Labrador tea and blasamic hyperion tea were american tea substitutes.
The townspeople were faced with a stalemate, and so decided upon drastic action.
stalemate = impasse
The deadlock eventually resulted in the Boston Tea Party, when a mass of townspeople, dressed as Native Americans, boarded the ships and threw all the cargo of tea overboard. This was one of the key events that sparked off the American War of Independence.
This Tea Party sparked off other protests: tea being shipped to New York and Philadelphia was sent back to London,
ale = beer
craze = engouement, rendre fou