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The grocery trade, its history and romance; (1910) PDF book by Joseph Aubrey Rees

Download free The grocery trade, its history, and romance; (1910) by Joseph Aubrey Rees

The grocery trade, its history and romance


There is no more fascinating story in the whole history of the grocery trade than that dealing with the introduction, and subsequent rise in popular favor, of tea and coffee. It was during the time of the Commonwealth, when this country was strongly agitated by political and religious differences, that these beverages first began to appear in this country.

For centuries before this, tea had been drunk and almost worshipped in China, and in Japan; its virtues had been extolled by poets and philosophers, its numerous varieties had been eagerly sought out, and even tournaments had been arranged in its honor. Yet it is but as yesterday that this beverage found its way into Europe. In 1606 the Dutch merchants imported from China a quantity of tea, giving in exchange some dried sage, a herb so much appreciated by the Chinese that they gladly bartered four pounds of tea for one pound of sage.

 It was not until many years after this that tea found its way into England, its first recorded appearance is referred to in " Rugge's Diurnal," wherein it is stated that in 1658, " coffee, chocolate, and a kind of drink called c Tee ' was sold in almost every street." The first tea which arrived on these shores and was put to any commercial use was not handled by the grocer. The first parcels were doubtless bought as curiosities, they contained but small quantities and were examined with amusement. Tea was then " sipped out of minute cups of eggshell porcelain by aristocratic lips only," the infusion was tasted as one would nowadays taste some not very palatable medicine. The gossiping diarist, Pepys, who was secretary to the Admiralty under Charles II., had his curiosity awakened by the news of the new drink which was coming into fashionable notice, and he notes in 1660 that " I did send for a cup of tea, a Chinese drink of which I had never drunk before."

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