The same year that Pepys so intrepidly drank his first cup of tea in London, a tax was imposed by the English Parliament of 8 pence (16 cents) upon every gallon of tea made and sold as a beverage in England. A like tax was levied on liquid chocolate and sherbet as articles of sale. Officers visited the Coffee Houses daily to measure the quantities and secure the revenue.
The rare recipe for making tea in those days was known only to the elect, and here it is:
"To a pint of tea, add the yolks of two fresh eggs; then beat them up with as much fine sugar as is sufficient to sweeten the tea, and stir well together. The water must remain no longer upon the tea than while you can chant the Miserere psalm in a leisurely fashion."
"Tea Leaves" by Francis Leggett
Stuck in a Book’s Weekend Miscellany
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