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The history of tea in East London

Londoners have been enjoying tea for centuries, but the traditional East London tea culture has a unique history of its own. Once the home of the worlds largest tea ports, East London was the epicenter of the tea trade for centuries. In the 1700s, East London was the busiest port in the world for tea imports. Ships from India, China and Japan would bring vast cargoes of tea to London, and the East End was where the majority of it was unloaded and distributed.

The East London tea culture soon became a focal point of the area. Tea shops sprung up in the area and local families would come to buy their tea in bulk. The popularity of tea in the area was such that by the late 1800s, East London had the highest per-capita tea consumption of any area in Britain. That tea culture is still alive and well in East London. There are hundreds of local tea shops, cafes and tea rooms where you can still find a cup of tea served in the traditional East London style. The tea is usually served in a traditional porcelain cup and saucer, with a generous helping of sugar and a splash of milk.

East Londoners have also embraced modern tea culture. You can enjoy a high quality cuppa in our East London venue at the heart of Hackney: 503 Hackney Rd, E2 9ED or buy online

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