Tea Party History

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Tea Party History

While ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures enjoyed tea ceremonies for many years, a very different sort of ceremony was developed in Europe. The tea party was all about indulgences instead of being a Zen like ceremony.

  • Dutch women fell in love with tea during the early 1600's and threw parties for their friends so that they could indulge in tea, gossip and refreshments. Of course, their husbands objected to these parties, because their wives were out gallivanting with friends instead of tending their homes.
  • When the tea craze developed in England, tea parties became even fancier. These parties probably achieved their highest popularity during Victorian times, when women dressed in their finest clothes and held elaborate teas for friends and acquaintances. Tea parties appeared in art and literature. Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland probably has the most memorable tea party in literary history, and today's children still enjoy hearing about the Mad Hatter and his quirky guests.
  • America can lay claim to the most important tea party in history. The Boston Tea Party was a major catalyst for the American Revolution as the colonists objected to a punishing tea tax by throwing tea overboard. Oddly enough, the British were taxing colonists for a drink that was popular in New York before it caught hold in England. The Dutch brought their favorite beverage to their colony of New Amsterdam, the former New York, when they colonized the area.

   

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