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Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West
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Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Traveling from East to West over thousands of years, tea has played a variety of roles on the world scene - in medicine, politics, the arts, culture, and religion. Behind this most serene of beverages, idolized by poets and revered in spiritual practices, lie stories of treachery, violence, smuggling, drug trade, international espionage, slavery, and revolution.
Liquid Jad
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 570)
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Sharon Roy
This book reaches back into the deep history of China and the first tea drinkers and explores the spiritual, historical, economic, and social impact our love of tea has wrought across time and across continents. It's an amazing story, and one well worth reading. I was enchanted by parts of this book, and shocked by others (though by now I should no longer by shocked by any of the things one country or one people will do to another - it's not like our mistreatment is anything I haven't heard of b ...more
Susan
Since I'm supposed to be a tea author, I thought I should read this book to learn more about the origins and culture of tea. It was a great find! Each chapter consists of only 3-4 pages and reads like a novel. I learned about the early origins of tea in China, how the British became dependent on tea, how tea has fostered violence around the world, and other interesting facts. The author has certainly done her research and provides a substantial bibliography.
Laura Bang
A fascinating account of the history of tea—and by no means a dull history. Spanning millennia and continents, the story of tea encompasses triumphs and tragedies in great numbers, acted out by monks and soldiers, small communities and colonial superpowers, farmers and spies. Hohenegger herself sums it up best:

"In its many permutations from medicinal remedy to social beverage to fashion statement to object of religious ritual and then on to strategic tool, global commodity, and cause for labor s
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Allison Lorraine
It's a great read, a lot of historical facts I didn't know. And I learned one new vocuabulary word! The consequences of China not wishing to import British goods led to the Empire raising and legally approving the sale of Opium to Chinese citizens, which the Emperor lamented--it was destroying his country. The British harvested tea from one colony, India, to illictly purchase tea from China while promoting facilitating slavery in another colony, America and the Caribbean, in order to produce eno ...more
Angel
May 15, 2010 Angel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history readers, those who like tea, those who like reading about food and drink
This was a very pleasant and excellent read. I liked the organization, starting in the East, then working its way to the West, following the history and dissemination of tea around the world. The last two parts then go into trivia and other common facts about tea as well as looking at the economics of what is now a worldwide industry. By the time you are done reading this, you will have learned something about tea. The author uses a very evocative tone in the narrative that will have you longing ...more
Gerri Leen

I'm a recent tea convert--you know, the loose leaf, good stuff. I've been drinking tea since I was a kid but never really understood what made a tea good or not, and what the difference were between the types, or what the history of tea was (and how crucial it was in so many ways to so many countries, but most especially China, Indian, Sri Lanka, England, Holland, and of course The United States). Wonderfully written and easy to get through--at least until the last bit. It got a bit, well, borin
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Grace
Jul 03, 2011 Grace rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History buffs, people interested in human rights and fair trade.
I bought the book after hearing a lecture by the author at UCLA. Her passion lies in Part 2, "to the West", which explains the politics and economics of tea and it's importance to the British empire. It's only 120 pages, but packs quite a punch. Then read part 4 about today's tea trade.

Contemporary events have me thinking quite a bit about the privileges and savagery of empire and the end of an empire. There are some important historical lessons to be learned here.

The rest of the book is cocktai
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Ad Astra
A good general overview about the growth of tea in culture, trade, and the effects it's had in colonial and imperial times. I really enjoyed learning about what makes each tea (green, black, white, red) different in the end. The writer has a lot of historical interesting information, pacing and topics were good. I have a lot more appreciation for the labor and effort it takes to produce my loving cup of chai!
Tippy Jackson
Very entertaining. Starts with Asian history of tea, ceremonial, historical and mythical. Moves to the introduction of tea to the west and the spread of tea, especially in England. Discusses tea taxation, importation and law as well as the spread of the coffee house and "penny universities." Moves on to random chapters about tea facts and lastly discusses the fair trade organic tea movements.
Susan
A comprehensive and accessible book of tea. Covers the history and culture and even some of the science. Captures the romance and spirit but does not veer away from the associations with colonialism and exploitation. Ends with suggestions for a more ethical and sustainable cup of tea. Short chapters make it an easy book to pick up every now and then.
Keri
I felt that 50% of this book was decent, 25% was boring, and 25% was interesting. I liked how the chapters/topics were very short and readable. Some chapters were much more interesting to me than others. I did learn a lot about tea, though. And now, off to find some organic, free trade tea from sustainable farmers in Assam...
Bonnie
This book was seriously fun for me. I learned so many neat things and the short, mostly independent chapters made it easy to share interesting tidbits with friends. I could've lived without the last 10 pages or so - not really my style, but the rest was awesome.
Jim
An interesting history of Tea, the most detailed book on the subject I've found in print. I find it fascinating how the introduction of caffeinated beverages to Europe coincides with humanistic, financial and scientific advances.
Stan
Very short chapters, skipping from topic to topic, practically like skimming through Wikipedia. Vaguely British perspective, with a little bit of historical apologia for the ruthless colonialism in China and India.
Daniel Fell
Whether or not you enjoy drinking tea, if you like history, you'll enjoy this rich account of how a simple mountain shade plant became a valuable form of natural currency and the world's most popular beverage.
Alexandra
Highly enjoyable. I especially enjoyed reading about the Chinese and Japanese lore surrounding tea, and the evolution of the formal tea ritual.
Chels Patterson
Mar 21, 2012 Chels Patterson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tea people
Shelves: personal-reads
Well written and researched. Good well rounded educational experience. One really wants Tea when reading this history.
Laura
teaism is taoism

if falling asleep regularly in zazen, cut off yr eyelids

wisk matcha for headly frothy brew
Donna Jo Atwood
Interesting book on history of tea. I wish I'd had it when I did my program on tea.
No recipes.
Task 25.5B
Luisa
A charmingly written and incredibly informative book. EVERYTHING you could want to know about tea.
Jennifer
Apr 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs, tea lovers
Recommended to Jennifer by: G. King
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a very interesting book on the history, politics and art of tea.
Charles
Required reading for all tea-lovers.
Heidi
Will appeal to more than tea dorks
Carrie
Carrie marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Michael
Michael marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Thelmisha
Thelmisha marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
Ian Mclean
Ian Mclean marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2015
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Mairi marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
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Katie Watts marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
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