November 12, 2005


One of the great things about this country is that when people feel there has been an injustice, they have ways and means to revolt or to protest. Way before the 1960's, people were staging protests so that their voices would be heard. Back in the late 1700's there was a lot of economic and political struggle over tea.

Sure we all know about The Boston Tea Party (Dec. 16, 1773), but there are lesser-known incidents related to the American colonists revolting against the British that are receding into history and which shouldn’t be forgotten.

Did you know that when the British government imposed a tax on tea headed to the American colonies, the volume of tea smuggled from Holland increased dramatically? It's bizarre in today's world to imagine tea being "smuggled", but at that time, drinking tea was a part of daily life. It would be akin to someone smuggling gasoline in the country due to the preposterous taxes and prices that are imposed. Though I would think smuggling tea to be a much easier commodity to conceal.

Besides Boston, other port cities resisted the British. The was a "Tea Party" in Greenich, NJ on December 22, 1773, in which stocks of tea and tea chests lit up the market square. In late April 1774 the British ship LONDON was boarded in New York and the captain’s private stock of 18 tea chests were opened and dumped into the water.

In October 1775, 51 patriotic ladies got together in Edenton, N.C., to renounce tea drinking; they enjoyed dried raspberry leaves instead. They pledged not “to conform to the Pernicious custom of drinking tea, until such time as all acts which tend to enslave our native country shall be repealed…” This proclamation sent waves through English society when it was published in London.

These people were SERIOUS about their tea!

So, go brew yourself a pot of history.

Brew Proud.

Brew often.

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