Thursday’s Alphabet of Tea … D is for Darjeeling and Dividend Tea.
I was going to write about Darjeeling, but then I don’t know so much about Indian tea; although I have a friend who served me some first flush earlier this year and it was lovely. However; I know more about Dividend tea, simply because it was very cheap and always on the top of my mother’s shopping list in the 1950s.
It would seem that the tea trade was huge in the beginning of the 20th century; the major traders were very well rewarded and competition was and needed to be enterprising, Clever sales campaigns and advertising became an essential part of the business. Brook Bond used a slogan ‘Full weight without paper’ to highlight the fact that some companies were cheating their customers by including the weight of the packaging in the total net weight in each packet of loose tea.
Following the slump of the 1929 and the misery and poverty of the early 1930s, the company set out to capture more of the market with launch in 1935 of the cheap but good quality ‘dividend tea.’ This was a blend sold in packets bearing a dividend stamp that consumers saved and stuck on a card , reading to exchange for cash or gifts.
I can remember carefully taking the perforated stamp and sticking on to a card and redeeming 5 shillings (25p)