Thursday, February 7, 2013
297. Ginseng, Tea and the American Revolution
The Ginseng drive also helped popularize the tea drinking from upper class to the rest of the society. Tea drinking in the colonies had been very popular before the huge amount of teas shipped directly by the citizens of the United States. The British carried the habit from England to North America, and the colonists quickly adopted their tastes for tea. Tea houses following London models became powerful social catalysts, providing an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and the distribution of news.
Indeed, the taxes that the British imposed on the colonists’ tea spurred their demands for independence in the American Revolution. However, before 1784, tea was mainly a luxury reserved for affluent colonists due to its high price. However, large amounts of tea carried over oceans from China to North America by the Empress of China and other American ships after 1784 popularized the drink by making more affordable to ordinary Americans.