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197 × 120 × 16 mm
184 pages
77 illustrations, 62 in colour
01 Oct 2010
  • £11.99

Tea A Global History Helen Saberi

From oolong to sencha to chai, tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Perhaps that is because it is a uniquely adaptable drink, consumed in many different varieties and ways by cultures across the globe and in many different settings, from the intricate traditions of the Japanese tea ceremony to the elegant tea-rooms of Britain to iced tea drunk on the verandas of the American Deep South.

In Tea food historian Helen 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; its role in American independence at the Boston Tea Party; afternoon tea drunk by the British in India; and the 1913 creation of a tea dance or Thé Dansant that combined tea with 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 as well as recipes from around the world, Tea is a refreshing and stimulating treat.

‘The Edible series of books, with titles such as Tea, Sandwich, Soup and others, are full of fascinating facts but are almost small enough to squeeze into a Christmas stocking.’ — Delicious

‘The story of tea, as Saberi chooses to tell it, is as much to do with travel as with history . . . Reading this book brought back so many memories . . . What madeleines did for Proust, tea does for me. And so does this delightful book.’ — Sue Arnold, Asian Affairs

‘a charming, erudite little book’ — Oxford Times

‘as the subtitle of this handy, informative little volume indicates, tea is enjoyed the world over and ranks, globally,as the second-most-popular beverage after water.’ — Booklist

‘a highly readable, engaging book, one best enjoyed while sipping a cup of tea oneself.’ — InMamasKitchen

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Helen Saberi is a London-based food historian and writer. She is the author of a number of books on food, including Noshe Djan: Afghan Food and Cookery (2000), The Road to Vindaloo: Curry Cooks and Curry Books (2008), co-authored with David Burnett, and Tea: A Global History (Reaktion, 2010).


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

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