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From the very beginning, Upton Tea Imports has been proud to offer quality tea education in our Upton Tea Quarterly catalog to accompany our premium tea selection. Join us in revisiting our classic article series Reversals of Fortune in the Tea Industry, where we examine fascinating turns of events in tea and trade history with surprising outcomes.

At one time in ancient history, the future of tea was uncertain. How did the globally popular beverage venture out from China, where it was originally exclusively produced and consumed? Would you be surprised to learn that the beginnings of tea’s journey across boundary lines was directly impacted by, of all things, horse trading?

The nature of the tea industry, like any other trade in history, often quickly changed direction, impacting the economy of the ancient societies that used it as currency and relied on its value as a tradable good. As empires rose and fell, tea was there as a witness, influencing its surroundings in astounding ways!

In this installment, learn about ancient China’s military and how a need to fortify defenses formed a trade partnership that would change tea history.

Reversals of Fortune in the Tea Industry Part I