By Tim Lambert

2737 BC According to legend tea is discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung

1000 AD According to legend coffee is discovered around this time

c 1450 Coffee is drunk in the Yemen

c 1550 Coffee is drunk in Turkey and Persia

1610 The Dutch introduce tea into Europe

1651 A coffee house opens in Oxford

1652 A coffee house opens in London

1657 Tea is first sold in England

1658 Tea is advertised in England as China drink

1662 King Charles II marries Catherine of Braganza. She makes drinking tea fashionable.

1689 The first coffee house opens in North America

1773 The Boston tea party takes place in the North American colonies

1776 A law is passed in Britain against adulterating tea

1784 The tax on tea in Britain is greatly reduced

1839 Tea from India is first sold in Britain

1865 The first American coffee percolator is patented

The 20th Century

1901 Instant coffee is invented

1903 Decaffeinated coffee is invented

1904 Iced tea is sold at the St Louis World's Fair

1908 The coffee filter is invented

1938 Freeze dried coffee is invented

1940 Tea rationing is introduced in Britain

1942-43 Coffee is rationed in the USA

1946 The modern espresso machine is invented

1952 Tea rationing ends in Britain

1960 The first pump driven espresso machine is made

A history of coffee

A history of drink

A history of food

A history of tea