The following book was one of those finds that fuel my addiction. I mean a book on the history of tea, does not sound that exciting at all. But I am so glad I read this book. It is one of those books I annoy the absolute crap out of my friends with, dropping little bits a trivia about tea into conversations, and quoting the highest price ever paid for tea.
For those interested the most expensive tea in the world is Da Hung Po, or the Emperors Red Robe, it sold in 2004 for about $45,000 US for 50 grams. This tea only rarely is sold on the market. For your everyday cuppa, a tea made from using Panda poo as fertiliser is available. For $200 a cup, or $3,500 per 50 grams, you too can benefit from the healing qualities of Panda crap. For our British readers the mind boggles on what biscuit you would select to dunk in it.
After reading this book I will never look at a cup of tea the same way again. A book of industrial espionage, and outright skulduggery, the story of tea and its globalisation is brought to life upon the pages. Sarah Rose tells the story of Robert Fortune and his employer, The East Indian Trading Company. His mission to steal the secret of tea from the Chinese, and end their monopoly of the tea market. This book is an intriguing and engaging read into the little known history of tea. I found myself fascinated by this book, and in turn fascinated by tea. I am off now to track down a nice cup of Da Hong Poa!