Birth of the American Tea Room

America’s great twentieth-century tea party was stoked by three remarkable social phenomena 1) the advent of the automobile, 2) the temperance movement, and 3)· women’s quest for equality.    Put a thoroughly modern woman into the driver’s seat of a Ford, ban alcohol, build good roads that spiral out of major cities into the scenic countryside, and you…

Monkey-picked Tea

Monkeys picking tea in China, 1808 French I received a call a few months ago from MTV asking how monkeys were trained to pick tea.I had to break the news to them that westerners had been falling for that story for over 200 years. No European understood Chinese tea growing practices until Robert Fortune carried out…