Tea made its way to Europe in the 1600's. It was introduced to England in 1669. At that time tea was very expensive. A pound of tea cost and average British laborer the equivalent of nine month in wages. So the drink was enjoyed mostly by the aristocracy. The British began to import tea in large quantities to satisfy the rapidly expanding market. Tea became the most important trade item from China. As the tea trade increased it became less of a luxury item and all classes were able to drink tea. From here it grew in popularity.