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The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History
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The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  195 ratings  ·  59 reviews
What started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars.

Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Jericho Books (first published July 8th 2014)
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William Stanger
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like tea, this is a book that is best savoured when time is taken over it, allowing the words to sink in slowly and to diffuse into one's being.

The book tells the story of how tea allowed the vision of Thistle Farms to evolve to add the Thistle Stop Cafe. Intertwined with this is the story of tea itself and how much it has meant to the life the author, Becca Stevens, herself. Also included are snippets of the stories of some of the many women whose lives have been turned around by the work of th
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If ever a book's subtitle was going to grab you, this one certainly did the trick! “Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from its Violent History” . . . what a statement. Tea, justice, and a violent history? Just the title of this book gets you thinking. Yet, like so many things, it is what is seen when you look beyond the outside that holds so much meaning.

Becca Stevens runs Thistle Farms, a safe place for recovering women to work and earn fair wages under good working conditions. Survivors
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Why I chose this book: I love Thistle Farms and I love tea, so I definitely wanted to read what Becca Stevens had to say about both.

Thistle Farms works to help women recover from trafficking, prostitution, drug addiction and homelessness. After completing a residential program, women can work for the social enterprise that Thistle Farms runs which offers employment and skills to women. They opened a cafe, a second business (the first is making bath and body products), in 2013.

The story of that o
Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This was a DNF for me. I was expecting more history woven in with spiritual realizations, but I found it jumped around from stories of the women to history to repetition about tea that I found disappointing. It was lacking a cohesive theme that kept the narrative moving other than "tea is awesome!". I struggled through about 50 pages before deciding it just wasn't for me. The writing itself was decent quality and there was great potential in the story, but I don't feel that it was structured as ...more
Leah Good
May 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction, 2021
This book was a Christmas gift from a friend whose church supports the ministry which the book speaks of. Both from my friend's reports and the pages of this book, the ministry sounds both needed and effective. Too often women engaged in prostitution are treated as perpetrators rather than victims. This ministry reaches out to women, often newly released from jail, to provide support, hope, and options.

The heart of that mission is what I liked about this book. The execution of the writing was le
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found this book at the library, so I didn't know much besides what was on the cover when I started it. That was incredibly misleading, tbh, because while the book uses tea recipes to begin the chapters, and repeats the word 'tea' ad infinitum, there is very little *about* tea or it's history in this book, and saying that it's being 'rescued' from it's violent history is just nonsense. In fact, I'd argue that you could change 'tea' here to something else (coffee? cookies? hand-made shoes?) and ...more
Slim OysterHiatus
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This was not at all what I was expecting. I thought, and wanted, this to be a book about the history of tea production, highlighting the theft, colonialism, political injustices, and violent racism that made tea what it is today, and tell how Thistle Farms is working with women involved in tea picking, production, and sale to undo tea's violent and oppressive history, promote fair trade, and uplift women in the Magdelene program and around the world. Instead, this is a sort of diary tracing the ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is not an enjoyable read. I've been trying for weeks to inch through it, but when I found a book-trade while travelling, I decided to swap it midway through. No point wasting time reading something you don't like. (Especially whilst abroad, hey?)

I enjoyed the tea recipe at the beginning of each chapter, and I've learnt a bit of tea history I didn't know, but overall, 'Tea and Justice' doesn't know what kind of book it wants to be.

It's all over the place. One second it's tea history, then Th
Jessie Vandagriff
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book. Each chapter starts with an introduction to a type of tea, its origin and/or how it’s brewed. Laced with testimonies, this book beautifully tells the story of Thistle Farms and Thistle Stop Cafe.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I was very bored reading this book. I understand that I'm not the target audience, as a pagan enby teen, but I feel like a book like this should not have a target audience? It was also just very repetitive so :/ idk. Very boring. ...more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Becca Stevens' heart and vision and really enjoyed her musings on sharing tea with others as a form of connection and promotion of justice. It can be easy to get a little lost in her thought process at times but mostly I find myself both soothed and inspired by her words and wisdom. ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved the thought behind the book and the way Becca tied the history of tea to abused women's struggles and how she bought it into women's recovery. I loved the recipes in the beginning of each chapter and the personal stories. The work that is being done at Thistle Farms is above amazing! ...more
Jeremy Breedlove
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfic
I’m sure this book is a lot better than a 2, and it’s my fault for judging by its cover, but I was excited to read a history of tea and by the time the author made it clear that she was going full tea is a metaphor for life and Jesus I could not switch gears to enjoy it
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
What's hard about choosing a rating for this book is that it would alternate between 3 and 5 stars... but I don't think that makes it "average out" to a 4. ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picked this gem up on a discount table . . . thoroughly enjoyed the read!
Jennifer Poole
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was written by a pastor, so a lot of Bible stuff is mentioned. I'm not religious, so some parts were a bit tedious for that reason. It's a good book, though... I enjoyed it. ...more
Deb O.
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book but felt like it was two books rolled into one. On one hand the very important work and history of Thistle Farms and the other the history and social justice around tea.
Sloan Strickland
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books! History, justice, and self-care.
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History is a different kind of action thriller. ...more
Alexa Doran
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
The writing was nothing exquisite but the book gave me a new perspective on life which feels pretty damn invaluable to me.
Jun 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Becca Stevens achieve making the plot interesting and I liked that it was fun when it needed too.
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am looking forward to the next book by .
Jul 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History is a history set in today's world with the possibilities of today's morals. ...more
Jul 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was totally submerged in the story within the first few minutes.
Jul 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Stevens writing style, plots, and characters kept the book in my hands continuously and that does not often happen with books.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the stress of the holiday season, this has been a perfect read for me. Almost every sentence feels like something I should quote or stitch onto the proverbial pillow to review again and again. Becca Stevens uses the human rights violations in the history of tea to represent the former violence and victimization in the lives of the women that are being restored at the Magdalene rehabilitation center. Her dream is to create the Thistle Cafe to be both a symbol and physical living proof of the r ...more
Bonnye Reed
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
XXX Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest and chaplain at St Augustine's at Vanderbilt University. Amoung others, she has been honored by the White House - one of fifteen Champions of Change in 2011, and the Small Business Council of America named her Humanitarian of the year 2014. Thistle Farms, her work for many years combatting violence against women in America, sells products from the farm in 380 stores nationwide. The women who farm on Thistle farms are women rescued from abusive childhoods, ...more
Saba N  Taylor
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
The Way of Tea and Justice recounts the amazing journey of Becca Stevens and her group at thistle farms as they established a tea cafe to help women off the streets heal and rebuild their lives. Becca Stevens is a pastor and much of the book reflects the ups and downs of her journey and how her passion for justice and love for her faith kept her focused even through some very difficult times in her life. Her concept of tea as a way to heal sent her on a journey to learn more about the history an ...more
Shelby Vcelka
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really wanted to give this book five stars. Many of the passages were gorgeous, and put into words how I feel when I drink a cup of tea. For those passages alone, the book warrants five stars. However, the beautiful passages were framed by preachiness. The author is a reverend, and she makes sure to mention her Christian worship in almost every single chapter. One of the major themes running throughout the book was the universality of tea, and I feel that constantly inserting Jesus and Christi ...more
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Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, five women who had experienced trafficking, violence, and addiction were welcomed home.

Twenty years later, the organizatio

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53 likes · 12 comments
“But it is hard not to let the historical oppression of women seep into the steeping frothy tea. Beauty and ritual are forever tied into the images of women that keep them from the fullest expressions of being human. At least that is how it feels sometimes. Keep women veiled and cinched and silent, and then they will be honored. In witnessing the scene before me, I know that the women who will work in the cafe will have borne the brutality of the world. I am too keenly aware that faith and ritual can truly be the ties that bind us to violence and complacency.” 0 likes
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