Although the entire world is on notice of the British love of tea, for the first 200 years of Britain’s tea-drinking history their supply of tea came from China. It was not until this day in British history, 10 January 1839, that the first auction of Assam tea took place in London. The first time that the new China drink called ‘tay’ was advertised in a British newspaper was 1658, but Charles II’s marriage to Catherine of Braganza would prove the turning point in the British perception of tea. Her love of tea helped it become a fashionable drink, especially...

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