“These days few things could seem more harmless than settling down for a nice restful cup of tea, or drinking the wonderful brew as a reviving tonic during a hard day at work.
But pity the tea-drinkers of 19th-century Ireland where, a new study claims, the pastime was regarded as irresponsible and destructive to morals as whiskey.
Critics at the time declared that tea drinking was contributing to the stifling of Ireland’s economic growth, and claimed the habit was reckless and uncontrollable.
Women who drank tea wasted their time and money, it was said, drawing them away from their duty to care for their husbands and home.
Worse still, tea was feared to be addictive and the cause of illicit longing. Some reformers even feared a cuppa could incite rebellion against English rule…..”