NEW! Google Custom Search


Tea versus coffee

jyang949's picture

I am reading The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and sequels, which is set in modern-day Botswana. Tea is practically the national beverage, and (in these books, at least) always appears when people are relaxing or socializing. I assume this custom originated when Botswana was a British territory and continued after Botswana gained independence. 

That got me wondering about U.S. preferences. Why is coffee so popular here, when the first colonists came from England and brought tea-drinking habits with them? 


Pielove's picture

tea party... (post #69857, reply #1 of 3)

Hi Janet!

Interesting question, and it is pleasing to discuss the original Tea Party, not any modern "Tea Party" movements.  According to Wikipedia, during the Revolutionary War, tea was limited in supply, so the Colonists drank more coffee.  Still, does that history explain the modern penchant for coffee?  I think nowadays people drink coffee because it has more caffeine-- once you are used to coffee, it is hard to scale back to tea!  


P.S. Edited to add that I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series-- but don't they drink rooibos or somesuch herbal infusion that is not actually black tea?

jyang949's picture

"tea was limited in supply, (post #69857, reply #2 of 3)

"tea was limited in supply, so the Colonists drank more has more caffeine"  

I imagined a scenario where Paul Revere had a double espresso that night instead of his usual tea, and so was totally wired as he raced through every Middlesex village and farm shouting "The British are coming! The British are coming!"



I'm not actually reading the series, but listening to audiobooks. They talked about bush tea versus regular tea, but I don't remember rooibos.

JAlden's picture

  Paul Revere actually did (post #69857, reply #3 of 3)


Paul Revere actually did make a stop on his way to deliver the "Two if by sea" message. He stopped in the town of Medford for a rum toddy.

Bet you didn't learn that in grammer school.