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To the West tea was introduced by Portuguese priests and merchants during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India to bypass a Chinese monopoly at that time.

  • “But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)
  • “Tea! Bless ordinary everyday afternoon tea!” (Agatha Christie)
  • “While there is tea, there is hope.” (Arthur Wing Pinero)

The Tea Party

I had a little tea party

This afternoon at three.

‘Twas very small-

Three guest in all-

Just I, myself and me.

Myself ate all the sandwiches,

While I drank up the tea;

‘Twas also I who ate the pie

And passed the cake to me.

(Jessica Nelson North)

Gallery images:

  • “A Convalescent” by James Tissot, 1876
  • “John, Lord Willoughby de Broke, and his Family” by Johann Zoffany c. 1766
  • “An English Family at Tea” by Joseph Van Aken, 1720
  • “A Tea Party” by Joseph Van Aken, 1719-1721
  • “Five O’Clock Tea” by Julius LeBlanc Stewart
  • “Holyday” by James Tissot, 1876
  • “A Lady and Two Gentlemen seated at a tea table” by Philip Reinagle (1749-1833)
  • “The Tea Party” by Frederic Soulacroix
  • “Tea” by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, 1880
  • “An English Family at Tea” by Joseph Van Aken, 1725
  • “A Family of Three at Tea” by Richard Collins
  • “Ladies Having Tea” c 1740 Unknown British artist
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