As a young man I managed a tea estate. Since then, I have become fascinated by the history of the world's favorite beverage
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TEA tells the story of tea, from its discovery by the Chinese, to the first British imports in the seventeenth century, through to the present day. It tells of how the British tax on tea led to violent smuggling and the loss of the American colonies. It tells of how the British addiction to tea led to war with China. It describes how tea was planted up in the Empire - in India, Ceylon, and Africa. Intrepid and eccentric British planters opened up hundreds of square miles of tea plantations. This, however, came at a terrible cost to the native people. Britain lost its empire yet, through the brands it still controls, manages to dominate the world of tea.
The book also describes how tea is grown and manufactured. It dissects the international tea business. It describe the first year of the my time as a tea planter - taking the reader through the agricultural and manufacturing cycle - with, I hope, some amusing diversions.
This is an updated edition of 'Tea - Addiction, Exploitation and Empire,' 2003