Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China’s Tea Empire

Foodnews 3.17.15 tea tuesday

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world’s surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn’t control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

For All the Tea In China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History is writer Sarah Rose‘s account of the effort to control the tea market, what she calls the “greatest single act of corporate espionage in history.”

 

To read the full article please The Salt. 

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