- Author: Jason Goodwin
- Published: August 1991
- ISBN-10: 0394579410
- ISBN-13: 9780394579412
- Format: Hardcover
- Size: 6 X 1.25 X 8.5
- Weight: 1.1 lbs.
- Copyright: 1991
- Subject: TRAVEL / Asia / General
Traces the history of tea, and describes the author's experiences visiting the places where the tea industry began
An engaging and offbeat exploration of the tea trade by English travel-writer Goodwin, whose two grandmothers--Granny Eileen with her tea caddy from India, filled with Keemun and Lapsang Souchong; Granny Goodwin with her tea caddy from China, filled with Assam and Darjeeling--gave him an early introduction to the ritual and romance of tea. Goodwin's journey around the tea trade, which has left its ``scattered trail across the atlases and the history books,'' begins in Hong Kong, where he tracks down the elusive and eccentric ``Professor Tea.'' Then it's on to mainland China for stops in the once-busy tea-trading ports of Canton, Amoy, and Fuzhou; in the Wuyi Mountains, home of the first tea known in Europe; and in Hangzhou, capital of the green tea province. Goodwin carries with him a small library on tea, dipping into it from time to time to share stories, facts, and other choice bits with the reader. A skilled traveler as well as a talented writer, he develops contacts and picks their brains everywhere he goes-- no small feat in China. Then he heads for Calcutta (detouring briefly in the Boston of 1773--for Goodwin journeys through both space and time), where the world's biggest tea auctions are held. He visits the tea gardens of Darjeeling and the Dooars for a fascinating look at how tea is grown and processed in postimperial India. Finally, the journey ends in London, giving Goodwin the opportunity for a brief but delightful sketch of the social history of tea in Great Britain. Entertaining and elegant--perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but boasting far more flavor than the average travel book. Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews
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