Britain's Great Tea Heist :- How India's tea industry was established.

  • In mid-1700's Britain became obsessed with tea.It overtook beer as Britain’s favorite brew.
  • The only problem was that the Chinese weren’t purchasing any British goods in return. Britain was simply dumping its silver into China, creating a serious balance of payments problem.
  • The British responded by growing opium in India — largely in Bengal, Patna, Benares and the Malwa plateau — and smuggling it into China, in exchange for their beloved beverage.
  • This led to opium wars in china and was huge headache for British.
  • So British decided to break China's monopoly by growing tea in the regions of Assam.
  • They smuggled tea plants and lots of seed from the mainland china through a disguised Scottish horticulturalist Robert Fortune.
  • The initial attempts were not successful but later they were able to grew few sampling.
  • This is how India became second largest tea cultivator in the world.

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