Only very wealthy people had enough money to drink tea in Europe. It took many months to transport the tea from Asia. And only a limited amount was transported. But more countries started to trade with China. They also brought tea back to Europe. Prices became lower, and more people could drink tea.
England is the European country most known for tea. So, when did tea get there? Well, British traders started shipping tea to England in the late sixteen hundreds. Tea trade had become a very profitable business. England imported about eighteen thousand kilograms of tea a year in 1699. Ten years later, the country imported six times that amount of tea!
Two meals involved tea in British homes. These meals became popular in the sixteen hundreds. The first was afternoon tea - or “low tea”. This was popular among wealthy people. They would drink tea and eat small sandwiches of meat and bread. This meal happened around three o-clock in the afternoon. The other meal was called “high tea.” High tea was a larger meal eaten later in the night. It was popular among poorer people.