Culture. Economics. History. 5 lessons tea teaches us about how drinks become popular.
Morsels of Marvels – References and Credits
1. Tea drinking became popular with Britain’s working classes in the late 1700s; foreigners saw it as Britain’s national drink, a view still held to this day.
2. It owed its popularity to milk and sugar. They turned bitter tea, enjoyed only by the upper classes, into a sweet refreshment for the masses.
3. Tea was also affordable as the government had cut tariffs, and prices came tumbling down.
4. The ruling classes and religious leaders encouraged the switch to tea from alcohol. Alcohol was popular before as its antiseptic properties meant it was safer to drink than water (then); but alcohol often caused drunk and unruly behavior. In contrast, tea was safe to drink and for behavior.
5. Tea was even aggressively marketed to women. Tea sets also became popular as companies, like Wedgwood, produced affordable sets made of earthenware pottery. These transformed the kitchens and homes of the working classes.
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photos: in order – depositphotos/rexi; StefanoVenturi; S_Razvodovskij; tethysimaging; marzolino; RudyardMace