Title: Tea & Coffee in the Age of Dr Johnson
Author: Stephanie Pickford (ed.)
Publisher: Dr Johnson House Trust
Publication Date: 2008
Samuel Johnson declared
himself 'a hardened and shameless tea drinker ... whose kettle has
scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces
the midnight, and, with tea, welcomes the morning.'
said by friends to have consumed 25 cups of tea in one sitting, and even
went into print to defend his favourite beverage. He was also known to
frequent London's famed coffee-houses, 'the constant Rendezvous for Men
of Business, as well as the idle People, so that a Man is sooner ask'd
about his Coffee-House than his Lodgings'. However, not all approved of
these exotic new drinks ...
This beautifully illustrated booklet
comprises a collection of essays presenting a fascinating slice of the
history of these two great beverages. Find out what it was like to walk
into a Georgian coffee-house, what the 'contagion of china-fancy' was,
and why tea was once regarded as a menace to the nation.
Tea and Coffee in the Age of Dr Johnson is an interesting read, with the various short essays each highlighting a different aspect of tea and coffee trade and consumption in the eighteenth century. One for keen historians or historical fiction writers looking to set books in the era, it's not an exhaustive account, but it offers an entertaining overview and will point you on to further areas of research.