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A devotee of the tea leaf.
My heroine Katherine in A Gentleman’s Folly drinks copious amounts of tea. She readily admits she is a devotee of the tea leaf.
Tea drinking in the 18th century was as Katherine says, ‘a sign of a person of the first quality,’ and something that required a great deal of civility. This is perhaps the first dawning of the manners for the later regency period.
As it is Katherine and her friend have specific requirements for taking tea.
A tea table such as this one below. I like the lattic work on this.
A tea caddy with a lock, to keep the contents safe and secure was a must have. Servants were known to steal tea if they thought they could get away with it. Tea was expensive. Servants were allowed to sell off dried used leaves as a perk of their job and a supplement their income. This tea caddy below is a beautiful example.
A tea pot along with a jug or kettle for boiling water.
Sugar to take with the tea. In the 18th centruy sugar came in paper wrapped sugar cones also known as sugar loaves. For use at the table the sugar was pinched out into lumps, or shaved off the cone to make something similar to ground sugar.
You’ll notice some things you might imagine were needed are not on the list. This is because tea cups and tea sets as a whole were only just being invented. I’ll tell you more about them in tomorrow’s post about the Lunar Society.