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Although tea had been recognized and consumed in China and Japan for centuries, it was only in the seventeenth century that Londoners very first started consuming it. Above the subsequent two hundred many years, its stimulating properties seduced all of British society, as tea identified its way into cottages and castles alike. One particular of the 1st actually worldwide commodities, tea has also, today, come to epitomize British culture and identity. This impressively comprehensive book provides a wealthy cultural historical past of tea, from its ancient origins in China to its spread close to the globe. The authors recount tea’s arrival in London and adhere to its escalating salability and import by way of the East India Company all through the eighteenth century, inaugurating the very first typical exchange—both business and cultural—between China and Britain. They seem at European scientists’ struggles to understand tea’s background and medicinal properties, and they recount the ways its delicate taste and exotic planning have enchanted poets and artists. Exploring every thing from its every day use in social settings to the political and economic controversies it has stirred—such as the Boston Tea Party and the Very first Opium War—they supply a multilayered appear at what was eventually an imperial industry, a collusion—and usually clash—between the world’s greatest powers more than manage of a simple beverage that has grow to be an enduring pastime.
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