The drink of the Nation

With substantial quantities of tea being grown on British territory, and a big reduction in the tax on teas in the 1860s, tea was now affordable to everyone in Britain and it truly became the drink of the nation.
It was drunk at breakfast in houses across the land, it was served at afternoon tea parties in upper and middle class homes, it was enjoyed with the ‘high tea’ evening meal in working class kitchens at the end of long exhausting days in mines, mills and factories; it was a comfort, a refreshing brew, a nourishing and sustaining beverage, a thirst-quencher, a celebratory cup, a maker of friendships, a breaker of social barriers, an acceptable and sensible alternative to alcohol and a symbol of the temperance movement, and a political focus for Women’s Suffrage. Tea had become a drink for all occasions, an essential to everyday British life.