Women have been behind the scenes for far too many years now as time changes, it only makes sense to acknowledge and celebrate their contributions.

Tea industry has seen some consequential inputs from women through the years so this Women’s Day, we are raising a cup to their achievement and applauding them for all that they’ve done. 

From Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln to Anna Russell, here is the story of some strong women who helped revolutionize the tea industry worldwide.

Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln

As was the norm, innovation and discovery were masculine traits and only a man could have invented the coolest tea ever. However, that wasn’t the case. It was a woman who invented iced tea, years before Richard Blechynden. A WOMAN? Yes, contrary to the popular sources of history, it was Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln. Mary Johnson married Abraham Lincoln in Kentucky on November 4, 1842. She was a big fan of making iced tea, so much so that she mentioned it in her cookbook, The Boston Cook Book, which was first published in 1896, 57 years after her marriage to the 16th President of the United States.



Image Source: Wikipedia 

Roberta Lawson and Mary Molaren

Here’s another example of how women who made inventions and contributions to society were overlooked. Two women secured a permanent mention in the history of tea and innovation. Here’s how. They simply got tired of having to strain tea leaves through a small strainer, and the extra work that was required. And then the tea bag was invented in 1900!

Catherine of Braganza of Portugal

British citizens had been drinking tea for a long time. They simply loved it, but only as a medicinal drink. But one woman single-handedly made the British obsessed with tea.

The one who made tea cool enough to be a social drink was Catherine of Braganza of Portugal. This newlywed princess loved her loose-leaf tea and made it a thing in all of England. 


Image Source: Thesecondangle


Penelope Barker 

Who knew drinking tea could also cause drama? Penelope Barker took her protest against the British Tea Tax to the breaking point and is also known to have organized the famous Edenton Tea Party (significant because it is the first recorded women’s political demonstration in America). She believed that a cup of tea is not a luxury but a necessity. After she dumped crates of tea into Boston Harbor, her act became known as the Boston Tea Party.


Source: National Women’s Org


Anna Russell, The Duchess of Bedford

As legend has it, English socialites fell in love with the Indian tea that Anna Russell served to guests and promptly started taking it for pleasure and for health reasons. And slowly she became the queen of what is now called ‘the afternoon tea’!


  Image Source: Afternoonteaclub

Tea is an integral part of the daily routine in our society. We make it, serve it, drink it and expand on its health benefits. The industry has a social history that reaches back four hundred years from its inception in the east. Although women are active participants in the world of tea, it is not common to identify them as being similar to men in this career field. However, there is no denying that women are an integral part of the tea industry, from farmers and blenders to marketers. They have played a crucial role in the growth of tea and it is time that they are recognized for that, today and every day.


Stay Well Steeped

Be a part of the Wellness Tribe and enjoy exclusive benefits