A Brief History of Tea: The Extraordinary Story of the World's Favourite Drink

Paperback, 258 pages

English language

Published Nov. 10, 2009 by Running Press.

Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (1 review)

Behind the wholesome image of the world's most popular drink lies a strangely murky and often violent past. When tea began to be imported into the West from China in the seventeenth century, its high price and heavy taxes made it an immediate target for smuggling and dispute at every level, culminating in international incidents like the notorious Boston Tea Part. In China itself the British financed their tea dealings by the ruthless imposition of the opium trade. Intrepid British tea planters soon began flocking to Africa, India and Ceylon, setting up huge plantations. Workers could be bought and sold like slaves.

Rox Moxham begins with his own sojourn in Africa, managing 500 acres of tea and a thousand strong workforce. His experiences inform the book and lead him to investigate the early history of tea - his research often reflects little credit on the British Empire, while revealing a …

1 edition

A Good Overview of "Tea Time"

4 stars

Moxham gives a brief overview of the history of tea, from its initial steps as a medicinal ointment in ancient China, to the wars and mystique of growing in Assam and Ceylon, to the modern landscape of African soil being pleated by multinational tea companies. It is by no means exhaustive of a history, but it encapsulates what a base level of understanding of the human toil, suffering, and achievement that has led to the glorious morning cuppa that so many people around the world enjoy.


  • Tea
  • History
  • Tea trade