How Afternoon Tea was 'Invented'
by Jane Pettigrew
The English ceremony of Afternoon Tea dates back to the 1840s but rather than being 'invented', it actually evolved out of the rituals and routines that had surrounded tea drinking in Britain before that time.
The English started drinking tea in the late 1650s and as both the brewed beverage and the dry loose leaves were extremely expensive, it immediately became the drink of the royal family and the aristocracy. Wealthy gentlemen drank their tea in London's coffee houses and upper class ladies bought very small amounts of loose leaf tea and drank the brew at home with their friends and family.