Empire of Tea
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From the publisher
Tea has a rich and well-documented past. The beverage originated in Asia long before making its way to seventeenth-century London, where it became an exotic, highly sought-after commodity. Over the subsequent two centuries, tea's powerful psychoactive properties seduced British society, becoming popular across the nation from castle to cottage. Now the world's most popular drink, tea was one of the first truly global products to find a mass market, with tea drinking now stereotypically associated with British identity. The delicate flavour profile and hot preparation of tea inspired poets, artists and satirists. Tea was embroiled in controversy, from the gossip of the domestic tea table to the civil disorder occasioned by smuggling and the political scandal of the Boston Tea Party. Based on extensive original research, and now available in paperback, Empire of Tea provides a rich cultural history that explores how the British `way of tea' became the norm across the Anglophone world.