Quilp, the epitome of evil in Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, seen here with Little Nell, is a dwarf with the head of a giant and a "few discolored fangs" for teeth. But his most grotesque trait is his trick of drinking "boiling tea without winking" and eating "hard eggs, shell and all."
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A satire of women's social discourse in the Queen Anne period depicts six women taking tea in a parlor, with figures on the left signifying hidden emotions and power struggles behind a genteel facade. Circa 1710.
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Demand for domestic tea is so strong that Minto Island Tea Co. continues expanding production. Here, Camellia sinensis is planted on the Salem, Ore., farm. It takes three years for tea plants to mature for harvest.
Courtesy of Minto Island Tea Co.
Pu'er tea is packed in bings at a market in China's Yunnan province. A cake of Pu'er continues to change as it ages, and bits of tea are chipped off in order to brew.
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Sir Thomas Lipton in 1909. Lipton was already a self-made millionaire before he ever entered the tea trade. But by figuring out how to lower the retail cost of tea and standardize his product "direct from the tea gardens," he became much, much richer.
Library of Congress
Workers harvest autumn flush teas on a tea estate in Darjeeling, India. Autumn is the personal favorite flush of many of India's most discerning tea tasters, though these teas remain largely unknown and nearly impossible to find.