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Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Global History

Distributed for Reaktion Books


A Global History

From chai to oolong to sencha, tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Perhaps that is because it is a unique and adaptable drink, consumed in many different varieties by cultures across the globe and in many different settings, from the intricate traditions of Japanese teahouses to the elegant tearooms of Britain to the verandas of the deep South.     

In Tea food historianHelen Saberi explores this rich and fascinating history. Saberi looks at the economic and social uses of tea, such as its use as a currency during the Tang Dynasty and 1913 creation of a tea dance called “Thé Dansant” that combined tea and tango. Saberi also explores where and how tea is grown around the world and how customs and traditions surrounding the beverage have evolved from its legendary origins to its present-day popularity.

Featuring vivid images of teacups, plants, tearooms, and teahouses as well as recipes for both drinking tea and using it as a flavoring, Tea will engage the senses while providing a history of tea and its uses.

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183 pages | 40 color plates, 20 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2010


Food and Gastronomy

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"As English grandmothers say, a good cuppa tea puts the world to right. The English, of course, are not the only tea consumers in the world; in fact, as the subtitle of this handy, informative little survey indicates, tea is enjoyed the world over and ranks, globally, as the second-most-popular beverage after water."

Brad Hooper | Booklist

"One could write a tome about this history, and Saberi has done the research to fill that tome, but with the characteristic lightness of touch, sense of humor, and unadorned, but elegant prose she moves with alacrity through ancient historical periods, unearthing tea facts that include poems written about tea by impassioned poets, superstitious beliefs about tea’s health benefits, the famous tea ceremony, which we learn is many types of ceremonies in different lands, even the Japanese tea-drinking game, Tôcha.The history of tea is a reflection of our human dramas, and though this is a slender easily-read volume, Saberi traces our dramas easily and fully. . . . Tea: A Global History is a highly readable, engaging book, one best enjoyed while sipping a cup of tea oneself."

Table of Contents


1   What is Tea?
2   China
3   Japan, Korea and Taiwan
4   Caravans and Mediterranean Shores
5   Tea Comes to the West
6   India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia
7   Tea Today and Tomorrow

Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements

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