A Tea Drinking Nation: how Britain came to identify itself with a migrant a...

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Hanbury Hall

22 Hanbury Street

E1 6QR

United Kingdom

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Join Professor Markman Ellis to discuss the history of tea in Britain during the eighteenth century.

All tea in this period was sourced from China and Japan, and was imported, alongside silk and other spices, by the East India Company. From its base in Leadenhall Street, the EIC imported tea in rapidly increasing quantities, storing it in huge warehouses just south of Spitalfields in Devonshire Square. Tea was an expensive luxury of no nutritional value, yet it quickly became a necessity, not only for the wealthy elite, but also for the common people. Within a 100 years, tea was transformed from an exotic alien, to 'a nice cup of tea', one of the defining features of British identity.

Markman Ellis is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Empire of Tea: the Asian Leaf that Conquered the World (2015), coauthored with Richard Coulton and Matthew Mauger.


(Image: copyright Manu Sankerms, 2011)

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Hanbury Hall

22 Hanbury Street

E1 6QR

United Kingdom

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