The Empire of Tea by Alan MacFarlane & Iris MacFarlane
The Overlook Press
For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose
Both historically focused, The Empire of Tea and For All the Tea in China are fascinating reads. Alan MacFarlane, the son of a tea planter, spent decades looking for answers to his questions about how tea “took over the world.” In the book he wrote with his mother, Iris, he says, “What started as a tiny set of puzzles . . . has ended up in this story as one of the great addictions of history.” And in her book, Sarah Rose tells the intriguing story of how botanist Robert Fortune was able to steal plants from China in the mid-1800s to maintain England’s monopoly on tea.