The Americans started importing tea in the 1650s, before anyone in England had even heard of the Oriental plant, and the first Europeans to ship tea home from Chinese ports in about 1610 AD were the Dutch and the Portuguese. They exported this expensive new luxury drink to other European countries, including England where the first sale of tea was recorded in 1657. Although the English East India Company had been trading in the South China Seas from the beginning of the C17th, the Company’s merchants did not start importing their own tea into London until 1669.
And not everyone in England approved of the consumption of tea. Those who campaigned against it claimed that it caused paralysis, that it was bad for the digestion and the nerves, that it made the hands shake, that it was not a suitable drink for the working classes! But all to no effect, soon everyone in Britain was drinking tea on a daily basis. Gradually, over the next hundred years or so, consumption increased, despite its high price, and huge quantities were shipped into London from China