June 14, 2010

Take Back the Tea Party: Understanding History

Tea has certainly taken its lumps in American History. The iconic dumping of tea into the Boston Harbor as a symbolic action against the taxation of this quotidian delight resulted in punitive action against the colonies by the British Government. (not to mention the subsequent trend of increased popularity of coffee over tea, a trend that has not yet ended in this country)

Perhaps the American consumer learned its lesson in 1773, when as a result of the Boston Tea Party, the colonists got a beat-down in form of the Intolerable Acts. These acts were a punishment from King George III that led to a closed Harbor, more British troops, and the designation that any colonist who did not feed and house British soldier could be shot on sight, by order of the King.

Nowadays we are used to the idea that standard commodities, like oil, natural gas, fossil fuels, are sold and traded, or rather - manipulated - for the sole purpose of increased profits for the investors. And who pays for those profits but the consumers.

So first it was the good name and reputation of tea that was used as a political play piece in American History, and now it is the entire concept of having a tea party that is being bandied about. After having had taken a back seat to coffee, and keeping a low-profile for 200 years, it is quite frustrating that there is a political party called the Tea Party.

I don't care what side of aisle you align yourself with politically. Really -- I don't!  My concern here is the waning social support for the ritual and cultural significance of tea.  How much more political volley can tea take? The very fact that I must preface any tea party that I might throw with an anti-political statement has indeed dissuaded me throwing any tea parties.

And it is THIS notion -- that I have pulled back from hosting social gatherings (and I am not the only one to hesitate to throw social tea gatherings) that MUST be addressed - lest tea suffer a 2nd downward trend in its own popularity, as it did over 200 years ago.

So if you have found this story, if I have sent you this link, if you like tea, if you own a tea company or tea house, then I encourage you to THROW A TEA PARTY.

We can only take back the social name of tea parties by HAVING THEM!

So please join the Tea Party Challenge.

The Mad Pots of Tea! Traveling Tea Party Challenge:
 - Throw a Tea Party in the next 6 months.
 - Have fun with different themes, ideas and concepts
 - If you plan to throw a party: email me the invite/press release and I will post it.
 - If you threw a party recently: send me a link to the photos.
 - If I can be at your party I will....
 - if you would like to join Madam Potts at an upcoming tea party, email me with the Subject Line: I want to Party!


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous blog! I love tea and used to work for the Bramah Museum of Tea and Coffee in London. The founder and owner of the museum - Edward Bramah - was a fantastic eccentric fellow who declared “There are no better things in life than tea and time.” Unfortunately, he passed away two years ago and the museum is no longer open, but he did write some brilliant books - check out Amazon! Happy tea-drinking to you :) ~ Jess

Madam Potts said...

Thank you Jess - I hope you keep reading and keeping in touch with me. Do you still live in London?