History of Scotland and Tea

Tea is very popular in Scotland. But, how did its popularity start?

Scotland’s relationship with tea started in the early 1600s, when it was formally introduced to the country by by the Duchess of York, Mary of Modena. Later, many Scots went to India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to start and run tea estates. Scotsman James Taylor is known as the father of Ceylon tea.

Scots helped make tea a global drink. Lipton, one of the most recognizable brands, was started by a Scottish citizen. Thomas Lipton opened his first grocery shop in Glasgow, Scotland in 1871. After growing his grocery business to over 300 stores, he entered the tea business. Buying directly from growers and even starting an estate himself, Lipton became the first to sell tea to the public at low prices. He was one of the first to create a specific brand of tea that would be the same everywhere it was sold. In the 1890s, Lipton expanded his brand to America.

Although the most popular type of tea is English Breakfast, it was actually created in Scotland. According to legend, it was invented in Edinburgh, Scotland by a Scottish tea master. Queen Victoria, fond of all things Scottish, popularized the blend in England. It eventually became known as breakfast tea. Over the years, companies across the world have copied this blend.