Black teas were more popular in Britain than green teas by the date that this jug was made. Like coffee, these fermented black teas were usually drunk with milk or cream and often sweetened with sugar. After-dinner and afternoon tea and coffee were generally served by the lady of the house in the drawing room in comfortably-off households.
By the mid-1750s, soon after this jug was made, most of Worcester's wares were sold through wholesale ceramics dealers in London. A price list of about 1755 from Worcester's 'China-Warehouse' in London lists 'Milk Jugs round and pressed' (which were of a different design to this one) at 8s and 12s per dozen wholesale, and 'Cream Ewers ribbed and panelled' at 9s per dozen. These would probably have been painted in underglaze blue. The one here would have been more expensive, for it is finely painted in enamels. Enamelling is more expensive and complicated than painting in underglaze blue, as it requires more work, more costly materials and additional firings.
Materials & Making
The Worcester porcelain factory's raw materials included soaprock, which resulted in a type of porcelain that was resistant to the thermal shock of boiling water. Worcester's recipe was therefore suitable for tea and coffee wares.