Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Viking; 1st Printing edition (March 18, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #450,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #91 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > International & World Politics > Trades & Tariffs #188 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Coffee & Tea #599 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Botany
The genre of how one product changed our lives flourishes, and perhaps Britain more than America was so altered by the export of cheap, tasty black tea in Victorian times. Yet, Rose shows how globalization, the drug trade, rapid transport, and botanical espionage and corporate deceit managed to boost Robert Fortune into his modest role as the East India Company's operative who'd pluck Chinese tea seeds and smuggle them out in glass boxes to India, where they would become the hybrids mingled with Himalayan plants to make the black tea we enjoy today.This would earn billions for a British empire tangled in the opium trade with a restive China, and replace that nation's supply of tea with that grown by its more reliable subjects in India. This shift kept English domination, expanded globalization, set off quicker tea clippers to bring tea to an invigorated porcelain and clay manufacturing region, and would increase health standards as less beer and more water was boiled and then brewed.Tea picking, she explains, is as if the topmost boughs and last couple of leaves of a Christmas tree were selected. Extremely laborious to gather, 32,000 shoots make ten pounds, nearly what a picker could gather in a day. Five pounds of fresh leaves produce one dry pound.I found such details intriguing. As Vine offers a proof to read, I do not know if maps and pictures will be included, but no such evidence is in my copy. These features would have enriched the text, for while Rose tells the journeys of Fortune carefully, Western readers unfamiliar with China might have benefited from charts here.
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