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Tea drinking was common in China for nearly one thousand years before anyone in Europe had ever heard about tea. People in Britain were much slower in finding out what tea was like, mainly because tea was very expensive. It could not be bought in shops and even those people who could afford to have it sent from Holland did so only because it was a fashionable curiosity. Some of them were not sure how to use it. They thought it was a vegetable and tried cooking the leaves. Then they served them mixed with butter and salt. They soon discovered their mistake but many people used to spread the used tea leaves on bread and give them to their children as sandwiches.
What’s the general idea of this short passage?
Compared with the Chinese, People in Europe, particularly in Britain were much slower in finding out what tea was like, and how to use it. They cooked tea leaves as vegetable and served them with butter and salt and even made them part of Children’s sandwiches.
Tea remained scarce and very expensive in England until the ships of the East India Company began to bring it direct from China early in the seventeenth century. During the next few years so much tea came into the country that the price fell and many people could afford to buy it.
At the same time people on the Continent were becoming more and more fond of tea. Until then tea had been drunk without milk in it, but one day a famous French lady named Madame de Sevigne decided to see what tea tasted like when milk was added. She found it so pleasant that she would never again drink it without milk. Because she was such a great lady her friends thought they must copy everything she did, so they also drank their tea with milk in it. Slowly this habit spread until it reached England and today only very few Britons drink tea without milk.
Tea remained scarce and very expensive in England until the ships of the East India Company began to bring it direct from China early in the seventeenth century.
On the continent, people used to drink tea without milk until a French lady invented the habit of drinking tea with milk.