The discovery, emergence and establishment of tea as a tea in India is a unique social element in history. According to folklore, this drink was suddenly discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nang in 25 BC. While he was resting, water was being heated in a container for his use. He saw some leaves flying in the air from a nearby tree and fell into the boiling water. Watercolors immediately turn brown. Being attracted to the warm water, he drinks some of it and feels quite normal. Since then, the custom of drinking tea has spread all over China. And the whole world from there.
Commercial production of tea started in China in the year AD. The British have emerged as the major buyers of this tea. But the value of the exchange was in gold and silver. As a result, huge trade deficit was created.
The total amount of tea imports up to 1721-1760
Source: The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company (1660-1760)
To compensate for the trade deficit, the British started exporting opium to China from India. Chinese rulers banned the import of opium in 9 to overcome drunken youths and the economic crisis. But the East India Company continued its business illegally. China and Britain waged a two-way war because of illicit opium trade. Which is known in history as the ‘Opium War’.
In the wake of the war, the East India Company lost its dominance in the Chinese tea market. The British conspired with a deadly detective scheme. Known as ‘British Tea Robbery’ in history. Robert Fortune, a Scottish botanist, was given this responsibility. Wearing Chinese clothing, he was sent to a tea area in China banned from foreigners. Fortune closely monitored the production of tea there and returned with enough tea seeds. The journalist Sarah Rose, who wrote ‘For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the Worlds Favorite Drink and Changed History’, has received multiple international awards for this case of corporate espionage. Surprised by the actions of Fortune, Rose wrote at the beginning of the book ‘The Task Recorded A Plant Hunter, A Gardener, A Thief, A Spy’.
To Be Continued …