- Tea originated in the jungles of the eastern Himalayas and was found to valuable to Buddhist and Taoist monks in China as early as the sixth century BC.
- Green tea was the kind of tea that had always been consumed by the Chinese. It made it to Europe in 1610, France in the 1630s, and England in the 1650s.
- In Britain, almost no one drank tea at the beginning of the 17th century and almost everyone did by the end of it. Black tea became popular during this time, partly because it was safer to drink.
- At the end of the 17th century, a cup of tea was about five times more expensive than a cup of coffee. By the mid-eighteenth century, tea was becoming the cheapest drink outside of water.
- In 1787, a tea merchant named Richard Twining put a specially designed sign over his door as well as a label on his tea with the same design. This is though to be the oldest commercial logo in continuous use in the world.
- In the early 1800s, the British East India Company, the supplier of Britain's tea, started trading large amounts of opium from India to the Chinese in exchange for tea. In 1838, the Chinese emperor put an end to the opium trade which led to the Opium War of 1839-42. Britain defeated China and took control of Hong Kong.
- By the end of the nineteenth century, India took over China as Britain's main supplier of tea after it was discovered a certain type of tea shrub was indigenous to India. India is now the world's largest producer and consumer of tea.