This is the remarkable story of tea and its uses from ancient times to the present. The narrative takes the reader from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the splendour of the Tang and Song Dynasties in China, from the tea ceremony aesthetics of medieval Japan to the fabled tea and horse trade of Central Asia, from the advent of Britain's love affair with tea to the tea party that sparked the American Revolution. Throughout the centuries, tea has inspired artists, enhanced religious experience, played a pivotal role in the emergence of world trade, and helped trigger major wars. No other drink has touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways. The True History of Tea brings all these disparate strands together in an erudite tale full of quirky facts and unexpected byways, celebrating the common heritage of a beverage we have all come to love.