Released in March of 2010, For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History was written by Sarah Rose. In this book, the author delves into one of the most controversial topics and a turning point in the history of economics. What I like most about this book is how it takes the reader right along on the adventure of how the British East India Company sent one of its men, Scottish Botanist Robert Fortune, to secretly take a tea crop from China and have it planted back at the company’s plantation in India.
This book brings us the history of a beverage that some may think of as ordinary, but is actually not ordinary at all. In fact, it highlights a sometimes forgotten, yet crucial part of this plant’s history.
It was hard for me to put this book down. The details and descriptive style of the writing made me feel like I was right there traveling with Fortune as he covertly navigated into the Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, and later into the more distant Wuyi Mountains and Fujian province.
For tea enthusiasts, I highly recommend this book. It’s like a true espionage book, but with the topic of tea at the core (a win-win in my opinion). Another benefit is all the history and tea education that is provided throughout.