When Tea Was Not a Party: The Globalization of Tea (and Opium) in the 19th Century

In this time of threats to globalization, we look back on the beginnings of this worldwide trade movement.

GlobalTravelog

This article is developed and amplified from an earlier piece: How One Drink Changed Fortunes, Incited Protests: Tea’s history reveals globalization’s best and worst side—trade, prosperity, migration and war.” YaleGlobal Online, 9 March 2011. Used with permission of Yale University.

The featured image is from National Geographic, Photo of the Day, April 23, 2018: “At an old tea house in Chengdu, China, Your Shot photographer Handi Laksono spent half a day observing the locals. Most of those who come in are above 60 years old, he says, and will pass the time smoking and playing cards with friends until lunch.”

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How a Desire for Tea in Britain Caused Suffering to Millions in Asia

Despite the remarkable advances made during the course of evolution, human history was not all an inexorably upward climb. The glories of Rome, Chang An, and Patilaputra were followed by a millennium…

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