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

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Synopsis

"If ever there was a book to read in the company of a nice cuppa, this is it." -The Washington Post

In the dramatic story of one of the greatest acts of corporate espionage ever committed, Sarah Rose recounts the fascinating, unlikely circumstances surrounding a turning point in economic history. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the British East India Company faced the loss of its monopoly on the fantastically lucrative tea trade with China, forcing it to make the drastic decision of sending Scottish botanist Robert Fortune to steal the crop from deep within China and bring it back to British plantations in India. Fortune's danger-filled odyssey, magnificently recounted here, reads like adventure fiction, revealing a long-forgotten chapter of the past and the wondrous origins of a seemingly ordinary beverage.


 

About Sarah Rose

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SARAH ROSE holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Chicago. She has worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, Miami, and New York, and now covers food and travel. This is her first book. A native of Chicago, she now lives in New York City.
 
Published January 11, 2010 by Penguin Books. 274 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Cooking, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for For All the Tea in China

The Guardian

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For All the Tea in China: Espionage, Empire and the Secret Formula for the World's Favourite Drink by Sarah Rose280pp, Hutchinson, £17.99.

Apr 10 2009 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

NPR

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A new comedy from Ian McEwan; the true-life adventures of the Victorian Brit who stole the secrets of tea from China; a Kenyan contemporary of Obama's father remembers the Mau Mau rebellion; and a new Russian master spins surprising fictional gold from the Godot-like tale of Soviet citizens waiti...

Mar 30 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

New York Journal of Books

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Sara Rose begins her story For All the Tea in China, this way: “There was a time when maps of the world were redrawn in the name of plants, when two empires, Britain and China, went to war over two flowers: the poppy and the camellia.” Could this actually have been the case?

Mar 18 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

The Washington Post

Among Fortune's achievements was confirming that black tea was derived from the same plant as green tea, but processed differently.

Apr 11 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

Scotsman.com

THE opening to this intriguing book makes clear how high the stakes once were over something as mundane as a cup of tea: "There was a time when maps of the world were redrawn in the name of plants, when two empires, Britain and China, went to war over two flowers: the poppy and the camellia."

Mar 13 2009 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

Red Room

Even the Americans wanted a part of the tea craze since the Boston Tea Party but due to mitigating circumstances, remained far behind everyone else in their mad dash to China and later India and the creation of Darjeeling teas, considered to be the “champagne” of all teas (and it is!).

Jun 03 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

BBC History Magazine

The naturalist Robert Fortune was everywhere in mid-19th-century China, and in the Victorian understanding of China.

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David G. Schwartz

When it feared that China’s emperor might legalized the production of opium within China and leave the company with nothing to trade for tea, the British East India company determined to secure its future by producing its own tea.

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

The Gleaner

It was Fortune, after all, who determined that green tea and black tea came from the same plant, and that leaves used to make black tea were left to sit in the sun for a day in a process called fermentation.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of For All the Tea in China: How...

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