Smugglers Tea September 18 2015

Ships from Holland and Scandinavia brought tea to the British coast, then stood offshore while smugglers met then and unloaded the precious cargo in small vessels. The smugglers, often local fishermen, snuck the tea inland through underground passages and hidden paths to special hiding places. One of the best hiding places was often the local parish church.

Even smuggled tea was expensive, however, and therefore extremely profitable, so many smugglers began to adulterate the tea with other substances, such as willow, licorice, and sloe leaves.  Used tea leaves were often also re-dried and added to fresh leaves.