Montreal Gazette, 27 February 1858, page 2
If the question be narrowed down to that of “Tea or no Tea” we advocate the weed. The world will be healthier and happier by the moderate use of any of the China teas in their purity, than without them. The immoderate use of cold water is prejudicial to health, whether as a drink orlavemeat, and so is the immoderate use of bread and butter. It is the argument of a fanatic to say that because the excessive use of any thing is injurious, it should therefore be discarded altogether. Chemistry decides that the essential elements of tea and coffee are identical, and are nutritious. Tea is a stimulant, and so is every other nutritive article. That which imparts no stimulus is not fit for food. An ordinary meal stimulates the pulse to greater activity five or ten per cent. Tea, being served warm at meal time, promotes digestion by its warmth, as any warm drink will do. Any cold drink even water, taken at meal time arrests the progress of digestion until it is served to the heat of about a hundred degrees, and if that arrest to be too long protracted, convulsions follow, and sometimes death as has happened many times to children, by eating a couple of hard boiled eggs hastily, or upon an empty stomach, or, indeed, eating much of any indigestible articles. Thus it is that, so far as the use of tea banished the use of cold water at our meals it is a safeguard. Late and hearty suppers destroy multitudes either outright in a night, or in the insidious progress of months and years. It is almost the universal custom to take tea for supper. It is a stimulant. It aids the stomach in digesting more than it would have done, just in proportion to its stimulating qualities. And as all eat too much at supper time , the general drink of the day, is beneficial in the direction just named. True wisdom lies in the moderate use of all the good things of this life. It is stated that at a tea party of sixty women in England, it was ascertained that they were the mothers of eight hundred and sixty nine children. The presumption is, that those women were tea-drinkers habitually, and it is equally inferable that they did not drink it very ‘weak’, yet they were healthy enough to be old, and healthy enough to be the mothers of large families. An isolated fact proves nothing, but this is suggestive. It is then safer and healthier to take a cup of warm tea for supper than a glass of cold water. With our habit of warm tea, than to take no drink at all. By the extravagant use of tea, many persons pass their nights in restlessness and dreams without being aware of the cause of it. We advise such to experiment on themselves, and omit the altogether at supper, for a few times, and notice the result. If you sleep better , it is clear that you have been using too much tea, either in quantity or in strength. In order to be definite, we consider the following to be the moderate use of tea: A single cup at each meal as to quantity, as to strength measure it thus: put a teaspoonful in a hot teapot, pour on a quart of boiling water; two thirds of a tea-cup of this, adding a third of cream or boiling milk, or hot water with sugar, or not. This is strong enough. We believe that such use of China teas, by excluding cold drinks at our meals and by their nutritious and pleasantly stimulating character, may be practised for a life time to very great advantage, without any drawback whatever; coffee, also. We believe that the world and all that is created upon it is for man, and that the rational use of its good things will promote the health and happiness of all mankind.—Hall’s Journal of Health.