Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Mon Mar 26 11:09:17 EST 2001

Hallie wrote:
>But back to the point, do other people agree that a few generations 
>ago tea drinking would have been much more common than coffee (in the 
>UK and Ireland, this is)?  And when would that have changed? 

Oh, certainly. I know there were coffee-houses in London, but what people
drank at home, "the cup that cheers but not inebriates" (which I'm *sure*
I've misquoted) was tea. All the Victorians warmed the pot and had dainty
cups (or huge mugs) of tea, and didn't perc coffee. (I have heard it said
that the American taste for coffee was down to patriotcally not drinking tea
after the Boston Tea Party. I'm sure all those coffee-drinking European
immigrants have something to do with it, though.) I think tea was more comon
here up until not long ago at all. If it isn't still. Maybe coffee became
common here when instant coffee appeared? And it was after that that all the
grind-their-own-beans snobs and the Starbucks arrived?

> Or does anyone feel that they'd have no problem with a 
>re-write of F&H to have Gran downing quantities of instant coffee? 
>And Polly not encountering coffee for the first time at Mary Fields?

It would be... believable, but noticeable, in a way that Granny having a pot
of tea ready isn't. 
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