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MILL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 483 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MILL. ION LBB. Tea Adulteration.—In the earlier days of the tea trade, adulteration, especially prior to importation, was frequent, because the prices obtainable made it remunerative. Now, intentional adulteration is practically non-existent, chiefly because of the fact that in the places of production the price obtainable is so low that any possible adulterant would be too costly to collect. Most countries have a close check upon this at the time of importation, and the customs authorities in Great Britain submit to analysis all samples of a doubtful character. Impure teas are not permitted to pass into consumption, but the quantity condemned after analysis as unfit for food in the year 1906 was 41 packages, out of a total of 317,000,000 lb. Effect on Health.—The effect of the use of tea upon health has been much discussed. In the days when China green teas were more used than now, the risks to a professional tea-taster were serious, because of the objectionable facing materials so often used. In the modern days of machine-made black tea, produced under British supervision, both the tea-taster and the ordinary consumer have to deal with a product which, if carefully converted into a beverage and used in moderation, should be harmless to all normal human beings. There has been constant controversy as to whether China tea is better than that of other growths, but the verdict first of all of Great Britain, and subsequently of all the other large consuming countries, has relegated the produce of the Celestial Empire to a very subordinate position. A limited section of medical opinion has recommended China tea for reasons of health, and undoubtedly the inferior strength it possesses reduces the risk arising from improper use, but it also reduces the stimulating and comforting effects the ordinary tea-drinker hopes to experience. Next to water, tea is the beverage most widely in use throughout the world as regards the number of its votaries as well as the total liquid quantity consumed. The literature of tea is very copious, but scattered in pamphlet form to a great extent. In addition to the books quoted in the text, the following may be mentioned:—Bontekoe, Tractat van het excellenste Kruyd Thee (The Hague, 1679) ; Sylvestre Dufour, Traites Nouveaux et Curieux du Cafe, du The, et du Chocolat (2nd ed., Lyons, 1688; translation of 1st edition by John Chamberlayne, London, 1685; translations also in Spanish and Latin); J. G. Houssaye, Monographie du The (Paris, 1843) ; Robert Fortune, Three Years' Wanderings in China (London, 1847) ; Id., A Journey to the Tea Countries of China (London, 1852) ; S. Ball, Tea Cultivation in China (London, 1848) ; J. J. L. L. Jacobson, Handboek voor de Kultuur en Fabrikatie van Thee (3 vols., 1843) ; S. A. Schwarzkopf, Die narkotischen Genussmiltel—i. Der Thee (Halle, 1881); Lieut.-Colonel E. Money, Cultivation and Manufacture of Tea (3rd ed., London, 1878) ; F. T. R. Deas, Young Tea Planter's Companion (London, 1886). See also parliamentary papers and official publications of Indian government ; Monographs on brick tea, Formosa tea and other special studies, prepared for the Tea Cess Committees of India and Ceylon; Journals of the Royal Asiatic Society, Journal of the Society of Arts, Geographical Journal, Tea and Coffee Trade Journal (New York), &c. For practical planting details, see Tea; its Cultivation and Manufacture, by David Crole (1897), with a full bibliography; also Rutherford's Planter's Handbook. For scientific aspects see Chemistry and Agri-culture of Tea, by M. Kelway Bamber (1893). (J. McE.) TEA-CADDY, a box, jar, canister or other receptacle for tea. The word is believed to be derived from catty, the Chinese pound, equal to about a pound and a third avoirdupois. The earliest examples that came to Europe were of Chinese porcelain, and approximated in shape to the ginger-jar. They had lids or stoppers likewise of china, and were most frequently blue and white. The English kilns at first imitated them, but speedily devised forms and ornament of their own, and there was hardly a ceramic factory in the country which did not compete for the supply of the new fashion. But tea-caddies were not for long confined to procelain or faience. They were presently made in a great variety of materials, and in an equal variety of shapes. Wood, pewter, tortoise-shell, brass, copper and even silver were employed, but in the end the material most frequently used was wood, and there still survive vast numbers of Georgian box-shaped caddies in mahogany, rosewood, satin-wood and other choice timbers, often mounted in brass and delicately inlaid, with knobs of ivory, ebony or silver. Although many examples were made in Holland, principally of the earthen-war of Delft, the finer varieties enamelled, enriched with ciphers, and emblazoned with heraldry, the tea-caddy was a typically English product. As the use of the jar waned and that of the box increased, the provision of different receptacles for green and black tea was abandoned, and the wooden caddy,with a lid and a lock, was made with two and often three divisions, the centre portion being reserved for sugar. Chippendale's caddies in Louis Quinze fashion were delightful, with their claw and ball feet and exquisite finish. On the whole the mahogany or rosewood caddy of the latter part of the 18th and the early years of the 19th century was, from the artistic point of view, the most elegant and satisfying. The wood was rich and well-marked, the inlay simple and delicate, the form graceful and unobtrusive. Even when it took the shape of a miniature sarcophagus, imitated from the massive wine-coolers of the Empire period, with little claw feet and brass rings, it was a decidedly pleasing object. The larger varieties were known as tea-chests. As tea grew cheaper it became less important that it should be kept constantly under the mistress's eye, and the tea-caddy gradually fell into desuetude. It has, however, never gone entirely out of use, though handsome examples are now most commonly regarded as ornaments or preserved in collections.
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