libations that have helped shape our world
Tea became a daily drink in China around the
third century A.D.
Tea played a leading role in
the expansion of imperial and industrial
might in Great Britain many centuries later.
During the 19th century, the East India
Company enjoyed a monopoly on tea exports
Englishmen around the world could drink tea,
whether they were a colonial administrator
in India or a London businessman. The sun
never set on the British Empire—which meant
that it was always teatime somewhere.
As the Industrial Revolution of 18th and
19th centuries gained steam, tea provided
some of the fuel. Factory workers stayed
alert during long, monotonous shifts thanks
to welcome tea breaks.
The beverage also had unintended health
benefits for rapidly growing urban areas.
When you start packing people together in
cities it's helpful to have a
water-purification technology like tea,
which was brewed with boiling water