The National Portrait Gallery, London
While John Wesley was busy denouncing tea, the English lexicographer and intellect Dr. Samuel Johnson was just as busy defending it. He referred to himself as “a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who has for twenty years diluted his meals with only the infusion of this fascinating plant, whose kettle scarcely has time to cool, who with Tea amuses the evening, with Tea solaces the midnights, and with Tea welcomes the morning.” Famous for his love of tea, he was known to drink as many as sixteen cups at a time!
James Boswell, author of Life of Johnson, concluded: "I suppose no person ever enjoyed with more relish the infusion of that fragrant leaf than did Johnson."
By the way, London will be celebrating Dr. Johnson's tercentenary in true Johnsonian style with Afternoon Tea in his home on Sunday, September 13, 2009.