Soon green tea found its way to Europe, where it was brought from China by the Portuguese and the Dutch merchants in the 16th century. At first tea drinking was considered exotic, and only the gourmets of the Portuguese royal court were dinking it. In a short time the rumors spread and merchants of Holland began selling it to more and more people, so in no time the tea drinking became a tradition.
In the 17th century the merchants brought green tea as a gift to the King of England, Charles II. The King accepted the gift with great pleasure and the tea drinking became popular in the royal court as well. But for a long time common people could not afford the tea, as it was too expensive and was considered a luxury. It may seem shocking and almost unbelievable right now, but back then it was a sign of a very bad taste, if a woman drank tea. Only after some time women were not condemned by the society for the public tea drinking. Modern England is known for its five-o’clocks and love for the tea. The statistics shows that England is a leader in consuming tea.
France got acquainted with tea a little bit earlier than England but there was no such admiration as in England. The French appreciated more the healing properties of the green tea. Several scientific works about the green tea were published, but they could not be compared with the Chinese studies of this healthy drink. With the flow of time the tea became very popular in France. In the 20th century so called tea rooms appeared in Paris. They still flourish nowadays and people can enjoy different tea varieties in the luxurious and sophisticated interiors. It is hard to believe that just several centuries ago the tea was considered an exotic and luxurious drink, as right now it is one of the most popular and traditional drinks in every country of Europe. Times change.