For All The Tea In China for the Foodies Read 2 Challenge. I thought it might be interesting to learn more about tea. While I did learn a lot, the most important thing is I don't care for botany.
For All The Tea In China is about how England stole tea plants from China in order to grow tea in India. England didn't want to keep paying higher prices for Chinese tea so they figured they'd grow their own. Tea was growing in India but it didn't taste like Chinese tea so English tea drinkers didn't want it. England wanted green and black tea which had to be stolen from China and forced to grow in India.
While learning about how England stole the tea seeds and tea plants was interesting, all the facts about the plants themselves was a little boring to me. But this is a great book to describe the Chinese countryside in the 1840's. Most Chinese living inland had never seen a European man before. And China was closed to Europeans. So Robert Fortune was in a unique position to learn about the Chinese. Sadly he was more interested in the tea than the people or those stories were lost.
If you want to learn how India got into the tea business or how China grew tea in the 1800's, then this a good book for you. Others who shared their thoughts on For All The Tea In China: Fantastic Teacup, Enthusiastic Whimsy, and A Cineaste's Bookshelf.
This is my fifth read for the Foodies Read 2 Challenge.