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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

Today in America we celebrate Veteran's Day.
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

I find the stories of wartime tea rationing in the UK fascinating. To save tea, it was recommended that one put a pinch of baking soda in the teapot when making tea. It was said that could save almost a teaspoonful of tea every time. Is there anyone out there who can explain the logic science behind this?

From Tea & Taste - The Visual Language of Tea
(available for purchase here)

Tea helped to see Britons through war. While tea rationing was not implemented during World War I, it was enforced during World War II. Strict rationing from July 1940 allowed the purchase of only 2 ounces of tea per week per person, a program that continued at various levels until 1952. Tea was still being served and acted as a morale-booster for many during the war and never a drop was wasted as leftoever tea and tea leaves were used to clean. Tea merchants banned together to help in the war effort. Continuing to serve clients, Lyons teahouse made 100 cups of tea to the pound rather than the usual 85. Twinings supplied tea for Red-Cross prisoner-of-war packages, for the Women's Voluntary Service, and for many YMCA wartime canteens. Despite the fact much of London was being bombed, tea was still served. Following the bombing of the Twinings teashop on The Strand, employees had tables set back up within hours to serve tea.

And in a letter dated September 16, 1940 from an Air Raid Post worker in London:
The worst thing to be brave about is the tea ration.
Everything else can be managed.


Teresa of Southern Touch Catering said...

Hi Denise,
Regarding the soda in the tea my guess would be that it would reduce the acidic taste and you could just add more water than tea?
Happy Veterans day- God Bless America!

Steph said...

Wow! I didn't know this - amazing! Love the tea tin, too.

Melissa said...

Aaah, the power of tea to heal all! I love this attitude shared by Britons and adore the stories of Brits 'taking tea' in the underground during the Blitz. Nice post Denise!

As as a female veteran myself, thanks for the shout-out!

Denise at Uniquely Tea said...

That makes you a (s)he-ro, Melissa! Thank you for your service! (sound of applause)

Denise at Uniquely Tea said...

Steph, I like the tea tin, too, and vaguely remembered seeing it for sale somewhere in England - was it the Museum of London? The Docklands Museum? The Imperial War Museum??? Google to the rescue! The Imperial War Museum sells them for £3.99.

Rebecca said...

Wonderful post!

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