On behalf of the n00b listener that is my husband…So, when on the British history timeline did tea make it's debut? Was it popular from the get-go, or did it take a while to catch on?(Pondered after listening to the Dark Ages drinks episodes. I told him to Google it, he told me to ask the boards.)
The Portuguese brought tea to Europe in the 16th Century, but it only began to be imported to Britain in the 1660s, when Charles II married a Portuguese princess, who liked it a lot. From what I can tell, it caught on very quickly and became quite fashionable.
Not to plug another podcast, but I recently listened to a podcast of A History of the World in 100 Objects that was about English tea. Fascinating, because he talked about the tea from India, the sugar from the Carribbean, even how changed in access to livestock affected the use of milk in tea. Also the development of chinaware and even “tea-time”. Definitely worth a listen.