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Tea – the most popular drink in Britain

Posted in Historical articles, Medicine, Trade on Sunday, 30 October 2011

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This edited article about tea originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 851 published on 6 May 1978.

Chinese tea workers, picture, image, illustration

Chinese workers loading tea onto a clipper, by Angus McBride

When was tea first drunk and when was it introduced into Britain? If these questions have puzzled you, you will be interested to know that tea is believed to have been used by the Chinese as a medicine as early as the third or fourth century. But it did not become an everyday drink there until about two centuries later. It is said that tea was first brought to Britain by the merchant Christopher Borough, who travelled to Persia with a trading expedition in 1579.

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