World Tea Expo
Pre-Conference: June 11-14, 2018
Conference & Expo: June 12-14, 2018
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall

A Social History of Tea in the UK and the US

  • Thursday, 06/15/2017: 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
  • Room: N239
  • Session Number:  CS39


Authors of A Social History of Tea, Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson, tell the story of tea’s rise in importance in the culture and commerce of Britain and the USA. Through 365 years, tea has grown from its initial role as an expensive aristocratic luxury beverage to become an essential part of everyday life.  Along the way it caused civil and international wars, brought about the introduction of new laws and taxes, influenced politics, architecture, interior design, manners, mealtimes and fashion. It affected trade, created wealth, sustained workers through the industrial revolution, gave strength to the temperance movement, and helped women in their fight for the vote. Today, its powerful and positive health message has led to an ever-increasing interest in the world’s favourite restorative, recuperative and refreshing drink

Learning Objectives

1. Understand how tea first arrived in Britain and the US, and learn
what teas were drunk at that time.
2. Understand how tea moved out of wealthy aristocratic circles into
the lives of ordinary working folk during the 18th century.
3. Appreciated the rituals of tea - from colonial Boston to the parlors of Jane Austen’s characters - and
understand the significance of Chinese tea in both countries until 1839.
4. Understand the development of Afternoon Tea through the 19th
century and learn what teas were drunk in Britain and the US
during that period.
5. Understand the mechanization of tea in the 20th century, and how
that changed the industry and the drinking habits of both nations.




Jane Pettigrew

Jane Pettigrew