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Presidential Tea Facts

Pearl Dexter is one of the great personalities in the tea industry. She published the book “Presidential Tea Families” with Beulah Munshower Sommer from which I pulled these fun presidential tea facts. 

* Tea figures prominently in the White House. It’s a tradition which historically has transcended partisanship, with the outgoing FLOTUS inviting the incoming first lady to tea at the White House, and presumably some juicy tips on the role. Also, each Mother’s Day, it’s customary for FLOTUS to host a tea for military spouses. Favorite teas for first ladies include flavored black teas and soul-soothing caffeine-free teas. 

* Thomas Jefferson loved his tea and teatime so much, that he built a dedicated tea room in his home at Monticello. It's reported that he drafted the Declaration of Independence in this tea room in 1776. His favorite tea, according to purchasing records, was Bohea - a slightly smoky tea in the style of our Russian Caravan. 

smoky tea

* Teddy Roosevelt was known for his love of Hu Kwa Tea, which is another name for the smoky tea Lapsang Souchong

* According to his wife Lady Bird, President Lyndon Johnson reportedly drank only tea and Fresca.

* President George Bush, Sr. was known to frequently drink green tea - not surprising, given his special connection with China, and time spent there as U.S. diplomatic chief in the mid-1970s. He was known in Beijing as the “bicycle-riding envoy” on account of the many hours he spent cycling through the capital’s narrow alleyways, endearing himself to local residents with his down-to-earth manner.

* President Obama apparently drinks more tea than coffee. His preference for tea was mentioned in the Boston Globe in 2014: "Scour through a series of photos of him — in the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One, inside the Situation Room — and he almost always has a cream-colored, gold-trimmed porcelain cup in front of him. We don’t know exactly what’s in those cups, but aides suggest they’re filled with tea.”

So this weekend, forget drinking like the queen and sip on some presidential favorites for President’s Day!

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