{book suggestion}

For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History by Sarah Rose

In the dawn of 1848, the East India Company was planning a project that was nothing short of industrial espionage. If the company's scheme was successful, the largest multi-national corporation in the world, the East India Company, would enact the greatest theft of trade secrets in the history of mankind. From Bas Bleu: "I enjoy an aromatic Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe as much as the next girl, but I will savor future cups with greater respect now that I've read this engrossing history of the world's favorite beverage. Sarah Rose delivers a deliciously shocking tale of corporate espionage in the mid-nineteenth century, when Britain's Parliament broke the East India Company's long-held monopoly on the lucrative tea trade with China. Desperate to retain their profits, the corporation hired Scottish horticulturist Robert Fortune to infiltrate the Chinese tea industry. His orders: Do whatever necessary to smuggle the seeds, plants, and cultivation secrets for England's favorite teas to the safety of British India. The result was a turning point in global economics; today, Fortune's activities would be akin to someone stealing the formula for Coca-Cola! A robust blend of history, horticulture, and international politics, For All the Tea in China makes for fascinating reading, whatever your drink of choice." (KG)

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