Before the Act, smugglers imported 900,000 pounds of cheap foreign tea a year. The quality of the smuggled tea did not match the quality of the dutiable East Indian Tea of which the Americans bought 562,000 pounds per year. Some colonists claimed the tea-tax had been removed because the British wanted to dissuade them from boycotting British goods - which may well be at least partially true. However, some colonists went further, and pronounced the tea "unfavorable". Although the British tea was more appealing in taste, some Patriots encouraged the consumption of smuggled tea. All this however did little to damage the British tea trade.
Before the Boston Tea Party occurred, the colonies did not agree with the decision to impose the Tea Act. In New York and Philadelphia, they sent the British ships with the tea on board back to Britain. In Charleston, the colonists left the tea on the docks to rot. The Royal Governor in Boston was determined to the leave the ships in port, even though the colonists refused to take the tea off the boat. The colonies did this to demonstrate their anger towards the Tea Act.
The smugglers meanwhile were still smarting from the loss of their illicit income. Eventually, this led to the Boston Tea Party where American colonists, believed by some to be the Sons of Liberty, by others to be self-interested smugglers, dressed up as Mohawk Natives and threw 342 crates of tea from the East India Company ships Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver into Boston Harbor.