A Brief History of Tea : Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire
by Roy Moxham
Editor: Little, Brown Book Group
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Behind the healthiest image of the world’s most popular glass is a strange and dark past, often violentWhen tea began to be imported into western China in the 18th century, its high price and heavy taxes made it an immediate target for smuggling litigation and at all levels, culminating in international incidents such as the famous Boston Tea Party.In China, the British financed their tea relations by the merciless taxation of the opium tradeIntrepid British tea planters soon began to flow to India, Ceylon and Africa, creating huge plantations; often workers were bought and sold as slavesRoy Moxham’s extraordinary story begins with his own stay in Africa, managing 500 acres of tea and a thousand collaboratorsHis experiences informed the book and led him to study the history of early tea and the results of his research reflect that little credit on the British Empire, while quite often revealing a fascinating world of history
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