Tea – A name, and a drink, perfected over time

Tea – The national drink of the English

From the 1590s we used the word ‘chaa’ which came from the portuguese word ‘cha’, having its origins in the Chinese word ‘ch’a’, all referring to similar drinks, but then we were talking about a drink of foreign cultures. Later, in the mid 1600s, we started to get tea imported from the Dutch (by the dutch east india trading company), the dutch word for the drink was ‘tay’ and so this became the more common name for the drink in England. The pronunciation changed over time and by the mid 1800s we were saying ‘tea’ as we do today.


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