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Poetic Tea Verses from the 18th Century

London lexicographer Samuel Johnson, an unapologetic over of tea, kept the kettle on throughout the day and late into the night.  He summed up his preference for someone making tea for him:

“Now hear it then, my Rennie dear,

Nor hear it with a frown;

You cannot make the tea so fast

As I can gulp it down.

I therefore pray thee, Rennie dear,

That thou wilt give to me

With cream and sugar softened well,

Another dish of tea.”


Edward Young’s poem, The Love of Fame, the Universal passion, c.1725, indicates how tea bowls were held in the eighteenth century and how elegant tea drinkers could look while lifting the exquisite porcelain to their lips:

“Her two red lips affected Zephyrs blow,

To cool the Bohea, and inflame the Beau;

While one white Finger and a Thumb conspire

To lift the Cup and make the World admire.”


More tea blogs from the BTPSM Tea Master.


Bruce Richardson

MSN calls Bruce Richardson "A leading tea expert involved in tea's American renaissance for over 25 years." The native Kentuckian is a writer, photographer, tea blender, and frequent guest speaker at tea events across the globe. He can often be found appearing on television and radio talk shows, or as a guest speaker at professional seminars such as World Tea Expo and China Global Tea Fair. He is the author of over a dozen books on the subject of tea. Mr. Richardson serves as Tea Master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

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