Women, Coffee, and Tea

In this article, we are bringing attention to how coffee and tea have affected women in the history of the world.

It also shows how women have shaped the history of these drinks in our culture.

We know lifestyle factors such as food choices and exposure to chemicals can alter our DNA. A process called DNA methylation can lead to changes in the gene activity of women. Methylation is a process that acts like an “on and off switch”, to genes, where the gene itself is not changed but its function changes, this is called epigenetic change.

Research on Coffee Affecting Gene Changes in Women

Two drinks that can lead to changes are coffee and tea consumption.

A study, reported in the Journal of Human Molecular Genetics, at Oxford, 2017, and another study at Uppsala University found that tea causes epigenetic changes with the female hormone estradiol and with genes related to cancer.

It has previously been found, that women who drink large amounts of tea, can reduce their estrogen levels, having a greater impact on their health. These studies do not show if this either improves or harms health.

Women and the History of Tea and Coffee

Women had very little rights in the early world, but they did have a role in the promotion and history of tea, even though downplayed since men were principal owners in commerce and business.

*In 1674, there was a mass uprising against coffee. The Women’s Petition against coffee, where women said it turned their British men into “useless corpses”, and demanded it be banned for those under 60 years old. Men apparently were spending too much time in the coffeehouses!

  • Catherine of Brogan was Portuguese, she married Charles II and brought tea to the courts, soon after that the English started importing tea, because a woman set the fashion.
  • In the early 18th century, there were several Tea businesses involving women in a family dynasty. One of these was started by Thomas Twining who died and the business was taken over by his wife Mary Little Twining, who flourished the business and passed it on to her son. It is still in business today.
  • Credit is given to Anna, Duchess of Bedford, as the inventor of afternoon tea. Her between meals hunger led to a large industry when the British afternoon teas became a ritual around the world.
  • The 1st American woman to be granted a license as a coffee trader was Dorothy Jones of Boston in 1670.
  • English tea gardens were the 1st public gathering place that allowed women to mix with men without scandal and criticism.




Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant helping individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses.