Homa Khaleeli Friday 23 September 2016 11.26 EDT Last modified on Friday 23 September 2016 11.28 EDT John Wesley deplored it, Samuel Pepys was an early adopter and George Orwell wrote an essay on how to make it perfectly – for 358 years, the UK has had a love affair with tea.
Today, Google is celebrating the nation’s favourite drink with a doodle.
On 23 September 1658, the London republican newspaper Mercurius Politicus carried the first advert for tea in the British isles, announcing that a “China drink called by the Chinese, Tcha, by other Nations Tay alias Tee” was available in a coffee house in the city.
By the mid-18th century, tea had became the country’s most popular drink – pushing ale and gin from their place in British hearts.
Before long, the East India Company was using tea clippers, such as the Cutty Sark, to bring the harvest from India and China as fast as possible, and, in 1908, the teabag was invented, revolutionising the making of the 165m cups of tea drunk in the UK every day.