The custom was introduced in the nineteenth century by the seventh Duchess of Bedford.  Back in 1606 the first tea chests were listed at the port of Amsterdam. At that time, Holland had a tight grip on the trade of rare oriental products. This was quickly challenged by the English, who founded only a few years later the East India Company , a direct competitor of the Netherlands tea industry.

blog The shipyard of the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam, 1726 Engraving by Joseph Mulder
Image via Wikipedia

The arrival of tea in England brought with it the success of the coffee-house and today, the humble cuppa is a staple of British society.

The tea ritual has not changed much over the centuries: milk, sugar and even lemon are added to suit individual tastes.

(c) Shipley Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation Jean Carolus, Afternoon Tea, 1879
Image via BBC/Shipley Art Gallery

The famous Five o'clock Tea has paved the way for the creation of many objects and utensils. The tea balls, tea cosies, tea caddies, tea strainers, sugar bowls, creamers, cups, teapots are all used to enhance the tea, both in its brewing and in the final taste.

Fancy a spot of tea? Barnebys has prepared a selection of the finest services and accessories. Tea Time!

Click on the item to check it out.

blog (10) Tea caddy, George III pear shaped

blog (13) Four Pieces Bachelor Tea-Set, Silver, Italy, c. 1950

blog (9) Group of 3 Staffordshire Blue & White Tea Bowls
& Saucers, English, Early 19th C.

blog (8) CALDWELL & Co. Philadelphia - A mixed metal tea caddy
Lyon & Turnbull

blog (7) A large silver tea service and tray, Walker and Hall, Sheffield 1922
Lyon & Turnbull

blog (6) Tortoiseshell tea box

blog (5) Antique Copeland Spode Jasperware Tea Set, L 19th
C. & Wedgwood Jasperware

blog (4) An extensive brass plated white metal and cane tea set by WMF

blog (3) Imari Teapot
Japanese Gallery

blog (12) Tea caddy converted into a lamp