Though in principal similar to the coffee houses of the seventeenth century, they were different in that these new businesses catered to the needs of ordinary people, not just wealthy men.
From the s, tea rooms and tea shops became popular and fashionable, particularly among women, for whom they offered a most welcome and respectable environment in which to meet, chat and relax, without the need to be accompanied by a man. Later in the nineteenth century then, going out to a tea shop became a popular pastime for women. But tea remained a beverage that was mostly drunk at home.
Tea was drunk at breakfast by all social classes. Of course some families favoured a lighter breakfast, and lower down the social scale this was a necessity rather than an option.
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Poor families usually began the day with a cup of tea, as well as bread and butter, or perhaps porridge or gruel. Tea was then drunk at regular intervals throughout the day. Tea features often in the work of the great nineteenth century author and social commentator Charles Dickens. His books make it clear that tea-drinking was ubiquitous among the working classes, and through the eyes of Pip, the hero of Great Expectations, we can sense Dickens' affection for it: ' The responsibility of making toast was delegated to the Aged [an elderly man] The Aged prepared such a haystack of buttered toast, that I could scarcely see him over it We ate the whole of the toast, and drank tea in proportion, and it was delightful to see how warm and greasy we all got after it.
While tea was part of the staple diet of the poor, among the rich tea-drinking was evolving into an elaborate social occasion. Afternoon teas probably had their roots in the ladies tea-parties of the seventeenth centuries, but evolved during the eighteenth century into something of a national institution. Tradition has it that afternoon tea was 'invented' by Anna Maria, the wife of the seventh Duke of Bedford, who in started drinking tea and having a bite to eat in the mid-afternoon, to tide her over during the long gap between lunch eaten at about 1 o'clock and dinner eaten at around 7 o'clock.
This swiftly developed into a social occasion, and soon the Duchess was inviting guests to join her for afternoon tea at 5 o'clock. It did not become instantly popular elsewhere though, partly because in fashionable circles dinner was eaten earlier, leaving less of a gap to be filled by afternoon tea. But by the s the fashion for afternoon tea had become widespread. Such teas were elegant affairs, with tea drunk from the best china and small amounts of food presented perfectly on little china plates.
On offer might be bread and butter, scones and cakes, and sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Contemporary manuals on etiquette and good housekeeping are full of advice on how to conduct a correct afternoon tea. The idea of needing an instruction book in order to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit with some friends seems rather alarming these days, but although nineteenth century afternoon teas were elaborate affairs from our point of view, in those days they were considered relatively informal occasions.
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Invitations were issued verbally or by note, and rather than attending for the entire duration guests were free to pop in when it suited them and likewise leave when they wanted to. The hostess would pour the tea, but it was the responsibility of the men to hand the cups round. If there were no men present, this job fell to the daughters of the hostess or other young women present goodness know what happened if there were no men and no daughters available! There was a fashion for women to wear tea gowns, but these were softer and less restrictive than evening gowns, and it was not always deemed necessary for women to wear gloves.
Nonetheless many did, and the author of The Etiquette of Modern Society points out that a thoughtful hostess should always provide biscuits with tea, since these can be eaten more easily than sandwiches without removing one's gloves. Some poorer households also adopted the practice of afternoon tea, and in some areas women pooled their resources and equipment in order to make such occasions affordable.
But more common among the working classes was 'high tea'. During the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when most people worked in agriculture, the working classes tended to have the main meal of their day at midday, with a much lighter supper late in the evening. But after the industrial revolution, more and more people were employed for long shifts in factories or mines, and hot midday meals were thus less convenient. They were also not appropriate for the increasing numbers of children who were at school during the day.
The custom developed of having a high tea in the late afternoon, at the end of the working day, consisting of strong tea, and hearty, hot food. Unlike afternoon tea, high tea was the main meal of the day, rather than a stop-gap between lunch and dinner. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there could be no doubt about the importance of tea to the British people. This was acknowledged by the government during the First World War. Tea was not initially rationed, but tea prices began to rise as a result of ships being sunk by German submarines, and so the government took over the importation of tea and controlled prices.
During the Second World War, the government took even more drastic action to safeguard this essential morale-booster. Just two days after war broke out, it took control of all tea stocks, and ordered that the vast reserves then stored in London must be dispersed to warehouses outside the capital in case of bombing. When during enemy blockades prevented ships from getting through, the Ministry of Food introduced a ration of 2oz of tea per person per week for those over the age of five.
This was not a lot, enough for two or three cups a day of rather weak tea. But there was extra tea for those in the armed forces, and on the domestic front for those in vital jobs such as firemen and steel workers. Tea was also sent in Red Cross parcels to British prisoners of war abroad. The end of the war in did not signal an immediate end to rationing, and tea remained rationed until October It was to revolutionise the tea industry, and today 96 per cent of all tea sold in Britain is in tea bag form.
Rationing by no means diminished the British enthusiasm for tea. In January , the author and journalist George Orwell published an essay called 'A Nice Cup of Tea' in the Evening Standard newspaper, calling tea 'one of the main stays of civilisation in this country', and listing his 11 'golden rules' for tea making. Orwell also used the ritual of tea-making as a device in his fiction. In his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the main character, Gordon Comstock, makes tea secretly in his rented room as a means to undermine the oppressive authority of his landlady, who does not allow it.
But the ritual and secret delight of Comstock's evening cup of tea also reveals something about himself: Comstock, an aspiring poet, has attempted to reject everything that he associates with bourgeois society - but he cannot reject its favourite drink. Certainly for much of the twentieth century, methods of preparing tea were still the subject of some snobbery: in a letter to Nancy Mitford a social commentator and great satirist of upper class behaviour , the author Evelyn Waugh mentions a mutual friend who uses the expression 'rather milk in first' to express condemnation of those lower down the social scale.
Nowadays the 'milk in first or tea in first' debate is altogether more light-hearted, but nonetheless everyone has his or her preferred method of making tea. Tea has for centuries been a beverage at the very heart of social life in Britain - for millions of people today, just for Dr Johnson nearly years ago, tea amuses the evenings, solaces the midnights and welcomes the mornings.
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Troops drinking tea: War Cups of tea consumed in UK so far today. A Social History.
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Lower FA levels are associated with a decreased white matter integrity. Background: Sex-specific differences play a role in metabolism, fat storage in adipose tissue, and brain structure. At juvenile age, brain function is susceptible to the effects of obesity; little is known about sex-specific differences in juvenile obesity.
Therefore, this study examined sex-specific differences in adipose tissue and liver of high-fat diet HFD -induced obese mice, and putative alterations between male and female mice in brain structure in relation to behavioral changes during the development of juvenile obesity. Fat distribution, liver pathology and brain structure and function were analyzed imunohisto- and biochemically, in cognitive tasks and with MRI. Results: HFD-fed female mice were characterized by an increased perigonadal fat mass, pronounced macrovesicular hepatic steatosis and liver inflammation.
Male mice on HFD displayed an increased mesenteric fat mass, pronounced adipose tissue inflammation and microvesicular hepatic steatosis.