Tea:A Global History

Reaktion Books, London, 2010

‘From oolong to sencha to chai, tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Perhaps that it is because it is a uniquely adaptable drink, consumed in many different varieties and ways by cultures across the globe and in many different setting, from the intricate traditions of the Japanese tea ceremony to the elegant tea rooms of Britain to iced tea drunk on the verandas of the American Deep South.

In Tea food historian Helen Saberi explores this rich and fascinating history. Saberi looks at the economic and social uses of tea, such as its use as a currency during the Tang dynasty; its role in American independence at the Boston Tea Party; afternoon tea drunk by the British in India; and the 1913 creation of a tea dance, or Thé Dansant, that combined tea with tango. Saberi also explores where and how tea is grown around the world and how customs and traditions surrounding the beverage have evolved from its legendary origins to its present day popularity. Featuring vivid images as well as recipes from around the world, Tea is a refreshing stimulating treat.’

The story of tea, as Saberi chooses to tell it, is as much to do with travel as with history … Reading this book brought back so many memories … What madeleines did for Proust, tea does for me. And so does this delightful book.’ Sue Arnold, Asian Affairs
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