Why drinking tea was once considered to be sinful

Drinking tea

Now that the egg nog, champagne cocktails, wassail cups, and other holiday potables are being put aside for awhile, we thought it only appropriate to note that this is national hot tea month. At least it is in the United States - we imagine that in other English-speaking countries they have the intelligence to realize that every month is hot tea month.

However, in looking for a slightly different angle to celebrate tea with (we know it's comforting, healthy, tasty, and accompanies any food very well), we ran across this article from NPR, Why Drinking Tea Was Once Considered a Dangerous Habit. Apparently, drinking tea was once feared as opening the door to dangerous feminist radicalism. As they explain: 

"Given tea's rap today as both a popular pick-me-up and a  health elixir, it's hard to imagine that sipping tea was once thought of as a reckless, suspicious act, linked to revolutionary feminism.

Huh? Well, the feminist complaints came from 19th century, upper class Irish critics who argued that peasant women shouldn't be wasting their time - and limited resources - on tea. If women had time to sit down and enjoy a tea break, this must mean they were ignoring their domestic duties and instead, perhaps, opening the door to political engagement or even rebellion."

It's a fun article to read - with a bit of a message. It's easy to laugh at this, but when food becomes too tied in with politics and social mores, reason can go out the window -  will organic carrots be the next politically dangerous edible?

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