E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tea. The reference is to the gossip held by some of the womenkind over their cups which cheer but not inebriate. Also called Chatter-broth.
I proposed to my venerated visitor, to summon my housekeeper with the tea-equipage; but he rejected my proposal with disdain . No scandal-broth, he exclaimed, No unidead womans chatter for me.Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak (Prefatory letter).