks one author, "as if 'twas able to
eradicate or prevent the spring of all diseases.
. . . Others, on the contrary, are equally
severe in their censures, and impute the
most pernicious consequences to it, account-
ing it no better than a slow but efficacious
poison, and a seminary of diseases." A
learned Dutchman pronounced it the infalli-
ble cure for bad health, and declared that
" if mankind could be induced to drink a
sufficient quantity of it, the innumerable ills
to which man is subject would not only be
diminished, but entirely unknown." He
went so far as to express his conviction that
200 cups daily would not be too much. It
is scarcely surprising, therefore, to find the
Dutch East India Company liberally reward-
ing this eloquent apostle of the new drink.
Scarcely less enthusiastic was the professor
of physic in a German University, who de-
clared tea "the defence against thq enemies
of health ; the universal panace^which has
long been sought for." This opinion, in-
deed, prevailed very extensively in the East.
The following notice is copied from the
The Friends and the Foes of 7>#. 107
" Eelation of the Voyage to Siam by Six
Jesuits, in 1685 :" " It is a civility amongst
them to present betel and tea to all that
visit them. Their own country supplies
them with betel and areca, but they have
their tea from China and Japan. All the
Orientals have a particular esteem for it,
because of the great virtues they find to be
in it. Their physicians say that it is a
sovereign medicine against the stone and
pains of the head, that it allays vapours,
that it cheers the mind, and strengthens the
stomach. In all kinds of fevers they take
it stronger than commonly, when they begin
to feel the heat of the fit, and then the
patient covers himself up to sweat, and it
hath been very often found that this sweat
wholly drives away the fever." A similar
belief in the virtues of opium existed until
very recently in the minds of the people of
the Fen counties.
The enemies of tea appear to have been
quite as active as its friends. A German
physician declared it a cause of dropsy and
diabetes, and the introducer of foreign
diseases, and he charged the merchants with
Tea and Tea-drinking.
" inexpressible frauds, calling them greedy
as hell, the vilest of usurers, who lie in wait
for men's purses and lives/' According to
Mr. Mattieu Williams, drunkenness serves
one useful purpose ; for it helps to get rid
of the surplus population. A French phy-
DRYING THE TEA-LEAVES.
sician held similar views of the use of tea
and coffee ; for, writing at the close of the
seventeenth century, he expressed his belief,
" that they are permitted by God's providence
for the lessening the number of mankind by
shortening life, as a kind of silent plague."
Coming down to more recent times, the
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 109
most remarkable production against tea
appeared in 1722. The mind of the author
seems to have been seriously disturbed at
the prospect of the deterioration of the race,
which would inevitably follow indulgence in
tea. His treatise, which is addressed to
ladies, is entitled " An Essay on the Nature,
Use, and Abuse of Tea, in a Letter to a Lady ;
with an Account of its Mechanical Operation.
London : printed by J. Bettenham for James
Lacy at the Ship, between the Two Temple
Gates, Fleet Street, 1722. Price Is." This
book contains some curious information
about the diseases liable to follow the use of
tea. The author begins :
" Madam, an earnest desire, which all ages have
shown, to serve your sex will, I hope, be sufficient
warrant for my troubling you with these papers. To be
assisting towards the preservation of that form and beauty
with which God has adorned you, is certainly a work not
less pious than pleasant ; for while we indulge ourselves
in our greatest pleasure (which is to serve your sex), would
also show our love and gratitude to the Almighty Being,
whose form you so nearly represent, and to whom we are
so much indebted for the blessing we received when He
gave man so agreeable an helpmate. Though the value
which we ought to set on this blessing is a sufficient
motive to us to endeavour by all means to dissuade you
from anything which may be to your detriment, yet there
i io Tea and Tea-drinking.
are other motives which oblige us to have a more par-
ticular regard to the health of your sex. For when by
any means you ignore your constitutions and impair your
healths, though you yourselves suffer too severely for it,
yet the tragedy does not end here, for the calamity is
entailed on succeeding ages, perhaps to the third and
The author then notes the fact that Ly-
curgus thought the Spartan women not in
the least unworthy of his care and direction,
and proceeds to remark :
" If this lawgiver lived in these our days, what a mean
opinion, what a little hope, would he have of the next
age, when the women of this age fell so very short of that
regularity and healthy way of living, which he looked on
as necessary for the preservation of a state ! With what
an uneasiness would he have seen the many errors which
we daily commit ! errors which are introduced by luxury,
suffered through ignorance, and supported by being fashion-
able. He would soon have condemned the exorbitant use
of tea, and upon the first observing its ill effects would
certainly have prohibited the importation of it. But the
present age has other considerations : tea pays too great a
duty, and supports too many coaches, not to be preferred
to the health of the public. Tea has too great interest
to be prohibited, and I wish reason itself may be sufficient
to dissuade the world from the use of it. I must confess
I have so little hope from, these papers, that though (to
me and some others, who have had the perusal of them)
they seem just and satisfactory, yet I should never have
presented them to the public, had not I thought it an
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 1 1 1
indispensable duty to acquaint the world with the many
disorders which may possibly arise from its too frequent
This worthy benefactor of his species con-
tends that tea is a slow but sure poison,
and that it is " not less destructive to the
animal economy than opium, or some other
drugs which we have at present learned to
avoid with more caution." He does not deny
that tea is " useful as physic," but lays down
the following propositions, which he en-
deavours to prove. First, that tea may
attenuate the blood to any degree necessary
to the production of any disease, which may
arise from too thin a state of the blood.
Secondly, that tea may depauper the blood,
or waste the spirits, to any degree necessary
to produce any disease, which may arise from
too poor a blood. Third, that tea may bring
on any degree whatsoever of a plethora
necessary to the production of any disease,
which may arise from a plethoric state of
body. From an experiment upon a dog the
author concludes that " tea abounds with a
lixiviate salt, by whose assistance it attenuates
the blood," The author draws some terrible
1 1 2 Tea and Tea-drinking.
pictures of the evils of tea-drinking, but does
not presume to dictate how his readers should
act. " Whether or not we ought to abandon
the use of what may possibly be of so vast
injury to us, I leave to every reasonable man
to judge, having myself done the duty of a
man and Christian in warning them of what
dangers they may fall into."
On the other hand, Thomas Frost, M.D.,
wrote a " Discourse on Tea, with Plain and
Useful Rules for Gouty People," in 1750. In
this he contended that,
" A moderate use of tea of a due strength seems better
adapted to the fair sex than men, for they, naturally being
of a more lax and delicate make, are more liable to a fulness
of blood and juices ; as also because they have less exer-
cise or head-labours, than which nothing braces better, or
gives the fibres a greater springiness ; and because they
are less accustomed to drink wine, whose astringency cor-
rugates the fibres, and enables the vessels to act with
greater briskness and force, so in some measure answers
the end of the labour."
He holds that tea in a dietetic point of
view seems in general not only harmless, but
very useful, but considers it impossible to
say "beforehand with what healthy persons
tea will disagree, till they have used it;
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 1 1 3
where it disagrees, it should immediately be
left off, for there is no altering or compel-
ling a constitution. However, where it agrees,
it excels all other vegetables, foreign or
domestic, for preventing sleepiness, drowsi-
ness, or dulness, and taking off weariness or
fatigue, raising the spirits safely, corrobo-
rating the memory, strengthening the judg-
ment, quickening the invention, &c. ; but then
it should be drank moderately, and in the
afternoon chiefly, and not made too habitual/'
John Wesley, a few years later, attacked the
use of tea. In 1748 he published a small tract,
"Letter to a Friend concerning Tea," in
which he accused tea of impairing digestion,
unstringing the nerves, involving great and
useless expense, and in his own case, and that
of others, inducing symptoms of paralysis.
But, in the first instance, he preached against
tea, not because he thought it injurious, but
because he wanted money. The whole of the
London Methodists were at that time very
poor. The Rev. L. Tyerman, in his " Life
and Times of the Rev. John Wesley/' says,
" The number of members in the London Society on
the 12 tli of April, 1746, was 1939, and the amount of
1 1 4 Tea and Tea-drinking.
their quarterly contributions 113Z. 9s., upon an average
fourteenpence per member. Considering the high price
of money, and that nearly the whole of the London
Methodists were extremely poor, the amount subscribed
was highly creditable. Wesley also believed its use to be
injurious. He tells us that when he first went to Oxford,
with an exceedingly good constitution, and being other-
wise in health, he was somewhat surprised at certain
symptoms of a paralytic disorder. His hand shook, espe-
cially after breakfast ; but he soon observed that if for
two or three days he intermitted drinking tea, the shaking
ceased. Upon inquiry, he found tea had the same effect
upon others, and particularly on persons whose nerves
were weak. This led him to lessen the quantity he took,
and to drink it weaker ; but still for above six and twenty
years he was more or less subject to the same disorder.
In July, 1746, he began to observe that abundance of the
people of London were similarly affected ; some of them
having their nerves unstrung, and their bodily strength
decayed. He asked them if they were hard drinkers ;
they replied, * No, indeed, we drink scarce anything but
a little tea morning and night ! ' . . . Having set the ex-
ample (of abstinence from tea) "Wesley recommended the
same abstinence to a few of his preachers ; and a week later
to above a hundred of his people, whom he believed to be
strong in faith, all of whom, with two or three exceptions,
resolved by the grace of God to make the trial without
delay. In a short time he proposed it to the whole
society. Objections rose in abundance. Some said, ' Tea
is not unwholesome at all.' To these he replied that
many eminent physicians had declared it was, and that, if
frequently used by those of weak nerves, it is no other
than a slow poison. Others said, ' Tea is not un whole-
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. \ 1 5
some to me ; why then should I leave it off ? ' Wesley
answered, 'To give an example to those to whom it is
undeniably prejudicial, and to have the more wherewith
to feed the hungry, and to clothe the naked.' Others said,
' It helps my health, nothing else will agree with me.'
To such Wesley's caustic reply was, ' I suppose your
body is much of the same kind with that of your grand-
mother, and do you think nothing else agreed with her,
or with any of her progenitors? What poor, puling,
sickly things must all the English then have been till
within these hundred years ! Besides, if, in fact, nothing
else will agree with you if tea has already weakened
your stomach, and impaired your digestion to such a
degree, it has hurt you more than you are aware. You
have need to abhor it as deadly poison, and to renounce
it from this very hour.' What was the result of Wesley's
attempt to form a tea-total society 1 We can hardly tell,
except that he himself abstained from tea for the next
twelve years, until Dr. Fothergill ordered him to resume
its use. Charles Wesley began to abstain, but how long
his abstinence lasted we are not informed. About 100
of the London Methodists followed the example of their
leader ; and, besides these, a large number of others
began to be temperate and to use less than they had
"This was, to say the least," adds Mr.
Tyerman, " an amusing episode in Wesley's
laborious life. All must give him credit for
the best and most benevolent intentions, and
it is right to add that, ten days after his
proposal was submitted to the London Society,
1 1 6 Tea and Tea-drinking.
he had collected among his friends thirty
pounds for a lending stock, and that this
was soon made up to fifty, by means of
which, before the year was ended, above 250
destitute persons had received acceptable
The most noteworthy opponent after
Wesley was Jonas Hanway, who, in 1756,
wrote a bulky volume under the title of " A
Journal of Eight Days' Journey from Ports-
mouth to Kingstoii-upon-Thames, to which
is added an Essay on Tea, considered as Per-
nicious to Health, obstructing Industry, and
impoverishing the Nation." The effects of
tea-drinking formed the subject of Dr. Lett-
som's inaugural thesis, when he sought the
medical doctorate of the University of Ley den
in 1767. He accused tea of inducing " excess
in spirituous liquors, by reason of the weak-
ness and debility of the system brought on
by the daily habit of drinking tea, seeking
a temporary relief in some cordial ; of pro-
ducing in some excruciating pains about the
stomach, involuntary trembling and flutter-
ing of the nerves, destruction of half your
teeth at the age of twenty, without any hopes
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 117
of getting new ones, depression, loss of
memory, tremblings and symptoms of para-
lysis ; and of bringing on a gradual debility
and impoverished condition of the entire
Tea contains an active principle called
theine, which, according to Dr. Sinclair, was
discovered so recently as 1827. Adopting
one of the methods of the opponents of
tobacco, the enemies of tea conclude it to be
a deadly poison from its effect upon animals.
A New York dentist is reported to have
boiled down a pound of young Hyson tea
from a quart to half a pint, ten drops of
which killed a rabbit three months old ; and
when boiled down to one gill, eight drops
killed a cat of the same age in a few minutes.
" Think of it ! " exclaims an opponent of tea,
"most persons who drink tea use not less
than a pound in three months, and yet a
pound of Hyson tea contains poison enough
to kill, according to the above experiment,
more than 17,000 rabbits, or nearly 200 a
day ! and if boiled down to a gill, it contains
poison enough to kill 10,860 cats in the same
space of time ! How can any one in his
1 1 8 Tea and Tea-drinking.
senses believe that any human being can take
poison enough into the stomach in one day to
kill 185 rabbits and not suffer from it ? or
that the uses of this poison can be continued
from day to day without injury to health
and life ? l
The Americans appear the most ener-
getic in their opposition to tea. An or-
ganization called the " American Health and
Temperance Association " was formed in
1879 against tobacco, tea, and coffee; and,
according to one of its publications, has a
membership of more than 10,000. It believes
that more harm is done at the present time
by tobacco, tea, and coffee, than by all forms
of alcoholic drinks combined, and " the tee-
total pledge of the association requires
abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee,
opium, and all other narcotics and stimu-
lants." The " Good Health Publishing Com-
pany," at Battle Creek, also issues tracts on
the " Evil Effects of the Use of Tea and
1 " It is not safe, in regard to the action of a drug on
animals, to conclude that its effect will be the same on
men. For instance, belladonna, which is a deadly poison
for men, does not hurt rabbits." Professor Rolleston.
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 1 19
Coffee/ 3 in which it is contended that these
beverages waste vital force, and injure diges-
tion and the nervous system ; and that they
irritate the temper, and encourage gossip and
A New York magazine, the Herald of
Health, is equally unsparing in its attacks
on tea-drinking : " The habit of tea-drink-
ing among women is one of the worst
with which the hygienic physician has to
contend. Very few women, comparatively,
among civilized peoples are free from this
vice for vice it is and as pronounced in its
effects as either whisky or tobacco. ... It
is a common custom among women who do
hard manual labour to depend upon their cup
of tea, when they are tired, to rest them, as
they say, and thus the wearied nerves are
2 There may be some truth in this statement. " I do
not remember any mention of tea in Wycherley, but in
Congreve's * Double Dealer 7 (Act 1, Scene 1, p. 175 a),
the scene is laid at Lord Touchwood's house ; and when
Careless inquires what has become of the ladies, just
after dinner, Mellefont replies, " Why, they are at the
end of the gallery, retired to tea and scandal, accord-
ing to their ancient custom." BucTde, Common-Place
I2O Tea and Tea-drinking.
lulled to sleep and the warning voice of
nature hushed, that the work may be done
and the system taxed to the utmost that it
is able to bear without complete exhaustion.
Is it any wonder that women once broken
down are so hard to restore to health again ?
" On- women and children its worst con-
sequences fall. To the use of tea may be
traced directly most of the prostrating
nervous headaches with which so many
women are afflicted ; also most of the neu-
ralgic and nervous affections. Of course
children inherit the tendency to these and
similar conditions, and many a puny, ema-
ciated nervous little one is so because its
mother was a tea-drunkard, and its whole
system has been narcotized from the time
its being began/'
In England the opposition against tea has
never taken an organized form, but a good
deal has been said and written on the ques-
tion. In 1863 or 1864 an Anti-Teapot
Society was formed, but not against tea-
drinking. It published a quarterly magazine
called the Anti-Teapot Review. A corre-
spondent of Notes and Queries stated that it
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 1 2 1
was no enthusiastic wish, to convert tea-
topers into anything else that called this body
into existence ; it was rather a desire to
oppose and to cast scorn on the narrowness
of mind that seems to be encouraged in
circles which, by no very violent figure of
speech, may be described around a teapot.
In other words, he says, the A. T. S. was
a combination against modern Pharisaism,
and he quotes the following extract from
No. 1 of the Review, May, 1864, as proving
his point :
" Many persons either do not, or pretend not to, know
what teapotism is. In consequence of this ignorance or
affectation we shall, in a few words, try to describe the
leading features of the male and female teapot. Teapotism
is a magnificent profession, but a very sorry practice ! It
professes a large-hearted liberality, unbounded piety, and
the enunciation of true principles ; but its practice is that
of a narrow-minded clique, who condemn all who go not
with them. Its piety consists in hero-worship and the
circulation of illiterate tracts,, calculated to attract the
strong and to confound the weak ; it is bounded on the
north by the platform and meeting-house, and on the
south by scandal, hassocks and tea, whence the name of
The article ends with the assurance that
" The society will go on as it began : it
122 Tea and Tea- drinking.
will remain strictly private, enforce the same
rules, and show that it is the enemy, not of
tea, but of teapots." The Bevieiv professed
to be edited by members of the universities,
and written only by members of the Anti-
Teapot Society of Europe. The qualifica-
tions for membership were, to read the rules,
to fill up the form of admission to be had
in English, French, German, Dutch, and
other languages ; to be nominated and
seconded by any two officers ; " the latter
(sic) wholesome rule was introduced so that
inquisitive people might be prevented from
joining the society out of sheer curiosity."
The society appears to have made no con-
verts, and had but a very short existence.
Tea-parties have always been popular
institutions among Dissenting bodies, and
it is therefore not surprising to find ministers
taking part in meetings advocating a re-
duction of the tea duties. In 1848 the Eev.
Dr. Hume, attending a meeting in Liverpool
for this purpose, warmly defended tea, on the
ground of health, and quoted with great
satisfaction the evidence of Dr. Sigmond,
given before the Committee of the House of
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 123
Commons. Asked what had been the result
of the medical inquiries into the effect of
tea upon the human frame, Doctor Sigmond
replied, " I think it is of great importance
in the prevention of skin disease, in com-
parison with any fluid we have been in the
habit of drinking in former years, and also
in removing glandular affections. I think
scrofula has very much diminished in this
country since tea has been so largely used.
To those classes of society who are not of
labouring habits, but who are of sedentary
habits, and exercise the mind a good deal,
tea is of great importance/ 5
On the other hand, a famous physician of
our time takes an entirely opposite view of
the question. At the Sanitary Congress last
year Dr. Richardson delivered an address
on " Felicity as a Sanitary Research," and
charged tea with being a promoter of in-
felicity. "As a rule," he says, "all agents
which stimulate that is to say, relax the
arterial tension, and so allow the blood a
freer course through the organs, promote for
a time felicity, but in the reaction leave de-
pression. The alkaloid in tea, theine, has this
124 Tea and Tea-drinking.
effect. It causes a short and slight felicity. It
causes in a large number of persons a long
and severe and even painful sadness. There
are many who never knew a day of felicity,
owing to this one destroying cause. In our
poorer districts, amongst the poor women of
our industrial populations, our spinning, our
stocking-weaving women, the misery incident
to their lot is often doubled by this one
The Dean of Bangor is the latest clerical
opponent of tea-drinking. Speaking at a
meeting held to further the establishment of
courses of instruction in practical cookery in
the elementary schools, he said that if he
had his own way there would be much less
tea-drinking among people of all classes.
Oatmeal and milk produced strong, hearty,
good-tempered men and women; whereas
excessive tea-drinking created a generation
of nervous, discontented people, who were
for ever complaining of the existing order of
the universe, scolding their neighbours, and
sighing after the impossible. Good cooking
would, he firmly believed, enable them to
take far higher and more correct views of
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 127
existence. In fact, lie suspected that too
much tea-drinking, by destroying the calm-
ness of the nerves, was acting as a dangerous
revolutionary force among us. Tea-drinking,
renewed three or four times a day, made men
and women feel w r eak, and the result was
that the tea-kettle went before the gin-
bottle, and the physical and nervous weak-
ness, that had its origin in the bad cookery
of an ignorant wife, ended in ruin, intem-
perance, and disease.
The worthy Dean's denunciation of tea-
drinking formed the subject of numerous
leading articles in the press, followed by
letters from correspondents, several of whom
referred to the difficulty of finding any satis-
factory substitute for the fragrant and re-
freshing beverage which, during the present
century, has come to be regarded almost as
a necessary of life in English homes, both
rich and poor. One gentleman pathetically
describes his feelings on being presented one
afternoon in a drawing-room, where he had
been in the habit of being served with " at
least three cups of supernatural tea," with
" a glass brimful of a dim, opaque, greyish-
128 Tea and Tea-drinking.
white liquid," which turned out to be cold
Admitting that tea-drinking leads to in-
digestion, the St. James's Gazette points out
that " tea-drinking is still, in itself, better
than drunkenness ; and there is always a
chance that the first factor in the fatal series
may not lead to the second, nor the second
to the third. What numbers of persons of
both sexes every one must know who drink
tea three times a day morning, afternoon,
and evening without ever getting drunk at
all ! Every one, again, must have met with
cases in which men have brought themselves
to utter grief through the abuse of spirituous
liquors; but who ever heard of a man
ruining himself or his family through ex-
cessive indulgence in tea? The confirmed
tea-drinker never commits murder in his cups
never even goes home in a frantic con-
dition to beat his wife. It is certain, 011 the
other hand, that tea drunk in immoderate
quantities does not good, but harm ; and it
is very desirable that, both in drinking and
eating, people should on all occasions be
temperate. It is difficult, however, to get
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 129
through existence without stimulants of
some kind; and tea is probably as little
injurious as any yet discovered. c Life with-
out stimulants/ as a modern philosopher has
remarked, ' would be a dreary waste.' '
Reviewing the discussion, the Lancet
doubted whether the abuse of tea-drinking is
prevalent in the country, and maintained
that hard-worked minds and fatigued bodies
are the better for some gentle stimulant that
rouses into activity the nerves, and which
ministers to animal life and comfort. The
editor concluded that the worthy dean's
" conclusions are drawn from insufficient
premises, which in their turn can scarcely
be regarded as scientific truths."
The latest medical contribution to the
literature of the question is a lecture on
" Coffee and Tea," by Dr. Poore, Vice-Chair-
man of the Council of the Parkes Museum,
given at the Parkes Museum on the 6th of
December, 1883. He thus describes the
good and bad effects of these luxuries :
" The peculiar effects of tea and coffee are due to the
alkaloid. These effects are of a refreshing character. The
circulation of the blood is increased ; the elimination of
1 30 Tea and Tea-drinking.
C0 2 by the lungs is heightened. The reflex excitability of
the nerve centres is roused, thereby increasing the im-
pressionability of the consumer, and great wakefubxesa
results ; it also excites the peristalsis of the intestines.
Tea and coffee, then, are stimulants ; they rouse the
tissues to increased action, make us insensible to fatigue,
and enable us to do more work than we otherwise could.
The differences between these stimulants and alcoholic
stimulants are worth noticing. Tea and coffee keep us
awake and attentive, and those who have taken either for
the purposes of midnight study, will know how under
their influence the receptive powers of the brain seem to
be at its maximum. They cause 110 mental * elevation/
and do not rouse the imaginative faculties as a glass of
wine seems to do. They enable a man to work, and often
rob him of sleep, and do not, like a glass of wine, tend to
increase the power of sleep after the work has been accom-
plished. The tannic acid in tea is doubtless one of the
causes why it is as a drink so attractive. It is slightly
astringent, and clean in the mouth, and does not ' cloy the
palate,' an expression for which I can find no scientific
equivalent ; tannic acid is also one of the dangers and
drawbacks of tea. It is largely present in the common
teas used by the poor. . . . Excessive tea-drinkers are more
common than excessive coffee -drinkers, because the heavier
coffee more easily produces satiety than the lighter tea ;
and it is not possible for ordinary stomachs to tolerate
more than a certain amount of coffee, even when pure, and
only a very small amount of the thick, sweet, adulterated
stuff which too often passes for coffee in this country. . . .
Tea is more of a pure beverage than coffee, has less dietetic
value, and is less stimulating ; it is more capable of being
used as a pure luxury (it is indeed the tobacco of women),
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 131
but its great astringency is one reason which makes its
excessive use highly undesirable."
The question of the action of tea, as well
as of tobacco and other stimulants, has
occupied the attention of Professor Mante-
gazza, an Italian physiologist of high repute.
This eminent scholar places tea amongst
the nervous foods ; and his enthusiasm for
it is unbounded. He credits it with the
power of dispelling weariness and lessening
the annoyances of life. He considers it the
greatest friend to the man of letters, enabling
him to work without fatigue ; an aid to
conversation, rendering it pleasant and easy.
His own experience of tea is, that it revives
drooping intellectual activity; and he re-
gards it the best stimulus to exertion.
" Without its aid/ 5 he says, " I should be
idle." His general conclusions are that it
is beneficial to adults, but injurious to chil-
dren; and he pronounces it one of the
greatest blessings of Providence.
Whatever may be urged in favour of tea,
it is undeniable that excess is injurious, and
that children would be better without it. It
contains no strength, and therefore ought to
132 Tea and Tea-drinking.
be forbidden to the young. In an inquiry
into the sickly condition of tlie children in
many of the cotton factories of Lancashire,
Dr. Ferguson, of Bolton, found that children
between thirteen and sixteen years of age,
who had been brought up on tea or coffee,
increased in weight only about four pounds
a year, while those fed on milk increased at
the rate of about fifteen pounds a year. For
this evil the blame rests entirely upon the
mothers, who exceed the bounds of modera-
tion in the use of tea. Though doctors
differ widely in their views of the action of
tea, they all agree that few things are more
certain to produce " flatulence in the over-
worked female " than this beverage. Their
views are shared by other authorities. Miss
Barnett, speaking at the National Health
Society's Exhibition last year, said, "I am
constantly preaching against tea, as it is
taken by the vast majority of the working
women of England. They drink it at every
meal, and suffer from indigestion before they
come to middle age. They try to get the
blackest fluid out of the tea, and in doing so
draw out the tannin, which, though it has its
The Friends and the Foes of Tea. 133
virtues, acts upon the coats of the stomach
and produces indigestion by middle life/ 5
But the argument that tea shortens the
life of every man who drinks it is absurd.
"It is said," remarked Win. Howitt, "that
Mithridates could live and flourish on poisons,
and, if it is true that tea or coffee is a poison,
so do most of us. Wm. Hutton, the shrewd
and humorous author of the histories of
Birmingham and Derby, and also of a life
of himself, scarcely inferior to that of Frank-
lin in lessons of life-wisdom, said that he
had been told that coffee was a slow poison,
and he added that he had found it very
slow, for he had drunk it more than sixty
years without any ill effect. My experience
of tea, as well as coffee," added Howitt,
" has been the same." Howitt's experience
is the experience of tens of thousands
of people. The moral in this, as in other
matters, is that people must judge for them-
selves whether tea is injurious or beneficial.
As Dr. Poore candidly admits, " a properly
controlled appetite, or instinct, is as safe a
guide in the matters of diet as a physiologist
or a moralist."
134 Tea and Tea-drinking.
TEA AS A SOURCE OF EE VENUE.
Tea heavily taxed How it was adulterated in the ' ' Good
Old Times " Efforts to secure a reduction in the
duty Why crime and ignorance prevail Mr. Dis-
raeli's proposal to reduce the duty on tea, opposed
by Mr. Gladstone Mr. Gladstone's legislation
The Chancellor of the Exchequer memorialized to
reduce the duty on Indian tea The annual expen-
diture on tea Professor Leoni Levi's estimate of
its consumption by the working classes.
TEA had not been in use many years before
the government discovered in it a valuable
means of replenishing the national exchequer.
Accordingly they passed a law, in 1660, im-
posing a duty of eightpence per gallon on
all tea made and sold in coffee-houses, which
were visited twice daily by officers. It would
occupy too much space to describe subse-
quent legislation, but the subject appears at
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 135
times to have been almost as perplexing as
the liquor traffic to the various govern-
The tea duties have, however, always been
excessively heavy, and it is therefore not
surprising that a great deal of smuggling
was carried on in the " G-ood Old Times," and
that deceptions were practised to a very
large extent by unscrupulous tea-dealers.
Parliament at last interfered. In the reign
of George II. an Act of Parliament recites
that " several ill-disposed persons do fre-
quently fabricate, dye, or manufacture very
great quantities of sloe-leaves, liquorice-
leaves, and the leaves of tea that have before
been used, or the leaves of other trees,
shrubs, or plants, in imitation of tea, and
do likewise mix, colour, stain and dye such
leaves with terra japonica, sugar, molasses,
clay, logwood and with other ingredients,
and do sell and vend the same as real tea, to
the prejudice of the health of his Majesty's
subjects, the diminution of his revenue, and
to the ruin of the fair trader." The Act
then declares, "that the dealer in and seller
of such sophisticated teas shall forfeit the
136 Tea and Tea-drinking.
sum often pounds for every pound-weight."
In a report of the Committee of the House
of Commons, in 1783, it is stated that
" the quantity of fictitious tea annually
manufactured from sloe, liquorice, and ash-
tree leaves, in different parts of England, to
be mixed with genuine teas, is computed at
four millions of pounds, and that at a time
when the whole quantity of genuine tea sold
by the Bast India Company did not exceed
more than six millions of pounds annually.' *
The Act does not seem, however, to have
done much to check the evil, for in the year
1828 the existence of several tea manu-
factories was disclosed, the penalties for
defrauding the revenue amounting in one
case to 840Z. It is impossible to estimate
the amount of smuggled tea consumed, but
the official accounts indicate a large con-
It appears that from 1710 to 1810 not
fewer than 750,219,016 Ibs. of tea were sold
at the East India Company's sales, the value
of which was 129,804,5952. The duty alone
amounted to 104,856,858Z. In 1828 the
revenue amounted to 3,302,252?. The ex-
TEA-TASTING IN CHINA.
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 139
elusive right of trading in tea, so long en-
joyed by the East India Company, terminated
on the 22nd of April, 1834, when an altera-
tion was made in the method of collecting
the dues. Under the old system a tax was
levied on the value of the tea ; but under
the new it was levied upon the weight and
quality, the duties ranging from Is. 6d. on
Bohea, and 3s. 011 Pekoe and other kinds. 1
The transfer did not, however, secure the
approval of the tea-dealers, who continued to
petition Parliament for a reduction of the
duty. A society was formed at Liverpool
with this object in view, and in 1846 its
officers published a letter addressed to Sir
Eobert Peel, contending that, as tea was an
1 Hyson means before rain, or flourishing spring ;
therefore it is often called " young Hyson." " Hyson
Skin " is composed of the refuse of other kinds, the
native term being "tea-skins." Refuse of still coarser
descriptions is called " tea-bones." Boliea is the name
of the hills in the region where it is gathered. Pekoe, or
Poco, means " white hair," or the down of tender leaves ;
Powchong, "folded plant;" Souchong, "small plant."
Ticankay is the name of a river in the region where it is
bought. Congo, from a term signifying " labour," for the
care required in its preparation. "Notes and Queries"
Third Series, vi. p. 264.
140 Tea and Tea-drinking.
object of the first importance to the labour-
ing classes, " the duty on it should be such
in amount and principle as to induce the
greatest consumption." The memorialists
" That the duties have been imposed without any re-
ference to the encouragement of its consumption ; that
the quantity required by the public for their wants and
comforts has never entered into the consideration of the
legislature ; that all they have looked to has been to get
a certain amount of revenue from tea, treating it, impor-
tant as it is to the people's sustenance and well-being, as
a subject unworthy of consideration, per se, and for their
benefit ; that it has been taxed from time to time, heavier
and heavier, as its consumption increased; so that, look-
ing at the changes which have taken place in these
duties, it would appear as if their object had been to
check, if not altogether destroy, the use of tea amongst
us, as though it were a poisonous or noxious thing, a
species of opium, which, on moral and political grounds,
ought to be prohibited. The memorialists found, by a
return to an order of the House of Commons, dated the
llth of February, 1845, that in 1784 the tax was 12f
per cent.; in 1795 it was raised to 20 per cent.; in 1797
to 20 per cent, under 2s. 6d. per lb., and 30 per cent, at
and above that price ; in 1798 to 20 and 35 per cent,
respectively; in 1800 to 20 and 40 per cent. ; in 1801 to
20 and 50 per cent. ; in 1803 to 65 and 95 per cent.; in
1806 to 96 per cent, on all prices; and in 1819 to 96 per
cent, under 2s. per lb., and 100 per cent, at and above that
price, continuing to the termination of the company's
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 141
charter. In 1834, the trade being thrown open, the duty
was attempted to be levied according to a scale which
was supposed to mark quality, being Is. 6d. per Ib. on the
lowest tea, 2s. 2d. per Ib. on the middle, and 3s. per Ib.
on the finest kinds. This scale was also constructed on
the principle of taxing as near as may be the article with
an average duty of 100 per cent., but was abandoned in
1836, and succeeded by a uniform duty of 2s. Id. per Ib.
until 1840, when the additional 5 per cent, imposed on all
Customs duties brought it up to 2s. 2^d. per Ib."
In the following year, 1846, a towns'
meeting was held at Liverpool for the
purpose of " taking into consideration the
measures which should be adopted to pro-
cure as speedily as possible a material re-
duction of the present duty on tea." A
resolution was passed declaring the duty of
2s. 2d. exorbitant, impolitic, and oppressive.
In supporting a resolution that a reduction
of duty would remove inducements to in-
temperance and thereby diminish crime, an
employer of labour felt assured that if the
legislature would cheapen tea, coffee, sugar,
and soap, it would give the means of pro-
longing lives instead of shortening them, and
keep a man at his own fireside instead of
his going to the tavern, with the ten thou-
sand evils in its train. The speaker, how-
142 Tea and Tea-drinking.
ever, caused considerable amusement when
lie expressed the opinion that if the Irish
population could get tea at a cheap rate,
they would, to a considerable extent, abandon
whisky. Put a cup of tea and a glass of
whisky side by side, we venture to say that
ninety-nine out of every hundred Irishmen
would prefer the whisky. " An Irishman/'
says Dr. Pope, " was requested by a lady to
do some work for her, which he performed to
her complete satisfaction. c Pat, 5 she said,
c I'll treat you.' ' Heaven bless your honour,
ma'am,' says Pat. ' What would you prefer ?
A pint of porter or a tumbler of grog?'
' Well, ma'am,' says Pat, c I don't wish to
be troublesome, but I'll take the one awhilst
you're making the other.' ' This is, we fear,
a type of the average Irishman, whose love
of whisky is the greatest blot upon his
Notwithstanding the great outcries against
the Government duty, the consumption of
tea steadily increased, and in 1844 the duty
alone amounted to 4,524,193?. There were,
it must be admitted, some inequalities in the
system of taxation. The question attracted
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 143
the notice of Mr. Leitch Kitchie (then editor
of GJiambers's Journal), who suggested that
the moral reform and social improvement for
which the present age is remarkable have
had their basis in tea. But if Great Britain
is so large a consumer of tea, why, he asks,
" do crime and ignorance still prevail amongst
the body of the people ? Because," he
answers, " the poorer classes still drink bad
tea, imitation tea, or no tea at all. The
tea that is now in bond at tenpence pays a
duty of two shillings and a penny, while the
tea that is sold in bond at several shillings
pays no more. Thus the poor are charged
at least three times more, according to value,
than the rich." An illustration of this
anomaly was given by a speaker at a second
meeting held at Liverpool in 1848, for the
purpose of securing a reduction in the duties.
" Tea," says the speaker, " must be con-
sidered in a two-fold light, not merely as an
article of luxury to some, but as an article
of necessity to all classes of her Majesty's
subjects. But do all classes procure this
necessity on equal terms ? No ; for though
it is in general use with the peer as well as
144 Tea and Tea-drinking.
the peasant, we yet find the same duties
levied on teas of the lowest as on teas of the
It was urged by those who defended the
policy of the Goyernment that tea was a
stimulant, and that therefore it was injurious.
" We admit the fact," said the Rev. Dr.
Hume, " but we strenuously deny the in-
ference. A stimulant is not necessarily in-
jurious, though the more violent always are.
Heat is a stimulant, and so is water in par-
ticular circumstances ; food is a stimulant ;
the light of heaven is a stimulant, whether
in animal or in vegetable nature, and so is
the beaming countenance and kindling heart
of a sympathetic friend."
Neither meetings nor memorials, however,
seemed to have any influence with the
Government; but in 1852 Mr. Disraeli pro-
posed to reduce the duty on tea to Is. Wd.,
and ultimately to Is., the reduction to be
spread over six years. This reduction, with
other reductions of the dues ori shipping and
the malt tax, would have involved a loss of
more than 3.000,000/., to supply which, he
proposed, among other things, to impose the
Tea as a So^lrce of Revenue. 145
income tax on industrial incomes over 100?.
His proposals were, however, strongly opposed
by Mr. Gladstone, and rejected by a large
majority. When, however, Mr. Gladstone
returned to power, in 1853, he proposed the
very same reductions which he had when out
of office rejected. He proposed to reduce
the duty to Is. lOd. during the following
year, and by 3d. a year until the limit of Is.
was reached. Including reduction of other
taxes, the loss to the revenue would have
amounted to 5,315, 0001. , which he proposed
to meet by renewing the income tax for
seven years, extending the stamp duties, and
increasing the duty on spirits ; but owing to
the Crimean War the proposed reduction
was not effected. The expenses of this war
were so heavy, amounting to 70,000,000?.,
that the duty on tea was increased 3d. a
When the war was over, Mr. Gladstone
desired that the added duties on tea, sugar,
and other necessaries of life, should be
taken off; but on the 6th of March, 1857,
"the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir
George Lewis, announced a modification of
146 Tea and Tea-drinking.
the Budget resolutions so far as the tea
duties were concerned, and proposed that
the amount of the tax, which he had arranged
for three years, should be applicable for one
year only. Mr. Gladstone moved an amend-
ment to the effect that after April 5, 1857,
the duty should be Is. od., and after the 5th
of April, 1858, Is. The amendment was
negatived by 187 to 125, and the Chancellor
of the Exchequer's resolution, fixing the duty
at Is. 5d. was carried." In 1865 the duty
was reduced to 6d. under Mr. Gladstone's
Government, and at this figure it remains.
But the attention of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer has recently been called to the
disadvantage under which the Indian tea-
industry is placed by the imposition of the
English Customs duty of 6d. per Ib. on all
tea imports, and the object of the memorialists
was to induce him to consider the expediency
of abolishing or modifying this duty when
framing his financial budget. It was pointed
out that the Indian tea-industry is greatly in
want of such relief, as evidenced by recent
Calcutta reports showing the market value of
the shares of the joint-stock tea companies.
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 147
Out of a total of 116 companies forty-six
only gave any dividend on the crop of
1882, and of these forty-six only twenty
paid over five per cent. Of the seventy which
gave no dividend not a few have paid nothing
for several years, and many are struggling
on under the incubus of borrowed capital,
with the hope of improvement in the markets,
the cause of this depression being directly
traceable to the heavy fall in prices during
the last few years. The opinion was ex-
pressed that if the trade could be relieved of
the present heavy tax of from 50 to 100
per cent, on the value, it might be fairly
assumed that a reduction of, say, 4d. per Ib.
to the consumer would lead to a large in-
crease in the consumption, and leave a return
of the remaining 2d. per Ib. more to the
producer, which would in many cases prove
a working profit to gardens now being carried
on at a loss.
Reference was also made to the argu-
ment, of which doubtless the Chancellor
of the Exchequer is aware, that inasmuch
as the average value of Indian teas is higher
than that of China teas, the present duty
148 Tea and Tea-drinking.
weighs more heavily on the latter, and
consequently that its abolition would deprive
the Indian importer of a certain amount of
protection ; but at the same time the opinion
was expressed that a general reduction of
prices to the consumer all round would in-
duce on the part of the public a more general
preference for the superior quality of the
Indian produce, and that the increased de-
mand for it thereby engendered would more
than counterbalance any loss of protection
which might be sustained.
As will be seen from the following table
of the duties, the consumers of tea contribute
very largely to the revenue of the country :
1875 . . 3,568,634
1876 . . . 3,706,831
1877 ... . 3,723,147
1878 ... . 4,002,211
1879 .... 4,162,221
1880 . . . 3,698,338
1881 .... 3,865,720
The annual expenditure on tea amounts to
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 149
about 11 5 000,QOOZ. Large as this amount
appears, it sinks into insignificance when,
compared with the expenditure upon intoxi-
cating drinks. During the last year it
amounted to no less than 125,477,275?.
There are few who would regret to see this
formidable amount reduced to a fourth of its
present dimensions ; and no one surely will
deny that if everybody drank tea, instead of
alcoholic drinks, a great reform in the habits
of the people w^ould take place. Drunken-
ness, and its attendant evil, pauperism, would
cease ; plenty would take the place of poverty,
joy for sadness, health for sickness; and
happiness would reign throughout the land.
Reference has already been made to the
fact that England stands next to China as
the greatest tea-drinking nation; and it-
appears that the working classes consume
the largest proportion of tea imported. Pro-
fessor Leoni Levi compiled in 1873 an
elaborate estimate of the amount of taxation
falling on the working classes of the United
Kingdom; and in his report he shows that
from consumption of tea alone they con-
tributed 2,200,000?. to the revenue, as against
Tea and Tea-drinking.
900,000/. by the middle and upper classes.
At the present time, however, the working
classes contribute over 3,000 9 000/. as their
proportion of the duty upon tea. A clearer
light is thrown upon their contributions to
the national exchequer by the following
table showing the proportion for every pound
of taxes paid from each item :
As falling on the Working
A s falling on the Middle and
Local taxes, land, houses
Local taxes a
Sugar and tea
Land and hou
The Professor classes tea as a necessary,
but confesses that it is difficult to define
whether certain articles in daily use are
necessaries or luxuries. Many articles, he
points out, such as white bread, tea, sugar,
which not long ago were considered luxuries,
are now, with the improved condition of the
Tea as a Source of Revenue. 151
people, regarded as absolute necessaries. He
refers, in particular, to the effect of indirect
taxes in greatly enhancing the cost of the
taxed article to the consumer. " The whole-
sale import price of tea, for example, may be
Is. a pound, and upon this there is 6d. duty.
But immediately as it passes from the im-
porter to the dealer, and from the dealer to
the retailer, the whole price, duty paid, is
charged first with ten, and then with thirty
per cent, to meet expenses and profits of trade,
whereby the retail price is increased probably
from 2,s. to 3s. 6d. or 4s. per Ib. This trad-
ing, therefore, constitutes so much extra tax,
and it is a tax which the working classes pay
to the middle and higher classes, through
whose hands such articles pass." "Whether
we shall ever have a free breakfast-table, it
is impossible to say ; but if the tax on tea
were abolished, it is obvious that it would be
necessary to impose some other tax, probably
even more objectionable.
ABERNETHY, Dr., 51.
Ackworth School, 13.
Aikin, Dr., 12.
Alchohol and endurance, 72, 75.
Alchohol and genius, 80, 91, 94.
Ale, use of, 12, 73, 101.
American Health and Tempe-
rance Association, 118. [117.
Animals, experiments upon, 111,
Anti-Corn-Law League, 40, 102.
Anti-Teapot Society, 120.
Arctic weather, 67.
Artists and temperance, 42.
Assam tea, 19, 20, 22.
Sand of Hope Chronicle, 39.
Banks, Collingwood, 42.
Barnett, Miss, 132.
Beer, use of, 12, 73, 101.
Beverley, Dr., 74.
Blacktvood's Magazine, 102.
Blue Ribbon meetings, 35.
Blyth, Dr. Wynter, 72.
Boswell, 81, 82.
Botanical Gardens, 19.
Bright, John, 13.
Brotherton, Joseph, 39.
Bryant, William Cullen, 93.
Buckle, 66, 93, 119.
Byrom, John, 13.
CAKES and tea, 9.
Camellia, the, 18.
Capel, Hon. Reginald, 60.
Carlyle, Dr. Alexander, 8.
Carlyon, Dr., 52.
Catherine, Princess, 6.
Centlivre, Mrs., 5.
Ceylon tea, 21.
Chadwick, Rev. Dr., 99.
Chambers, Dr. King, 18, 60, 63,
Chambers's Journal, 143.
Charles II., 6.
China, use of tea in, 17, 50, 58,
Chinese ballads, 27. [59, 63.
Christmas tea-parties, 36, 45.
Clarendon, Lord, 7.
Clemenceau, M., 101.
Clifford, Rev. Dr., 95.
Coffee, 5, 97, 98, 133.
Coffee taverns, 55,
Coleridge, Hartley, 102.
Converted drunkards as water-
Cornwall, Barry, 84.
Couplet, Le Pere, 7.
Cowper, 53, 103.
Crimean War, 145.
Curing tea, 28.
Curtis, Dr. J. H., 38.
Daily Neivs, 69.
Daily Telegraph, 55.
Dean of Bangor, 124.
De Quincey, 91, 92.
" Dictionary of Statistics," 17.
Dilke, Sir Charles, 101.
Disraeli, Mr., 144.
Diurnal of Thomas Rugge, 4.
" Doctors differ," 132.
Dowden, Professor, 95.
Drunkards, converted, 35.
Drunkenness, uses of, 108.
Dutch physician, advice of a, 106.
Dyer, George, 84.
Dyspepsia, cause of, 61.
EAST India Company, 2, 19, 106,
Epping butter, 9. [136.
Everett, Professor, 97.
FAVY'S, Mr., tea, 7.
Ferguson, Dr., 132.
Fortune, Mr., 63.
Francis, James, 71.
GARLAND, T. Bland, 75.
Garway, Thomas, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Gladstone, Mr., 100, 145, 146.
Goadby, E., 101.
Good Health Publishing Corn-
Gout, 112. [pany, 118.
Great Northern Eailway, 60.
** Grecian," the, 11.
Gregson, Gelson, 70.
HABIT, force of, 12.
Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 83, 97.
Hanvvay, Jonas, 82, 116.
Harrowgate, mode of living at, 8.
Hartley, Eev. J. G., 43.
Harvest-field, tea in, 1, 75.
Hawkins, Sir John, 83.
Healths, drinking, 71.
Herald of Health, 119.
Hogg, James, 79.
Hong -Kong Telegraph, 71.
Howitt, William, 93, 133.
Hume, Eev. Dr., 144.
Hutton, William, 133.
Hymns, tea-meeting, 41, 42, 43.
INDIAN tea, 19, 24, 147.
Ingletield, Dr., 67.
Tnman, Dr., 66, 99.
Intoxicating drink, 149.
Invalids' tea, 63. ^ [39.
Isle of Man, tea-drinking in, 1,
Isle of Man Temperance Guar-
JACKSON, Dr., 66.
Jameson, Dr., 22.
Johnson, Dr., 80, 83.
Jonathan's coffee-house, 5.
Journalist, the, 80.
Kettle, the national, 53.
Knight, Charles, 2.
LADIES, extravagance of, 33.
Lamb, Charles, 88.
Lancet, the, 129.
Lansdell, Eev. Dr., 57, 58, 63.
Leeds Mercury, 40.
Lettsom, Dr.,' 116.
Levi, Leoni, 149.
Lewis, Sir George, 145.
Liquor traffic, 135.
Literary composition, 92.
Livesey, Joseph, 34.
London Athletic Club, 74.
Lung, Kien, 50.
Lytton, Bulwer, 91.
Manchester, use of tea in, 12.
Martin, Montgomery, 6.
Martineau, Harriet, 97.
Mary-le-Boii Gardens, 9.
McCarthy, Justin, M.P., 94.
Michod, C. J., 74.
Midland Eailway, 60.
Mitford, Miss, 88.
Moral Reformer , 41.
Motley, 91. ^
NATIONAL Health Society, 132.
Nervous excitability, 97.
Newbury Chamber of Agricul-
Nightingale, Miss, 64.
Notes and Queries, 120, 139.
PALMERSTON, Lord, 100.
Parkes, Professor, 67.
Parliament petitioned, 139.
Pedestrianism, 72, 94.
Peel, Sir Eobert, 139.
Pepys, 1, 2.
Percival's *' Account of Ceylon,"
Poets, fare of, 88. [21.
Poets, licence of, 51.
Poore, Dr., 61,100,129,133.
Poorson, Dr., 80.
Pope, Dr. Joseph, 51, 142.
Prentice, Archibald, 40. [37, 39.
Preston Temperance Advocate,
Preston Temperance Society, 34.
Priests as tea-gatherers, 25.
QUAKER School, 13.
Queen, the, 71.
EACE, deterioration of the, 109.
Railway stations, tea at, 56, 60.
Eead's Weekly Journal, 8.
" Recreative Science," 50.
Ehind, Dr., 22.
Eitchie, Leitch, 143.
Eolleston, Professor, 118.
Eose, Sir Philip, 78.
Eoyalty, influence of, 6.
Eugge, Thomas, 4.
Eussia, tea in, 19, 56, 57, 59.
Servants, use of tea by, 8.
Sheldrick, E. K, 46.
Sherlock, F., 81.
Siam, tea in, 50.
Sigmond, Dr., 47, 53, 59.
Sims, G. E., 80, 95, 100.
Sinclair, Dr., 117. [61.
Smith, Dr. Edward, 15, 18, 30,
Soldiers, tea for, 67, 68, 69, 70.
Solly, Eev. Henry, 97.
South Sea Bubblers, 6.
Spirits, value of, 68.
St. James's Gazette, 128.
Stables, Dr. Gordon, 83.
Stimulants, necessity of, 129.
Swift, Dean, 6.
TEA a cause of intemperance,
Tea a poison, 111, 117. [116.
Tea adulterated, 135.
Tea and cake, 9.
Tea as a revolutionary agent, 47.
Tea as a stimulant, 79.
Tea, benefits of, 3, 16, 47, 70, 99,
102, 106, 130, 131.
Tea, cold, 78.
Tea, consumption of, 16.
Tea, cultivation of, 18, 19, 22.
Tea, evils of, 61, 82, 98, 107, 111,
Tea-farms, 22, 25. [114.
Tea for invalids, 64.
Tea in the harvest-field, 75.
Tea-meeting fare, 45, 46.
Tea-meeting hymns, 41, 42, 43.
Tea, methods of curing, 28.
Tea, methods of making, 37, 49,
Teapots, 33, 53. [58.
Tea, price of, 4, 11, 58.
Tea, taxation of, 135, 142, 148,
Tea unnecessary, 99. [151.
Tea versus beer, 74, 128.
Terry, Miss Ellen, 97.
Thompson, Henry, 14.
" Tom's Coffee-house," 11.
Trusler's, Mr., daughter, 9.
Twining, Thomas, 10.
Tyerman, Eev. L., 113.
URN, tea, condemned, 53.
VEGETARIAN Society, 46.
WALFORD, E., 10.
Waller, Edmund, 6.
Wesley, John, 83, 113.
Weston, Edward Payson, 74.
Weston, Miss, 71.
Willes, Admiral, 71.
Williams, Dr. Wells, 25.
Williams, Mattieu, 108.
Williams, Mrs., 81.
Wolseley, Sir Garnet, 69. [27.
Women, employment of, 23, 26,
Women, tea injurious to, 61, 109,
119, 120, 132.
A dvertisements. i v
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