Last week I read an interesting article in the Tea Tuesdays section of The Salt entitled “The Scottish Spy Who Stole China’s Tea Empire.” The post was primarily about a book: For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose.
The book tells the tale of Robert Fortune, a man from humble Scottish beginnings, who became the horticulturist who traveled through China multiple times to learn the secrets of Chinese tea and steal seedlings for the British Empire to start producing tea in India.
The book begins:
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.
I’m not a huge history buff, but this book was a fairly quick read and quite interesting. I would recommend it if you’re interested in learning just how you can get that great cuppa today.