Putting the Tea in Britain
From Shelf: Wish list
The story of tea is extraordinary - it caused wars, boosted the trade in slaves and hard drugs, and it's no exaggeration to say it was one of the great engines that drove the globalisation of the world economy. In this book award-winning author Les Wilson tells the dramatic and colourful story of how Scots brought tea to Britain and made it our national drink.
'Deserves to sell like hot cakes' - Allan Massie, The Scotsman
Shortlisted for the Saltire Society History Book of the Year
From the Indian Mutiny to the London Blitz, offering a 'nice cup of tea' has been a stock British response to a crisis. But tea itself has a dramatic, and often violent, history. That history is inextricably interwoven with the story of Scotland. Scots were overwhelmingly responsible for the introduction and development of the UK's national drink, and were the foremost pioneers in the development of tea as an international commodity.
This book reveals how Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon and Africa all owe their thriving tea industries to pioneering work by Scottish adventurers and entrepreneurs. It's a dramatic tale. Many of these men jeopardised their lives to lay the foundation of the tea industry. Many Scots made fortunes - but it is a story with a dark side in which racism, the exploitation of native peoples and environmental devastation was the price paid for 'a nice cup of tea'.
Les Wilson brings the story right up to date, with a look at the recent development of tea plantations in Scottish hills and glens.